How To Make Any Curtain into a Shower Curtain

March 13, 2012

I am thrilled to have my master bathroom complete!  The kind and thoughtful comments that YOU, my awesome readers, have left over the past week have made the craziness all worth it.  So thank you, thank you, thank you.  As I mentioned during the reveal, I DIYed (technically not really a word, but you got it) my shower curtain using two window drapery panels (a.k.a. curtains), and now I’m going to show you how.

I had found these curtain panels a while ago and they were basically the inspiration for the space and everything I chose was set around these beauties.

When I originally purchased the window panels my intention was to simply put the shower curtain rod through the already created rod pocket of the window panel.  A problem arose when I went to hang them because the end of the rod was too big (2.5″ dia) for the rod pocket opening in the curtain.  (I hope I didn’t lose ya)…

My first thought was to create a bigger rod pocket on the curtain, but that would have involved sewing and shortening the height of the overall window panels. I nixed that idea right away because I envisioned the window panels as high as possible to heighten the room.  After some thought, I decided to use typical shower rings to create a ring top style panel. Take a look at my quick sketch.

So, here are the steps I took…

I had twelve shower hooks (which is typical for every shower), which I divided amongst the two window panels – 6 and 6.  Then I put a hook at the end of each panel and divided the remaining hooks (4) on the panel.


  1. My window panels were 54″ wide, times 2 = 108″, wider than a typical shower curtain – that’s okay.  Any width curtain should work and if you’re using this idea for a single shower stall, one window panel should be enough (the length might have to be altered).
  2. A ball-style shower hook would work best.  You can find them in most stores and they are one of the least expensive styles.
  3. As an added step which I have NOT DONE, you can make the cuts more secure by creating a sewn button hole with your sewing machine.
  4. I DID NOT sew the two panels together to create one large “shower curtain” panel, but it’s possible to do.   I left them as two panels in case I decide to use them someplace else in the future.

Once you’ve evenly spaced the shower hooks, using a scissor, cut a 1/2 – 3/4″ slit at each of the shower hook positions (ONLY CUT through the one layer of fabric, not both – the outside layer should look clean and uncut).

Before inserting the ball style shower hooks into the newly cut hole, first put on the shower curtain liner.  Because my window drapery panel was longer than a typical shower curtain, I had to get a longer plastic liner, which I found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  It was a little more expensive than a typical plastic liner, but was a must because of the extra length.

Once the plastic liner is in place, put the shower hooks through the “button” holes (or simply the cut holes since I haven’t yet made actual button holes).

And it’s done.  This really is a simple and easy project that makes a huge impact!

Using the two window panels creates for a slightly more flow-y (not in a bad way) shower curtain style as you can see in the image below.  Because the curtain is hung from typical shower hooks, it opens and closes just as a regular shower curtain would.

And here is the overall bathroom space –

The taller than typical curtain really gives the space more height, which makes the overall feel of the room much larger.  Actually one reader left me a comment saying, “Wow, you have tall ceilings”.  But honestly, they are only 8′-0″ high – typical of most homes.  But again, the long panel makes the space feel elongated.  This same idea pertains to the window valance, which is hung at the ceiling plane.  If you remember back from this post on The Right Way to Hang Window Drapery Panels, the higher the panels are hung, the larger the space. I have a tutorial coming soon on how I created the window valance, so stay tuned.

I link my projects to some of these parties: Skip to My Lou, Dittle Dattle, Between Naps on the Porch, Today’s Creative Blog, Stories of A to Z, All Things Heart & Home, Savvy Southern Style, House of Hepworths, Finding Fabulous, Creation Corner, The Shabby Nest, Tatertots and Jello, Thrifty Decor Chick, Under the Table & Dreaming

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  1. This is beautiful !!! I do not know how to sew and I want to
    remodel my bathroom too and I think you have given me the inspiration .
    Thanks !!!

    • The beauty of this shower curtain is that it doesn’t involve sewing at all. I just started sewing last year, but am still a novice. You’ve gotta try this! -Jenna

  2. I love this!!! I’m going to use your method when I fix up my guest bath!

    • You definitely should try it – it’s so easy and it’s amazing how much a taller “shower curtain” will heighten the space!

