Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Drop Cloth Connoisseur?

(Yes, I had to google “connoisseur” to find out the correct spelling!)

Could I be a drop cloth connoisseur?

The definition is…

A connoisseur (Fr. connaisseur, from Middle-French connoistre, then connaître meaning "to be acquainted with" or "to know somebody/something.”

Well, when I was making curtains for my house this summer, I have to admit that I became REAL ACQUAINTED with drop cloths. 


And after I slip covered my chair with a drop cloth, I decided that I definitely KNOW more about drop cloths than a person should.


So I want to share some of my knowledge with you.  (Cause I know you are dying to be a drop cloth connoisseur too!)

First of all,  Home Depot has the best drop cloths.

Ouch!  That hurt’s, cause I’m a Lowe’s girl at heart.  But it is true.

All of the 6x9 foot drop cloths at Lowe’s had a big seam running down the middle.  Sometimes horizontally, and sometimes vertically.

How do I know?

Because I bought and returned over 10 different drop cloths trying to find ones without seams! 

Let’s just say Lowe’s loves me.

The drop cloths at Home Depot are SEAMLESS!  (I hope they are where you live too!)

Secondly, not all of the drop cloths are made of the same material, even at Home Depot.


How do I know that? 

Because I bought six from Home Depot, brought them home, then noticed they were made of two different types of material.  One I liked, and one I didn’t. 

(You can see the different types of material in the picture below.  I liked the material on the bottom half of the picture better.)


So I returned them to Home Depot and got 6 drop cloths that were made of the same material. 

Yes, Home Depot loves me too.

Thirdly, be sure to wash them before you use them to get out the “drop cloth smell.”

When you wash them, they instantly turn super soft, like a totally different material.

It’s also important to wash them to shrink the material a little, especially if you are using it to slip cover a chair.

After making my curtains, I ironed the material before hanging them up.


See…I told you I knew more than I should!

In the coming days, I will be posting about how I made my drop cloth curtains and slipcover.

Stay tuned, all you drop cloth lovers….



  1. I have always wanted to try this! Thanks for the tips.

  2. ooo, i am so excited! I have been waiting since you first mentioned it.

  3. I recently bought two 6x9 drop cloths from Home Depot with the intention of using them for curtains, too. Actually, I need more than two but that's what I got first. I opened one and washed and dried it. I was a little upset to see the wrinkles, but they came out after ironing. Whew! So now after we paint the living room I'll be making new curtains. But I'll wait til your tutorial cuz I need all the help I can get!! Thanks for your tips!


  4. Your drapes and seat cover look great. I will be looking forward to your post on making them.

    I am also keeping up with how your mom's doing and praying for you both.

  5. You never cease to amaze me... I want to hire you to decorate my new house!

  6. Traci, your curtains and slipcover look wonderful. I have bought several drop cloths, but usually just for painting. What a great idea, I will definitely have to check them out. I want to make curtains for the patio, so that would work perfectly. I can't wait to hear all your tips. Hugs, Marty

  7. Traci - I can't wait for your next drop cloth post...I really need it to try and finish my curtains in the loft...was looking for something different and I think you have found it! I'll be waiting!

    ps. still praying for you and yours :)

  8. This will fun and interesting to see how you do this.
    d from HomeHaven

  9. Another wonderful project... who would have thought curtains from drop cloths I like the idea.

  10. Awesome post! Thanks so much for the info! So, just to be don't like the ones that say "Workforce" as the brand name?? Thanks again for the awesome info!!!

  11. So did you get the item number bar code thingy so we can go get the right ones?

  12. I LOVE this, Traci!! Thanks for all the tips. I think there will be a lot of great uses for drop cloths soon enough, but shhhhh, don't let The H.D. know. They will jack up the prices!!

    Can't wait for your tutorial!!


