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Super-girly shower curtain

Downstairs Bathroom, How-To

Last spring, we received a lovely shower curtain from my cousin and his wife. It was a wedding gift, and I adored it. And then, like everything else we own, dirty grimey handprints somehow magically appeared on it.

So, I washed it. You would think a shower curtain would be machine-washable, but NO…. after one innocent little wash, ours turned a really ugly shade of yellowy-white, reminiscent of sweaty t-shirt armpits. Hmmpph. Perhaps I should have read the washing instructions, eh?

That prompted my mission for a new, cheap shower curtain. But not some plain old boring one, because I’m as picky as they come. I looked and looked, and nothing in our price range fit the one I’d dreamt up in my head. Furthermore, I became obsessed with the wickedly overpriced but very pretty ruffled ones ones they carry at Anthropologie.

Never one to give in and settle for second best, I decided I could make my own pretty ruffled shower curtain for next to nothing.

And so, I give you two curtains:

The $98.00 one from

My version, made for $15 in fabric (6 yards) and about 6 hours of mind-numbing sewing.

The only thing left to do is add the grommets so it can hang on rings with the liner. It was really easy – time consuming and tedious, but easy. It’s just one large curtain with 7 12″ ruffled tiers sewed on, spaced about 11 inches apart so they overlap slightly.

EDIT: I’ve had a few requests for a pattern/direction. I didn’t have a pattern, but I did write up some basic directions that will help you pull together you’re own ruffled beauty…it is SUPER easy if you know how basic sewing techniques and have a machine. The math was the hardest part for me ;)

First, I cut out a piece of white muslin that was about 2 feet wider than the width of the shower, and with a length long enough to almost (but not quite) reach the floor from the shower bar. Remember to leave room for hems – the top part needs a decent size hem- mine was 3″ – and the bottom just needs about a 2″ straight hem.

I sewed all hems and the pocket for the large piece, then cut longer pieces for ruffles. The ruffles I used are about 10″ tall, and I made them twice as long as the width of the base piece. The wider they are, the rufflier it will be. 1.5 times would probably be fine –  mine kind of takes over the bathroom.

The height for the ruffles can be figured in accordance with the height of your base piece. You want the ruffles to overlap by about 1.5-2″, and the last one should end right before the bottom of your base.

You have to hem up the edges on each ruffle piece. This is the most time consuming part! Turn the hems in so that they won’t fray in the wash.

After that, I worked on one ruffle at a time – I folded the fabric up every few inches and pinned it to the base piece, creating the ruffle effect. Then I ran a tight straight stitch over the entire length to secure it. I didn’t get too exact with the folding over – kind of
winged that part, but it still worked out fine in the end. If you’re pretty confident your measurements are correct, start from the bottom and work up – it’s easier, because you won’t have to flip the previous ruffle up. If you’re not confident, start at the top – you can always shorten up that last ruffle, no one would notice ;)

The last step was to create large button holes (in the top hem) for the shower curtain rings. I think I did 12 across to match the number of holes in plastic liners.

I think I ended up doing 6 ruffle layers – it took all day, but it’s a very cool curtain and the materials were incredibly cheap.

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Beth had this to say on 02.13.06:

Look at your beautiful handiwork!
Well done.

Kath had this to say on 02.13.06:

You might try soaking the shower curtain that you love that turned that nasty color in white vinegar. I know it sounds strange, but if it can take the grime and gunk out of hand tatted doilies and handkerchiefs that are 90 years old it may very well work for your shower curtain.

Heidi had this to say on 02.13.06:

Beautifully done!

I love stealing ideas from Anthropologie!

heather had this to say on 02.13.06:

Mindy, that is AWESOME! I can’t believe it only cost you $15…I don’t think even Wally World has shower curtains that cheap…and your’s is much nicer than anything they could hope to have.


Eilis had this to say on 02.13.06:

You’re out of control! Looks awesome.

Anonymous had this to say on 02.13.06:

So, lets see, the one you made cost about $135.00 if you were paid the same rate as a skilled laborer….. hmmmmmmmm. Without the grommets!

mindy had this to say on 02.13.06:

Thanks guys :) I was pretty proud of myself – Teague was underwhelmed with the ruffles, but that is to be expected.

As always, to keep things cheap, I used my handy-dandy 50% off coupon from JoAnn’s.

Kath – Good tip about the vinegar, I will have to try that. I also have some doilies that could use some whitening and have never tried this technique.

Anon – Yes, one could deduct that Anthropologie has quicker sewers, but also that those quick sewers are holed up in a hot factory in Mexico being paid $.25/hour. Hmmmm. Better for everyone that I made it myself! And honestly, who spends $98 on a SHOWER CURTAIN???

Jonah had this to say on 02.13.06:

It even has the same number of ruffle layers! Nice work! You’re a regular Betsy Ross!
(It is a tad girly though…) =)

Becky had this to say on 02.14.06:

Rockin’. I’d way rather spend $15 and a few hours than $98 (plus shipping!) any day. It must’ve been a sewing kind of weekend, because I was sewing curtains this weekend, too:

Kristin had this to say on 02.14.06:

I love stealing ideas from Anthropologie, too. Darn them, why won’t they put more curtains on clearance???

