As an interior designer, I often challenge my clients to do something unexpected in their powder room. Choose a wild wallpaper, a bold color or an extravagant light fixture. I painted my own powder room orange. This bright color works in a small space because the fixtures, cabinet and counter are white. Since the “personality” is on the walls, the accessories needed to be calmer, so I chose grey accents. Investing in a new shower curtain, set of towels or even a soap dish is an easy way to update a bathroom instantly.
There are many shower curtains available in various colors and patterns, but sometimes you just can’t find the perfect shade. In that case, I often look to drapery panels and tablecloths for a DIY shower curtain. The advantage to using ready-made items is that they come in wide widths and are already hemmed.
This grey and white tablecloth in a quatrefoil pattern is 60 inches wide by 107 inches long. A standard shower curtain is 70 to 72 inches wide by 70 to 72 inches long. My tablecloth is narrower than that standard, but I knew I could make it work.
I wanted a shower curtain 76 inches long, which is longer than normal. I added 4 inches for the bottom hem and 3 inches for the top. Overall, I needed an 83-inch piece of fabric. I cut off the excess length and had enough left over to make a table runner.
Fold and press the bottom and top hems and sew them using matching thread and a sewing machine.
Ready-made shower curtains either have grommets or buttonholes to attach the curtain to the rod. Making buttonholes are a challenge for even the most experience seamstress, so I decided on silver tone grommets. They come in a variety of sizes, finishes and shapes at the local fabric store.
Every shower curtain requires 12 hooks. There is a formula for calculating the spacing between grommets. My fabric width is 60 inches, and I need 12 grommets. The end grommets will be 1 inch from the edge.
60 inches minus 2 inches = 58 inches
12 grommets = 11 spaces
58 inches divided by 11 = 5.2 inches
So the space between my grommets is 5.2 inches. It’s okay to fudge it a bit to get it close! I used pins to mark the spot. Each grommet is 5/8 inches from the top edge.
Following the directions on the package, trace a circle on your mark, cut out the hole and attach the grommets. It takes a hammer, a bread board and lots of pounding!
I like the traditional pattern on the fabric, but it needed a bit of trim, to coordinate with the rest of the room. Ribbon would work, but frankly, it’s boring and expected. I love to wander through home stores, fabric and craft shops looking for inspiration. This time, I found it in the zipper aisle. I purchased a 60-inch separating zipper (the kind you find on jackets) and sewed to the top just like any ribbon or trim.
It’s an unexpected touch—guests will do a double take!
The usual shower curtain hooks wouldn’t do, so I bought two 18-inch zippers in grey, removed the stopper, pulled them apart and cut them in thirds.
I looped each piece of zipper through the new curtain and the liner and sewed the ends together. It’s easiest to do by hand with a needle and thread. In one afternoon, you can redecorate your powder room with a completely unique shower curtain. Your guests will be impressed when you tell them, “I did it myself!”
Merri Cvetan is a Wisconsin-based interior designer who writes about her DIY projects, including bathroom decor, for The Home Depot. Merri often draws inspiration for her clients through DIY configurations that she creates in her own home. For a complete selection of shower curtains and liners available at Home Depot, click here.