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How to DIY Cheap Curtain Panels: One Day Guest Room Refresh

diy drop cloth curtains no sewing required
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DIY HOME DECOR ON A BUDGET

I’ve been talking about working on this bedroom for a while now. Every couple of months, I make one little tweak, anticipating it will be the catalyst of a much larger project. Then I get side-tracked. I lose interest. I find another room to work on. Probably because none of these little tweaks ever felt exactly the right direction, I just kept moving on and then coming back. 

This project is part of a sponsorship with Chloe & Olive. 

guest room before

As you can see in the Before photo (above), there really wasn’t anything inherently wrong with this room. It was clean and comfortable enough for our guests. It was just lacking any real personality. When we moved in a year ago, we immediately put this room to work with back-to-back company over the course of the first few months in this house. So we’d simply installed a bed, added a dresser and the rug from our last house and called it a day. We never even repainted, which was problematic because the walls had taken some beatings over years of being a child’s bedroom. There were holes from artwork and shelves that needed to be patched and scuffs we couldn’t remove with a magic eraser. 

how to work with contractors and act as your own project manager to save thousands on your home renovation
boring guest bedroom

There was also the issue of sunlight. This room gets the best light in the whole house. That’s amazing! Except the blinds installed by the previous owners weren’t exactly blocking must of it, should our guests want to take an afternoon nap. Every day, around 3:00pm, this room became the warmest room in the house. So we knew we definitely needed to add some caulk around the windows and install some thick, light-filtering curtains. Only, I didn’t really want to spend more than $500 on this makeover, since it required mostly aesthetic updates. 

drop cloth curtain panels

I had some wooden curtain rods stashed in the closet from the Dining Room Project last Spring, so I knew I could use these and save some cash. Luckily, they were a dark wood that matched the existing dresser perfectly. Next, I went looking for cheap curtains. I wanted something long and heavy with more texture than color or pattern. I honestly couldn’t find anything I loved for a price I was willing to pay. I thought about linen, but they wouldn’t really do much to stop the influx of light and if I wanted them in double width (which I did because I only wanted to hang two in order to avoid having the heavy look of an entire wall of curtains in this tiny room), I was looking at spending $100 each. No bueno on a $500 budget.

So I finally decided to try something I’d seen on the internet for years: Drop Cloth Curtain Panels. There are a ton of tutorials that will explain to you how to sew them or use hem tape to get the right length. I didn’t do any of that. I actually just used store-bought wooden rings with clips and hanged them exactly as they came out of the package. That’s right. My tutorial involves one step: Hang them. Or two if you consider opening a package to be work. 

I purchased two linen-colored drop cloths that measure 10 feet by 5 feet. Ten feet was a little long for this room, but I wanted to get the 5 foot width, so I figure I might hem them later. For now, I’ve tucked the excess fabric behind the panel. See here:

DIY curtain panels

Now that I had a curtain panel that matched the headboard, I realized both were getting lost against the neutral beige wall color. It was definitely time to paint. So with one day to spare before guests arrived, I decided to finally do what I’d always wanted – paint the walls blue. I love blue. You love blue. Why not paint the walls blue? Blue is calming, it’s perfect to match the existing elements and I found exactly the perfect shade by color matching a pillow cover. That’s right. I pulled out my swatches and held them against a pillow cover I’d planned to use. I found one shade that was exactly the right match to the lightest blue, which I loved, from the bamboo detail on this stunning pillow cover from Chloe & Olive. 

bamboo detail

Full disclosure: My friend Susan, from Modern Cottage Collective Design Studio introduced me to Chloe & Olive’s pillow covers. She said she uses them in client designs and I should check out their work. So I did and I was instantly hooked. I reached out to tell them about a design they’d saved with exactly the perfect pillow cover I needed and they said “Let’s partner up!” Of course I couldn’t say no. Knowing they make every. single. pillow cover custom to order, right here in the United States and that they’re a small business, run by women.. I mean, you guys know this is up my alley. I couldn’t, in good conscience, add them to my list of preferred vendors without first testing the quality first-hand. So I had them send me some pillows to try out in my home and I’m not kidding, you guys, they are awesome. The fabrics are true designer upholstery fabrics and each pillow has a thick, quality golden zipper (which I just love)!

pillow detail

I also love their selection of sizes, shapes, and color ways. Of course, the blue bamboo pattern just called my name and I loved pairing it with this more traditional but fun diamond and damask print. 

bedroom updates

If you have one of those spouses who likes to complain about the number of decorative pillows on a bed, he/she will be happy to know that they even look lovely in a pile on the floor. Ha!

decorative pillows

I also tweaked the accessories a bit, though I’m still looking for a big piece of artwork for this room, as this chinoiserie grate belongs to someone else. Even so, I think the room feels a lot more complete and grown-up. What do you think?

guest bedroom makeover
blue bedroom
blue bedroom

The best part? You can update your space in the exact same way for less than $300! Here’s the source list and budget breakdown:

Paint & Supplies – $50
Drop Cloths – $21 (Home Depot, paint aisle)
Miramar Indigo Blue and White 12×24″ Pillow Cover – $40

To check out the Chloe & Olive pillow covers that would work for your space, click here. They have a new collection called Jellybean that comes in my favorite colors ever – and doesn’t look anything like a jellybean!

Happy Decorating!
xoxo
Teri

YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS + I’VE GOT ANSWERS.

Commenting on this post is disabled after 24 hours so I can focus on our upcoming projects + client designs. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear from you. Send me your questions and comments on Instagram by either commenting on my latest post or sending me a direct message. I really love to chat it out! xoxo

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