I was showing a neighbor through our house the other day, and it seemed like in almost every single room I mentioned, “…and I made that with canvas painters’ drop cloths.” Then I thought about it later and realized that I’d written a post on almost every one of those projects, but they’re scattered through our archives because we just don’t have a category labeled “Canvas drop cloths.” I might fix that, by the way.
Why do I love drop cloths? Because they’re inexpensive, but thick, so they work great for sewing projects. They’re also neutral in color and bleachable if you want to make them even lighter. I buy mine at Home Depot, but of course you can buy them elsewhere. I’m just trying to keep continuity from one project to the next.
I decided to write a round-up post that shows all of my drop cloth tutorials and projects and links to the how-to’s, so you can see just how versatile they are.
Now, the collage at the top says “Ten Uses,” but it should really be ten projects, since several of them can be grouped together.
My Favorite Uses for Canvas Painters’ Dropcloths (click on the photo to be taken to the related post):
1. Window treatments–yardage for window treatments can get expensive, and as often as we move, I need a cheap alternative. I used dropcloths in our Nashville home to make a no-sew valance over my kitchen sink and a minimal sewing (straight lines only) set of drapes for my sliding glass door.
2. Seat Covers and Reupholstery Projects
I used dropcloths to recover my nasty old dining room chairs, and also to recover the seats on my great-grandmother’s ladderback chairs.
3. Slipcovers–there’s a picture of a slipcover I sewed for my daughter’s chair in that collage, but you’ll never see it up close. Slipcovers are tricky for people who are really bad at sewing (like me), but it was an ok first attempt as long as you don’t look at it too closely. One project I did way better at was the slipcover I sewed for my dog’s GIANT crate.
4. Pillows (of course!)
I’ve done several fun pillow projects using dropcloths. I usually just sew an envelope-style back so there’s only straight line sewing. The edges of the dropcloths are already hemmed, which makes life so much easier. I used dropcloths to make these house number pillows:
And I made these anniversary pillows for some dear friends:
These “Give Thanks” ones were terrific in November for Thanksgiving.
While I made this monogram pillow using spray paint (like the numbered seat cushion chairs above), I’d definitely make another one in the future using the Citrasolv technique I used for all of the other pillows.
Dropcloths are great as tablecloths. I have two leaves for my dining room table and sometimes I use none, or one, or both. Have you noticed that tablecloths are expensive? Most of them are ugly, too (personal opinion). Then you worry that someone’s going to spill red wine on it at Thanksgiving and ruin it. Since you can bleach a dropcloth, that’s not an issue. Here’s my Thanksgiving table last year, with a dropcloth taking center stage. Easy!
Those are my favorite dropcloth ideas. Let me know if you missed any, and please leave your favorite ideas below.