Back when we were prepping the old house to sell, I had the hardest time finding a shower curtain for the kid’s bathroom.
I know. A shower curtain.
That’s easy! There are so many options out there. And if you can’t find one, they’re super easy to make. But for some reason the vibe wasn’t meshing in my brain.
Until I noticed people painting curtains with fun stripes.
Duh! You know I love to paint stripes, and stripes, and more stripes.
And it finally all came together.
And I loved it so much that it was the first item I brought over to the new house (and spent 30 minutes trying to secure the blasted curtain rod in place, with my arm muscles burning, and the rod falling on me three times). But aside from that silly fiasco, the curtain is easy to make and looks so fantastic when you’re done!
And I really love this idea of using a painter’s dropcloth as fabric because the tan cloth has a real natural, almost linen look to it with slight nubbiness here and there. It gives the bathroom a cool beach-feel, which is exactly what I wanted.
Okay, the concept is obvious, but here are some tips to help along the way.
• Start with a painter’s drop cloth. Purchase these at any home improvement or paint store. Or if you want to skip the trip, this one will work great. Iron the cloth as best you can to get wrinkles out before painting (since it will be hard to iron over the paint when you’re done unless you use a press cloth over the top).
• Determine the measurements of your curtain. There are no rules here but you probably want the bottom of the curtain to fall 2-3 inches from the floor. The dropcloth should already be sewn around the edges, so you can use one end of the dropcloth as your bottom hem for the curtain (no sewing! yay!) Leave some room at the top so you can fold it over and sew a top hem in place. You can do this before or after you paint the stripes…though it probably makes more sense to do it before. Just cut the cloth to your desired height, fold the edge under 1/2 inch, then fold it under another couple inches (or however chunky you want the top to look) and then sew it in place. OR….if you don’t want to sew, just hot glue it in place!
• Then determine the width and spacing of your stripes. I painted 5-inch wide stripes and spaced them 7 inches apart because I wanted a little variation. You can do it however you want.
• Lay the dropcloth over a plastic tarp or something that can get messy, because some paint will seep through to the back side.
• Tape the stripes in place with painters tape. This is a two-person job. Casey and I started at the bottom of the cloth and we each measured up 7 inches, then we pulled the tape from one side to the other carefully pressing it in place, trying to keep it straight, and pressing firmly so no paint could seep out the sides of the tape.
• Roll paint into the striped areas. A skinny roller brush is helpful.
• Let it dry and apply a second coat if necessary.
• Remove the tape! This is always the fun part. The cloth may stick slightly to the tarp underneath. Just peel it back and admire your fantasticly stripey cloth.
Now, if your painting skills are anything like mine….there’s always that deflated moment when you realize that some paint DID seep through the tape. Arrrrrggg. On walls, that’s not a problem. On fabric, it sort of is.
But have no fear.
There’s a solution!
I used small scraps of dropcloth to create a “patch” for the painted areas, I ironed the patch to fusible webbing (like Thermoweb or Wonder Under), then ironed the other side right to the curtain! More details in this tutorial here.
Check out this before and after photo below….it worked great!
In certain light you can see the patch. But when the curtain is up, you never notice it. Can you find the two spots in the photo below?…..
(okay, they’re in the middle of the middle tan stripe).
One final step.
• Determine how you’d like to hang the curtains. I love that metal-hardware look of grommets (also called Eyelets) so that’s what I’ll show you here.
• Purchase a package of Extra Large Eyelets from any fabric or craft store.
Read the directions on the package for specific details. And here are some tips.
• Evenly space and mark where each eyelet will be placed. At each marker, cut a hole in the fabric large enough for each eyelet to pass through.