Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains with Nautical Tie Backs

Article Posted By: Caitlin Ketcham

Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains with Nautical Tie Backs

These outdoor curtains are made from a drop cloth and hung on an industrial pipe curtain rod. Caitlin Ketcham of DIY blog  Desert Domicile created the curtains to give her back porch a breezy cabana look.

This was part of her recent backyard makeover for The Home Depot Blog’s Patio Style Challenge series.

Here is her easy tutorial for the outdoor curtains and pipe curtain rod. Caitlin also shows how she the nautical tie backs from rope.

DIY Outdoor Curtains

I love the look of cabanas. They’re private little outdoor rooms that are typically found near pools/bodies of water. We don’t have a pool but I thought we could re-create a similar look on our covered back patio with the addition of outdoor curtains and a slatted screen!

Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains

Tools Needed

Materials Needed


Step 1 – Determine rod placement

Figure out how high you want your curtain rod to be and then mark the position on your wall (or column in my case) using a measuring tape and a pencil.

How to Hang Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains

I like to hang my outdoor curtains high and wide, so I chose to hang my pipe rod at the top, center part of my columns, which is 9-ft. tall.

How to Hang Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


Step 2 – Determine rod length

To determine the length of your pipe rod, use a measuring tape to measure the span of your space. My space is 154-in. long and because it’s so wide, I’m adding a center support in the middle of my space so the whole curtain rod doesn’t sag or pull out of the columns.

How to Hang Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


Step 3 – Have rods cut

After you’ve determined the length of the pipe you’ll need, head to The Home Depot to purchase your supplies!

If you need a custom-sized pipe cut (say 32-in.), The Home Depot will cut and thread your pipe(s) in-store so you don’t have to buy any fancy equipment!

Cutting Pipe for Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains

Cutting Pipe for Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


Step 4 – Clean paint rod and pipe pieces

Odds are your pipe pieces are going to be a little gross! I soaked my smaller pieces (floor flanges, tee, nipple) in some hot soapy water for a few minutes before rinsing and drying them off. Then I sprayed some Goo Gone onto a rag to clean the stickers and various gunk off my larger pipe pieces. I wiped them down with soap and water and dried them off.


Step 5 – Spray paint rod and pipe pieces

After my pieces were clean, I took them outside, covered my work area, and spray painted all of the pieces with Rust-Oleum’s oil-rubbed bronze spray paint (my favorite!). I let the paint dry in between coats per the suggested time on the spray paint can.

Spray Painting Pipe for Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains

Spray Painting Pipe for Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


Step 6 – Mark and pre-drill holes for floor flanges

When the pipe pieces are fully dry (tacky pieces leave finger prints in the paint), grab a floor flange and place it on the mark(s) on your wall/column that you made back in Step 1.

Hanging Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains

Using the floor flanges holes as a guide, pre-drill holes into the wall with your drill. I used a concrete anchor because I was mounting my pipe curtain rod to stucco. Adjust your screws and drill bit based on the material(s) you’re drilling into!

Repeat this process on the other side of your wall/column. Don’t forget to pre-drill the holes for the floor flange you’ll be using as your center support, AKA the one you’ll be attaching to your tee piece via the nipple!

Hanging Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


Step 7 – Attach nipple and floor flange to tee piece

Grab your working gloves and screw the nipple piece into the top of the tee piece. Screw a floor flange onto the end of the nipple piece. This will act as the center support of your curtain rod.

Note: The threads on the pipe can be kind of sharp. I really should have been wearing gloves when I did this. Fortunately, I managed not to cut myself, but I seriously recommend you wear gloves when you do this. These mechanic’s gloves would be a good choice.


Step 8 – Attach tee piece to pipe rods

Keep your working gloves on so you can screw one piece of pipe into one side of the dry tee piece.

Screw the other piece of pipe into the other side of the tee piece.

DIY Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


Step 9 – Slide curtain rings onto pipe rod

Slide your curtain clip rings onto your pipe pieces (one pack of rings per side) BEFORE screwing your flanges onto the ends!

I chose to attach my outdoor curtains to clip rings instead of directly to the curtain rod via a rod pocket because I wanted to be able to take my curtains down and wash them easily. If I would have attached them directly to the curtain rod via a rod pocket, I would have had to unthread the pipe pieces each time I wanted to take the curtains down.

