How to make a ruffled shower curtain

How to make a ruffled shower curtain

I didn't intend to make a shower curtain as a part of my bathroom project. My current curtain is perfectly sufficient and I like it a lot.

But. There's a ruffled curtain in the bathroom featuring the corrugated metal surround, and I love the look.  To be completely honest, I love ruffles.

You can buy ruffled curtains at Anthropologie or Target.

Which is fine – I've paid full-price for a shower curtain before. Not a big deal.

But what really got me thinking about making my own is this blog post by an interior designer, who made ruffle-making seem easy.

I'd purchased a queen-sized white cotton sheet at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I planned to use it as a drop cloth, but it turned out to be far too big to work effectively in my bathroom.

But it was clean, unstained and made of a nice material, so I thought I'd just try the ruffled shower curtain idea. I sew, but not well. However, I figured this couldn't be harder than whipping up a few hems and sewing in a straight line. I was right, and I couldn't be happier with the results. Here's how I did it.

A shower curtain generally measures about 72 inches by 72 inches. A queen-sized flat sheet is larger than that. I measured and snipped a cut at 72 inches along the bottom of the sheet, and ripped it from there for a straight edge. I did the same along its length, making sure I left two seamed sides and ripped off the top of the sheet, where the edge is doubled over.

I hemmed the two rough sides and ironed the entire sheet, and ripped the remaining fabric into long strips 3 inches wide.

I cut a couple of those strips down to be about 8 inches long and ran them through my sewing machine as the curtain how-to blog indicates, folding the fabric under to ruffle it as I sewed. The ruffled result was about 4 inches long.

I sewed the ruffled strips into loops to what I decided was the top of the curtain, about 6 inches apart. Doubled over, the loops were 2 inches long.

I then started attaching the long strips of fabric onto the curtain,  and ruffling it as I sewed. I was going for a flowy, soft look, so I didn't bother to finish the edges of the ruffles. You could probably hem them, but it would dramatically increase the time and frustration of this project.

I attached two rows of ruffles to the top of the curtain (actually, the second row was added to hide a couple mistakes from attaching the first) and one row at the bottom. I later added two more rows at the bottom, because without them, it looked a little like an '80s lampshade.

I used standard shower rings to attach the curtain, but if you make your loops big enough, you probably could put the shower rod right through them. Just don't forget to use a liner.

And that's it – a pretty new shower curtain for the cost of a resold sheet and some quality time with my sewing machine.

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Julie Wurth wrote on July 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm
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I wasn't sure what to expect, but I love this! Very cute!

Meg Dickinson wrote on July 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm
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Thank you!