This drop cloth shower curtain
is such an easy way to add the farmhouse touch to your bathroom on a budget and with minimal sewing skills! Let’s jump right in to the project!
Over the last couple of weeks
we have been completing small projects to update our bathrooms. We started with replacing the linoleum flooring in both of our bathrooms for only $150 using Shaw Vinyl Plank Flooring in a pattern that resembles wood planks. The floor was installed first in the guest bathroom and then in the master bathroom. Be sure to check out the before and afters in those posts! The guest bathroom flooring project includes a tutorial for laying the flooring down yourself!
After the flooring was finished, we decided to tackle some of the other projects in the master bathroom. One of those projects was to replace the shower curtain. Not a big project by any means if you plan on purchasing a pre-made shower curtain. But being the reinventer I am, I chose to make one from supplies I had on hand.
Yes, yes I know I could just go purchase a pre-made shower curtain and there is certainly nothing wrong with that! The hand made look is more in line with our home.
The shower curtain that we had before was a length of upholstery fabric I found on clearance. I just hemmed it and made a pocket at the top for the pole to hold it leaving the selvages edges un-hemmed. I also made a small valance out of the the same fabric to cover the rest of the hanging pole. You can see here this shower curtain was for decorative purposes only. I use a neutral colored shower curtain liner to prevent the shower water from going all over the place!
Maybe you are wondering what I will do with that gorgeous paisley fabric? I definitely will be reinventing it for another project in the future! In fact, a pair of folding rocking chairs has been screaming for that paisley fabric for their reupholstery needs!! Stay tuned for that project!
The soft gold paisley print
was perfect in our master bathroom but I just wanted a change. Painters drop cloth would be the perfect fabric for the neutral look I am aiming for in our home. I also love the texture that the drop cloth provides.
Let’s talk supplies for this project!
- painters drop-cloth 6’x9′ (mine measured 9’x12′)
- scissors & sewing machine
- Aleen’s Stop Fraying
- curtain rod and curtain hangers
The drop cloth is stiff right out of the package so in the washer on the hot water cycle with a bit of laundry soap it went. The color of the drop cloth was a bit darker than what I wanted so I filled a 5-gallon bucket with bleach water and placed the wet drop cloth in it, making sure it was completely submerged. In fact, I used landscaping rocks to hold it under the surface of the water ;). I did rinse off the large rocks first! It sat in the bucket for a couple of days. Then back into the washer on the rinse and spin cycle.
After drying it on the highest heat setting, I was ready to start the cutting. My drop cloth measured 9′ x 12′ and had been purchased for another project. Patience is not my virtue so ordering another drop cloth for this project was not going to happen! Drop cloths can be purchased in a 6’x9′ for around $10-$15. The one I already had on hand was about $20. Also, keep in mind the weight of the fabric. A drop cloth that says it is 6oz is a looser weave and very textural. Just what I wanted.
The first step
is to determine how long you want the shower curtain to hang. We will be using the 9′ direction of the drop cloth for this. Keep in mind where you will place the pole that it will hang from and also the length of the liner that you will hang with it (if you choose.) I wanted this decorative shower curtain to hang on the same pole as the liner, unlike the previous shower curtain that used two separate hanging poles, one for the liner and one for the decorative paisley fabric. There is no need to make any cuts in this step. Just jot down the finished length you want the shower curtain to be.
The next measurement is the width.
**If you purchase a 6’x9′ drop cloth you can skip this step! The standard size for a shower curtain is 72″x72″ or 6’x6′.
I used the width of the liner and added a few inches to add a bit of fullness to the shower curtain. Cut off the extra fabric and leave an additional 1″-1 1/2″ on each side for hemming.
The side hems are stitched first.
For the side hems, iron a fold at the 1″- 1 1/2″ alllowance ( whatever you chose). You will see in the next steps how to take care of the raw edges.
Double fold the hem and place it under the presser foot of the sewing machine. You can use a pin to hold it as well. Stitch a few stitches to hold it and keep the needle in the fabric to hold it tightly for the next step. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning to secure the threads.
About 10″-11″ away from the presser foot, fold a double fold again. The area between your hand and the presser foot does not need to be folded just yet. Keep reading my friend!
Use your other hand and tuck the raw edge under. Gently smooth to make sure it is all tucked in and start stitching. Go slowly if you are not confident. But after you have done this a few times you will get the hang of it I am sure!
Stitch all the way up to your right hand that was holding the double fold in the first step and start over. You will work this way holding and tucking about 10″-11″ at a time until you get to the end. This method is a time saver because you only iron the first fold, not both folds and you don’t have to deal with pinning.
When you have reached the end, be sure the edges line up nicely. You can pin here like you did at the beginning if that makes you feel better. 🙂 Back stitch at the end to secure the threads. Repeat the same steps for the other side hem.
The next step is the top ‘valance.’
