DIY No Sew Drop Cloth Curtains

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About halfway through building the new deck, we realized it gets SO hot during the summer months that even once the deck was built we wouldn’t want to be out there until after 7 pm due to the heat. That is when we changed the design of our plans a little bit to accommodate the addition of a pergola. (If interested in seeing before and after photos, go HERE and HERE.)

And once that pergola was just about finished, it was my job to find curtains to help shade the deck. I needed them to be pretty long, and once I realized outdoor curtains in that length ran pretty pricey, I decided to make them myself.

I started by buying six of these painting dropcloths from Home Depot for under $12/dropcloth. (Buy four or more, price drops)  They were the right length so that I didn’t have to do any sewing (thank goodness) and my only challenge was to try and whiten them.
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One tutorial I read online said that they whitened their dropcloths by filling tubs with cold water, adding bleach, waiting about three hours and then they had white dropcloths. So, I tried this and put the dropcloths in the shower in these tubs.


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I let them sit, and sit, and sit… for about 12 hours.  And nothing happened. I even changed the water, added more bleach, and even more bleach… and nothing.

So I then tried another tutorial and modified it to fit my needs. This time, I filled the tub with hot water, added an entire gallon of bleach, and then I put in two of the dropcloths at a time.

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I then put the bins on top of the dropcloths to hold them down and put towels on top to trap the heat in. Every few hours I went in and stirred/rotated the drop cloths with a long wooden board, and then recovered them.

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After leaving them in there overnight, I deemed them done and moved on to the next set of two. While those soaked in the bleach, I washed the first set in the washing machine and added a little bit of hydrogen peroxide (maybe 1/2 cup) to the water to neutralize the bleach and stop the bleaching process. I then hung them over the railing outside to dry and repeated the process for the remaining drop cloths.

Overall, this method worked the best for me. While they never got pure white, they did whiten and make for some great outdoor curtains.


In fact, I would use these inside our house as well! So, if you are looking for some outdoor or indoor curtains, these are a relatively cheap way to make them!

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  1. I just love your outdoor space! We have a pretty neat set up too but I love how you made it so cozy outside!

  2. Jessica Bradshaw says:

    Those look great. They make your already gorgeous patio so much more cozy and inviting. I love it!

  3. Love how crisp white they came out. Nice tutorial.

  4. Wow this looks so good, really brightens up your space! Love how they turned out!

  5. I love how they turned out! So pretty!

  6. Oh these look amazing! Something like this would be perfect for our back deck when we redo it. Thank you!

  7. Love, love how it turned out!! I am going to do this too!!


  8. They are nice and white! I like the look of it – and what a great idea to shield yourself from the sun a bit.

  9. This is a fantastic tutorial! I am in love with your end result and want to have dropcloth curtains in my living room!

  10. Your outdoor area looks so lovely and inviting!

  11. This looks so good, Shan! Where did you get your lights? Mainly the string of lights?

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