words & Images: Catherine Frederick

My house has twenty-two windows. No curtains, just mini-blinds. Most days it’s like living in a fishbowl. I’ve searched for curtains that I love for various rooms in the house, but we’ve lived here for more than ten years and I still haven’t found any that I love, or that I’m willing to sell off an organ to pay for.

We recently remodeled my step-daughter’s room and hung white cotton curtains on her windows. Those curtains allow in every beam of light and in the morning her room lights up like Sun Base One. After searching Pinterest® for some design inspiration, I came across no-sew curtains. Since I don’t own a sewing machine, this was right up my alley — not to mention the fact they’re made with canvas drop cloths you can buy at any home improvement store!


  • 8oz Canvas Drop Cloth
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Foam Brush
  • Blue Painters Tape
  • Permanent Fabric Tape (You can also use Stitch Witchery® or hot glue.)
  • Clip Rings

Drop cloths come in varied lengths and widths. I bought a 6’ X 9’ so I could cut it in half lengthwise and have two, 9’ tall panels, each 3’ wide.

Start with a washed and dried, ironed canvas drop cloth. Cut the cloth in half lengthwise – this will give you three pre-hemmed edges.


  1. Fold the cut vertical edge in 1” and iron to create a fold.
  2. Open the fold, apply fabric tape, peel off backing and press to create hem.
  3. Measure sections for stripes. Apply painters tape to the canvas, press firmly to section off stripes as desired at the hemmed end of the canvas.
  4. Use acrylic paint in colors of choice to fill in the stripes. Let dry completely.
  5. Carefully remove painters tape to reveal stripes.

Determine the desired height of the curtains. Cut the top portion of the canvas 2” taller than the desired final length. Fold the top cut edge in 1”, then iron it to create a fold. Open the fold, apply fabric tape, peel off backing and press to create hem. Space clip rings equally on the top of each canvas panel. Clip on rings and slide rings into curtain rod and, Voilá! No sew, custom curtains. If stripes aren’t your thing, you can also use stencils which come in a variety of designs at most hobby stores.

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