The Dollar Store Diva: Curtains on the Cheap

by Kaley on July 5th, 2013

in Craft Ideas, Saving money

Curtains on the Cheap

 Like Cha-Ching on a Shoestring on Facebook.


My husband and I just spent a week in a cottage on Leroy Island. When we walked out the back door of the cottage, we were listening to the waves of Lake Ontario lapping against the shore. When we went out the front door, we were standing on the shore of beautiful Sodus Bay.

How cool is that?!

When we first arrived, I noticed that the temperamental venetian blinds of past vacation stays had been replaced with floor-length drapes. A lovely and refreshing change. When Scott, the owner of the cottage, stopped by, he told us the secret of his new curtains.

“Do you know what they are made of? ” he asked. I shook my head no. “Drop cloths.”

Yup, you got it right: canvas drop cloths!

You know, the fabric that painters put on the floor to keep the splatters and paint drips from splattering and dripping where they’re not supposed to splatter and drip.

Canvas Drop Cloth Curtains

And did we ever enjoy those drapes! When we wanted a full view of Lake Ontario, we opened the drapes wide; when we needed to keep out the heat of the afternoon sun, we pulled them shut.

All for the price of canvas drop cloths.


These drop cloths can be found at stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot and, of course, online.

In fact, one reviewer on Lowe’s website said she used them for table cloths at her wedding and put burlap table runners over them. Or–how about bed skirts? Or–using them for divider curtains to hide the storage mess in the basement? Oh, my! Now the ideas are starting to flow…

How about you? Do you have any ideas for using canvas drop cloths? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Dropcloth Ideas Galore

Looking for more creative Drop Cloth Ideas?  Check out my Drop Cloth Ideas Galore post here

Check out more from the Dollar Store Diva.


For those of you who haven’t met her, the Dollar Store Diva happens to be my Mom who has a special power.  She can transform Dollar Store and other inexpensive finds into super fun gifts that would brighten anyone’s day!

The links in this post may contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link. Thanks for supporting Cha-Ching on a Shoestring. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

sandy July 5, 2013 at 10:45 pm

what a fabulous idea, so lovely!


kaleyehret July 6, 2013 at 8:14 am

Thanks, Sandy!


Nancy July 6, 2013 at 8:16 am

Oops, Sandy! That reply was supposed to be from me!


Janet July 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I’m not sure how much the drop clothes cost but I know that pillowcases are quite expensive (wonder how the texture is to sleep on), or how about tote bags, or placemats.


Nancy July 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

The texture is too course for a pillow case, Janet, but tote bags or placemats are both great ideas.


sheri grennille July 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I have a drop cloth painted as a giant twister board. we originally used it for 1960’s themed party, but i dug it out this summer and my 9-10 year old daughter and her friends are really enjoying playing on it. Very sturdy. I also have a larger than life spinning board, but the original paper one could be used.


Nancy July 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Oh, what fun! Thanks for sharing, Sheri!


Julie July 7, 2013 at 1:11 am

They look lovely! Thank you for sharing the information & photos! Maybe they would make nice outdoor privacy curtains too. (Note to Janet, I think pillowcases are overpriced as well. They are super easy to sew, I plan on buying a sheet on sale or fabric & making my own!)


Nancy July 7, 2013 at 7:26 am

Julie, I never would have thought of outdoor privacy curtains, but YES! And the price is right :-) And thanks for sending the good idea to Janet.


Lisa June 10, 2015 at 4:14 pm

I have been looking for outdoor curtains for my patio! This is a fantastic idea! My patio faces West and I get full sun in the afternoon/evening. Plus I would like a little more privacy at times. I’m moving in a year so I don’t want to spend much. Thank you so much for this clever idea!


Jenn Brown July 16, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I love drop cloth curtains. I made them for my living room and dining room since I wasn’t finding curtains with the same color and texture without having to break the bank. I bought 3 long ones (16 ft) and cut them in half to make two panels (8ft). Best thing is that I didn’t need to sew them either (since I have no clue how to sew). I folded over the cut side and bought clips on rings that matched my curtain rods. They are great because they still let in light and they hold up to my crazy cat. The project took my fiance and I an hour to create and hang up 3 curtain rods and 6 panels.


Nancy July 17, 2013 at 5:29 am

Thank you, Jenn, for sharing the way you have used drop cloth curtains without having to sew them. I don’t sew either, so the idea of not having to make one single stitch sounds very appealing to me!


Bear July 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Sometimes a paint rag or palette ends up looking like a piece of modern art – a la Jackson Pollock. Same with a veteran drop cloth, well-washed first, of course. Use as-is for curtain or wall hanging or tablecloth; cut into place mats or a table runner; cut out the most interesting sections & frame them; use as an artsy furniture throw for summer cottage furniture. Your projects will always be one-of-a-kind.


Nancy July 19, 2013 at 11:04 pm

I like the idea of one-of-a-kind, as is, and artsy. Thanks for sharing these fun ideas.


Elisabeth Snyder November 3, 2013 at 1:47 am

I made cushion covers for my ptio furniture. Just make sure youwash the dropcloths first.


Jennifer June 27, 2014 at 9:30 pm

I don’t know why drop cloth would be considered a dollar store find. They are very expensive and it would cost a fortune for me to make draperies out of them! I was hoping to find some gently used, but not much of a chance that they would be useable.


Nancy January 14, 2015 at 11:25 am

Jennifer, there is a dollar store in our area called Dollar Deals, and the drop cloths were literally a dollar. However, even though they are difficult to find at that price, they can still be a less expensive alternative to drapes–especially if you can them on sale.


craig January 7, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Living in a rental, needed a instant bedroom. Made a wooden frame to fit in the big opening between the living room and unused dining room (which had another door entry). Stretched and stapled a large drop cloth over the frame, painted it to match the living room walls and hung a picture to make it blend with the rest of the room. On the bedroom side, another matching canvas frame, put insulation between the two frames to help soundproof the wall between the two rooms better. It was very easy to make and didn’t disrupt or damage anything in the rental.


Nancy January 14, 2015 at 11:21 am

Sounds like a stroke of genius, Craig! Thanks for sharing.


Maria January 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Thanks for this,I being trying to find a good price for curtains for a wall in a tiny apartment to convert in a closet, so expensive!!And really tight in $$…the possibility are endless to coor/decorate this material!


Nancy January 14, 2015 at 11:27 am

Sounds like a good idea for your project! Have fun!


monique February 3, 2015 at 12:52 pm

i found a link for ebay where the drop cloths are 9.99 which isnt bad because on amazon they were $16.


sandy January 9, 2016 at 7:56 am

Im going to do this but how are you people hanging the drop cloths? I have a long curtain rod that i am going to hang them from . please send ideas asap


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: