Tips On Making Slipcovers With Drop Cloths

by | Jun 2, 2010 | Sewing, Tutorials | 121 comments

I had no idea there would be such an interest in making things with drop cloths in a home decor application, like slipcovers and curtains, but several readers seemed very excited about it.  I aim to please, so here it is!

First of all, let me say that I was skeptical and hesitant to jump on the drop cloth bandwagon.  I have always made my slipcovers out of white cotton twill and you can purchase that for about $3.00/yard at Wal-Mart.  What finally pushed me to try making drop cloth slipcovers was a pair of wing chairs I wanted to cover that had a high contrast blue and white plaid fabric and it showed through my usual twill.  I needed something that was a heavier weight.  The drop cloth was my cheapest option.

So, I went to Lowe’s and bought a couple of Finish Factor Canvas 8oz weight drop cloths.  They run anywhere from $5.00/piece for a small one up to about $30 for really, really big ones.  I’ve been purchasing the ones that run about $13.00.  It takes about 1 1/2 4’x 15′ to cover a wing chair with piping, pleats, and a “T” cushion.

So, here are the things I have learned along the way…

drop cloths are very stiff and dingy-looking right out of the package

Remember that the people making drop cloths do not intend them to be used for home sewing projects like slipcovers and curtains!  They at least need to be washed once and might benefit from a second washing if they are still stiff.

how to bleach a drop cloth for a slipcover

I know it may sound silly to write out directions for how to bleach something, but I’ve tried several different ways and this is what is the easiest and most effective.  Put your drop cloth in your washing machine.  Start the regular wash cycle and allow the tub to fill with warm water.  Add a couple of cups of bleach and make sure the fabric is fully submerged.  Stop the cycle when the tub is full.  Close the lid and leave it for several hours.  Once it has soaked for a while, continue the cycle and allow it to run.  Repeat this entire process a second time, but add laundry soap in addition to the bleach.  Repeat this one last time, but only add laundry soap, no bleach.  Dry in the machine on high.  If you’re making a slipcover with this, you want it to be preshrunk, so that’s why you want to use warm water and a high drying heat.

drop cloths are thick

 Make sure you get heavy-duty needles and use a new one when you’re starting a drop cloth slipcover or sewing project.  I think I broke four needles on my wing chairs and one on my dining room chair slipcovers.  If you’re fighting with your machine (and it’s not the bobbin thread), try using a new needle.  When the needle is dull or slightly bent, you are going to have all sorts of problems.

drop cloths do not ruffle well

Because drop cloths are on the thicker side, they are not easy to ruffle or add other dainty details.  Their thickness is a benefit for hiding busy fabrics under a slipcover or for holding up well to daily use, but if you want a girly touch, pleats will be less frustrating.  Trust me.

despite all of the bleaching, drop cloths will never be perfectly white

 If you want a bright white slipcover, drop cloths will not be the best option for you.  They end up being grayish off-white.  They also have a little bit of a nubby, rough texture and look slightly rumpled.  If you want something that looks perfectly white and crisp, you will not be happy with drop cloth slipcovers.

drop cloth canvas will tear in a straight line

This is so handy for people like me, who don’t like measuring.  This means, if you want your pleated skirt to be four inches wide, you can make a small cut at the four-inch mark and tear it the rest of the way.  The line will be perfectly straight. This is a nice shortcut when you’re making drop cloth slipcovers.  A lot of home decor fabrics will do this as well, but not all, so be careful!

use the hemmed edges to your advantage

There are four hemmed edges on each drop cloth, so use those for an edge you would need to hem anyway.  This saves tons of time and sewing when making drop cloth slipcovers.  I used the hemmed edge for all of my dining room chair skirts.  One less thing for me to sew!

So, are you ready to give drop cloth slipcovers or curtains a try?
As a P.S., I wanted to answer a question I had about washing the painted slipcovers.  Acrylic paint will survive just fine in the wash.  It will get a little softer and slightly faded, but that only adds to the antique grain sack look.  I have not tried bleaching the fabric after it’s been painted, but I don’t think that will be an issue, either.


  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper

    those are stunning! how is it that we have the same sewing machine, but mine wont do that for me? 😉

  2. Bekki

    I wish I had more time to slipcover! Those are lovely. I have found the drop cloths from Wal-mart to be lighter in weight but more on the tan side. They might be easier to work with.

  3. RustyClover

    I really have been thinking of giving this a try!!! Thanks for the tips!!!

  4. vintage girl at heart

    love what you've done!!! such talent!!! i cannot sew very well but would like to try to make a simple slipcover.
    big lots has slipcovers too really inexpensive! several sizes and textures to choose from!((i've used them for curtains))

  5. Blue Artichoke Interiors

    So cute and you make it look doable. Thanks for the hint about using the hemmed edges to our advantage.

  6. Kacey

    I'm so excited to try making one! I have drop cloth curtains and just love the texture of them. I've long wanted to try slipcovers, but have been hesitant. Thanks for the tips!


  7. Janell @ Isabella and Max

    You are good. And it is not silly to give bleaching instructions, I wouldn't have known to do these steps!! I wondered how your drop cloths looked so good compared to what I see in the store, thanks for sharing your secret!! (if it was one) Janell

  8. Tricia Rose

    This looks wonderful! I love 'elemental' fabrics.

    This is a good hint, not so much an economy as a convenience: sharpen your needle periodically when working with a heavy fabric, by swizzling it on your knife sharpener. You can hear the difference, your needle doesn't 'plunk' through the fabric and the whole thing goes more smoothly.

    I sew linen almost exclusively and this has saved me many a trip to buy new needles.

  9. Vicki K.

    Thank you, thank you for this great drop cloth post – I feel like you are walking me through the process!

    You are smart to use the size you mentioned – I used a really big one (that was actually used as a drop cloth first) and it was ridiculously bulky and awkward. I had to take it to the laundromat to even wash it. I will test the post-project-sewn bleaching and let you know.

  10. Rooster Coop

    Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the process. I prefer taking advice to "inventing the wheel" any day.

  11. Tina

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do such wonderfully detailed tips. I have some 'lovely' 1970s vinyl ottomans that I want to slipcover so am jumping on the drop cloth bandwagon. I really appreciate your fabulous tips and I love ALL of your gorgeous drop cloth projects. ~ Tina x

  12. SueAnn

    Great tutorial on drop cloths. Such detail…thanks so much! Yours turned out wonderfully.

  13. Sandy

    Great job on the tutorial, detailed instrutions, just what I need for a sewing prject, since it's not one of my strong points. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    Good to know! I like the way yours look, so I would most likely bleach them too if I do a project. Also, good tip on not being able to do a ruffle with it. I was thinking of using it to fashion a bed skirt, but I may go another fabric route then.

  15. Willow Decor

    Fabulous! I really don't know where you find the time to create such amazing projects. These are stunning!

  16. Tammy@InStitches

    These are really great tips on working with drop cloths. I love the way your little chair turned out, so pretty !

  17. Jan @twoscoopz

    and double-YAY for bleaching tips! LOL .. honestly! Mine is currently sitting on my laundry room floor, awaiting your instructions and that is NOT what I would've done.
    So thank you! You rock Missy 🙂

  18. Amy @MaisonDecor

    I have made a few slipcovers, always with decorator fabric or the cotton twill and have loved them, but for the price. So the tip on Walmart fabric was great ($3.99/yd) and also the drop cloths how-to. I am planning on doing another slipcover for my tufted sofa I picked up at a thrift shop,and am wondering what you think about the tufted part showing through…worried it will be a waste of time if I do the slipcover. Hmmm, have you ever done a tufed piece?
    Also, I find your posts very valuable…right up my alley!
    Amy @ Maison Decor

  19. Mandy

    Thanks so much for these tips!!! I have been wanting to try this for a while. I have some very vintage very plaid chairs that I have been wanting to redo…this will work great!!!

  20. Jamie

    Thanks for the tips!!! I would like to add a little tip that many of us never think about…….. When you use bleach, you may not know it, but even after it has been rinsed and washed the bleach is still active in the material and slowly over time causes damage, here is a link that explains this and talked about what to use in the rinse cycle……..

  21. Erika

    The slipcover is stunning. I like the extra touch with the piping (I am so bad at piping). But I am not sure if I am ready to give up on my cotton for the drop cloth; even if it might withstand two toddlers better:)

  22. Ann

    I only found your blog a couple of weeks ago, and have enjoyed reading it. I've learned so much!

    Thanks for generously sharing your expertise!

  23. Ellen

    THANK YOU! smiles.

  24. Robyn

    OHHH I LOVE you! THANKS for this tutorial! I think I may have to tackle this for my reading nook!

  25. Angela

    Hooray…wonderful post…but for your readers who commented about cut yardage at Walmart…don't know about your store, but ours no lnger sells cut yardage…only pre-packaged in 3 yd. lengths…

    Boo Hiss…

  26. Janna

    Thank you for posting this!!! I have been debating on trying to slipcover my wingbacks in drop cloths for the last two months and this is just the info I needed! I had wanted to ruffle the bottom, but good to know about the pleating.

  27. CosmoGirl Carla

    Wow! Gorgeous! I almost wished I'd waited now to use drop cloth to recover my monster recliner. Not much sewing on my project because of the moving parts – more staple-gun use. I washed the fabric, but didn't even think to bleach it. Wished I would have now. I still plan to add some pleated accents to the chair, and will surely use your suggestions when I start on that part of the project.

    Thanks for a great tutorial!

  28. janet

    My drop cloths are in the washer as I type!!! Thanks for the great tutorial…wish me luck!

  29. Junking and Painting

    You can also add about 10 dryer sheets in the dryer…makes the fabric much softer.

  30. Rachel

    Coming in late on this…but how would you change the washing instructions for those of us with front loading washers? They are great for water saving, etc, but when you are looking to soak something…wellll, not so great! 🙂

  31. Darlene

    Rachel – I've not done this, but I would think that you could do it in the bath tub and then transfer it to a plastic bag, transport it to the washing machine to spin the water out of it and then back to the tub for round 2. It's a bit of a pain, but it would get the results you want.

  32. Miss Mustard Seed

    Rachel, When I had a front loader, I would use a large rubbermaid tub for bleaching or tea staining. Put the tub in your bathtub, fill it with water and soak the material. Dump out the water/bleach and repeat. Then, put it in the wash with soap.

  33. Cassie

    I think you're my newest, most favorite person ever! I love your work!

  34. Home Hinges

    I love your drop cloth slip covers and recently bought a small couch I'd like to try slip-covering. Have you ever tried dying the drop cloth fabric? I'm curious if it would dye well to perhaps a light blue.

  35. Stephanie

    About to start my very first drop cloth slipcover project thanks to your wonderful tips! I have a front-loader (that will be my last) so I'll be using the rubbermaid container method for bleaching. Thanks again! 🙂

  36. Jacqueline

    How do you make pleats? I cant figure it out lol Thanks!

  37. Hood Canal Gal

    Where have you been all my life!?! Thanks to you Miss Mustard Seed, I have the courage and to FINALLY start my slipcovers.


  38. Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs

    AHHHHHH Thank you for your
    drop cloth answers !
    I am getting ready to
    try a slipcover on a chair
    that I have had forever and
    LOVE drop cloth fabric !
    I love the nubby texture ~
    I am so excited to
    start ~
    Than you again!


  39. Joanne

    Been in love with the light canvas slipcover look for forever and now I can do it!!!

  40. Laura

    Another good source for canvas drop cloths is Big Lots. They don't always have them (in their paint area), but when they do, they are about $10 for the 9'x12' size.

  41. martinealison

    Je me suis agréablement promenée dans votre blog et je m'autoriserai une prochaine visite… Bisous

  42. Cindy

    Thank you so much!!!

  43. Vintage Linen Treasures

    Thank you!! I'll have to try something a little different as I have an older front loader that doesn't fill up and doesn't have a soak cycle. But I got the gist of what to do. I'm excited to try!!
    Patricia :o)

  44. Karena

    Adore these!! As I no longer have a sewing machine how much would you and Mom Charge for a loveseat slipcover in bleached dropcloth ?

