Tutorial: How to Make a Striped Shower Curtain

I hope you’ll will forgive me for postponing the master closet reveal for one more day. Blame it on the UPS guy (again), but I just couldn’t share the finished result before it was actually finished!

Instead I’m going to share a little tutorial on a DIY project inspired by this post. Remember on Friday how excited I was when my new shower curtain arrived?


And how disappointed I was when the color wasn’t the yellow I was looking for?

After about 6 hours of googling every shower curtain known to man, I decided I would just have to make my own.  With a little encouragement from my pals Liz and Holly, I started doing some experiments on the best way to paint stripes on fabric.

The solution I came up with?  Good ol’ fabric paint on a flat white sheet!

Tutorial: How to Make a Striped Shower Curtain

Step 1: Wash and dry your sheet.  I used a white full-size flat sheet from Walmart.  8 bucks baby!

Step 2: Fold the top hem of the sheet in half and iron it down.  This is to reinforce the top edge of the (future) shower curtain and to make the proportions look right.

Step 3: Then sew along the original seam in the top hem of the sheet.

Step 4: Measure the top seam and use pins to mark where the holes for your shower curtain hooks will go. My sheet ended up being about 77″ wide after washing and drying, and I needed to make 12 holes.  With one at each end, that ended up being 11″ between pins.

Step 5: Get ready to make button holes!  Mark the top and bottom of a button hole where you placed each pin.

Mine were about 1/2″ from the top edge of the sheet and about 3/4″ long.

Step 6: Using a zig zag stitch, sew the edges of your button hole.

Step 7: Cut out the center of the button hole.  (There’s probably an easier way to make button holes, but this is the only way I know how!)

Step 8: Hang your shower curtain as high as you will want it and pin the bottom edge for hemming if necessary. I decided to use this opportunity to make the curtain longer than standard.  About 10″ from the ceiling looked right, and I ended up cutting off maybe 8″ for the bottom hem.

Step 9: Hem the bottom edge.  I used iron-on hem tape for mine (SICK of sewing after those darn botton holes!) 🙂

Step 10: It’s getting close to paintin’ time!  Lay out your shower curtain on a flat, protected surface and measure the length.

Step 11: Decide how many stripes you want and mark the edges.  I went with 9 stripes about 9-1/4″ wide each.  Here’s a tip – use a marker the color of your paint to make your marks.

Ahhh, the return of the Frog Tape.  If you’ll remember my disastrous closet stripe experience with Frog Tape, you might think I’m crazy to trust that stuff with my striped shower curtain.  Luckily I did a quick test on an extra piece of fabric beforehand, and I’m happy to say it worked great!

Step 12: Tape along the edges of your lines and get ready for the fun part. 🙂

Step 13: Paint your stripes! I used about 2.5 tubes of this Tulip Soft Fabric Paint in Sunshine Yellow and 2 foam brushes when it was all said and done.

Just be careful not to get any paint on the parts that are supposed to stay white!

Step 14: Once the stripes have been painted, pull off the tape and gasp at the beauty that is your very own striped shower curtain!

What do you think?

Want to know the best part? No, it’s not that now the shower curtain is the exact length I want it to be.  No, it’s not that the stripes are now the perfect shade of yellow.

The best part is the PRICE!

Full Sheet: $8
Fabric Paint: $12
Frog Tape: Leftover from this project
Total: $20

Compared to $39.00 at West Elm?  I think I won!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial.  Don’t ever think you have to settle for pre-made, high-priced items if there’s any chance you can make them yourself!

Thank you sooo much for reading and come back tomorrow for the master closet reveal!

Linking to:
Newbie Party at Debbiedoo’s

The DIY Show Off Photobucket Serenity Now Crafty Cutter Party

The Lettered Cottage  http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

Show and Tell Green Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Black Kats Design  http://www.thethriftyhome.com

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating Beyond The Picket Fence

The DIY Show Off

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100 Responses to Tutorial: How to Make a Striped Shower Curtain

  1. Shellie says:

    Ohh, it’s fabulous! Great job.

