Drop cloth curtain tutorial for the screened in patio

Remember my little teaser post last week about Project Patio Oasis? Well, drumroll please, it’s time for the big reveal!  I am excited to show you the drop cloth curtains for the screened in patio, but first some back story.

Our screened-in back porch has never been anything spectacular. We added it onto the house after we moved in so we could have a place to hang out with the dogs and not get eaten alive by the hungry Alabama skeeters that migrate by the busload out of the mosquito maternity wards around our house.

Once Garrett came along, though, that all changed. That kid wants to be outside 24/7. When we get home in the afternoon he will stand at the backdoor and whine to go outside with “Woof” and “Sit” – his words for Woodrow and Gus. Trouble is, the back deck faces due West, so in the afternoon that heat is unbearable.

I decided to put up some curtains to block the sun. And from there, as usual, things snowballed into a much larger project.

Here is the completion of that journey.

Remember the BEFORE photo, right? Drab, grey, drab, beige, blah… No storage or drawers so we have to use a plastic bin for the dog toys.

Screened in Porch decor with drop cloth curtains

Well speaking of drawers, hold onto yours!

The AFTER pics:

J asked me to bring some color in, so after a week of searching for nearly every store in a 30 mile radius I found these pillows at World Market. Plenty o’ color in these!

We kept Garrett’s Sand and Water More Sand table in the corner that is most shaded. I got a few extra pillows and didn’t know what to do with them, so I made him a little seat over beside his play pit.

In this corner we have the dog’s bowls on the stand that J made for them. I added some new potted plants that will most likely get tipped over and turned into a big mud pit within a few weeks.

The inside of the deck is mostly screen and vinyl siding. I wanted to avoid punching holes into the vinyl siding to hang things, so I hung this wire basket on the door for some height.

Here is one of my favorite things– a new countertop height table that holds all sorts of baskets for miscellany, dog gear and watering cans. We found this at Homegoods along with the 8×10 rug. The trash can in the corner came with our patio set that we bought at Sam’s club when we got married.

I found this cute little brown planter box at Homegoods, and used a wrought iron basket that I had lying around in my basement for some height. The butterfly planter came from Lowes a few years back. The green citronella candle came from Big Lots, and the terra cotta candles are made by Swan Creek Candle company.

Yesterday I purchased this piece of abstract art from Hobby Lobby to add some color behind the flowers.

But I am thinking it is TOO much, so I edited it out.

And now I can’t decide if I like it there or not. So, I’ll put it to a vote and let you tell me… should it stay or should it go?

With or without? Vote in the poll over on the right hand side bar!

The other thing I cannot decide what to do with is the ottoman. I bought this at Hobby Lobby as well. Originally I thought I would use this cushion on top, but my friend Angela pointed out that it looked kinda off since it’s not the same size. I agree.

So then I tried this rectangular pillow, and it’s still not working for me.

Then I tried it naked, and it’s just, well, naked. Not bad though.

The good part about this little ottoman is the dual purpose storage. We can stick the extra cushions inside and get them out if we need them.

I think the option that I like best is using this little divided tray to hold my drinks, snacks, magazines, flowers that I cut to stage my photo shoot in hopes that Southern Living will come to my house and feature me in the magazine, and whatever random dog treat Garrett finds to put in the other holes. It’s removable, so we can use it as a tray or sit it on the ground and prop our feet up on the ottoman underneath.

I think I’m digging it. What do you think?

Some of my other favorite features include my new Down Under pots that I found at Durbin Farms in Clanton. I wasn’t kidding when I told you I searched high and low for decor. I planted sweet basil in one and rosemary in the other. I also have some cilantro and oregano planted out there.

Since we moved our patio table and chairs out to the uncovered porch, I added some window boxes on it for color. I planted some verbena, mexican heather, lantana, bouganvilla and sweet potato vine.

We’ll see if these plants will be able to survive in the Sahara Desert heat that will arrive sometime in the next few weeks.

I stumbled upon these cute tiebacks at the Hoover Antique mall for $5 each.

These are much better than the bungee cords I was using at first.

One of the best parts of the deck are the curtains that we added. My friend Dawn suggested I use canvas drop cloths instead of buying expensive curtains.  I bought inexpensive 9×15 drop cloths and hung them using curtain rod clips

I did, and they look great!