  3. I was thinking about trying this in my boys bathroom! Thanks for the tutorial:)

    • You should definitely try it – it’s so easy and it’s amazing how much a taller “shower curtain” will heighten the space!

  4. Wow, ya know? Nothing else needs to be said. Except gorgeous, remarkable, beautiful, classy, and any other positive word you can think of. Oh, and I LOVE the whole bathroom. There. Nuff said.

  5. This is such beautiful bathroom!
    Amy Fountain recently posted..Interior Design – Living Room Design Elements To Achieve Minimalist Look

  6. I actually did the same thing but to my new shower curtains – the holes for the hooks were too small but i really wanted to use them. So I, too, cut slits! hey – it works and still looks great! :) Neat idea using curtains for it! :)

  7. you are genius! I think could actually do this. I’m definitely going to keep my eyes open for a gorgeous curtain panel. thanks for sharing.

    • You can do this Cathie! Anyone can… It’s that easy!! Let me know once you make one – send pictures. -Jenna

  8. I love those drapes! Where did you get them!!!

  9. Just kidding found your link :)

  10. Your master bath looks great! I have those curtains hanging in my living room and I LOVE them! :)
    Casey recently posted..Living Room Progress

    • Thanks so much Casey. Don’t you just LOVE that pattern?! I want to use the other colors someplace else in my house too, hehe. -Jenna

  11. Love the drapes, and what a great idea to use them as a shower curtain. the average shower curtain is 72 x 72, and that is not long enough for my shower. So thank you for this tutorial and inspiration!

    • So glad to have inspired you Glenda! Exactly like you said, all shower curtains are 72 x 72, which isn’t really that high when the average room height is 96″ high. -Jenna

  12. love this, and the refinished vanity!

  13. Found your post via Centsational Girl’s weekly round-up, and love this how to! I’m in the process of dreaming up our guest bathroom, and I’m definitely pinning the idea and your bathroom for inspiration! Great job and thanks for the tutorial!

  14. So smart, I love this!
    Heather recently posted..{How To} Memory Quilt – part 1

  15. I LOVE this idea ~ especially using the longer lengths. Both bathrooms (apt) are smaller than desired but this should really help.

    Do you mind telling me what the quote is in the bottom picture? :-) I can read the top one but not the bottom.
    Pat recently posted..~ Free Paint! ~

  16. that looks so nice, i have been trying to figure out how to make a shower curtain out of material but i think this is nicer and easier! thanks for sharing!

  17. love it, I wish I had thought about this instead of paying someone to make a double width and extra tall shower curtain for the girls bathroom! Love this idea – great trackback also :)
    Jenn recently posted..Changing Table – Revamped

  18. Love the pattern of that curtain. What a great idea, opens up so many more options for a shower curtain :)
    Stephanie @ House Candy recently posted..Family Home – Morgantown, WV 26508

  19. I cannot believe how this just came into my email box. I was out shopping all week with this same idea but had no clue how to make the holes for the hooks. I do not have a sewing maching and wouldn’t even know how to go about it. Couldn’t find a shower curtain anywhere that I liked and came up with this same idea. Thank you so much for explaining in detail and photos on how to accomplish this. I appreciate it so much.

  20. April was in CT now CA says:

    I had to come back and thank you for posting this! I saw that pattern and fell in LOVE! I’ve been looking for living room curtains for months now and knew those were the ones when I saw them. It looks fantastic in your bathroom and love how you transformed them into a shower curtain. Thank you so much for helping me find what I didn’t know I was looking for! lol

    • Wonderful to hear April! I really love the pattern of this window treatment and they come in an array of colors. I love your saying – “Thank you so much for helping me find what I didn’t know I was looking for”! xo Jenna

  21. What a fabulous idea! Shower curtains are often very drab, not this one! I also love the height it gives the room too. Great job!
    Jen Lossing, The Consigner Designer recently posted..AND THE WINNER IS………..

  22. This is so gorgeous! I love everything–the panels, the height, the idea! One question, which I might just be overthinking; the way the “buttonholes” are placed, is there not a gap between the panels when the shower curtain is pulled closed? Or do you overlap the holes in the middle somehow to prevent this?

    Thanks for the awesome idea!