    Art by Karena

  45. Dixie Sargent Redmond

    I searched for "making slipcovers with dropcloths" and here I am again. 😉 I got a new washing machine last fall and it's the high efficiency kind which saves on water and now I can't dye things like I used to with my old machine. I guess it will be the laundramat for me! 😉 We bought a new couch but kept the loveseat and I plan to make a slipcover for it until I can afford the chairs I want. 🙂 Thanks for the tips.

  46. Susan @

    Thanks for all your great thoughts on drop cloths. I've been using them right out of the bag (not for slipcovers yet…) Now I know it is best to bleach and shrink them! Thanks so much, you saved a lot of people a big headache down the road.
    I love your site, you are a great mentor!

  47. Perpetual Blind Date

    Love the idea! I am trying to decide how to recover some chairs i have that are big time hand me downs. I bet a drop cloth would work well… and maybe some fabric dye would spruse it up even more. thanks for the idea!

  48. Jeanette Purdy

    okay I know you said you didn't need to describe how to bleach them but…I put in two drop cloths just as you described how to do it but one came out with blue splotches all over it?!!? I know I'm blonde but have you run across the same problem or do you know how to get it out? If not, I'm only out the $10 but it would be nice if I could not screw something up for once 😉 Thanks for all your inspiration and the time and talents you share!

  49. Bernadette @agirlandherhome

    I'm going to try this. I hope I'm successful!

    Bernadette @

  50. Lisa

    I put a 4 x 12 in their own huge bins to bleach. I periodically swooshed and rearranged. Still they came out blotchy. What a shame.

    I'm wondering if it's best to wash these things first to get out any crap they may have to provide a clean porous slate for the bleach to penetrate.

    I got mine from sherwin Williams. They are the almond color type not the brown oatmeal type at home depot. I wonder if I can unblotch these.

  51. Lisa

    Yes. Mine came out all blotchy as well. I wanted to wash them first but I didn't. Just did the bleach soak. 2 drop cloths wasted. I did this in in big bins and felt I had plenty of water and periodically swooshed.

    I did notice the black spots more pronounced after bleaching also.

    I'm going to try just adding bleach to the front loader and make it run as long as it can. No actually Im not sure I want to waste another 13 bucks. Idk. I'm just so stunned the simplest thing didn't work for me.

  52. Mandy

    I have used drop cloths as drapes for several spots in my house & pool house…they are WONDERFUL & because of their thickness they block out the sun and heat…I love them!

    I've wanted to try a drop cloth clip cover for my couch & wanted to ask you…since this post is almost a year old, how have these held up for you?

    Thanks so much. 🙂


  53. Adrienne

    This is great information. Do you know if anyone has done a slipcover for a small recliner? I think I can figure it out but would love to hear about the experience of someone who has done it!

    • Jeannie


      Did you ever get a reply? II would like to make slip covers for a recliner also and was wondering if you got any good information.


      • Miss Mustard Seed

        Adrienne & Jeannie, I have not made a slipcover for a recliner, but I know someone from another blog linked one up a long time ago to one of my furniture parties. It looked great! They made a separate slipcover for the leg pieces and attached them with Velcro to each section.

  54. fourshuz

    Could you tell me where to find such drop clothes. I order 4 from an online store, and when I received them, they had seams down the middle which made them useless to me slipcovering my sofa. I called another online store and they said they also have seams. Do you recommend a brand or online shop or good old hardware store?

    Thanks in advance. I love the pictures and ideas.


  55. Linda

    I'm toying with the idea of making drop cloth slipcovers for two chairs in my den. I will want to wash them periodically after they are made and I am wondering if they tend to unravel at the seams or get "stringy". I don't want to serge them, but I will if I have to.


  56. Terryk

    I thought I asked this question yesterday, but don't see it here

    I want to try a small project using drop cloths and was wondering if you use a drop cloth that is a blend of cotton/ Poly or do you stick to all cotton? Also is 10 oz. Weight going to be too heavy? Home depot does not seem to have 8 oz listed.

  57. Anonymous

    I love working/sewing with drop cloths, but my concern is their flameablitly(sp?). The drop cloths from home depot have a sticker on them that say they are flammable. Does washing them help?

