Repurpose drapes into a shower curtain.

How to Turn Drapes Into a Shower Curtain

by Linda Erlam

Repurpose your gently-used drapes into shower curtains, or alter ready-made curtains for the en suite tub or shower. Your child's chosen bedroom coordinates which depict the latest princess warrior may not include a shower curtain but may include drapes that can allow you to keep the design plan intact by making a matching shower curtain. With basic home-decor sewing skills, you can be super-Mom and turn the drapes into a shower curtain.

Buy two-sided grommets with a center opening large enough to accommodate the curtain rod for a rod and grommet combination, or large enough to accommodate the attachment hook of a shower curtain ring for a grommet, ring and rod combination. A 1 3/4 -inch inside diameter grommet is needed for a shower curtain rod; a 1/2-inch inside diameter grommet is usually large enough for curtain rings.

Lay your drape on a table, wrong side visible, with the top of the drape toward you.

Measure the length of the curtain. Shower curtains are usually 72 to 80 inches long. Re-hem your curtain if necessary by removing all but 6 inches of extra length. If your curtain is lined, treat both layers together as one. Turn the cut edge over 3 inches twice and sew close to the second fold to create the hem.

Measure the width of the curtain across the top edge. A tub shower curtain is typically 72 inches wide and a shower stall curtain 42 inches wide. You will remove the excess from the drapes to make a shower curtain to one of these measurements.

Subtract the finished curtain required measurement, plus 4 inches, from the curtain top edge measurement. Count the number of spaces between the pleats, if working on a pleated curtain, on the revised width and increase the width until you have an even number of spaces. Remove any excess from one edge of the curtain, cutting between two pleats.

Turn the cut edge of the curtain over 2 inches twice. Press the folds and sew close to the second fold to secure the side hem of the shower curtain.

For a flat curtain, mark 12 equally spaced grommet placement marks along the top edge of the curtain.

Refer to the grommet-setting instructions and install grommets between the pleats on a pleated curtain or at each of the grommet placement marks on a flat curtain.

Insert the curtain rod through the grommets and rehang the rod to complete the grommet and rod combination.

Attach shower curtain rings to the curtain through the small grommets to complete the grommet, ring and rod combination.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Grommets


  • Plastic grommets will not rust or mildew in a humid bathroom environment.

About the Author

Linda Erlam started writing educational manuals in 1979. She also writes a biweekly newspaper column, "Design Dilemmas," in the "Lakeshore News" and has been published in "Design and Drapery Pro" magazine. Erlam is a graduate of the Sheffield School of Interior Design and is a practicing interior decorator and drapery workroom operator.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images