    • Thanks Rachel! There is still a gap between the panels, which I could have sewn, but didn’t. When the shower curtain is opened and closed, the liner is behind and keeps it together. You can see the gap from the drapery panels, but I simply pull them together. I hope that makes sense – let me know. -Jenna

      • I’m still a little perplexed. So did you put two hooks right next to each other where the two panels come together in the middle? Or did you cut one hole all the way through one panel so the distance was equal for all of the hooks? I know you said you didn’t overlap them, but I can’t figure out where to put the hooks for the middle (where both curtains meet to make one). I like the idea of re-using them for something else or another room later as I like to change things up a bit every now and then. Thanks for the idea. Your bathroom is lovely!

  23. I was actually looking to do this!! So I can’t believe I found a pin on an extra tall shower curtain and how to make it all work!! THANKS!!

  24. Love this idea! I actually have those curtains in my family room and I absolutely love them. I never would have thought of turning them into a shower curtain! Great idea.

    -Erin Spain
    DIY On the Cheap

  25. Sharon Amor says:

    Did you put anything around the unfinished slits to keep the fabric from fraying?

    • No, I didn’t I intended on making a button hole with my sewing machine, but still haven’t gotten around to it. That would be my recommendation though if you decide to make a shower curtain like this. -Jenna

  26. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve given up on finding a shower curtain I like and am starting to look at draperies instead. Now I know how to hang them!

  27. LOVE this! What color are the walls painted?

  28. Years ago I made a shower curtain from a multi-colored table cloth. My bath is
    grey with blue rug and I found a tc with a lot of pastel colors.
    All I did was use my grommet gizmo and made holes with grommets and hooked them
    on my shower cutrain rod.
    Matched any towel color I bought and just loved the look, plus no sewing.

  29. Thank you for sharing this and the full tutorial. I absolutely love what you’ve done here and love the fabric – I’ve got to look for this fabric! I already use ordinary curtains to create the illusion of higher ceilings (which everyone always comments on) but have only used standard curtains with rings on already. I now can look for any fabric and not restrict myself to already made curtain panels!! Thanks!!

  30. This is great! Have you noticed any problems with excessive moisture in the bathroom that could be damaging to the curtains? I have a smaller bathroom than yours, but would like to do the same thing, as the taller curtains make the room look slightly bigger. However, I was worried that the moisture from a hot shower may damage the curtains over time. What do you think?

    • No, thankfully the curtains have held up great in the bathroom. Mind you, I don’t often close the door completely and usually use the fan, but they’ve been okay. The panels that I got can be washed, so if anything was on them, I could wash them since they’re a cotton. I wouldn’t use silk for sure. Good Luck! xo Jenna

  31. Loretta says:

    This is exactly what I wanna do. I found the 2 panel draperies and the liner. My challenge is that the drapes have the grommet holes already in them. They are about 2 inch grommets. How would you suggest I hang them with the liner?

    • I would flip the panels around, cut off the grommets, and hem them. Then you can follow my tutorial from that point. Good Luck! xo Jenna

  32. Gloria Meier says:

    I am so thrilled at your idea, I was trying to do something similar but having the two curtains, one either end of the shower, yet couldnt figure out how to attach a regular curtain to the rod…… And also the problem of the plastic liner being too short, thank you for the post…. Really helped me! Now I can attempt to tackle my project with a little more ease. :-)

  33. You can also put the rod thru the bottom hem. Most panels have deep hem

  34. I love this idea!! Thanks for the tutorial! I am pinning it!

    Ashley @ Simply Designing recently posted..Back to School Photo Op Board

  35. Jan McPherson-Veiga says:

    Hi. If you take a little white glue and a toothpick, run a little glue along the edge of the cut fabric hole, it will not fray. Fray check eventually washes away, but a little LePages glue is the trick. Thanks for this great tutorial and sharing such a beautiful solution to a high ceiling.

  36. Hi Jenna, so excited to do this…may head out to Bed Bath n Beyond right now!!!! One question tho….. Where did you get your panels, and do they come in other colors? They’re exactly what I’ve been looking for.

  37. Where did you get this curtain and your rug?? This is sooo adorable!

  38. Michelle James says:

    Great idea! You never mentioned the actual length of curtains you used.