This is not a true valance because it is attached to the shower curtain, but adding it brings another layer to the shower curtain and I like that :). Right sides together, fold down the amount of valance that looks good to you. I folded down 10″ but you can vary this number as you see best! You can even fold enough so that you won’t have to hem the bottom! That saves another step!
Notice that the side hems will show their wrong sides. This is just another way to add texture to the curtain. Plus, I think it adds to the farmhouse feel of the whole shower curtain!
I good ironing smoothed it all out nicely. I did use pins to secure the loose part of the valance as I stitched about 2″ away from the fold. You probably don’t have a 2″ guide mark on your sewing machine so measure out from the needle and place a piece of painters tape to help guide you along as you stitch.
I chose a 2″ mark to leave enough room for the button holes.
The next step
is to mark the buttonholes that will be used by the shower curtain hooks. My drop cloth shower curtain is wider than the liner so I wasn’t able to use the liner to mark the buttonholes. Instead, I used this little trick I found on Pinterest!
Mark a piece of stretchy elastic using the same amount of button holes that the liner has. Mine has 12 and I think that is pretty standard. The hooks that you purchase for shower curtains come in packs of 12.
Then stretch the elastic to fit the width of the shower curtain. Place pins at each mark on the elastic. The buttonholes will be within the 2″ sewing line in the previous step. I should also mention that my ironing board is extra large and has padding in it. I was able to place a pin in the end of the elastic to hold it while I stretched it and marked the buttonholes. If you can’t pin into your ironing surface, try a safety pin to secure it to the fabric covering of your ironing board.
Notice the direction of the pins in the image below. I do this so that I can easily pull the pin out as I start the buttonhole.
If you are uncomfortable sewing buttonholes, here are two options:
- ask your local sewing shop if they provide a buttonhole service. You can have the markings ready before you take it to the store and they will stitch the buttonholes for you!
- instead of the standard shower curtain hooks sold in the bath department, choose clip-style with rings that are sold in the curtain department. No buttonholes necessary!
Aleene’s Stop Fraying is a great product to, well, stop the fraying of threads. ;). I put a bit on each buttonhole before I clip them open. It is great on button threads as well. They are a bit more secure with this little magic 🙂
Here is a tip
I learned way back in school for cutting buttonholes. Yep, I actually had sewing classes in school – all four years of high school!
Place a pin at the end of the button hole that you are cutting towards to prevent cutting through the end. It’s that simple!
Next was the bottom hem.
**If you choose to make a wider valance than I did, you will have a different width for the hem or you might not need to hem at all!!
The length of the drop cloth was 9′ and I only wanted the shower curtain to be 80″ in length. Nine feet by the way, is 108″! Simple math here – 12″ in each foot. The added fold at the top to create the valance used up some of the extra but I needed to hem it to take care of the rest of the excess. I wanted a bottom hem because it would create weight at the bottom and the shower curtain would hang nicely.
You can see here how I measure – I loop the tape measure around my neck, measure the hem (mine was 11″), iron the fold and move to the next section. I measure then iron to save on marking and ironing later. Keep in mind your measurements can be different depending on the size of the drop cloth your choose and your desired finished length.
After the width has been measured and ironed, open the fold and then fold the pre-stitched bottom edge to the new fold you just created – see here in the image below? There, you got it!!
Be sure and pin the hem this time. The wide hem – mine was about 5 1/2″ – can be cumbersome and the pins will keep it together while you are stitching. Stitch about 1/4″ from the edge with the pins.
I decided to add another row of stitching about 1 1/2″ away from the edge for added detail. This is optional! You can see the two rows of stitching below.
All that is left to do is hang the shower curtain!
I already had the shower curtain rings but I did replace the pole. The previous pole was the standard spring-tension shower curtain rod sold in the shower curtain department of the box stores. To go along with the farmhouse vibe, our shower curtain is hung on a metal conduit pole purchased from the hardware store. It is used to protect electrical wires underground. The wood pieces on the wall are dowel rod support brackets. Ask for these at your hardware store when you purchase the conduit. I do plan on painting mine. 🙂
Having the lighter color
of shower curtain really brightens the bathroom! This bathroom is on the north side of our home and doesn’t get any sun until late in the day. It almost feels like I have an extra light on in the room!
So there you have it!
An easy DIY drop cloth shower curtain that brings the farm house feel to the bathroom! Can you believe it only took five straight seams? And even less seams to stitch if you made the easy changes I suggested! So simple!
- determine the finished desired width and length of the shower curtain
- cut, iron and hem the side seams
- measure, fold, iron and stitch the top ‘valance’
- measure, fold and stitch the bottom edge
- add buttonholes – or use clip style curtain rings
- hang the shower curtain and enjoy!
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I would love to hear if you tackle this easy project for your bathroom! Be sure to pin this for your bathroom redo!
Until next time, happy reinventing!