  13. Thanks for the drop cloth info. I've been wanting to try making a slip cover, but keep stalling. Did you make the piping too? Also, did it take 6 drop cloths for the chair OR for the chair and draperies? Would love to know how much for each project. Linda

  14. You are so right. I started to puchase mine at Walmart and they are totally different too. I like a good drop cloth; the creativity is endless and much less expensive. I'm praying for you and your mom today.

  15. First, let me say I love your blog. I'm a fairly new reader, but your site is right up my alley - so-to-speak! I also purchased a drop cloth early this summer. My intention was to use it to recover my patio cushions, instead I used for new valances in my son's room. When I saw you covered the chair, I was surprised! I thought "isn't that scratchy?". Well, after reading your entry further, and seeing the difference in all the different cloths you "researched", I may have found the fabric to recover my reclining chair-and-a-half (that thing needs roughly 10 yards of fabric - cha ching!). Thanks so much for sharing your work on this project, it's really helped me a lot!


  16. Is the bottom fabric the same as the bottom package in the dropcloth photo? Or did you actually say and I'm a goof and didn't get it? (very possible)

  17. I too have always wanted to attempt a drop cloth repurposing!!! ;)Look forward to your posts!


  18. Love your slipcover and draperies!!
    You are totally right about the differences in them. I have returned a couple myself!
    Thanks for all the good tips.

  19. The chair looks fabulous. Look forward to seeing how you did the slipcovers. My sil has two wing back chairs that need to be recovered. Maybe this would be a good option for her.

  20. Now I know where I have to go. I picked some up at Lowes and they had two different seams, one horizontal and one vertical. Very annoying. Thanks for the tip!! :)

  21. I love dropcloths too! I have yet to use as curtains (I'm not sure that's the look I'm going for). But, I was thinking of adding a more elegant trim too them....not sure yet though!
    Thoughts are w/you, your family and your mom!

  22. Wow, thanks for such a useful post... I bought one to use as a drop cloth (so unimaginative) and I thought it was such nice fabric that I should do some kind of project with it sometime... now I don't have to do the experimenting... you did it for me. (:

  23. Hi Traci! Love your drapes and the slip cover is wonderful. Did you make the slip cover? You're giving drop cloths a good name!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  24. Can not wait to see your advice on making these. Love your blog and hope you mom is doing okay today.

  25. I've contemplated covering my old couch with drop cloths. I had no idea there were so many variations - I'll have to keep that in mind! Thanks for all the great ideas your blog has given me - I'll be praying for your Mom & your family.

  26. This past weekend I purchased some from Menards in preperation for sewing a few curtains of my own. What a perfectly timed post for me. Looking forward to seeing how you made your curtains in the days to come. Thanks Robin

  27. Wow. You sure do know a lot. I can't wait to hear how you made both of these. I've seen drop cloth curtain ideas before and have wanted to know how it's really done.

  28. You rock! I've been looking for a suitable material for car curtains, so my poor boys won't be blinded by the sun during car trips - Home Depot, here I come!

  29. OMG! I have been living with really ugly curtains in my living room for a long time now. I haven't really found any curtains that just called to me...until now!!! I LOVE this idea! I can't wait for the instructions! I wanna do this :)

    I hope you share which drop cloths were your favorite (the packaging so we can see) because I really like the fabric of the ones you used.

  30. Traci
    I have been following your blog for several months and find your ideas and project fantastic! I am excited to see your guest house couch redo.... I have also been waiting to hear how your did your curtains, how excited to see today's posting! I have two very large dogs and they have all but ruined my living room curtains, this will be the perfect project for that room! Thank you also for passing on the washing tip, I have a chait and love seat that I want to slip cover, but was unsure of the out of the package scratchy feel. I am lifting you and your mom up in prayer. Dee Dee

  31. LOL at your being a connoisseur of drop cloths. I was actually glad to read your post because I stood in front of a section of drop cloths at Sherwin Williams one day and wondered which one people buy to use for curtains and slipcovers.