  39. Cheryl Lewis says:

    This is awesome, I also have a curtain/drape that I bought for my bathroom that was on clearance, but was the color/design I was looking for. My solution was to by grommets to make it work on my shower hooks. This looks much easier and I will give it a try!! Thanks!!


  41. I love the way this looks. Have the hooks stayed on the pole or do they pop off? I’ve always had the hooks that hook together like a safety pin but I like this look better.
    Marti recently posted..Ah Spring, Why Must You?

    • Thankfully no issues with the hooks. They still work great and I just used the same technique for another bathroom we have. It’s such a great solution!

  42. Thanks so much for posting this wonderful tutorial on drapes to shower curtains. I’ve been looking for just the right shower curtain but could never find what I really wanted. I had the drapery/shower curtain idea in my head but didn’t really know how to pull it off and thanks to you, now I do!!! Wish me luck… Thanks again…

  43. Courtney says:

    Great tutorial, Jenna!

    I love the look and that pattern is gorgeous.

    What do you think about using curtains that hang by slipping the rod through large grommets? I found some panels that work perfectly with my color scheme and art, yet they have large grommets rather than a rod pocket. I actually like the look of the grommets, but I’m not sure how I could hang the plastic shower liner behind it. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Courtney, thanks for your kind comments. I think the grommet style curtains are a nice style but they often still are only available in the 72″ x 72″ size. I’ve only seen them where the actual curtain is also the liner, so no additional plastic liner is needed. I’m not sure how it would work otherwise…

      • Courtney says:

        No, I meant actual curtains, not a shower curtain. The curtain panels are 54×84, just like what you used. I can’t figure out how to attach a liner other than simply finding a liner that also hangs via large grommets. Anyhow, thanks!

  44. Shawn (Ms) says:


    I love the design and color scheme of your bathroom. I’m glad I found this before I bought the fabric to sew one from scratch. This is a much easier option.

    I did search your site and was wondering if the valance tutorial is still pending? I love it and would like to make one myself.

    Thanks for posting all this info for us diy-ers!

  45. Hi Jenna, Great idea, and it looks awesome. We are remodeling our guest bathroom and have been able to find everything I want except a shower curtain that I look that matches what we are doing. I did find some drapery panels that I kinda like, but think I like you white & blue even more. I know you got the liner from Bed Bath & Beyond, but what about the panels?

    • Linda,

      The window treatment panels that I used to create the shower curtain are from Target. The link to the exact style is in the post. They are so pretty & come in an array of different colors. Good Luck! xo Jenna

  46. Hi,
    I’m assuming you made the valance? If so, can you direct me to the blog where you discuss its creation?

  47. Cheryl Ingram says:

    This shower curtain looks so pretty. I have a question, did you sew the two panels together, or is it still two separate pieces? I have two panels, and don’t think it would look great if I sew them together, since I can’t match the pattern up on the seam. :)

    • Since that post, I actually did sew the two panels together. The patterns did not match, but with the panels being heavier than a typical shower curtain, you can’t notice. If you don’t want to sew the panels together, then don’t. Either way is fine. Good Luck!

  48. Michelle says:

    This is a great idea! We positioned our shower rod higher than needed. I could never find shower curtains that were long enough. Now I can!

  49. Aleasha says:

    I just purchased the most gorgeous window panels to use as a shower curtain and got home to find I had the same problem with my brand (overly expensive but totally worth it) shower rod. A quick google search lead me to this post. This was exactly the look I was going for and now have the knowledge to optain it. I can’t thank you enough for sharing!!

  50. This is exactly what I was looking for! I want to upgrade my shower curtain, but I don’t know how to sew. This seems so doable. Thank you for sharing!

  51. Thank you so much!!! I’m on the last leg of a year-long 2-bathroom remodeling project. I’m installing a ceiling hook bar (like the ones they have in hospitals) behind a 1″ piece of painted wood. I didn’t want a shower rod taking away from the beauty of the marble I used around the shower and tub area. I’ll use your idea for using drapery panels instead of shower curtains which would be too short anyway. Thank you for taking the time to share your creativity:)


    • Great idea Sandy to mount hardware to the ceiling. Using drapery panels instead of a shower curtain is a great solution!
      Good Luck. Jenna


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