How to Make Outdoor Curtain Panels

From Drop Cloths

Dave and I love the look of outdoor curtain panels. Not only do they add a whimsical, breezy look to your porch or patio, but they can also provide needed shade.

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Learn from Traci, author of Beneath My Heart, how to make your own affordable porch curtains from simple drop cloths - like the kind you buy at Home Depot or Lowe's.

Then see how our reader, Lori Lawson, made her own curtains using this tutorial.

Handmade outdoor curtain panels made by Lori
Lori, one of our readers, followed Traci's tutorial (below)
and made these curtains for her porch



Learn to Make These Drop Cloth Curtains

Handmade outdoor curtain panels
What a difference these curtains make to Traci's patio
Traci is a self-proclaimed drop cloth expert. She has made living room curtains and slipcovers from drop cloths - and then she made outdoor curtain panels for her patio.


Why Drop Cloths?

Traci loves drop cloths because they are inexpensive and wear well. Plus they come already hemmed (yes!) and they look very nice; Dave and I think they look really great, too.


Traci's Tips for Buying the Right Drop Cloths

Packages of drop cloths
  • Traci likes the 6' x 9' drop cloths from Home Depot better than Lowe's because they are seamless (at least at her store).
  • She recommends that you wash the drop cloths before using them. Why? Because they become really soft after washing and they also shrink a little.
  • After having purchased many drop cloths, she noticed that the ones from Home Depot come in two different kinds of fabrics (as shown in the picture below). She likes the fabric in the lower part of the picture the best.



Various drop cloth fabrics
Which of the two fabrics do you prefer?

What You Will Need for the Project

For the curtains
  • One 6' x 9' drop cloth for about every 5 to 6 feet you want to shade
  • One package of clip-rings for each drop cloth (7 clip rings per package)
  • Optional: tie backs (one per each outdoor curtain panel)


For the curtain rod(s)
  • Lengths of half inch metal poles to act as outdoor curtain rods
  • Hooks for hanging the metal poles (see picture below)
  • KILZ® primer and white spray paint for protecting and painting the poles
  • An alternative idea is to simply purchase tension rodsicon which would even be easier than the metal rods. No hooks or painting would be needed.



How to Make the Outdoor Curtain Panels - Traci's Method

Traci's handmade outdoor curtain panels

Traci hangs her curtains from half inch metal poles - which are her outdoor curtain rods. In total she needed 6 poles. For the two longer poles (7 feet), she bought two 10 foot poles and cut them down. She spent less than ten dollars total for all the poles.


Homemade outdoor curtain panels


To protect the poles from moisture, Traci painted them with KILZ spray primer. To finish the job, she painted them with a coat of white spray paint.


Hooks for hanging outdoor curtain panels

She uses hooks (like shown here) to hold up the curtain rods (poles). The hooks are less than a dollar each. She spray paints them white, too.


Pole for outdoor curtains held up by hook

The hooks are placed to hold up the poles. Looks fairly easy. Think you can do it?


Porch curtains shown hanging on rod

Now the curtains are ready to hang. After washing (and ironing) them, Traci hangs them up with ring clips. No sewing involved because the drop cloths are already hemmed. Yeah!


Curtain panels create shade for this corner of Traci's porch

When she needs a little extra shade, Traci can extend the curtains.


Handmade outdoor curtain panels pulled back on porch corner with a tieback

Or she can pull them back with a tieback - like this. Either way, what a nice way to cozy up your porch.

Traci has 5 of these curtains on her patio. The total cost for this project (remember, 5 curtains) was less than $100 - which is a steal.


Handmade curtain panels in Traci's living room

Here's a picture showing the drop cloth curtains that Traci made for her living room. In addition to this, she has made them for her kitchen and den - plus slipcovers.


If you'd rather not tackle making your own curtains, there are so many smart-looking porch curtains you can purchase. They come in many colors and patterns - and from sheer to heavier outdoor curtain fabrics.

If you are wondering about mildew...we checked around. Yes, outdoor curtains may mildew. To prevent that, keep your curtains from touching the ground and be sure to "unbunch" them to allow them to dry.




Meet Traci of
"Beneath My Heart"

Traci, author of Beneath My Heart Traci is the Mom of 4 sons and she loves creating a beautiful home on a tiny budget. Traci says her husband is her "partner in crime".

Traci is the author of Beneath My Heart. You will enjoy learning how Traci creates a lovely home by figuring out how to create her own designer items.

Please stop by her blog to see more of her helpful and creative ideas.

Our warm thanks to Traci for sharing her instructions for making outdoor curtain panels with us.

Please share your decorating ideas with us. We enjoy hearing your porch ideas.




Did you like Traci's instructions for making outdoor curtain panels? Then you will also enjoy Diana's story about Porch Decorating. (You'll like her zany numbered pillows.)



See a Great Example of Applying Traci's Tutorial

Handmade curtain on Lori's wraparound porch

Lori has a wonderful wraparound porch made even nicer with homemade outdoor curtain panels


Seeing Lori's curtain panels from the inside of her porch Lori Lawson, a kind friend from our Facebook page, posted these pictures for us to see.

She made her own porch curtains using Traci's instructions above.

Take a look and see how she did it...


Wine Corks

A close-up of the porch curtains Lori made for her porch and how they hang from the pole

Using the tutorial above, she used the 6x9 ft. drop cloths. She also used 1/2" electrical conduit pipe with conduit connectors, #6 hooks and a conduit elbow for the corner. Lori used the same clips that Traci's tutorial suggested: Mainstays and white spray paint.

Lori says: "One little bonus we added are wine corks on the ends of the pipes. My husband had to shave them down to fit but it works great!


Built-in Valances

There was extra length on the curtains and that part became valances on Lori's curtains

Notice that Lori's curtains have "built-in valances". Because her porch is only 7ft tall, she folded the excess fabric and clipped it with the Mainstays clips. Perfect idea, Lori.


Wonderful Results

Beautiful view of the outdoor curtains on Lori's rocking chair porch

Such a pleasant outdoor room Lori created with her handcrafted outdoor curtain panels.


Lori Lawson made these curtains and they are wonderful
A lovely porch indeed



About Lori

We're very appreciative of Lori sharing her photos and tips with us. Lori and her hubby live in a small town in Georgia with their two daughters, three Boston terriers and cat.


/ / Outdoor Curtain Panels



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