  2. Morgan says:

    OK, now THAT is impressive!! I love how it turned out and I love how you were not about to let the man get ya down. haha! =]


  3. Looks fabulous, Meredith!!! Much better than the West Elm version.

  4. Mel says:

    You are such a brave soul. I just know my lines wouldn’t be straight.

    It really looks fantastic!

  5. Alaina says:

    This looks awesome and so does the price!! you are so creative!

  6. That’s a great project! I love that it only cost you $20, it’s the PERFECT color and it’s the exact length that you wanted. I love how the yellow pops in there. Beautifully done!

  7. Erin says:

    Oh I love the sunshiney yellow color! What a fun shower curtain to gaze upon every morning, especially knowing you created it.

  8. Definitely better than pukey green yellow. It is soooo cute!

  9. Vicky says:

    You are a brave, creative soul! I would not have attempted anything like this…I promise I would’ve bought a solid white one and called it done! I found you through “The House Creative” Meet Up Monday. Glad to “meet you”! Now, I am a fan!!


  10. miss obara says:

    How simple is that! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Chris says:

    I am seriously thinking of painting some striped curtains for my front living room! This is awesome. Thanks for sharing! Thanks for stopping by my blog too! I am a new follower.

  12. debbie says:

    Girl that is amazing!!~ How awesome and that is what I call thinking outside the box. So glad you found my blog and my newbie party. I look forward to seeing more of your creative ideas. XO

  13. Cannot wait to make this – it’s the color of my bathroom and I’ve been looking for a shower curtain & couldn’t find one I liked. I LOVE this one. Thank you! Sincerely, Cindy Eckhart

  14. Sami G says:

    I love your shower curtain! You did a great job.

  15. Kathrine says:

    The shower curtain is perrrfect! Love yellow in the bathroom! Great job.

  16. Jen says:

    Great idea! Shower curtains can get so expensive so this is a total steal!

  17. Yay!!! It turned out fabulous – and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself 🙂

  18. Hi, Meredith! This was such a great step-by-step post. My sewing machine does button holes the same way. I use a seam ripper to carefully (!) cut the center out. But I’ve only done it once. 😉

    Your shower curtain turned out beautifully, and for a way better price! Thanks for linking this up to my “I {Heart} My Crafty Cutter” party. Have fun finding some neat crafty inspiration, and I hope you’ll visit Serenity Now again soon. 🙂

  19. Hannah says:

    awesome!!! i am stealing your idea! i washed, dried, and shrunk the shower curtain in my kids’ bathroom 3 months ago…and have had nothing but a liner up ever since! everything i love is too expensive, and everything that is cheap is ugly! thanks so much for the idea! 🙂

  20. Debbie says:

    Love your shower curtain. I will try that for my guest bathroom. Last week I painted a table cloth to match the napkins that my daughter wanted to use for my grandaughters first birthday party that I hosted. It turned out really cute to.

  21. I love this. I am currently thinking about updating my bathroom and you’ve given me something to think about. I don’t know if I can deal with the button holes though. I’m not that patient. 🙂

  22. Okay. You rock. This is so cool. Love the look and your tutorial makes it seem like I could do this too. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. Wow, that turned out great! I never though to paint a shower curtain!
    Also, I have a great Dove chocolate giveaway going on right now so please stop by and enter: http://eyespydiy.blogspot.com/2011/02/dove-chocolate-discoveries-giveaway.html

    Katie @ Eye Spy DIY

  25. Emily says:

    Looks great! Who knew frog tape works on fabric? Love the yellow!

  26. skye says:

    this looks awesome! i have been thinking about turning a sheet into a shower curtain – i am glad to see that it comes out great! i have one question though – how is the no-sew tape working out in the bathroom? i don’t have a sewing maching but i am a pretty much self-proclaimed master at stitch-witchery but i had some reservations about using it in a humid environment. does it seem to be holding up well? anyhoo- lovely work!

