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DIY Patio Curtains from Drop Cloths (with no sewing)

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Are you looking for a simple solution for the summer sun beating down on your patio?  These DIY Patio Curtains from drop cloths may be exactly what you need to add a bit of shade to your outdoor space.  Bonus- you can make these curtains with no sewing!

Are you looking for a simple solution for the summer sun beating down on your patio? These DIY Patio Curtains from drop cloths may be exactly what you need to add a bit of shade to your outdoor space. Bonus- you can make these curtains with no sewing!

Our back patio faces west and even though it’s covered, the relentless Texas sun bakes our patio between the hours of 2 and 7 pm.  The heat makes it impossible to enjoy our patio until the sun dips below the treeline.

We’ve looked into a few shade options, but everything has been out of our budget.  We finally decided to give some simple patio curtains made from drop cloths a try.

no sew curtains from drop cloths

The curtains have been up for over a month now.  I wanted to fix up the porch a bit before trying to get photos and posting about the curtains, but it’s already well into July and before you know it, summer will be over.  (Plus my hubby brought home that monster of a baby pool you see in the photo, so I figured it really doesn’t matter now anyway…)

no sew curtains from drop cloths

What makes these curtains so great is we bought enough of the drop cloths, so when you pull the curtains open, they are wide enough to reach all the way across the open space between the cedar posts.  Blocks every bit of the sun!

no sew curtains from drop cloths

DIY Patio Curtains from Drop Cloths

Disclaimer:  As I am sure you know, any cotton fabric left bunched up after being rained on, will mold/mildew.  Drop cloths are made from cotton. To ensure your curtains will last, be sure to open them so they can air dry after it rains.  If you live in a perpetually wet/humid climate, you might want to spring for the special outdoor fabric.

For the curtains I used:

(Someday, I hope to get real Sunbrella outdoor curtain fabric.   At $15.00 per yard with a 12 ft tall and 60 foot wide opening, I don’t even want to calculate how many yards I would need… OK, I calculated it, I would need almost 60 yards, ouch.)


To make the curtains, I didn’t want to spend too much time sewing these in case they were a bust, so we simply folded the top over and used metal clip rings to hang them.

I considered using some inexpensive curtain hanging accessories from Ikea, but we were afraid with only one support in the middle, the curtains would sag.  So instead, hubby put together a few metal conduit and brackets from Lowes and spray painted them oil rubbed bronze.  They blend right in!

I used 1 4 x 12 Drop Cloth to use for ties.  I just cut the fabric into strips and braided them, but if you wanted a more upscale look you could go with these indoor/outdoor tiebacks.


No Sew Drop Cloth Patio Curtains


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  1. Jane Rogers says:

    This looks great! What kind of clips did you use?

  2. Hi! Wonderful post. I live in Texas too and needed something to help block the Texas sun. I am so going to do this. Thanks so much

  3. twinkietotmom says:

    Your home is gorgeous! I'm going to have to stalk, er scour, your site now for more pictures! We have some outdoor curtains that I made a few years ago on our back pergola. I had gotten the fabric on sale for a great deal. While it's been great out there, they are starting to show their wear & tear, the FL sun can be pretty brutal. I think I'll have to do just drop cloth curtains soon. I do love the added ties you did with braiding drop cloth strips!

  4. Ctstrands says:

    Looks nice but doesn't the paint scratch off when you open and shut the curtains?

    1. It has not scratched off 2 years later, though the curtains do not get daily usage. And if it did, I would repaint them.

  5. Jeremy Wonell says:

    I love this! What are the clips you used? Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Chad Ferguson says:

      just accomplished this very easy task; they sell the clips in the curtain isle lowes, walmart…i bought 3/4" conduit!

  6. Renee Puzynski says:

    We did the same thing on are screened in front porch in Florida, but instead of using drop clothes I used shower curtains (green to match my shutters) so I didn't have to worry about fabric being ruined/mold and also used conduit. P.S. I have yet to have to replace any shower curtain in the past 5 yrs.

