DIY Farmhouse Curtains {Drop Cloth Curtains}

by RestyledHomes
4 Materials
2 Days

We have always felt that curtains are one of those decor details that help complete any room. DIY Farmhouse Curtains made with drop cloths are super affordable and look amazing when the fabric is conditioned.

Not only is this a no-sew DIY, but our step-by-step curtain guide will allow you to bring personality and versatility to your windows. Drop Cloth Curtains specifically are perfect if you want to achieve the Farmhouse look since they have a relaxed look.

First off, not all drop cloths will work. After much research, I purchased these MELCA CANVAS drop cloths from Amazon for the reasons listed below.

  • You must use a CANVAS drop cloth with no plastic liner.
  • This company sells seamless painters drop cloths, which will make your project easy.
  • In my home, I had multiple windows and needed to create curtains of different lengths. This brand currently sells different widths and lengths. This is VERY important since you want all your curtains to match. 

If you have several windows, please be aware that this process takes time and should not be rushed.

Rushing the processing could mean you will end up with the finished drop cloth fabric not being fully conditioned. In other words, the color will be blotchy, with some areas being lighter than others.

The bleaching process not only removes the color it also softens the fabric; therefore, your farmhouse curtains will not be as flowy as they should. 

For example, I found that each painter’s drop cloth needs to be submerged in a bleach mixture by itself for the bleach to soften the fabric properly.

Lastly, if you try to reuse the same bleach water for your next set of panels, the bleach mixture will weaken, and it will take twice as long. Been there, tried it, and would not recommend it.

  • Placed the drop cloths in a mixture of bleach. The strength of your bleach mixture and the amount of fabric will determine your total time needed.
  • I found that purchasing concreted bleach worked the fastest, and some of my panels needed only 4 hours of soaking time. 
  • When soaking panels that were 16' in length it took about 8 hours with regular bleach.

To make sure all my drop cloths were appropriately conditioned, add the same ratio of water and bleach to each panel. In the photo below, I added half a gallon of bleach to each water bath. 

While wearing a pair of heavy rubber gloves, move around the drop clothes every few hours to ensure that the fabric conditions evenly.

You’ll be surprised that as you open the folded areas of the canvas, some of the canvas will appear untouched by the bleach water. That’s normal and just means more time is needed and that part of the fabric should be submerged underwater.

Once you are happy with your DIY drop cloth project’s color remove the canvas from the bleach water.

My process for washing the bleach out of the painter’s drop cloths was washing them in the washing machine twice.

During the first wash, I added NO SOAP.

My thought process was if I missed a few areas while checking to make sure the fabric was conditioned evenly, a wash without soap will help correct that.

In the second wash, I added soap, and I NEVER ADDED FABRIC SOFTNER.


Lastly, toss them in the dryer only ONCE and make sure every curtain panel receives the same amount of drying time. 

The drying allows for the fabric to soften but it will/can shrink the dropcloths.

At this point, the fabric is conditioned, flowy, and soft. We are now ready to hang up our Farmhouse curtains! To hang up the curtains, I used black farmhouse rods and clips. Yes, I said it, I’m using clips, that means no sewing!

If you have any questions BEFORE you begin, please drop your questions on my personal blog post which will have more detailed information and since I check that more often. I will usually reply within a few hours to your direct question.

While styling our curtains, we decided to fold over the top because we felt it match our room decor better and gave the curtains a more grander feel.

Happy Decorating!!!

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 6 questions
  • Chris Chris on Feb 26, 2021

    Why not use the soak cycle on your washer?

  • Sandy Lindquist Sandy Lindquist on Feb 25, 2022

    what is "concrete" bleach?

  • Lin1263925 Lin1263925 on Feb 27, 2022

    Can I actually just use the soak cycle in my washer and spin for a couple second then continue soak? I have bought drop cloths a long time ago and never made my curtains they look beautiful in white

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2 of 17 comments
  • Dona Dona on Jan 21, 2022

    Update: July 2021. I did sew a small hem at the bottom of the drop cloths about 1.5 to 2 inches wide. I purchased chain in 5.5 ft lengths at a hardware store, (it was on a roll and the clerk cut it in the lengths for me). I put it inside the hem and tacked (simple needle and thread). it at the ends of the links to prevent it from sliding out. The chain was light enough for the ring clips to hold, but heavy enough to keep the panels from flying up too much when the wing blows. When I took them down I just removed the chain, put it in a zipper bag, washed the panels and then stored it with the panels in a larger zipper bag ready for next summer.

  • Cary Cary on Feb 27, 2022

    what a clever solution for outdoors - just make sure they wont rust if in rainy/damp area like down south!!!! :)