In the world of DIY, a very important motivating factor is usually cost. The fact that I can make it myself, cuts costs, but of course adds the time element, and oftentimes a quality element as well. I started using drop cloths for things other than catching dripping paint several years ago and thought I would share a compilation of the ideas I have had over the years. Of course, this is not a complete list. You can find countless other ideas via Pinterest, but I think a few of them at least are original Of Ruffles and Rifles ideas. As always, feel free to Pin and share, and be inspired!
My first idea for using a drop cloth other than its original purpose was for my son’s war history birthday. I used a drop cloth to make a colonial flag as a table cloth. I used acrylic paints to make the stars and stripes on the flag (you can find the tutorial here), and then after his party I sewed a casing so that he could carry it around on a bamboo pole when re-enacting historical wars.
While we’re on the subject of boy’s birthdays and props, we made a sail with drop cloths for my son’s pirate birthday last summer. We used two sizes of dowel rods, small rope, some grommets, and drop cloths to construct the pirate ship for the little pirates to eat around. See here for more details on that post.
I found drop cloths to be an extremely economical way to make costumes for my son’s class last year when they were all bug biologists presenting their findings. I made twenty-four field vests out of drop cloths (they came to less than $2 a piece). See here for more details.
Since drop cloths are made to protect paint spillage and drips, I thought it would be the perfect material to make an apron. I made my signature blue and white ruffle apron and the top and base I used a drop cloth.
I made this apron for my sister, and personalized it with a contact paper stencil and acrylic paints.
I also used the same horse stencils and acrylic paint to make her throw pillows a couple years prior. The center was drop cloths and a I used some wool plaid I had to bring some rustic class to the pillows.
Drop cloths have taken the world by storm in the home décor world. And I have used my fair share. Although it isn’t the strongest upholstery material (it can easily rip when being stretched and stapled), but it can achieve faux grain sack looks for a fraction of the cost. I painted a faux grain sack on a drop cloth for my French chair and couldn’t be happier with the results. I also don’t feel bad when spots get on it, because for the price, it is replaceable.
Perhaps, even more than upholstery, drop cloths seem to be a popular material for slip covers. I made three slip covers for our barstools (click here for that post) since I wanted them washable and didn’t want permanent food on the upholstery. See the tutorial for the grain sack look here.
I think this was one of the prettiest things I’ve ever made with a drop cloth. The knife-pleated slip cover for a little ottoman (see here) was fairly time consuming, but I love the results. I am also pleased to say, that I tend to shy away from slip covers because they can get rumpled and look messy pretty easily. But this slip cover doesn’t, probably because it is a simple piece of furniture. But it makes the work worth it when it looks good on a daily basis. You can also see the tutorial for the slip-cover here.
I also used a drop cloth as the base for my ruffled Christmas tree skirt. I do not have a tutorial for that, I believe I followed one by Miss Mustard Seed years ago when I made it. But I cut out a large circle of the drop cloth canvas as a heavier weight base and hot glued scrunched up ivory cotton fabric that I ripped in strips for the ruffles.
So, that’s the summary of the creative things I’ve done with good old drop cloths. Of course, the possibilities are endless. I’ve seen brilliant ideas on Pinterest. So much fun to inspire!
What would you do with a drop cloth?
I guess you always could use it to, paint.
Thanks for stopping by!