    1. Shower curtains are smart! I wish they made a 10 ft shower curtain!

    2. Jamie,
      I know its been several years now of use…have you had any problems with them? Any mold? I live in Arkansas where if you don't like the weather now just wait a minute! I have a porch on the front of my home that I would love to put these on but I wonder how they will hold up over time. Also any ideas on how to hang them on a metal roof over?

  7. Christy Gutt says:

    I just moved to Austin and have a nice westward facing back patio. I have spent all morning researching fabrics and curtains – so expensive! I now have drop cloths coming my way via Amazon! So excited! Thanks for sharing this fabulous idea!

  8. How many curtain rings per panel did you use to hang these? Thanks!!!! I love it!!!

    1. We used 9 per panel.

  9. srpprcrftr says:

    Your curtains are so nice, great privacy and getting out of the sun. Hope you don't have excess wind.
    We lived in KY where the humidity is 100% in summer. We always had mold on north side of our house, had to spray it down all the time. Every thing mildewed. This was hard for me to learn to live with after coming from dry climate (MT).
    Our back deck/door is directly facing west in western CO so it gets super toasty in summer. No cover on deck yet but hopefully we'll get it up this summer. It gets so hot I can't touch the door knob. We also get high winds out here that just about blow us away.
    Great project, glad you shared.

  10. You are a GENIUS … THANK YOU for sharing this

  11. Sandy McMillan says:

    Did the drop cloths you bought have a seam through the middle? I have a big patio also, and a 9×12 drop cloth would be perfect… some I checked out definitely have a horizontal seam and I can't figure out what to do with that!! Hoping yours didn't!!!

  12. HiJamie,
    I am trying these for my apartment patio today. I live just north of Fort Worth. Since I only have about a 12 ft length to cover I bought the 4×15 ft cloth. I have a direct west facing patio and the sun is murderous on my den as well as my patio. Can't wait to get them up and see how they look!

    1. Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom says:

      I hope they work for you!

  13. Loved this idea so much that I tried it. Unfortunately I live in South Carolina and it rained for days right after I put them up. Less than a month later they are covered with black spots of mildew/mold. I even put scotch guard on them before I hung them (though I probably could have used more). So…. if your curtains are going to get wet at all or be in a humid area, I recommend not using drop cloth. Or you should buy some material that is pre-treated against mold/mildew OR some chemical to pretreat them to make it waterproof. I wasted probably $100 on this project unfortunately. Great idea, but it didn't work for me, and I wanted to make sure other people knew so they didn't make the same mistake I did. They were very cute and worked great while they lasted. But we had to take them down.

    1. Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom says:

      I'm sorry this happened to you. We live in central texas where it is very humid as well. I knew going in that regular fabric molds and mildews when wet, so every time it rained or they curtains got wet, I opened them so they could dry in the sun. Mine have held up very well, with just a touch of shrinkage. (But not so much shrinkage that I feel the need to refold and lower the curtain edge.) At your suggestion, I will mention that the curtains should aired out after they get wet…

      Just this morning, my hubby and I were drinking our coffee on the porch and were debating whether we should leave them up over the winter or take them down. His vote was to leave them up, because they would dry out in the sun whether it was cold or not, but I argued we could get one more summer out of them if I took them down once the fall rains come. I am still not decided…


  14. Maria @ Craft Crazy Mom says:

    Your patio is gorgeous! Love the idea of using drop clothes too! Stopping by from the CSI project.

  15. follow me on an adventure of pinterest experiments: http://ipinterest.wordpress.com/ says:

    Such a great idea! I will definitely have to try this out myself. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Cheerios and Lattes says:

    The curtains look great! I would love to invite you to share this on Saturday Show and Tell: (www.cheeriosandlattes.com/saturday-show-tell-20/). I know that my readers would appreciate this and some of your other posts. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  17. kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor says:

    Look amazing!! Love them! Thanks so much for sharing at Mop It Up Mondays!!

  18. Allyson Butler says:

    Visiting from It's Overflowing – these look amazing!

  19. freckled laundry says:

    Great idea, Jamie! They look really good. Thank you for sharing with air your laundry friday! xo Jami

  20. Aimee - ItsOverflowing.com says:

    Your curtains are GORGEOUS! As is your backyard…setting! What a dream! I'm featuring you on Saturday! XO, Aimee