Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Let There Be Shade

My classroom is pretty new - this will be my fourth year in it and I have been it's only occupant. It's a nice room, although it's a little bland & beige. The major issue is that it's a corner room with two full walls of windows. You might think that sounds lovely, until I tell you that there is always sun streaming in and only one of the windows opens. I not-so-lovingly refer to the classroom as my sweat box. I've been trying to think of a cheap way to cover the windows. There are 13 windows in total and I'm just not willing or able to shell out money to buy that many curtain panels. I've put book cases in front of several of the windows, but there's still a need for something to block the sun.

Then one day while I was perusing Pinterest, I saw drop cloth curtains from Shanty 2 Chic and just knew that I found my solution. I ran out to Lowe's and bought a 4 by 15 foot drop cloth. I cut the drop cloth in half so I ended up with two panels that are roughly 7.5 feet long. I sewed a quick hem along the edge where I cut the drop cloth and then popped them into the wash.

Since my room is beige all around, I needed to add a little color to the curtains. I grabbed my painters tape and the hot pink paint that I used on the diaper box and got to work. I taped out three stripes of varying widths.
In order to make sure that the stripes were aligned, I laid the two panels on the floor and lined them up. Then I taped the stripes out on the first panel and just copied them over to the second one. Do me a favor and ignore the dirty basement floor. Bill cleaned the basement right after I finished this project!

I filled in my stripes with my hot pink paint. Surprisingly, the paint bled through the panels but I had a huge piece of cardboard underneath them just in case. Actually, it's the same cardboard that I used when I painted the shower curtain
Next, I needed to figure out how I was going to hand the panels in my classroom. Enter Command Hooks. These things are a teacher's best friend. With the addition of these 8 hooks, I think I'm up to 20 hooks in the room. (See where else they are in this classroom post). Anywho, I was thinking about just cutting a few slits into the top of the panels to hang off of the hooks, but then I worried about them ripping so I decided to sew a few ribbon loops onto the top of each panel. I went to my ribbon stash and found this bright green ribbon that I used for my Grandma's birthday wreath.
The green adds a pop of color to the top of the curtains because the stripes are closer to the bottom. Here the finished panels are hanging up nicely:
The drop cloths are fairly transparent, but with the extra roller shade behind them they do a great job of blocking out the sun.

You may wonder why I only made two panels when I have thirteen windows. Basically, I wanted to make sure that they stayed up and blocked the sun before I spent any more money. I am going to go back into school in a few days, and if they're still hanging then I'll grab another long drop cloth to make two more panels. I'm not sure I'm going to paint the next set, but we'll see! If these can take the temperature down even a few degrees in my classroom then I'll be happy!

Have you jumped on the drop cloth curtain bandwagon yet? If you search for them on pinterest, you'll find a ton of examples. They look really nice in people's houses. I'm all set, for now, with curtains in our house though - bummer!

Thanks for reading,

Linking up at  Semi Homemade Mom


  1. I like the painted stripes you did! Good job on finding an inexpensive way to dress up your windows and keep the blazing sun out :)

    I always love your posts!


    p.s. and I didn't even notice the basement floor was dirty, lol!

  2. Thanks Lisha! And really, thanks for ignoring the basement floors. They must look worse in person than in pictures!!

  3. I've seen those drop cloth curtains all over pinterest, too. Yours looks great! I was never as creative as this with my classroom, I bet the kids love the curtains. Thanks for linking up to Show & Share Wednesday!

  4. Oh cool! Have they been helping with the sun? I started a set of drop cloth curtains, but discovered my old apartment walls had some kind of steel backing that prevented any and all screws - booooo! Now that I've moved I'm really excited to try hanging them again!


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