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Skye,
      To tell you the truth, I didn’t think about the moisture + stitch-witchery issues at all! It seems to be doing fine so far, but we’ve only taken about 4-5 showers since the curtain has been up. I did notice that the bottom hem (the only one I used hem tape on) got much stiffer once it was painted, almost like the paint helped glue it together even more.
      You’ve definitely given me something to think about, but hopefully the hem will last for a long time to come. Thanks for the comment!

  27. This is fantastic. I was wanting to make something similar myself but was too scared… now I know how to do it! Thanks so much for sharing. I am your newest follower.
    Humble Homemaking

  28. Bravo! I just did striped drapes so I know how much work it is. I love the shower curtain. The color is amazing and your stripes are perfect. Well done.

  29. Aroura says:

    Thank-you so much for posting this! I’ve been wanting to make my own, but wondering what material to use for the curtain itself. Awesomeness!

  30. Wow! Wow! Wow!
    Thanks for the detailed instructions. Maybe I’ll tackle this project myself someday.

  31. Condo Blues says:

    I sewed a shower curtain but didn’t like that it had seams unlike the store bought curtains. I never thought of using a sheet!

  32. Molly says:

    SO SO pretty! i love the color, the stripes – everything! we just made pottery barn inspired pillows using the same fabric paint and now we’re addicted!


  33. nikki says:

    I found your site from the Shabby Nest, and I absolutely love the shower curtain! I think I’ll be trying that really soon!

  34. Mrs Lemon says:

    Would you think that spraying waterproofer on it would seal up the paint and make it more durable? I love this! I’m thinking of painting my (small) bathroom Behr Village Square, and I think this idea would be fantastic with that robin’s egg blue shade everyone in blogland is painting dressers 🙂

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Mrs Lemon!
      A blue version of this shower curtain would be beautiful! I’m not sure if a waterproofer would improve the durability, but I would definitely consider it if the paint starts to show signs of wear over time. So far so good though!
      Thanks for the visit and good luck with yours,
      🙂 Meredith

  35. shannon says:

    Very chic, good job!

  36. Great job! When you can’t find what you want, try to make it yourself.
    It is a great shade of yellow… I bet it makes the space feel more sunny, too.

  37. Jennifer says:

    That turned out GREAT! I may consider doing this for my bathroom, but in white and plum. Is the fabric paint washable and easy?

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Jennifer,
      The fabric paint was really easy to apply (I used a couple of foam brushes). The bottle said it was washable after maybe 72 hours?, so I would think it would be just fine in the wash. I made sure to pre-shrink my sheet before starting to paint, so hopefully I won’t have to wash the curtain too many times. The only suggestion for plum stripes I’d have is to buy more paint than you think you’ll need (I used almost 3 bottles), since you may have to do more than one coat with a darker color.
      Good luck!

  38. Trisha says:

    This looks fabulous! I love the color and will look great with the towels you have. Well done.

  39. Yolanda @ miss refashionista says:

    100% awesome!! I want to try this with chevron…

  40. Clydia says:

    wow – YOU DID A GREAT JOB!!!

  41. MElanie says:

    This is so awesome, I was just wondering if I could transform my shower curtain somehow. Thanks for sharing! I found you through Debbiedoo’s and am now a follower. I would love for you to come check out my blog as well!


  42. It looks SO PERFECT!!!!! I’m behind on my blog reading so I’m just now seeing this but I am in love – you did such a great job! And you even made button holes?!? Color me impressed.

  43. Wow it looks great, such an awesome pop of color!

    I was looking at those towels just the other day, great minds 🙂


  44. holly says:

    I love this! Found you over at DIY Showoff. I have been searching for fabric like that but I guess I too will have to make some.

  45. Jamie says:

    What a beautiful shower curtain. I’m your newest follower. I would love it if you linked your project up to my link party.
    More The Merrier Monday.


  46. Christine says:

    I love this! You did a great job girl!

  47. Hey –

    I LOVE your tutorial and might be trying it soon if it wins my survey. I linked your project here, http://twentysomethingtransue.blogspot.com/2011/03/curtian-inspiration.html Thanks!!