    I am a Lowes girl too, but I'll have head to Home Depot to find the ones without seams.

    I cannot wait to hear about the slipcover. I am thinking about attempting one of my own and would love to get any and all advice.

    Prayed for your Mom tonight...I actually was rocking my daughter and thought about how you said she disliked her name until she found out what it meant. So I was thinking and praying for Wanda!

  32. I LOVE the curtains and the chair looks great! I go through a lot of plastic drop cloths for painting projects (cause I'm cheap) but I have never thought of all the different non painting ways to use their classier canvas counterparts. Fabulous ideas!

  33. Traci, so how do you tell by looking at the packages of drop cloths, which is the best? I've been wanting to make curtains with them.

  34. I NEEDED this post--I'm looking to make curtains and reupholster two chairs for my parents on the cheap. Thanks.

  35. Thanks for sharing this--love what you have done and can't wait to hear more! I was curious if you have ever bleached these to make them whiter? I just keep wishing they were a little lighter whenever I look at them.

  36. Traci,
    Thanks so much for sharing your "drop cloth knowledge." I have one I bought at Home Depot that I plan to make curtains for the dining room with. I also plan on doing a slipcover to a chair similiar to yours. So, looking forward to that post. I am so worried I will mess up the wing area on the chair. Ah, but it will be okay, right? It's not like it's some expensive material. It's just drop cloth.

  37. Thanks for sharing your drop cloth knowedge. I didn't realize that Home Depot had two different kinds of drop cloth fabric going. I will have to look more close when I get more to make the rest of my curtains.
    Looking forward to your chair slipcover. I have a similiar chair I want to slipcover. Curious to know how hard it was to do the wings on the chair.

  38. Wow! Can you dye these as well?! I think that I officially love you...

  39. Thank you for this info!I am bookmarking this page for when I use dropcloth! I'm excited to start. Those curtains are some of the most beautiful ones I've seen! You hung them perfectly.

    PS You are very pretty :)

  40. Hi there, can you tell us which brand of drop cloth you finally decided on? Thanks!!

  41. Getting ready to drop cloth my couch! Do you remember what brand of drop cloth material was the bottom one from your picture at home depot? I have do drive an hour to get to the nearest home depot and I want to get the right one!


  42. I have been reading about drop cloth curtains on several blogs and made a last minute trip to Lowe's today because I couldn't wait. Well, you guessed it ... I got home. washed the first one and started to hang when I noticed the bog seam. I immediately Googled the problem and up came your post. THANKS for the info! I will be making many friends at Lowe's as well--returning all the cloths I bought to adorn my four large living room windows:)

  43. People...over the last 10 years, 90% of drop cloths are imported from China and India. They used to be made in the USA from remnant and over-run material fromthe US textile companies. When the textile companies trimmed manufacturing, everything went off shore, and drop cloths went as well. Drop Cloths are sold in Home Depot, Lowes, Sherwin-Williams and other paint and hardware stores and are made to be sold and used for protection while painting. You are saving tons of money by buying at Home Depot or Lowes and not a fabric store, and using them for drapes or slip covers. However, don't expect to find more than a few that "match" because they come in on hundreds of different containers every month and the yarn can differ daily. It is not chosen for its pretty appearance.
    I am offended that you buy a bunch of drop cloths, go through them to see what matches or looks pretty, and then return those you don't like to the store. You actually think that is a great way to do business. You should be ashamed of yourselves. All you do is drive the cost up of everything else. Those stores can't repackage those drops, they call them defectives and chargeback the supplier. The supplier intended them to be used as drop cloths, and ends up taking the shaft because they were being used for curtains? Doesn't make sense to me. Besides, you don't know where that fabric has been. I'm sorry, but think about it.

  44. Dear Anonymous from May 20th,
    I'm sure from all the blogs about decorating with drop cloths, the sales of this item have sky rocketed, which I'm sure makes the suppliers very, very happy! Think about that!


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