how to make a custom shower curtain

by | Sep 3, 2019 | All Things Home, Bathrooms, Decorating, My House, Sewing, Tutorials | 13 comments

As I shared in boy’s bathroom refresh, I made a custom shower curtain out of a curtain panel from Calvin’s former room in our PA house.  And, as promised, I’m sharing how I did it!

This is one of those sewing projects where you just need to sew a semi-straight line and you’ll be okay.

For this project, I used decorator-width fabric, which was 56″ prior to hemming and a shower stall liner, which is 54 x 78″.  This is taller than a standard shower curtain, filling the visual vertical space better (in my opinion.)  It is narrower than a traditional shower curtain, though, so I will make two.

One tip – it’s nice to use a fabric for this project that looks good from both sides.  That way, you don’t have to look at the “backside” of the fabric and/or you don’t have to make a liner.

Start off by hemming all four sides of the curtain.  Make sure you have enough fabric to allow for the hems.  For example, for a 78″ shower liner, I would cut the fabric to about 88-90″ long, so I have plenty of room to make nice, deep hems.  To hem the fabric, fold it over once and then a second time.  Pin in place or use an iron to make a crease.

Sebastian was being so helpful…

Sew the hem in place and repeat on the remaining three sides, making sure the measurement of your hems work with the dimensions of your liner.

Line up the top of the liner with the back side of the top of the curtain.

Mark the location of each hole with a pencil…

There are a couple of directions you can go at this point.  If you want to go the no-sew route, you can use a grommet-making kit, but I decided to make buttonholes.  That decision meant breaking out all of my sewing machine feet as well as the instruction manual.  I have done plenty of buttonholes, but I only do it every few years and I have a knack for completely forgetting how to make them in between projects.

And, I had actually never made buttonholes on this particular sewing machine.  (I am using the Singer Heavy Duty 4411 Sewing Machine.)  It ended up being very easy, though, because this machine had dial settings for each buttonhole step.

(As a side note, I have an upholstery machine, a Sailrite LS-1.  I use that machine for all of my slipcovers and upholstery work, but it just sews in a straight line.  It doesn’t have bells and whistles and doesn’t do any fancy stitches.  So, I have a less expensive machine to do buttonholes and a few other things.)

Anyway, the first thing I had to remember was how to attach the foot to the machine.  After picking through a box of feet, bobbins, and pieces, I found the connector.  I actually found two different ones, so I thought I would show both in case yours looks like one or the other.  (The long piece is the buttonhole foot.)

The connector hooks onto the little bar on the foot and then screws onto the machine.

There is an adjustable piece at the back of the buttonhole foot that is meant to hold the button you’re making holes for.  This will ensure that your hole will fit your button.  Since I wasn’t making a hole for a specific button, but for curtain rings, I just used a dime.

Once the foot is on the machine, I always do a test hole on a scrap piece of fabric just to practice.

Once I’ve had a successful practice, I sew a buttonhole on each mark on the curtain…

I use a seam ripper to make a hole in the fabric and then trim any threads.

And, that’s it!

I am glad I was able to reuse something I loved from our last house and it adds some great pattern to this bathroom makeover.


  1. Denise Goetz

    I have made a few shower curtains in my time but my favorite was made from a sheet. I found a twin size, oxford cloth Ralph Lauren sheet for 7 dollars (this is years ago!). It was the perfect width for a regular shower. I used the top of the sheet for the top of the curtain and just added button holes and hemmed it. The extra fabric that I cut off the bottom made a perfect valance for the bathroom window.

  2. Susan

    I used a curtain panel for our shower and hemmed it. I was too lazy to do anything but cut small slits with a tiny scissors to attach the shower rings. So far, 3 boys and 2 adults using this one shower have not managed to rip it in 2 years. I prefer the look of yours with the holes finished. Also, I know youve painted other cabinets in your house, and you could here as well, but am loving the look of the wood vanity with the blue accents. It looks like a boy’s bathroom but is still pretty enough for guests

  3. Cricket

    Beautiful!!! Boyish and fun, but still sooo pretty for guests!! I’ve made almost every shower curtain I have ever owned – it seems I can never find a store bought one I like that is in my price range. I’ve used sheets, table cloths and purchased ticking upholstery fabric. The sky’s the limit! Thank you for the inspiration, looks like my guest bath might be getting a make over soon!!

  4. Katy

    The curtain looks great. I love the fabric. But Sebastian just made my day. Such a sweet face! I bet he’s good company too, now that the boys are back in school. 😊

  5. Deborah Erickson

    Buffalo check/gingham, my fave! I haven’t purchased a shower curtain in years. It is just so custom to make your own. I do the buttonholes as well. Love your site, been following for a long time.

  6. Kat

    My favorite part of sewing is when my dog parks on my fabric. Makes me laugh every time!

  7. Roseann

    I always use grommets..this girl loves a short cut. My Jesi is always in the middle of a project….surprised I haven’t yet painted right over her. Thanks for the tips and tricks.

  8. Lisa

    I too have used curtain panels to make a shower curtain. I have found that Bed,Bath and Beyond (and I assume other places as well) sells an extra long full sized tub/shower liner, which I have used and sewn two curtain panels together to make one large shower curtain. I like not having the split curtain in the middle where the water from ashore can leak through and soak the floor!

  9. Mary S

    So envious you have the ability to make buttonholes. I called all over the place looking for a tailor or dressmaker to make some for me in a dress and I couldn’t believe how expensive that is! Love the shower curtain. And loved that you have help from Sebastian. My doggie loves to lay on whatever I’m working on too – even wrapping paper! Ha!! He’s a beautiful fellow!

  10. vicki

    I LOVE that curtain fabric!! Can you share where you purchased it?

  11. Joan

    Beautiful curtain! Beautiful touch ups for that room!
    In the past when I’ve made a button hole like you did Marian, I’ve slid the stitch ripper right through the end and through the button hole area into the fabric area beyond the buttonhole!, so I learned from that, and now place a straight pin at the end of the button hole so the stitch ripper won’t slide too far! 🙂
    You probably are wayyy more careful than me though!

  12. mary m

    So brilliant with marking the liner up to the fabric! I have made many shower curtain in the past. This summer in Portafino, Italy I bought a sheet set thinking it was a tablecloth. Surprise surprise when I got home! I have a serger so will cut strips and roll the edges to trim towels etc. I think Sebastion has a little golden retriever in there. I have two goldens and they are always where I am no matter what I am doing. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson in his home has red buffalo check on his diningroom chairs. It was considered a “formal” pattern back in the day. A little red accent might be nice touch.

  13. Sue Anderson

    I always use the nylon liners instead of plastic. Actually I don’t even use a decorative curtain, just the white liners which work well for my bathroom decor and keep the shower bright. They last a long long time and a good hot wash with vinegar added every couple of months keeps them fresh.


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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