  48. Jill says:

    Love this! I’ve been trying to find a striped brown and white duvet for my son’s bed. I was beginning to think that I’d need to buy the fabric and piece everything together but this gives me an even better idea (and cheaper too!) Thank you! Oh – and it looks fabulous!

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  51. Awesome, I have been contemplating doing the same thing. You just can’t find a simple striped shower curtain anywhere.

  52. Brook says:

    I LOVE the shower curtain!! It turned out fantastic! I found a white curtain on clearance for $1 and have been waiting for the perfect project to use it on! Did you have to do anything to set the fabric paint? Have you washed it yet?

    • Meredith says:

      Hi Brook,
      To answer your questions, I haven’t washed the curtain yet, but I pre-washed the sheet and dried it on HOT before getting started. I also didn’t set the fabric paint, but the steamy bathroom hasn’t seemed to affect the paint in any way so far. I did paint a sample stripe on an extra scrap of similar fabric to test my painter’s tape idea, so I guess I could try to wash the painted scrap before washing the shower curtain when the time comes.
      Thanks for the questions and good luck if you try this out!

  53. Becky says:

    I <3 it!!! Turned out great!

  54. Wonderful tutorial. Thanks for being precise and taking enough pictures to really teach us all how. It turned out really great.

  55. Wow! great job – I just came across your site in search of a striped shower curtain but now I will definitely look around more

  56. Allison says:

    I recently made similar curtains, only I sewed the stripes on instead of painting them. I wish I had trusted the painting idea more, because the stripes were quite hard to sew on perfectly straight. My curtains look amazing when pulled off to the side of the window, and a little um…crooked when closed. But I made them myself!! And it took forever to do- cut the stripes, hem them, pin to curtain, sew, ahhh.

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  58. Alicia says:

    Hi! i love this DIY curtain idea! I am planning on doing it myself but just wanted to ask if you have yet washed the curtains? Want to make sure the fabric paint is washable?

    • Meredith says:

      I haven’t washed our shower curtain yet, Alicia, sorry! The fabric paint is supposed to be washable, but since I pre-washed the curtain before painting it, I don’t know that first hand. I have seen lots of painted curtains on Pinterest though – maybe you could ask if others have had success washing theirs?
      Wish I was more help, but good luck with your curtains! Let me know if you decide to go for it.

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  60. amy says:

    almost a year later, i’m wondering how this is holding up? i’m on the hunt for a perfect shower curtain and have essentially decided that the only way to get what i want is to paint it myself. i found this blog through a google search; wouldn’t you know you did almost exactly what i want to do (except i want to use metallic gold paint and do chevrons)?

    how is this holding up? have you tried washing it yet?

    • Meredith says:

      Hey Amy,
      Thanks for the question! The curtain is holding up great, but I haven’t washed it yet. We use clear plastic curtain liners in our shower that we change out every 6 months or so, so this curtain has stayed pretty clean and dry.
      Good luck if you make your own curtain! I’d love to see how it turns out!

  61. B. McLane says:

    This is the same method that I use to make mine! I do the stripes on fabric so that my customers can keep it from fading during washing it in a machine or dry cleaning the shower curtains.

    Fabric shower curtains are definitely the way to go. I paint shower curtains for a living, and using a fabric canvas makes it very easy on me. My customers love it.

  62. I have had the exact same experience with West Elm. I saw the striped yellow shower curtain on their website and ordered it the same day. I couldn’t wait for a bright yellow shower curtain! I was so disappointed when it arrived and I realized it is kind of a newborn-poopish color. Yuck! I’ve had it in my bathroom for a few weeks trying to “will” myself to like it, but I think after seeing your post I’m going to return the West Elm one and paint one myself. Thanks for the inspiration and motivation!

  63. Cathy Reynolds says:

    I could not believe when I read your shower curtain dilma. Not only did this happen to me put with the same W E pukey green yellow shower curtain. I also purchased the matching (?) stripped bath rug whitch I love the color. I call it mustard. It surprized me that the company did not match up the shower curtain color with the stripped rug. And yes I find you by Googling for a yellow and white stripped shower curtain.

