Do you guys remember when our porch looked like this? Well this summer we had some serious excitement around here as Mr. P and his dad tore it and the nasty laundry shed down and began our sweet addition! I’ll update you more on that soon, but the short of it is this: We’re adding a bedroom and bathroom onto our little place and while we’re at it, Mr. P built a brand new porch.
Exhibit A. Adorable. But after having an uncovered porch, we really wanted to make use of our new one and find some way to help protect it further from rain while adding character. This is where the idea for outdoor curtains came into play. I knew that if I could find an affordable way to get that much fabric, I could add weights to the bottoms of them and, when drawn, they might add some additional protection to the porch (and anyone who likes rainstorms). I also think outdoor curtains are kind of lovely.
That’s when I realized I could use drop cloths. They are cheap and sturdy and HUGE. I grabbed two from Lowes for somewhere in the neighborhood of $40 total and cut them to size. Here is a detailed how-to on the curtain-making, but the short version is hem all sides to avoid fraying and fold over the top and sew for the pole opening. Then sew your washers onto the bottom to weigh the curtains down.
Let’s back up. Here is what you’ll need for this project:
- Poles for curtains (number is dependent on your project)
- Flanges (2 per pole, find them in the plumbing section of Lowes)
- Drop cloths (size and number depend on project, we used two big ones)
- Washers (8 per curtain)
- Rustoleum metallic spray paint
- Wood screws
Next we cut the poles to size using a skill saw. Simple.
Before painting, sand your poles. When it comes to painting, you’re going to need something that is made for the outdoors. I’m not particularly brand-loyal, but when it comes to metallic paints, Rustoleum is the winner. I am obsessed with their oil-rubbed bronze paint. It is such an easy, cheap way to transform every ugly piece of brass in your house. I’m not kidding when I say I keep this stuff in stock here.
When it comes to the flanges, you’ll need two per pole and you want to be sure to paint these to avoid rust. You can buy galvanized, of course, but I’d still paint them for aesthetic purposes.
Once everything has had time to dry (this paint does not take long at all, maybe 30 minutes or an hour), screw one flange into your porch beam. Put your curtain onto the pole and put the pole into the installed flange. Place the unattached flange onto the other side of the pole and then move it into place on the beam. Screw the flange onto the beam (this might be easier with a helper holding the curtain rod in place).
And there it is! Our grown up porch-fort! This inspired me to finally jazz up our little outdoor sectional with some new pillowcases. I LOVE making envelope pillowcases because they are so freakin easy and fast. After shopping Hobby Lobby’s clearance duck cloth (less than $5 a yard and each pillow required exactly 1/2 yard of fabric) for said project and adding some curtain holdbacks (Lowes has a 2-pack for less than $10), this is what the porch looks like now:
I love it. It really is my grown up fort.
So that’s a total of $10 for pillow fabric, $40 for drop cloths, $42 for 6 flanges, pocket change for washers, and around $20 for the pipes to make the curtain rod, this back porch makeover cost just over $100. Not bad.