diy outdoor patio curtains. a lot of look. a little shade.

You’ve probably figured out by now that we have been in the midst of redoing our backyard. It started as a big grassy patch and is being transformed into a little getaway. Now, I walk outside and smile instead of cringe. Pure bliss.

Not too long ago I shared a backyard wish list. It was my little bit of inspiration before diving into the final project. One of those things on my wish list was none other than outdoor curtains, which led me to summer project {one}. Outdoor patio curtains.

We quickly realized that our patio cover did not provide as much shade as we needed. Sitting on the outdoor couch and sweating while you chatted with friends was not a pretty sight. We needed curtains badly, but I also needed to do it on a budget. Solution? Canvas drop cloths from Lowes. Um, perfect.

outdoor curtains 1

To make sure that the canvas outdoor curtains would hold up, I added a layer of outdoor fabric to the bottom. Now I don’t have to worry about the bottoms dragging on the patio floor or a little water getting on the bottom edges. I lucked out and found outdoor fabric at JoAnn’s for less than $10 a yard. Cute, yet functional and they match the outdoor pillows I made.

  curtain with bottom panel

drop clothes

{i used 6′ x 9′ and had needed 5 to cover my space and 1 for my tie backs}
outdoor fabric
{I used approximately 2 yards}
sewing machine

outdoor curtains 2

My disclaimer: The pictures are on the verge of horrible. I only had a chance to get this done while the kids were in bed and the clock was ticking towards 10pm, so lighting was not ideal. You’ve been warned…

step one curtains

{step 1.} Lay out canvas drop cloth {mine 9′ x 6′} and cut outdoor fabric to length of drop cloth.

  • I chose not to hem the edges of my drop cloths because they come with a small hem on each side. Keep in mind, drop cloths are not perfectly made, so be ready for some “wavy” fabric lines along the way.
  • Cut outdoor fabric to length of drop cloth and add 3″ {mine was 70″ wide + 3″ for hem = 73″ wide}
  • Cut panels for each outdoor curtain panel {mine was a total of 5 pieces}

step two curtains

{step 2.} Decided how wide you want at bottom and fold fabric in half, making a pocket that the drop cloth fits into.

  • I chose a bottom band width is 4.5″ wide.
  • Add 1″ for a hem {4.5″ + 1″ = 5.5″ wide} on each side, making the total width of fabric 11″ wide.

step three curtains

{step 3.} Cut additional strips of outdoor fabric.

  • Using the first piece as a template, cut additional strips of outdoor fabric {I cut five strips that were each 11″ wide}
  • Fold fabric in half so that it measures your desired width {mine was 5.5″} – the fold will become your bottom edge

step four curtains

{step 4.} Iron to crease seam.

  • Turn outdoor fabric panel inside out.
  • Fold in half and iron to create a straight crease at bottom.

step five curtains.

{step 5.} Mark hem at desired width and press with iron.

  • Mark with a pin your band width {mine = 4.5″}.
  • Fold both edges in and pin.
  • Press with iron to create a straight hem. {hint: use iron as a guide to create a straight line}

step six curtains

{step 6.} Measure width of drop cloth,

  • Mark with a pin your band width {mine = 4.5″}.
  • Fold both edges in and pin.
  • Press with iron to create a straight hem. {hint: use iron as a guide to create a straight line}

step seven curtains

{step 7.} Hem sides of outdoor fabric panel.

  • After measuring drop cloth, fold in a 1/2″ hem and iron to crease.
  • Sew hem before attaching to drop cloth curtain panel.

step eight curtains

{step 8.} Attach outdoor fabric to bottom of drop cloth.

  • Fold fabric right side out and iron on folded seam to press.
  • Lay out drop cloth, placing panel at bottom of drop cloth
  • Pin in place {I pinned mine 2″ from bottom of drop cloth}

step nine curtains

{step 9.} Sew to drop cloth panel.

  • Fold over other half of bottom panel.
  • Pin to drop cloth, being sure to remove any pins used to keep panel in place previously.
  • hem straight across and down each side
  • one panel done, four to go {well, in may case.}

My honey-do attached the curtains to our outdoor covered patio using a galvanized metal pipe, joints connecting two pipes to make one long rod and end caps to seal the ends. Lowes was our go-to place where we were able to pick up the supplies and stick to our budget. We also bought some Allen + Roth curtains rod holders that came as a double rod, so we cut them down in order to keep them from sticking out too far from the patio cover. To finish the project we added a few clip curtain rings that required me to do as little sewing as possible. Voila. Curtain rods for less than $100.

I am truly smitten each time I walk out our back door. The curtains are the perfect addition and give the patio a more casual, lived in feel. Exactly what I was looking for and budget friendly. The whole project cost me less than $125. Hooray. Do you love too? Are you ready to make some outdoor curtains of your own?

Later this week, learn how to make some tassel tiebacks to for your outdoor curtains. Truly adorable and the perfect way to add a lil’ extra to your space. Oh, and did I mention there is no sewing required? Do I have you hooked? Stay tuned…


try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

, ,

10 Responses to diy outdoor patio curtains. a lot of look. a little shade.

  1. Emily June 24, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    Oh my goodness…this is AMAZING! You are AMAZING!

  2. Brooke June 24, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Beautiful Jess! Where did you get your outdoor furniture?

    • lulu & linen June 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

      World Market… Kind of my favorite! I found the chair cushions at Pier 1. And made some pillows for the couch.

      • Brooke June 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

        Thanks! I’ve been looking there but haven’t seen those!

        • lulu & linen June 27, 2014 at 10:05 am #

          I bought them a few months ago and rumor has it that they were discontinuing the style. Boo. I think it’s the cutest. However, I did see some similar versions at Target and Home Decorators has one called Naples Collection. Hope you find something you love!

  3. Whitney June 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Love it Jess! I am 100% going to steal this project for curtains at the lake…wonderful job, looks awesome! xo

  4. Lisa June 25, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Um, can’t wait to enjoy this space my next visit 😉 Gorg! Xo

  5. Taryn @ Design, Dining Diapers June 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    This is such a beautiful outdoor space! It’s gorgeous. You have done a wonderful job. I could sit there all day!

    • lulu & linen June 28, 2014 at 11:17 am #

      Thanks! I, too, was once a Seattle native and an outdoor room was a must once we relocated! Kind of dreamy… Thanks for the sweet words!

all things comments.