  58. Dawn Beaver

    Hi — love, love, love your slipcover video series. I have painstakingly watched each one at least 10 times before and during my slipcover sewing! I think I know every word you say! Thanks so much for inspiring me and also to NOT have to be perfect. I fell like God is “birthing” something in my mind and heart for a career path and I’m quite excited. Quick question…I bleached four Finish Factor drop clothes for my project. Three turned out just fine, but one came out “blotchy” (of course, I noticed this AFTER it became the front of my wing chair…too late to change it now). I bleached the remaining fabric again for four hours and the blotches are still there. Have you ever experienced this? Maybe there was something on this fabric to begin with and I didn’t notice, but it doesn’t seem to come out! Oh well, no one else will probably even notice it…and I love a good throw hanging over the back of my chair 🙂

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      I’m so glad these were helpful to you! Yes, I’ve had some issues with blochiness, but it’s normally very faint. I should update this, because I’ve stopped bleaching my dropcloths. It’s just too much work and it doesn’t change the fabric that much. It only lightens it a little. Anyway, I’m with you…a good throw and a pillow can cover a multitude of imperfections!

      • Kari

        If you don’t bleach them now, do you do anything special with your drop cloths before making a slip cover. I am wanting to cover my couch and was wondering if I should or shouldn’t bleach it now?
        Thank you!

        • Miss Mustard Seed

          I just wash them to soften them up and go right to it!

        • Phyllis Zeringue Martin

          I divided mine at the seams, then I soaked them in the bathtub with lots of bleach until I had the color I liked. I then put them in the washer, one panel at a time and washed them in hot water and partially dried them in the dryer. Took them out when they were damp. I bought mine from Amazon and got the ones that came from India. I bought several as I have two large sofa’s. I did each piece ( arm, back, skirt, etc) separate so that I could wash one at a time if needed. Was a huge project but I am very pleased and may even do it again with a better fabric.

      • Melissa Williams

        I want to cover my leather couch with a slip cover. do you think a drop coth would be heavy enough to stop cat claws ?

      • Lori

        Where do you get your drop cloths that are so much lighter than home depot and lowes? This picture is almond color but is much lighter.

  59. debra

    nice advice about the dropcloths! i, too, have used dropcloths for slipcovering and for floorcloths, and though they are wonderfully economical to use, they can be a big pain in the rear because of the dinginess and the unbelievable stiffness of the fabric. they’re so durable, though, that it’s well worth the trouble to use them. this would have been really helpful to me when i had first used them! wish i would have seen this post then! lovely slipcovers, by the way!

  60. Camille Moore

    I learned about you through I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog. Thank you for the great information!

  61. Annie Wood

    I have read several great sites on working with drop cloths, and your site is just super. I bought two drop cloths from Home Depot and have just finished all the steps with one of them, including adding the hydrogen peroxide in the last soak. I also used vinegar as a softener since I discovered at the last minute that I didn’t have laundry softener for the final rinse. I don’t currently have a dryer, so the drop cloth is hanging on the line to dry in the Arizona heat.

    I must say that the color looks essentially the same as the other one in the package I haven’t yet opened. I thought I had done something wrong–I even bought more bleach after the first soak and added an extra bleach soak step, with no whiter result. Anyway, I was grateful to read your note that the color didn’t change much for you either. That made me feel much less inept. I do feel that I should follow all the bleaching steps with the second cloth, though, just in case there is a slight variation otherwise. I’m detailing all this here just in case it helps someone else who is going to try using drop cloths too. Thank you for bringing us such excitement and pleasure in our craftworK!

    • nelly

      thanks Annie

  62. Carrie at lovely etc.

    What great tips! Just posted about inexpensive sources for fabric (including dropcloths) and linked to this post.

  63. Erica

    Is it always necessary to bleach these? How do they look if you just wash without bleaching?

  64. Eileen

    Do you recommend any other brand other than Finish Factor? After looking at can’t find them?

  65. Patty G

    You inspired me to cover my 1950’s ctional with drop cloths. It was easier than reuphostering the whole thing and after stapling the bottom edge it almost looks like it was reupholstered.

  66. Olivia

    Marian the trick to getting drop cloths soft after belching them is o run them through with a genourous amount of fabric softener….. Vinegar is also a softener for the all naturale folks. Then toss it in the dryer with about 20 dryer sheets.

