I don’t think anything changes the ‘feel’ of your patio more effectively than patio curtains.

Something about them tied back brings to mind opulence and sophistication.

When they’re down, they waft in the breeze like something you’d see ocean-front.

I had to have some.

I did not have the budget for the real-deal… so I “Pinterested” a solution and found “Drop Cloth Curtains”!


I’ll give a pictorial shopping list:



My pergola is 12 feet high, so I needed these super-long drop cloths.  Measure your height before buying – you may be able to get a couple of curtains out of one package.

Curtain rod:  

Galvanized steel pipe – this won’t rust if you leave it up all year round.  Most hardware stores that sell it will cut it to length and thread it for you.

Tie-Down: These will tie the chain to your posts

You decide if you need these.  They just finish the ends of the pipe so that they won’t slide around in the eye bolts and they give a finished edge to the pipes.

Buy enough eye bolts to act as the end and middle hangers for your curtains.  Make sure that the centre of the eye is wide enough to fit your galvanized steel pipe through.


We chose to use a galvanized chain, not too heavy, to thread through the bottom of the curtains.  This way you can close them and they won’t blow around crazily of you get a stiffer wind.


I chose to do my curtain rods in an oil-rubbed bronze.  You could leave your rods/pipe as they are – but because I chose to do a tab panel curtain, I knew that the rods would show…. so I wanted them to look a little more like actual curtain rods.

I don’t have a step-by-step photo tutorial, but I started with the curtains;  I cut them leaving 4″ at the top and bottom for hemming.

With the leftover fabric, I cut the material I needed to make the tabs.
This is a great tutorial:  Sewing Tab Top Curtains

Within the bottom hem, I left a 2″ pocket.  You’ll need this if you want to feed a chain through to act as a weight.

Hubby put up the eyebolts into our pergola.  One at each end of the curtains and then another in the centre so the rod/pipe wouldn’t droop.

Use 2 smaller eyebolts and screw them into each post, near the ground.

Hang your curtains.

Thread the chain through the bottom pocket of the curtain and attach a security snap to each end.  This will stop the chain from feeding back into the curtain, and will allow you to attach the chain to the eyebolts on either side if/when you don’t want the curtains to blow around.

What do you think?!

I did four 8’W by 12’H panels for $200!
That’s all the hardware, paint, drop cloths etc.
A FRACTION of what custom curtains would cost.

Spring photo before my wisteria had filled in.

Shade, privacy, cost-effective and they give me bragging rights because I did it myself!


 Have a great one!