After reading this article, you’ll be well on your way to making your shower experience as green as possible. First, learn some surprising facts about why your shower curtain liner could be making you sick. Then, browse through an easy, straightforward tutorial for turning an ordinary bed sheet into an attractive new shower curtain. Complete your bathroom and be green at the same time.
First: Swap Your Shower Curtain Liner.
If you’ve ever purchased a new vinyl or plastic shower curtain liner, you’ve probably noticed that they stink to high heavens. Aside from being unpleasant, that odor contains damaging chemicals– like formaldehyde components– that aren’t healthy to breathe in. Fortunately, liners made from safe, non-toxic polyester and nylon are widely available. They work just as well as vinyl, AND they’re machine washable. Bonus!
Next: Make a Shower Curtain from a Sheet.
Shower Curtain Materials:
One woven cotton flat sheet, size full, queen, or king. Browsing thrift stores can often turn up attractive vintage sheets that are perfect for this project.
At least twelve drapery clip rings, 3″ round. These are found in the window treatments section of any “big box” store. I bought two packs of seven, and ended up using 13 rings for my shower curtain.
A sewing machine
A tape measure
The first step is determining what size shower curtain will fit your space. Most standard curtains measure 72″ wide by 72″ long. Measure your shower stall width and the curtain pole distance from the floor to determine if these measurements will work for you. I measured my space and decided to go with the standard size. Next, set your sheet up for tearing.
You will be tearing along two sides to make your sheet the right size for the project. I like to keep the top edge of the sheet intact– it usually has a wider “lip” and sometimes decorative stitching, as well. I like to use this edge for the bottom of my curtain, as it has a more finished look. Measure your preferred shower curtain width and length on your sheet, then add two inches to each dimension. As you can see in the photo, I marked at 72″, then added two inches to make 74.” Seventy-four inches is where I made a small cut and tore my shower curtain the rest of the way down.
The next step is finishing three of the four edges of your sheet. Assuming you’re leaving the top edge of the sheet intact (to make an attractive bottom for your shower curtain), you’ll be finishing the edges that will become the top and two sides of your shower curtain. Heat up your iron to start the finishing process.
Lay your sheet wrong side-up on the ironing board. Starting with one of the side edges of your shower curtain, (as opposed to the top edge), use your fingers to fold in about 1/4-1/2″ from the edge. Press with the iron as you go along.
Repeat this step over again, taking the edge that’s already been turned over once and turning it over again, so the raw edge of your sheet is neatly encased in the fold. Press, and gently pin the folded edge.
Thread your sewing machine with coordinating thread, and sew all the way down the double-folded edge, pulling out the pins as you go. It’s a long seam, but keep in mind that you only have to sew three of them to finish your shower curtain!
One edge of your shower curtain should now look like this:
Finish the remaining side edge and top edge of your sheet, using the steps above.
Once all three edges are finished, you’re essentially done! Lay your new shower curtain out, and use a tape measure or grid to space the clip rings out evenly along the top edge. I spaced mine every six inches.
And now for the best part: hang it up! If your shower curtain rod is screwed into the wall, you’ll need a screwdriver or drill to remove the pole and slide on the clip rings.
Note: This shower curtain is not intended to be used without a liner! Please consider a liner made from polyester or nylon, not vinyl.
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial! A shower curtain is a terrific beginning sewing project, and a great chance to practice basic sewing skills, like finishing those edges!
Making a shower curtain like this is a much better choice than buying something new. By completing this project, you’re re-purposing something possibly destined for the landfill, and giving new life to a neglected or under-used item. And nothing can beat being able to say, “Like my shower curtain? I made it myself!”