    Totally softens up the fabric.

  67. MaryB

    Thanks for all the tips and tutorials. I recently started recovering my two chairs (very large wing backs) Started small witht he T cushions. They have worked out great…. now on to the rest of the chairs! I have tried bleaching mine and to be honest they really haven’t got much lighter. Years ago I made pull on covers for my cane suite in the UK from natural canvas. Over the years of regular washing (in very hot water) they went very soft and white so this may be the case with these as well. If not, I can happily live with the light beige colour.

  68. charlotte mobley

    Would it help to use a large capacity washer at a laundromat to avoid blotching?

    • Lee

      I think that a large top loading machine at a commercial laundromat would be helpful to avoid both blothching and wrinkling, and have found that a slow spin also helps avoid wrinkles that tend to get set in while in a hot dryer. We found one large enough to wash a slip to our queen size fold out sleeper sofa, but washed the cushion covers separately.

      Liquid bleach (which I seldom use) is usually added to the water, perhaps before the machine is completely filled, and well mixed in the water before the fabric is added. This would avoid having the bleach poured directly on the top, but not all, of the fabric, and might minimize the blotching.

      I would wash the cloths in hot water to eliminate any finish or additives to the fabric, then rewash with the bleach, and then rewash with a fabric softener if desired. I would dry them on hot in between washes. The more you wash and dry the fabric before fitting it to your furniture, the less shrinkage you will have when the slip is washed after completion. I would test painting on a swatch that had been washed or dried with a softener to be sure that it did not affect the ability of the paint to adhere.

      When the completed slipcovers are washed, they will be easier to put back on the chair or sofa if they are slightly damp, especially if they have been made to fit snugly. A seamstress who made my first set of slips taught me this; I don’t know if it is in the instructions – just found this fabulous site.

  69. charlotte mobley

    has anyone found a resource for cream or better white???? Not the “tweedy” ones or darker at Lowe’s or Home Depot…

  70. Vicki


    I followed the directions and my drop cloth became blotchy–is there anyway to get the blotches out?

    Thanks for any suggestions.


  71. CJ

    Hi everyone, I’ve been trying to bleach dropcloths without much success. I think the main issue is that mine are a cotton/poly blend. Cotton is bleachable however the poly is the problem. Any tips?

  72. Jenny Breckbill

    Hi Marian! I’m wondering if you can recommend another type of drop cloth? I checked at Lowe’s and didn’t see the Finish Factor Brand.


    • Miss Mustard Seed

      It seems that Lowes has dropped the Finish Factor brand! Didn’t they know they made perfect slipcovers? Anyway, I’ve started using hemp canvas fabric, which is about $11/yard, so it’s still inexpensive and durable.

      • Bethany

        I was wondering where you find hemp canvas for $11./yard? I haven’t found it that cheap before so need the scoop! Thanks!

  73. Meredith

    This process worked great for me! I turn on the washer, and wait for the agitator to start. Added the bleach and/or detergent, let it agitate for a minute, then pause the cycle to let it sit 3 hours. Not blotchy, but I also made sure everything was completely submerged.

    Question: does anyone know of a more earth friendly way to bleach fabrics effectively. My initial thought was “well, if I buy $100 stark white panels at West Elm, they’ve been bleached, just somewhere in a factory – the only difference is that I can’t see it.”

    However, after having used a half gallon of bleach for 1 curtain panel, it breaks my little tree-huggin’ heart to think of dumping 4 more gallons of bleach into our waterways for the rest of my panels (8).

    Does anyone have an idea for an alternative, or can pat me on the head and tell me that my bleach use is actually insignificant? How do those eco friendly companies that tout “bleach-free” do it? Or is everything in a world without bleach just oatmeal colored…

  74. Dorothy

    Of course, luck would have it that I have just found this website and I’m eager to make a slipcover only to discover that Lowe’s does not carry Finish Factor drop cloths anymore!!!! I am certain I’m not the only one looking for a terrific substitute.
    Can anyone recommend a readily available substitute other than the unidentified hemp fabric that Miss Mustard Seed has switched to? I need to shop on the internet if possible.
    Thanks for your help.

