Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Shower Curtain from a Twin Sheet Tutorial

My mom has a saying that definitely describes me.  I have champagne taste on a beer budget.  I like pretty and unique things that always cost WAY more than I'm willing/able to fork out.  Case in point - shower curtains.  All the ones that I liked were crazy expensive, and I just couldn't find the color that I wanted.  I have 4 kids - 2 girls, 2 boys - and their bathroom also happens to be the main restroom that guests use, too.  I wanted to decorate it in a way that was pretty and not too "kid-ish" and I love the color teal/turquoise, which can be unisex if done right.  I also think it looks REALLY pretty with white and gray.  So far, I've only gotten white on there, but I'm thinking about ways to add gray in.  Here's how you can do it yourself :)

Supplies for the curtain itself (stenciling supplies listed below):

Twin sheet (at Walmart these are about $6)
Sewing machine, thread, and pins

Wash and dry your twin sheet and lay it out on the floor.  Lay your shower liner on top to gauge size.

Cut off the side of the sheet along the edge of the liner, making sure to leave room for the hem.

Take the piece that you cut off and cut it in half, sewing the ends together to make one long piece.

Mark the grommet holes on the sheet.

Using the buttonhole feature of your machine, sew button holes at each grommet marking.

Using sharp-tipped scissors, cut a slit in the middle of the buttonhole.

Baste two rows along the top of the long strip and gather. (Or, if your machine will do it, put your tension the highest it will go and use the longest stitch length.  It should ruffle itself - unless it's my new machine and refuses to do so.  In that case, use the aforementioned instructions ;P)

Adjust the gathers so the long strip lines up with the main curtain piece.  Pin and sew together, then topstitch from the right side.

I didn't get pictures of the stenciling.  I have to be honest with you - the curtain itself was super easy, but the stenciling made me want to beat my head against the wall.  Of course, I was pregnant when I made it and had to bend over a bunch to do it.  If you are on-board with some long and tedious work, then continue through these directions:

I decided to do a motif stencil instead of an overall pattern, but I couldn't find one I liked, so again, I made one.  I used this stencil from Hobby Lobby, and flipped the far right stencil to do the right side of the motif.  Extra work, but I'm a glutton for punishment.  Or, you could buy 2 of these stencils and just tape the whole motif together - if you choose that option and make a curtain, let me know how that worked out.
Available here for $2.99. Squee!!
I painted a sample on a piece of paper so that I could get the measurements.  Then I measured the curtain.  To figure out how many motifs you want on each row, divide the curtain width by the motif width and skip every other one.  Then on the next row, alternate and put the motifs under the spaces.  To figure out how many rows you want, measure the curtain length and the motif length and if needed, add in some space.

Large bottle of fabric paint (can get really cheaply at Walmart or Hobby Lobby/Michaels with a coupon.)
Stencil - (this is the part that can affect the price of the curtain.  If you use a coupon at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, you can probably get it for $2 or less.)
Foam brushes
Piece of cardboard or hard surface to put under curtain while stenciling
yard stick and flexible tape measure (like used for dressmaking.)

I have learned that I don't do anything precisely...even when I try.  It just doesn't work.  But usually it's close enough that my mistakes aren't super noticeable.  

1.  Lay the sheet flat on the floor with the cardboard underneath, moving it around as needed.  
2.  Place your stencil firmly where you want it and dab fabric paint all over with the foam brush.  Peel stencil off.  To keep the stenciling crisp, wash stencil off and dry each time.  This is a total pain, but it definitely makes a difference in the end result.
3.  Repeat for your overall pattern.
(Note - continue the pattern all the way, even if you're just doing partial motifs.  It looks more like actual fabric like that.  You can see on the bottom and sides of my curtain, I just have sections of the motif - it looked really weird without it.  Trust me.)

If you wanted this to be easier (albeit a little more expensive) you could buy a wall stencil that covers more area.  You can also get these at Hobby Lobby and use a 40% off coupon.  (In case you couldn't tell, I LOVE Hobby Lobby!!!!)

And that's it - you're all done!  I recognize that this takes a lot of work and is time-consuming, but I think the end result is totally worth it and your wallet will thank you ;)

(FYI - Our bathroom has terrible lighting...)

***I fully recognize that any amount of intelligence or creativity I have is a gift from God.  What I have been freely given, I freely give.  But if you choose to use these tutorials to sell items from, I would ask that you consider joining the Let Justice Flow Initiative, where you commit to donating either 10% of the total purchase price of each item, or designate a specific item for sale where the entire purchase price is donated to an organization that helps fight injustices around the world.  There are specific groups listed to give you an idea on the LJF page.  And feel free to snag the LJF button and put it on your page or etsy site.  Thanks!!***


  1. Good Job. I was going to buy a horribly price monogramed shower curtain for my daughter's old, new house but now I feel I can do it myself, wow.

  2. Thanks!! I'd love to see pictures when you're done :D

  3. How about buying a set of pillow cases and make a valance for the window(s) to match the new shower curtain....hhmmm just a thought.

    1. Make sure you post a pic with directions if you do it. Sounds like a good idea!!!!

  4. That's a great idea! I unfortunately don't have any windows in my bathrooms :( But if you make them, please do post a pic. I'd love to see it!


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