J rigged up a piece of 3/4″ copper plumbing to use for a curtain rod. We used ring clips to attach the curtains to the rod, no sewing required. It was super simple.

But my most favorite part of the deck? The mood lighting. This picture was taken before all the new cushions, but it shows off the new rope lighting we put around the top of the screens.

Add some candle light, music from the mp3 player and a cold drink, and this is like THE perfect place to sit on a hot summer night.

I am so glad Garrett has inspired me to get outside and use this porch more often. It has been a great way for me to scratch my gardening itch without putting plants in the ground. Our house is still for sale, but in this slow market I’m tired of living like I’m moving. Until I actually do move, I’ll enjoy this little piece of paradise right outside my back door.

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Speak Your Mind



  1. I didn’t want to just give a yes/no vote on the artwork, so I’ll put my two cents in here. Although that particular piece in my opinion does not quite fit, I think that the backdrop does need some color. The colors in the artwork do look great with everything else. Maybe something a little narrower and taller? Or can the one you have be turned vertically?

  2. Erin Marie says:

    gorgeous! I’m not sure if this is way off base, but what about moving your artwork up? That way you’d have the color, but it wouldn’t look so busy at table height.

  3. Thanks for all your votes guys! I agree it needs something, I’m just not sure if that painting is the right thing.

    I will ask my husband how he feels about drilling a hole in the vinyl siding to put up a hanger. If he does that I could hang something above the table and it would look a lot better. 🙂

  4. hopeful #1 says:

    That looks absolutely amazing! Great work!

  5. Stacie@HobbitDoor says:

    Wow! Great job!

  6. this is exactly what i need to do on my screen porch for the same reason. great timing seeing this from you. you did a wonderful job transforming that space. congrats!

  7. Cathy Perkins says:

    Will the drop clothes get moldy when they get wet?

    • Cynthia says:

      Mine did! I repurchased 3 more drop cloths and sprayed them heavily with heavy duty Scotch Guard….still got moldy. Looking for ALL purpose weather resistant material.

  8. Nana on the Go says:

    I think your painting is just what you need for color and why not put it up with one of those 3-M removable hooks? You might need one or two of them.( one on each side). Then get some burlap and put it across that table to pull every thing together and to ground it. I like your carpenter’s box for the ottoman. And I really enjoy your mood lighting.

  9. Beautiful transformation. How are the curtains effected by the weather? Any rain hitting them? Mildew?

  10. THANK YOU FOR YOUR IDEAS!!! My oldest graduated from high school and we had a big party coming up. The sun is so bad on the west side of our sun porch and the storm windows don’t keep it cool either. With your ideas I was able to create a beautiful look and design on a dime!! I am so grateful that you shared your idea!! I wish I could show you my room! It was where our guests spent most of their time.

  11. Did you use 3 drop cloths, or did you buy one and cut it? I love this idea!

  12. Beautiful look! I’ve been wanting to do something similar to my own porch & you’ve inspired me.
    Two questions: Where did you buy the copper rod? Where did you buy the lighting strands?

  13. Easy enough! Thanks again for the inspiration 🙂

  14. Heather says:

    How did you hang the rope lighting?

  15. WOW! I feel like I wrote this article. We’re in the same boat…sunny West setting sun in the screen porch. I bought two pairs of $15 curtains, 84″ long. Sewed brackets on the sides and ran a piece of material through them and caught them together with a 12″ heavy wire. I curved the end of the wire so I could “hook” them up when it gets too windy. I bought conduit pipes and had Home Depot cut them to size. They’re held up with pipe brackets so the wind can’t pull them down. Got loads of compliments and people stopping to ask how I did it.

  16. My husband just built almost identical porch, we want to use the drop cloths, he found 6×9 but the are expensive, wondering where you found yours and you mentioned you didn’t have to cut them, do they not drag?


  17. Heather says:

    I’m just seeing this but I have a screened back porch that needs a more homey feel. I like what you did with the drop cloths, but how are they at resisting mold/mildew issues? Rain always blows in on our porch and I don’t want to put money and time into something that will have to be replaced. TIA!



  1. […] used “C” clamps. As a side note, let me say that he also put up our rope lights from our old patio so the ceiling is lit up at night. I love soft, ambient, glowy patio lighting at […]

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