  75. Amanda

    what type of sewing machiene do you have? i noticed in a video you said you had it for a while…. i am looking for a new one. The one i have never works.

  76. Amanda

    sorry had a spelling mistake..
    what type of sewing machine do you have? i noticed in a video you said you had it for a while…. i am looking for a new one. The one i have never works.

    • Miss Mustard Seed

      I had a Kenmore model 385, which was about $150 when I bought it five or six years ago. I have never had it cleaned or tuned and I have used it to make countless slipcovers, pillows, curtains, etc. It’s done really well for a little, inexpensive machine. It’s still working, but I just upgraded to an upholstery machine.

  77. Nancy

    I need to cover a mid-century couch with something sturdy and I think I’ll try this. Has anyone ever tried dying a drop cloth cover? My dog will be sitting on it so white/beige won’t work for me. Also, I’ll probably buy the brand Lowes is selling at the moment. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.

    • Andrea

      Nancy, I haven’t tried making slip covers, but I buy the brand from Lowes all the time to make tablecloths. I haven’t had any problems with it. The only thing that I do is make sure to wash and dry on hot before I even think to make one cut in the fabric. This way I am sure that it won’t shrink when washed after that.

  78. Moving House

    I think that we should help a local enterprise by
    hiring a nearby ‘man & van’ to move our bulky items of furniture.

  79. Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage

    You’ve inspired me and given me information that is truly helpful. I have seen and heard about drop cloth projects, but I haven’t tried any yet. I love the bleaching first idea. I’m pinning this one!

  80. Jayne

    As I write this I am soaking my drop cloth in the washer. Anxious to see how it works. I read some of the comments above where they said their’s turned out blotchy. On another blog I read that she bleached her in the bathtub and used more bleach. If mine turn out blotchy, I’m going to try that. Mine are also the 9 x 12 and 10 oz instead of 8 oz. May need to use more bleach. I am determined to make this work! Thanks for sharing your tips. I need to remember to get more needles.

  81. Arleen

    To those having problems with bleaching, this is what I did to get it done without blotches. I bought 12 x 15 feet drop cloths, cut them on the middle seam; filled up my tub halfway with warm/hot water; dumped half a gallon of bleach; swished around to mix; then – this is the time consuming part – dipped the dropcloths like an accordion in the water- making sure that the parts dipped are saturated (does that make sense?) then left it OVERNIGHT (ran the fan too because I hate the smell of bleach). Next morning washed it without detergent in warm and dried on high. It had some blothches so I repeat the process. Then washed with detergent/fabric softener and dried on high. No blotches! Took 2 days but worth it. Hope this helps someone =)

    • Virginia

      Thank you for this tip Arleen – I’ve had a lot in my tub all day and it’s still splotchy. So I’m doing the next batch with the accordion-like folds. AND I’ve also put a lot of glass vases in the tub with it… sounds weird I know, but they fill with water and act like weights so none of the fabric comes above the water line.

      Hoping this second batch comes out less splotchy. And that a second run of the first batch gets the splotches out.

    • Danica

      I am concerned about the seam. After you cut it up the middle on the seam, what size were your two panels then? I am considering making draperies.
      Thank you.

  82. Karen

    I have The Home Depot “Everbilt” 6×9 in my washing machine now. Little bit of soap and in the whites/hot cycle. I’m not going to bleach it thought. I’m going to dye it a light blue using Procion MX (Dharma Trading). I’m using these covers to redo the motorhome dinette and sofa. The weight of this fabric is perfect for us since we have dogs and it will hold up wonderfully and get softer (I hope!) with every wash. Great page and thanks for the tips!

    • Susan

      Can you please give us feedback on how the Procion Dyeing process went for your unbleached drop cloths?

  83. Annabelle

    I am in the process of making my first ever slipcover from dropcloth. I’m worried that it will unravel on the inside the first time I wash it. It is already fraying, and it would be an awful lot of work to hem all the inside parts! Any advice?

  84. Susan

    Has anyone tried just hanging washed dropcloths in the sun on a line? That’s what “sun-bleaching” is, right?

    How about spritzing with bleach after hanging them, using a sprayer bottle? The Chlorine fumes would evaporate outside instead of in the house?

