Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vintage Billboard Curtains

Thanks so much for all the kind comments about my recent guest room makeover.  Several of you have said you're on your way.  Sounds good. As long as I know you and you can prove you're not crazy.  (That would actually exclude several of you that I actually do know, so maybe I can make some exceptions.)

And the curtains seemed to be a favorite with many of you, so here's the scoop on those, as promised...

If you didn't already guess, the panels are actually canvas drop cloths.  (I know--huge surprise!) Click here to see a few of my other canvas projects.

As I mentioned, I wanted the curtains to look like they had been old banners or billboards advertising vacation cottages, so the drop cloths just seemed like the perfect choice.

These were the 6"x 9" from Lowes for around $10 each.  The 8 oz weight is great for curtains.  Just throw them in the washer and dryer to get them softened up a little.  Then, press with an iron to smooth out the wrinkles.

For the lettering, you have a few options.  If you have patience and a strong hand, you can use the freezer paper stencil method I've used so many times before.  Click here to read more.  Or, you could go all old-school and cut and trace the letters, filling in with paint.

I actually went with a little easier method this time and used vinyl.  I know--I kinda cheated a little, but my husband's company has a commercial vinyl cutter, so I went that route and saved a bunch of time.  If you have access to a Silhouette, you could do the same thing, or possibly find a local business to cut some vinyl for you.

The font I used for my text was Lobster 1.4.  Download it for free here.

We adhered the vinyl to the canvas, making sure to press down firmly and avoid gaps where paint could seep under.  Be sure to place a plastic drop cloth under the canvas to protect your floor or workspace because the paint will bleed through.  

For paint color, I used Sherwin William's Cloudburst to match the large window in the room.  A foam applicator is perfect for painting on canvas like this.  Just use a minimal amount-- a little goes a long way.  

Plus, using it sparingly will give it the weathered look of a vintage sign.

Once the paint was dry, I just peeled off the vinyl.  So easy!

The last step is to sew a rod pocket across the top of the cloth for hanging.  I wanted as much length as possible, so I didn't cut any extra off the top, I just folded it over 3 inches and sewed across.  If you need them shortened, you may need to cut a little before folding over the 3 inches.  Don't mess with the bottom.  No need to hem--- it's already sewn for you!

Once they're hung, you'll forget you ever found them in the paint aisle.  And you know I'll never tell.  Your secret's safe with me.



  1. These are so neat, Julie! You are so creative.

  2. While I am completely fascinated and intrigued by the curtains, because they are so very awesome, it's that nightstand that I'm obsessing over!!! Did you attach the old suitcase to the luggage holder? I'm just thinking this would be the cutest idea for our beach house that we are getting ready to redecorate!!!

    1. The suitcase is actually just sitting on top of the little stool. It's not even attached! You can see it better in this original post about the room :)

  3. I am literally slapping my hand to my head right now... why have I never thought of this. THANK YOU!

    I wonder if you absolutely need a color option if you could dye the drop cloths as well... still a cheaper option than buying "curtains"

  4. OMGoodness! Outstanding! This is exactly my taste and stule and you executed everything perfectly! The curtains...LOVE! And the luggage nightstand is so cool. I am so glad that you e-mailed me so I could see the finished product. WOW!

    jenny at dapperhouse

  5. I love your decor!! Those curtains are so much fun!! Well everything in your house is just beautiful Julie! Thanks for sharing : )


I love hearing from each of you and will do my best to respond! Thanks so much for stopping by. So glad you're here!