How to Sew a Super Fancy Drop Cloth Valance

My Fancy Drop Cloth Valance

Full Disclosure: This drop cloth valance tutorial was written by a non-sewing person. It is not intended to replace the advice of a professional seamstress. Your results may vary.

As you know I am in the middle of my $100 dining room makeover. I shared a sneak peek of my drop cloth valance and curtains on my Facebook page and I was surprised to have a few people ask how I learned to do this. This “no sewing girl” was flattered by the compliments and questions.

So I am here with a ridiculously easy and super short tutorial.  No really, it will be short.

Supplies Needed

Three 9×6 drop cloths.

Sewing machine

Thread (obviously)

Seam gauge

Straight pins

Curtain clips

I used drop cloth curtains in my office and I love them. I literally took them out of the package, then washed and hung them. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

No Sew Drop Cloth Curtains

Here are the curtains I am replacing in my dining room.  The valance is the only thing hanging from that pretty oil rubbed bronze rod. The panels are hanging on two very short basic rods. I knew it would be a challenge to recreate this look without taking down any of the hardware.

Here'a preview of my dining room makeover and the $100 Room Makeover Challenge.

I had to do something that strikes fear into my heart and turns my stomach inside out. Yes, my friends, I was forced to use my sewing machine. 

As luck would have it, my silent partner happened to be home on the day I had set aside to “eat my frog.” His input proved to be invaluable. I will explain this just a bit later.

How to sew

The panels were the easy part after I spent an hour threading the needle and bobbin on my machine. I am proud to say I did this all by myself. 🙂

Using a seam gauge, I pinned and pressed my fabric to sew a rod pocket. I have to give a shout out to my blogging besties who held my hand “virtually” throughout this process. I sent frantic pictures with captions like, did I pin this right, am I using this gauge thingy correctly. They reassured me that everything would be okay and they were right.

Drop Cloth Valance

Then I said a prayer and gingerly pressed the foot pedal. I felt like a teenager who just learned how to drive a stick shift. I started out ever so slowly, but as my confidence grew I had my machine up to what sounded like 60 MPH.

The first panel was done in no time and the second one went just as quickly. Much to my surprise they did not fall apart when I hung them!

My how to sew a super fancy drop cloth valance is ridiculously easy.

The Drop Cloth Valance

As I mentioned in the supply list above, this project required 3 drop cloths. I really got lucky when I purchased these because only one had a seam down the middle. This worked out perfectly for the valance. I ripped out the seam so I would have two pieces to work with. One for my valance and one for a drop cloth runner.

I was prepared to do some serious measuring and cutting when my silent partner said, “why don’t you just fold it in half and sew one seam”? I don’t think I have ever loved him more than I did at that moment for making this suggestion. There was almost an angelic glow around his face. His idea was brilliant.

So I folded my drop cloth in half and pinned the right sides together.

Like this.

Drop Cloth Valance.

I stitched about a 1/4″ seam across the top, leaving then ends open, then turned it inside out.

Fortunately, I had an extra package of curtain clips which came in handy to make them extra bunchy.

After I hung it, I gently separated the fabric to give it a fancy puffy appearance.

Prepare to be amazed! I honestly cannot believe that I made this.

My how to sew a super fancy drop cloth tutorial is so ridiculously easy anyone can do it.

I take back all the mean and hurtful things I said about my sewing machine. I think we may have set aside our differences for now.

Could this be the beginning of a beautiful relationship? It’s too early to tell.

Stay tuned to find out.

See you next week for the big reveal of my $100 dining room makeover.


Your seamstress sister in paint.

My how to sew a sew fancy drop cloth valance is ridiculously easy.


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  1. tonyaredmond says:

    You are hilarious!!! I was LOL several times!!! It’s the same for me when I don’t use my sewing machine for several months (or years) the hardest part is figuring out to thread the bobbin. So glad you persevered and shared your awesome project and humor with us!!!!

  2. Kim says:

    I just love how these turned out! You and your sewing machine are going to be buddies yet, just you wait and see! The weight of the valance is so perfect!! Awesome job, speed demon!! <3

    • Lisa says:

      Kim, I’m not sure “buddies” is quite the right word for this relationship. Right now, we’re in the getting to know you stage of our relationship. 😉

  3. 1915house says:

    These turned out so great! And that was a brilliant idea of your silent partner to fold the balance in half and sew it – so much faster and easier… And look at the dimension it created! I am completely in love with these… Great job!😍

  4. Pat Lingner says:

    Thanks for sharing Lisa! They turned out beautifully. I’ve sewen for years (like over 50, I started young 😉) and had never thought of doing drapes out of drop cloths, much less a poufy valance! I love them and the idea of folding the fabric for the valance in half…brilliant, just brilliant! Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  5. skstewart12202016 says:

    Lisa I love these!!! I have 2 drop cloths sitting in my laundry room all washed and waiting to be ironed so I can make them into curtains. I was going to go the no sew route, but when my husband gets me my sewing machine for my birthday I may give your technique a try!! After a few lessons on how to use it!! I haven’t used a sewing machine since home ec. in jr. high, lol!!

    • Lisa says:

      Girl, the hardest part is just threading the needle and loading the bobbin. The rest is not nearly as hard as I imagined. I hope you love your sewing machine.

  6. Wendi@H2OBungalow says:

    Love the pouffy valance! I wouldn’t have thought about using a drop cloth for it, but the weight is perfect. I always spend the first 20 minutes of sewing reading the quick-start manual on the basics! I suppose I should sew more! LOL

  7. Deanne says:

    How come I can’t figure this out besides that I’m a complete No -Nothing about curtains and sewing.
    You had a certain sized piece of drop cloth… Then undid the middle stitching… Which allowed enough length to fold it across. Did the 1/4 inch seam on top, and pulled it out to right sides from the ends…like a tube? Hung it on clips from the seam? No sewing the tube ends up?

    • Lisa says:

      One of my 9′ x 6′ drop cloths had a seam running down the middle. After ripping the seam out, I then had two pieces of fabric to work with. We folded it in half, pinned it right sides together, then stitched a seam across the top. The sides on both ends still had the hem, so there was no need to sew them up. So as you can see, across the bottom of the valance, there is no seam.

      I hope this helped clarify. 😉

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