I hope this finds you all doing well, and ready to get your creative juices flowing! Today I’m sharing a project that I’ve been planning on for awhile now, and finally found the time to do.
Do you have a boring utility room that you use for crafting, exercising, wrapping gifts, or anything other than simply storing things?
Would you like to spruce it up for minimal cost and hide the unfinished walls? Or or hide rows of shelving & storage bins?
Then I’ve got an easy solution for you!
Now that I’m blogging & documenting every home project I tackle, I wanted to take my new “work space” for those projects from what I’ve dubbed “unfinished utility room chic” to “Industrial Farmhouse Utility Room Chic” LOL!!
I really just wanted a space that I can take progress photos in, that I’m not slightly embarrassed to share. Like you’ve all seen so far…
I know. I know. I can hear a lot of you now. For a utility room, this is pretty darn good! And I agree.
But for a craft/project room that will be shown on a blog? Not so much.
I should backtrack though – this is AMAZING compared to what it was last year. Or even this past summer after That Brett Guy tried to get a handle on it. If only I had a photo of that disaster! As a reminder, we just built this house a bit over 3 years ago, but I was working 45-50 hours a week, and we had so much going on when we moved in, it was crazy! (I’ll save that story for another day) That said, the last thing I was concerned with, was the utility room!
Ok, back on track… The shelving units were purchased at Lowes in early October, and after we had a garage sale, we got a decent handle on the mess that was in here. At that time in October, it looked like this:
Then that Brett guy sold the Bowflex that never got used, so I could put a table up to work on.
(he and our son prefer going to the gym, anyway – when they actually go, that is! <giggle>)
Then it often looked like this.
Except at Christmas, when it was a partial disaster again – I should have taken a photo of that, too! There were gifts everywhere, wrapping paper bins out & supplies all over, empty boxes from everyone’s online shopping, half finished Christmas crafts & projects, and regular home decor items being stored while Christmas was in it’s place. The only saving grace was these shelves!
Anyhow, not having a dedicated craft room or office to work in, and wanting to continue keeping the mess out of the main part of the house, I was determined to make our utility room a little easier on the eyes by creating a drop cloth curtain wall.
I may be sharing this a little too soon, as I have more ideas & plans for this space – to spruce it up even more – but I’m too excited not to share how this one thing turned into a major transformation already!
Like a lot of projects, I found my inspiration for this drop cloth curtain idea on Pinterest and Instagram. People have been doing this for years, and actually use these drop cloth curtains in all parts of their homes, and they look great! What an easy and inexpensive way to make curtains , especially if you’re into the Farmhouse or Industrial decor trends right now!
To start with I measured the height and width of that back wall at 20′ wide by 8′ high. So two 9×12 drop cloths is what I needed.
These are the drop cloths I purchased at Lowes.
As for the “curtain rods”, we already had 3 of these 10′ long sections of this 1/2″ conduit that we purchased from Lowes this past October, originally just to use for hanging clothes in our garage sale.
(at only $2.61 each, it was our least expensive option to rig something up to hang the garage sale clothes and it worked perfectly!!)
We only needed 2 of the 1/2″ conduit for this drop cloth curtain wall project.
We also bought these 1/2″ conduit hangers to attach to the wood beams in the ceiling, to secure the curtain rods. We needed 6 of them. I marked the beams that I was going to attach them to, and then measured from the wall out, to make sure they were all equal in distance from the wall, so the curtain rods would be nice & straight, running across the back wall.
This is the part that we made up as we went, since we had to hang ours from the beams in the ceiling, since it was very specific to our space.
That Brett guy drilled them into place for me with my favorite drill that I’ve ever owned – we’ve had this set for 3 years!
(how to know if you are a DIY junky – you’ve received a drill for Christmas and you were super excited about it!! haha!!)
I stumbled upon these wood curtain clip rings at Lowes, on clearance for only $3.48 per 7 pack – I bought 5 packs not knowing how many we would actually need, in the end we used 28 rings/4 packs. And…..I normally would not buy this color of wood rings, but since I was going for the Farmhouse Industrial Chic theme, using conduit and drop cloths as curtains, I felt like they fit right in for this purpose. That Brett guy was skeptical at first, too – suggesting we paint them black. In the end it looks like it was meant to be and Brett agrees!
Ok so first thing you need to do is wash the drop cloths. I washed them on normal WARM wash & WARM rinse. Then I tossed them in the dryer on AIR dry only (NO HEAT) for about 15 minutes.
DO NOT ACTUALLY DRY THEM. I only did this to get some of the dampness out and to get the wrinkles smoothed out a bit.
(I don’t actually know why you shouldn’t dry them, but something tells me they shrink, lol, because I’ve read this advice a couple of different places)
Next, we laid them out flat on the floor and stretched & smoothed them out. Get a measuring tape out and check the length to see how much you will need to fold over for a valance type of look. Notice the “bottom” and how the center panel is longer? We made sure to pull the “top” straight, to create the “valance”.
Depending on the look you are going for, either having the curtains up off the floor OR flowing onto the floor, you’ll decide how much of the top you want to fold over. We decided on 6″, which left just enough fabric to flow onto the floor, but not so much that it was a pain to work around. We worked our way across the top of the drop cloth and used these wooden clothespins to secure them in place. I also used a pen to draw a horizontal line across the crease, in case a clothespin or 2 fell out when we carried it back into the utility room. You can also use safety pins, or heck, chip clips would work, too, ha!
Next I figured out how many curtain ring clips I needed, starting with one placed about 1″ in from each end. I measured the space between those 2 clips, and I ended marking the location of each clip with a pen, at just over 11″ apart.
Once we had the placement of the ring clips figured out, then we put the actual rings on the conduit, spacing them appropriately where they would be in between the conduit hangers. This is important because you can’t slide your curtains past those hangers, so you want to get them in the right place ahead of time, before you hang the conduit up – then you have to secure the hangers with the included nuts & bolts, to hold the conduit in place up there.
The only left to do, was carry each drop cloth in and start putting the ring clips on the marked locations. It only took us a few minutes to hang them up.
If you need the curtains out of your way, you could get some hold backs like these (for example) to place on each side. If you need them out of the way completely for some reason, just unclip the curtain from ring clips and lay it aside.
I now present to you, our drop cloth curtain wall:
Let’s take another look at the before:
And now, the AFTER: