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If you live in an apartment like I do, you probably know how easy it is to put off customizing your space. Between the fear of losing your deposit and the uncertainty of what you may have hoped was only a transitory place to live, we find a natural tendency to avoid making any changes or decisions that feel overly permanent.
Of course, I wouldn’t be the first person to point out that making your space feel like home can be equally healthy and fun for some, and because of that I don’t really feel the need to enumerate the reasons to go ahead and complete whatever projects you’ve had in mind if you’ve got the time, energy, and money to invest.
Instead, I wanted to share with you a project that you can most likely complete in just a few hours of effort and a little bit of downtime. Realistically, a half-day to full-day project. The total cost for me was around $70 USD because I already had a drill. (Thanks, dad!)
These curtains are made from the very same canvas drop cloths you can pick up from your nearest home improvement store to cover up you floors and furniture during a painting project. While I’m not entirely convinced paint wouldn’t immediately soak through something like this, I do find the natural look of the cloth soft and comforting as a textile in itself. It was for that reason I sought this project out after seeing a few other DIYs on Pinterest!
No – I am not the first person to have this idea, but then again, not everyone spends hours on Pinterest every week. So I thought I’d add my experience to all the others out there.
After my husband and I decided we would be staying in this apartment for at least another year, I turned my thoughts toward finally settling in… finally making changes to suit our taste and lifestyle. I then read through a couple of different posts about no-sew curtains using everything from drop cloths to raw linen and thought I could finally handle the project I’d been putting off for nearly a year. As I write this, I can’t believe it’s almost time to renew our lease, but I know there are a few more changes I could make to really feel at home.
Overall, the project from start to finish involved:
- measuring my window, which came in around 6 ft.
- doubling the width of the window to find the ideal
total width of curtain fabric I’d need, so 12 ft
- measuring out about how long of a rod I wanted,
which was somewhere in the range of 102-108 in
- ordering the correct pieces
- mounting the rod brackets at predetermined intervals
- washing the fabric
- adding evenly-spaced clips to the fabric
- putting the rings, with fabric attached, on the rod
- adding on the rod end caps
These drop cloths come in various sizes, but because I needed a total width of 6 ft x 2, I opted for two panels that were each 6 ft wide by 9 ft long.
6 ft x 9 ft
I also knew I wanted a matte black curtain rod to coordinate with my black bookshelf and had seen one I loved on a recent episode of The Kinwoven Home. The curtain rod shared in the video (which can be found in the description box if you click the link above) wasn’t available anywhere near me so I took to amazon and found something similar. I was NOT disappointed. The curtain rod I found is sturdy and easy to install, especially if you’re handy with a cordless drill. If not, I imagine you can tackle this with a screwdriver and a hammer – and a lot more patience.
To make this a no-sew project (because, sadly, my 1960’s desk-sewing machine combo is no longer functional), I opted for curtain rings with clips. Yay! (I had actually used a silver looking set to hang a shower curtain in the past but they rusted, so I would not recommend them for use near water). You’ll also want to make sure that if you go for a different curtain rod that these rings are big enough to slip your choice.
40-Pack curtain rings with clips
Once I got everything out of the package, I decided how far apart I wanted the four rod mounts to be spaced, then punched guide holes in the wall before adding the drywall anchors and screws included in the packaging. I used a hammer to get the drywall anchors flush and a drill for the screws; though this could also be accomplished using a regular philips screwdriver. With the screws in place, I slipped the mounts on and added the rod.
I then moved on to measuring out where I wanted to place the clip rings. I did this by first laying the end of one curtain on top of the other with one a little lower so I could measure both at the same time. After adding a clip 3 inches from each end, I used a permanent marker to add dots every 6 inches in between to note where each additional clip should go. Adding these dots means I can easily take down and wash these curtains as needed without having to remeasure before I put them back up!
spacing your clips/rings evenly will help the curtains hang more attractively
Slipping the rings over the rod was probably the second easiest part of this whole project if you don’t account for having to stand on the back of this sofa (which I had to do a lot!!). The actual easiest part was adding the end caps to the curtain rod, which are totally gorgeous! I couldn’t wait to see how everything would look, of course, so I did actually hang these up before washing to snap a couple of pictures. They smelled like straight packaging, though and I ultimately had them washed by the next day.
I absolutely love how they came out overall and can’t believe just how much more cozy and complete my space looks with this transformation that was under $100. The new addition has even improved my new habit of opening the blinds each morning.
2021 Update: Since posting this article, I’ve also installed a smaller rod in our nursery with a single panel. Although it isn’t a blackout curtain, it filters light beautifully when closed.