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Weekend Project: Bling Your Shower Curtain--Naturally

6/24/2011 9:14:31 AM

Tags: DIY shower curtain, make your own shower curtain, decorate a shower curtain, fabric painting on shower curtain, Susan Wasinger, Natural Home & Garden, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailI finally have to admit that my old shower curtain has seen its last days. It’s time to turn it into rags and replace it, and I don’t want to spend a fortune. Following former Natural Home art director Susan Wasinger’s simple directions, I can adorn a plain organic cotton or linen shower curtain (or even a cheaper shower curtain liner) with a sweet, simple leaf motif. I’ll get a pretty, natural look for my bathroom for much less than I’d pay for a fancy shower curtain.

To make this, I’ll use nontoxic Dharma Pigment Dye, which will give me the same soft, stone-washed look that Susan achieved. She used leaves from common houseplants, but I’ll honor summer’s abundance by choosing the prettiest leaves I find when I walk my dog today. Simply position the painted side of the leaf on the fabric, lay a piece of paper over it, and press the paper and leaf carefully into the fabric with your hands or a rubber roller. Thoroughly but gently rub the entire leaf surface. Most dyes can be set with a vinegar bath, but check the manufacturer’s recommendations for color fastness.

leaf shower curtain 1 

Use any kind of leaves and an inexpensive shower curtain liner to make a designer-like shower curtain. Photo by Susan Wasinger 

leaf 2 

1. Paint the veined side of the leaf with dye or paint. Don’t forget the stem.

leaf 3 

2. Press the leaf into the fabric and cover with paper. Smooth with a roller or your hand.


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Robyn Griggs Lawrence
6/27/2011 11:33:46 AM
I love this idea! Using an old sheet makes this even more economical and environmentally benign. Thanks so much for sharing! Robyn

6/25/2011 6:50:02 AM
Great idea! I remember a few years back, when I was single and living in my own apartment, my mother and I created a beautiful shower curtain using a printed double-sized flat sheet. A flat sheet is the perfect width for a typical shower. You can get one on a clearance rack or thrift store (sometimes for less than $5). There are all kinds of gorgeous prints (I remember I got one with the Monet Water Lilies design and turned it into an enviable shower curtain in my guest bathroom that all my guests thought I'd paid big bucks for!) There is no sewing involved. Using a shower curtain liner, old shower curtain, or just a ruler and math, space out where the holes will be for the hooks. Mark them with a pen or pencil. Cut the slits very carefully with scissors. Using a little 'Fray Check' (You can buy this for about $2 at any craft or sewing store), or even some Elmer's-style glue, put a little around the open edges of the cuts to prevent frays from forming. That's it! Hang the shower curtain and enjoy. You don't need to worry about hemming, since a flat sheet has finished edges. Although if the sheet is too long for your shower, you may need to cut a little off the top or bottom and hand-stitch the hem. For folks that are a little more experienced with sewing, instead of using fray check, create button holes or insert grommets.

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