DIY Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


Step 10 – Attach floor flanges to pipe rod

Screw the floor flanges onto each end of the pipe rods. Your whole curtain rod should be assembled at this point!

DIY Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


Step 11 – Grab a buddy!

Fair warning: this step is a little tricky! It would help to have an extra set of hands (or two!) available to help you with it.

Position your ladder(s) in place (don’t forget to grab your drill, drill bit, and screws) and get ready to work some muscles!

Pick the entire curtain rod up and lift it into place, lining it up with the pre-drilled floor flange holes on either side of your wall/column.


Step 12 – Attach hardware to wall

When your curtain rod is positioned in place, grab your drill with the appropriate drill bit and screws, and screw the floor flanges on each wall in place (two total). Remember to screw the floor flange for the center support in place before letting go of the curtain rod!

DIY Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


Step 13 – Attach curtain panel to clip rings

After your curtain rod is securely hung in place, you can either rest your muscles or you can grab your curtains and start clipping each panel to the drapery rings. I chose to use canvas drop cloths for my outdoor curtains because I wanted something that would be durable enough for outdoor use.

Our outdoor curtains are meant for decoration only, meaning they don’t fully close. Even though they don’t fully function as normal curtains do, I love how they help soften the look of our boxy patio space and give us that cabana feel. I also love how they provide a little bit of shade and protect us from the harsh desert sun!

DIY Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


DIY Pipe and Drop Cloth Outdoor Curtains


DIY Curtain Tie Backs

In order to keep our new outdoor curtains from swaying in the wind, I created a set of tie backs to help hold them in place. These tie backs are so easy to make, you could finish a set in under 30 minutes!

DIY Nautical Tie Backs Made from Rope

Tools Needed

Materials Needed


Step 1 – Measure and cut rope

Determine how long you want your tie backs to be and then use a measuring tape to measure the desired length out on your rope. I wanted my tie backs to be 24-in. long so I marked my rope at 24-in. and cut it with a utility knife. I measured and marked my rope again so I could cut a second piece of rope at 24-in.

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope


Step 2 – Measure and cut twine

We’ll be braiding the twine into a loop/hook so you’ll need three pieces of twine for each end of the rope (six per tie back, 12 total).

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

I measured out my twine at 6-in. and cut it down to size with scissors. I measured, marked, and cut 11 more pieces of twine down to 6-in.

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope


Step 3 – Tape twine and braid

Cut a piece of electrical tape and use it to tape the ends of the twine to the end of the rope.

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

Braid the pieces of twine together.

Repeat for the other end of the rope.


Step 4 – Loop braid and attach

Loop the twine braid over and tape the ends down with another piece of electrical tape.

Repeat for the other end of the rope.

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope


Step 5 – Attach coupling

Push or twist the metal coupling over the end of the rope so the braided loop sticks out the top.

Repeat for the other end of the rope.

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

Both of your tie backs should be completed by now!


Step 6 – Determine hook height

Determine how high you want to place your hook.

Tip: your tie backs will hang down a little bit on the curtains so measure a little higher than you think!

I placed my hooks at 40-in. but the tie backs hang a little lower than I’d like, so I’m probably going to move the hooks up to 48-in.

Measure and mark the same height on the other side of your wall or column.


Step 7 – Pre-drill hole for hook

Grab your drill and the appropriate ¼-in. drill bit for whatever material you’re drilling into. Pre-drill a hole for your screw hook.

Repeat for the other side of your wall or column.

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope


Step 8 – Attach hook to wall

Insert your screw hook into your wall and rotate to tighten. If it gets too tough to tighten the screw by hand, insert a screwdriver into the loop and use it to gain some leverage for tightening.

Tighten the screw all the way into the wall until the threads are no longer showing and the hook is facing up.

Repeat for the other side of your wall or column.

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope


Step 9 – Gather the outdoor curtains

After both of your screw hooks are attached, it’s time to hang your curtains!

Place one end of the tie back’s braided loop onto the screw hook, pull it around the curtains, and loop the other braid around the hook.

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

DIY Nautical Curtain Tie Backs Made from Rope

Wasn’t that easy?!

I love how the industrial-looking tie back pairs so well with our industrial-looking pipe curtain rods. It’s like that was planned or something ;)

Related Pinned Items