  85. Susan

    Hi – I know this post is from a few years ago, but I’m hoping you’ll see my comment/question and can answer it. For the really big drop cloths, do you know if there are any seams running through them? I wanted to use one to paint some scenery and drop cloths are the only things I’ve found that are wide enough and heavy enough for my project. Seams running through them of course, would not be good. 😮 Thanks in advance for your input. Susan

  86. Emily

    I love this tutorial and going to try it on my armless accent chairs. I got my drop clothes at Lowes, but my washer locks when it’s running a cycle, so I can’t stop it and open the door (front loader) and add bleach or pause it to let is soak. How should I go about bleaching my drop clothes?

  87. Lori

    I am on step 2 with the soak of bleach and detergent however after step 1 my drop cloth looked absolutely the same. I am looking for a light color like the pictures above. Any suggestions?

  88. Melinda

    I’ve watched your slip cover tutorials and am excited to give it a try on my own furniture! My question is, when covering a sofa, do you design the back in the same way as the wing chair, with ties? Thanks!

  89. Lauren

    Hi! Thanks for the tutorial! I am in the process of bleaching my painters canvas…and here is what I discovered..for top loading he washing can unplug them and it will allow things to soak. I have a maytag and when I plug it back in, it starts where it left off. I tried to allow it to get to the washing cycle before I unplugged it. We also put the washer on a heavy duty extension cord so that I could easily plug and unplug it. Hope that helps those that were struggling with the blotchiness.

  90. Dawn

    You can actually find really nice drop cloths in Harbor Frieght. I found mine there and they ate a nice tight weave and color. 🙂 $8 for a 8 x 10.

  91. Sophia

    Love the look, it is so cute.

  92. Elizabeth Brigante

    I would love to know how you decorated the chair seats. did you do a tutorial? Would love to hear about it. thank you for your help. Elizabeth

  93. June channing

    Finally. clear, concise instruction and a beautiful end product! Thanks for sharing.

  94. Patricia Boyd

    Do you use 8oz or 10 oz grade painters cloth

  95. Delta

    1st paragraph states that info

  96. Peg

    Could drop clothes be dyed?

  97. Camille Castillo

    Help! PLEASE HELP!
    I purchased two drop cloths at Home Depot and I will follow your tips on bleaching and washing them,however I have some concerns.

    What type if straight pins and machine needles shall I purchase?
    I’m confident in fitting the fabric to my chairs and also in pinning, cutting and sewing the slip covers but might you have tips for fitting the slip covers onto T cushions?

    Thank you, C. Castillo

    • Noël

      My experience with drop clothes from Home Depot is that they are part polyester and therefore won’t bleach. I’ve read on several blogs that the drop cloths must be 100% cotton in order to lighten and soften.

  98. Esther Schlittenhart

    thanks for the tips – I did a drop cloth sofa slip cover and am really pleased with it. It washes and wear well. I don’t have a top loading washing machine so I soaked my drop cloths in totes outside (summer) since I didn’t want to mess with bleach in the house. You can soak them in your bath tub but be careful with that as if your tub has any patches (from chips that might have been fixed in the building process) the bleach can change the color of the finish. I did straight bleach and the fabric disintegrated. A safe bet is to soak the cloths just deep enough that they are wet through and then add a whole bottle of bleach (I did 9 by 12 wash cloths) the bleach. That is what worked for me without over bleaching. I did have to repeat this process a couple of times.

  99. Jennifer Hickman

    I’m looking to the tge drop cloth a sage green or a dusty blue. Any suggestions on doing this right the first time? Should i bleace first to get a true color?

  100. Sharon

    I bought my drop cloth on Amazon. I actually found if you wash the drop cloth first with detergent and then add the bleach it seems to take the bleach better. It still takes hours for it to bleach but it came out soft and pretty white for a dropcloth.

  101. Debbie

    I will add a note about the sewing machine. I made a slip out of heavy fabric once on a new and cheap machine. I had to have it adjusted several times as it simply wouldn’t sew long over that heavy stuff. Finally Got and used an old 1950 machine and it was a workhorse. Took several layers easily in stride and would fly five times as fast over long seams. I see them for sale at estate sales for $25 or less.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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