    Thanks for your inspiration and solution.

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  65. Kathleen says:

    I too have been eying the west elm shower curtain, but in gray. I went to order it but it was back-ordered for almost a month. I’m way too impatient to wait that long, so I googled diy painted shower curtain and found your tutorial. Thanks so much for posting all of the details!

    I pinned it and I am going to link back here in my own blog post, I hope you don’t mind 🙂

  66. Chelsea says:

    I absolutely love it! I’ve used sheets to make curtains plenty of times in our house, but never thought to make my own shower curtain (DUH!). Thanks so much…totally going to buy the materials for this project ASAP! 🙂

  67. elle says:

    Another quick and inexpensive way is spray paint. It melds into the fibres of the fabric really nicely and is nice and soft. It fades a little after washing quite a bit, but I enjoy that warm, cozy look. I highly suggest it.

  68. Jade says:

    This is the best striped curtain tutorial I have found online! I absolutely love the colour, it’s exactly what I want. You haven’t found the colours to leak or bleed with the hot steam in the bathroom, though? That would be my only concern… How does it deal with water/steam?

  69. Ashley says:

    I was really hoping you could tell me where you got the hand towels! I love them and have been trying to find something similar all day. Thanks for your post I bought a sheet today!

  70. Marybeth says:

    This is fabulous! I too have been searching the Internet for the perfect navy stripped shower curtain to match a rug for my son’s bathroom! I also ordrred thsf shower curtain from West Elm and revived it today… The Dusty Navy is definately not the navy I was going for! My son is 7 weeks old and I do not have the time or space or the to paint… Would you consider painting one for me… I would pay for it!! Here is his rug: http://mobile.walmart.com/m/phoenix;jsessionid=7344782783F03A3E9DFD304B64179EA1#ip/Momeni-Lil-Mo-Hipster-Surf-Contemporary-Kids-Rug/14615674

  71. Bethany says:

    Awesome! I was just about to order the gray and white striped shower curtain! I’m going to try this but using gray!

  72. DJ says:

    I am so glad I came across your site showing how to paint your own shower curtain! I have been looking for the past year to find a yellow and white striped shower curtain or any yellow and white striped material (vertical stripes). My bathroom is all black and white with yellow walls (retro looking) and I have an almost clear shower curtain up, but wanted to hang yellow and white stripped curtains just on both ends of the tub to have a more finished look. Your site has given me hope that I can get my bathroom completely done now. Thanks so much.

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  74. morgan says:

    I love this! and i never would have thought about painting a shower curtain! i’m going to start with a trail curtain for the master bathroom, and if all goes well, i’m going to do all the curtains in my new home! I do have a question though that no one seemed to ask. Can i use a laytex base paint instead? i have the color that i want, Cool Lava by Behr, but i just cant find the same color in a “fabric paint”. do you think it would be safe to use this pain tto achieve the same look?! Thanks!

  75. Mallory says:

    Found your tutorial via Pinterest and started my shower curtain yesterday. I went with grey stripes. It came out so well!!! Thank you for a great idea and resource!

  76. mary w. says:

    This came outbgreat! I followed a link on Curbly to get here this morning, and my only suggestion would be that your pins look like they are seven inches apart for the button holes, but your description says eleven. The math teacher in me wants this to be perfect!

  77. mary w. says:

    “outbgreat?” Why doesn’t spell check show up when I need it? LOL

  78. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! I am soooo doing this to brighten up my kids’ bathroom and make it fun and inviting. I do have a question though about how you got those stripes so straight. I saw you measured and marked, but what about when you were putting your tape all the way across? How did you keep it so straight? Any tips?

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  81. Laura Carswell says:

    looks great and the potential for ease of deco change wow – about the only thing I’d have done different would be to use gromets instead of button holes – a hammer a gromet setter and about half the time

  82. Avril Ivan says:

    Love the idea and ready to try this DIY project.

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