Skip to Content

Cheap and Easy, No-Sew DIY Curtains

I have a beautiful front room. It’s kind of why I bought this house.

Need some budget curtains? Check out this easy diy for thick, quick, and cheap DIY curtains made from drop cloths and sheets! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #Curtains #Budget #HomeImprovement #WindowTreatments

So many windows. So much sun. In the day, it’s lovely. But at night I feel like I’m on a stage, all lit up and surrounded by windows so that the neighbors can watch whatever performance I decide to deliver.

As a single girl living by myself, this was not okay.

So, my number one priority for curtains was that they be thick enough to provide significant privacy. They didn’t need to be blackout curtains, but I wanted something that would mostly obscure my silhouette. Thus, heavy and lined.

However, my number two priority for curtains was that they be cheap. I had three whole walls of windows to cover. Six long, wide curtains in total.

Since most of the curtains that were heavy enough to provide privacy and long enough to be hung above the windows cost at least $50 per panel, I had a bit of a dilemma. I couldn’t afford to put out $300 in curtains, no matter how much they make me feel safer. So, then what?

I turned to Pinterest. But all my “cheap curtains” searches turned up sheets (too thin,) tablecloths (maybe?), and drop cloths.

As drop cloths were the thickest, I went with them. But they shrunk in the wash, and didn’t bleach white, which left me back at the beginning, except now out $45 and stuck with a bunch of short, cream colored drop cloths.

So I bought some sheets. And then clipped the drop cloths to them and called it curtains. At less than $20 a panel, they came in around $120. I’ll take it.

Need some budget curtains? Check out this easy diy for thick, quick, and cheap DIY curtains made from drop cloths and sheets! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #Curtains #Budget #HomeImprovement #WindowTreatments

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.)

5-Minute, No-Sew, $20, Thick White Curtains

Materials (Per Panel)
  • One 9′ x 6′ drop cloth- I purchased mine from Harbor Freight
  • One Flat Sheet- I have tall ceilings, so needed my curtains to be extra long. Therefore, I purchased a queen sized sheet (the Mainstays Walmart Queen Sheet, to be exact.)
  • 6 Binder Clips
Step 1: Prep the Fabrics

For the drop cloths, I washed and bleached each one before starting. This made them super soft and more curtain-y. That being said, bleaching was probably unnecessary. Just washing them would probably soften and shrink them enough for this project, since they won’t really be seen.

The sheets were a bit less involved: I just washed them with hot water before starting.

Step 2: Cut Slits at Each End of the Sheet

At the top of the sheet there should be a two-layered section. At the each end of that section, I cut a 1 inch slit through the back layer. See picture below.

Need some budget curtains? Check out this easy diy for thick, quick, and cheap DIY curtains made from drop cloths and sheets! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #Curtains #Budget #HomeImprovement #WindowTreatments

This is where your curtain rod will enter/exit the sheet to hang it up.

Step 3: Clip Drop Cloth to Sheet

I used six binder clips to clip the drop cloth to each sheet. I clipped them on the back layer of the folded over part; the same part where I cut my slits.

Need some budget curtains? Check out this easy diy for thick, quick, and cheap DIY curtains made from drop cloths and sheets! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #Curtains #Budget #HomeImprovement #WindowTreatments

If you’re using 9’ x 6’ drop cloths, and Walmart queen sheets like I was, you’ll run out of drop cloth before you run out of sheet. I was fine with this, since the drop cloth alone was enough to cover my window.

When bunched at the side of the window, you can’t tell some of the sheet isn’t lined, and when the curtains are drawn, there is more than enough drop cloth to cover all the windows, so you still can’t tell, because the “unlined” section is still bunched at the wall.

If your windows are too wide for this to work (aka, the curtain needs to cover more than 6’ of space), you might want to purchase actual fabric to line the sheets with (or try something else entirely.)

4. Hang curtains

If you have plaster walls and are unsure about how to hang curtain rods on them, check out my other post!

Need some budget curtains? Check out this easy diy for thick, quick, and cheap DIY curtains made from drop cloths and sheets! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #Curtains #Budget #HomeImprovement #WindowTreatments

But that’s it. All done! Admittedly, they would probably be higher quality if I bothered to sew the drop cloths to the sheets like a real person-who-can-sew.

But I had six sheets, I’m not that great at sewing, and that seemed like extra work. The binder clips can’t actually be seen, and they don’t annoy me enough when I’m opening and closing the curtains to make sewing seem worth the time.

Need some budget curtains? Check out this easy diy for thick, quick, and cheap DIY curtains made from drop cloths and sheets! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #Curtains #Budget #HomeImprovement #WindowTreatments

I’m more than pleased with the way they turned out. Full disclosure: They’re not quite as luxurious as the real, $300 billowing white curtains would have been, but for a third of the cost, I think they make an acceptable substitute.

Did you try sheets or drop cloths as curtains? I’d love to hear about it. Or did you think of something else cheap and creative, in which case, please share in the comments below, because I would have loved to be able to think of more options when I was starting this project.

And if you’re planning out your curtains right now, check out my other curtain posts about how to hang curtains on plaster walls, super cute heart curtain ties, and why drop cloths make terrible curtains!

Making DIY Curtains? Save this to Pinterest!
Need some budget curtains? Check out this easy diy for thick, quick, and cheap DIY curtains made from drop cloths and sheets! #AButterflyHouse #DIY #Curtains #Budget #HomeImprovement #WindowTreatments

7 Reasons Drop Cloths Make Terrible Curtains
← Previous
Before and After: $1 Thrift Store Desk Chair
Next →

C

Tuesday 23rd of April 2019

Sooooo...... I stumbled on your blog and have read several posts, especially the ones about curtains.

Seems like you are intent on privacy on your windows. Can't blame ya for that ;-) I used to have an interior decorating business. When it came to windows, the need and level of privacy was something I always asked my clients about.

One option you may not have thought about is inexpensive and easy to do. Roller blinds! Yup! You may think they're something grandma had (and she probably did) but they are wonderful for those of us who love sunny daytime rooms and ultimate evening privacy....or when/if you want a lot of sun-blocking on hot days.

Roller blinds can be light filtering or light blocking. They can be purchased easily from places like Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. and often can be cut to size right in the store. Installation is quite simple. But right...they don't look so great style-wise all by themselves. That's where curtains or drapes come in. :-)

You can use the roller blinds to keep out the light and have the level of privacy you desire, then purchase (or make) less expensive curtains from materials you've already explored (eg. sheets, drop cloths, inexpensive fabrics found on sale). The curtains will "dress" the windows for looks but the roller blinds will be what gives you privacy. And they are rolled up and out of the way except when you need them for privacy. :-)

Just a few thoughts for you to consider if you tire of your current window treatments or have more rooms to dress. :-)

Ginene

Friday 6th of March 2020

I am having a difficult time finding window shades that aren't made out of a lightweight vinyl that curls in on the ends. Any hints on where you find a good shade these days?

MissLindsayFay

Wednesday 24th of April 2019

This is a really good idea that I totally overlooked. The first room I did (the one in this post) had small windows above the main windows, which is why I disregarded the idea of a shades + curtains combo. But I didn't even consider that for my other rooms where that's not the case, and I totally should have (and will in the future rooms!) Thanks for a great idea!!

Comments are closed.