Don't Throw Away Your Old Shower Curtain -- Upcycle It Instead!

by Kimberly Foerst

If you're ready to update your bathroom for something new, and you find yourself wondering what you can do with the old shower curtain, don't throw it away. With a little imagination and some basic crafting skills, you can transform a tired old shower curtain into one of many fun and useful DIY projects. 

Keep reading for a few of our favorite ideas to upcycle your old shower curtain into something amazing.

Shower Curtain DIY Upcycled into an Apron

An Apron

First up, you can upcycle your shower curtain into an apron. In fact, this article is inspired by a colleague who took an old shower curtain and turned it into an apron that she wears every day while she works. The only giveaway on the apron above is the button hole in the center. Otherwise, you'd never know!

Basic Instructions:

  • Lay out your shower curtain on a flat surface.
  • Cut out the apron shape, making sure to leave extra material for the straps. You can download a template or use an existing apron you like to trace the shape.
  • Sew or glue the straps onto the apron, creating a neck loop and waist ties.
  • Customize your apron with pockets, fabric paint, buttons or other embellishments for a personalized touch.

For more in depth instructions, we found this step-by-step guide to be very helpful. As far as the quality of the new apron, this project would be best completed with a heavier cotton shower curtain rather than a thin PVC type fabric.

decorative pillow covers made from shower curtain

Pillow Covers

Pretty much any fabric you have can be turned into decorative pillow covers. This is a great project for a beginner level because the shape is easy and it only requires the most basic sewing techniques.

Basic Instructions:

  • Measure and cut out two squares or rectangles from your shower curtain to cover your pillow inserts. You can make them slightly smaller so that the pillow insert gives your new pillow covers a fuller look.
  • Place the two pieces of fabric together, with the printed sides facing each other.
  • Sew around the edges, leaving an opening to insert the pillow.
  • Turn the cover right side out and insert the pillow.
  • Hand-sew or machine-sew the opening closed. Or if you're more advanced, sew a zipper to close the opening so you can reuse the pillow inserts and swap the look seasonally.

Use your new decorative pillows in your living room, den, bedroom or nursery (never in the crib though!) to give the space a quick and inexpensive update.

Leah Shower Curtain and Leah Valance

Valances

If you still love the design of your shower curtain but it no longer matches in your bathroom, cut the fabric down to create window valances or tiers for your kitchen, powder room, guest bedroom or any other room where the pattern matches.

Basic Instructions:

  • Measure and cut the shower curtain to the desired length for your window, including a few extra inches to create a rod pocket if that's the hanging style you prefer.
  • Sew the edges to complete the rod pocket and/or hems for a clean look.
  • Hang the curtain on your curtain rod.

An easier option is to measure to the length you need and not using extra for a rod pocket and you can hang the new valance(s) from your curtain rod with clip rings instead.

DIY Superhero Cape

Superhero Cape

Do you have a child who likes to play pretend? You have enough fabric in one standard size shower curtain to create at least two super hero capes -- one for you and one for them, or one for them and one for their friend.

Basic Instructions:
  • Cut out a cape shape from your shower curtain, ensuring it's large enough to drape over your shoulders.
  • Attach Velcro or ribbon to create a fastening mechanism around your neck.

For a more complete look, use fabric markers or paint, or an iron on transfer, to create an emblem to identify your superhero character.

DIY Clothing

Clothing/Costumes

There are endless opportunities to turn your old fabric shower curtain into clothing or costumes you, your children, or your pets could wear. From shorts to skirts, t-shirts, hats, robes and more, this is also a great way for your budding fashion designer to practice their sewing skills.

Basic Instructions:

  • Select a clothing pattern or design one of your own.
  • Lay out your shower curtain and cut out the pattern pieces.
  • Sew the pieces together following the pattern instructions.
  • Customize your garment with embellishments or additional details.

We found this great resource for cutting templates at So Sew Easy.

Conclusion

Upcycling your old shower curtain into DIY projects like the ones above not only reduces waste in landfills but it also provides you with a creative outlet. These projects are a testament to the endless possibilities that upcycling offers.

If you'd like some more upcycling inspiration, check out our previous posts on how to upcycle your old window curtains and how to upcycle your old quilts.


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