inspiration: drop cloth drapes.

i've been on a seemingly endless search for pretty and yet affordable drapes/curtains for our dining room. the dilemmas i'm facing? there are four large windows [which gets pricey quick!], two of which have an awkward corner in between them, i don't want to block out too much light, i have no idea what i really want the room to look like overall... oh, and all on a next-to-nothing budget.

i've heard of using drop cloths as curtains before, but honestly, they're about the last thing i would have thought of hanging on my windows having seen them in home depot:
but truthfully, after you wash them, there's really not that much difference between them and these gorgeous curtains from pottery barn except the ginormous difference in price tag!
just add some clippy rings and a simple rod, and you've got an inexpensive way to have large, dramatic curtains in any room! and as it turns out, blogland is full of creative crafters making this cheapo-option work more beautifully than i would ever have believed! here are some incredible examples:

outdoor patio drapes by heather bullard.

tie-back drapes [and some helpful drop cloth hints] by beneath my heart.

drapes with amazing placemat valances [don't miss these!] by living with lindsay.

totally glam living room by a penny saved.

i love the literally blank canvas feel of these... they can be left plain for a breezy beachy feel, or easily customized in about a million ways! they can be hemmed to whatever size your window needs, you can add a solid block of fabric or a print to match your room, any kind of trim you want, or even do some sort of block print pattern [which would make them look like the leaf ones i originally liked at world market, but decided i couldn't afford 4 windows worth]. and on that note, they're cheap enough to cover every window in the house!

i have a really large roll of pretty green grosgrain ribbon that i think i might add to make them similar to these ribbon-trimmed pottery barn ones. i think a little touch of color would make them look customized and much more expensive than they actually were!
the more i look at them and think about it, i think they'd also be perfect for the huge window in our master bedroom that needs a little something. i have a few other partially-finished projects for that room, so it's in a bit of a makeover stage anyway [in other words, this is the extremely 'before' photo!]:
has anybody else tried this idea and loved how they looked?

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