I’m on their e-mailing list, and when they sent the one advertising that gorgeous white shower curtain with the white lace stuff in the middle, I just about fainted. Now how to recreate that?

becky had this to say on 02.14.06:

It’s lovely!

Jenne had this to say on 02.16.06:

If you are talking about this one:

That’s just ruching on it….ruching is something I learned in quilting – it’s the french word meaning “to wiggle”. Just take long strips of fabric and “wiggle” your needle down the center, and pull slightly to gather. I have been eyeing this shower curtain too…just have to remember how to do the ruching on my machine…which would make it even easier!
how to ruch, by hand:

might be a good snowy day project. :)

Mrs.Norman had this to say on 02.17.06:

We happen to buy the Post Standard today. A great article. Thanks for sharing and trusting everyone too :0) It seems quite unusual to me–we have a fixer upper too–only it is a mobile home. This year we discovered we don’t even need a furnace to heat it–of course it has been an unusually mild winter–someone says a winter like this one rolls around every 20 years. Anyway–we were alittle afraid to cover all the vents–but that is one reason it is now a fixerupper our mobile home. Cold air runs through the vents all the time! The furnace would have to run constantly to keep it heated. So we bought a couple –three cheap heaters at Walmart(the one in New Hartford) and they seem to be doing fine. I hope it is not an arm and a leg for your heating there. I don’t know how you have done it everything is so expensive. You both deserve a big teddy bear:0) If you would like me send a photo of our fixerupper let me know–it will have to be postal though. Thanks again–I don’t know you but a swell photo of two people and a great article on your restoration endeavors. Peace, love and god bless you both–best of luck in all. galebee 1968-year I graduated from high school.–

anonymous had this to say on 02.17.06:

I am with the Antropologie police and you are under arrest!!!!!! Charges with perfectly copying a shower curtain.

binder boards calculator copier cups had this to say on 03.29.06:



play-slot-machine had this to say on 05.07.06:


Brooke had this to say on 05.09.06:

I am always up for saving money and love to creat my own curtains/shower curtains/ bed spreads and this has to be the most beautiful one I have seen yet!! Graet Job!

Allie had this to say on 10.07.06:

You are my hero. This is exactly the shower curtain I dreamed up in my head that I’ve been on a futile search for for weeks now (damn Anthropologie & the ideas they put in my head!). I was wondering if I could get more exact directions from you, however. . .My sewing experience is not great enough to conjure up a pattern for myself. Thanks–

michael fahey had this to say on 12.19.06:

hi, so your curtain was more expenive then the one you bought!!1

susan had this to say on 12.20.07:

what a fabulous idea and beautiful execution. we have a pink and aqua tile bathroom, and after years of fighting the pink and trying to tone it down…i’m gonna go the opposite extreme and play it to the hilt. this idea is perfect!!!!! thanks so much :) .

Cassie had this to say on 04.26.08:

Love the shower curtain. Saw the Anthropologie one at a friend’s house – didn’t know where it was from but I was thinking, hey, I could make that in an afternoon…Ha ha. Yours looks great!



carrie had this to say on 07.10.09:

All I can say is that I made a curtain like this before seeing this post and it was seriously a pain to make. Not that it was hard, just laborious and nauseatingly tedious with all the hemming. It would have been a snap if I had a serger. Kudos to you for making your own version!

Sarah had this to say on 10.13.09:

Thanks so much for the info! I actually just finished mine. It tool me all week because I didn’t have the time or focus for one sitting, but it turned out perfect. I used a white twill fabric, and did 6 ruffles each a foot long. I absolutely love it!!

mktgobsession had this to say on 03.23.10:


Cheryl Martin had this to say on 11.05.10:

love your curtain…as far as hemming each row of ruffles, why not leave them to fray for a truly “shabby” look

Gretchen had this to say on 04.21.11:

I have also been eyeballing that anthropoligie shower curtain…and also thought I could make it too….holy ruffles!! I used a standard shower curtain from Target that was on clearance for 9.99 and then bought 5.8 yards of white mini dots from Joanne fabric. Then I felt completely overwhelmed by it and let it sit for a week. THEN I happened upon your blog and saw this project! How thrilled was I??? I agree with the hours it has taken me, and it is a lot of fabric to work with, much like a quilt, I will have 8 10inch rows of ruffles once complete, I have 4 more to sew on! The math was the hardest part for me to figure out. I didn’t realize that 3 yards would only give you a slight ruffle, so I think I would do 3.5 next time. The other difficult part for me was that I worked from the top to the bottom, and this meant I had to mark off a straight line across my shower curtain for each row so I wouldn’t end up crooked…how did you do that? I also basted the first layer of ruffle but then decided to skip that step on the remaining rows, I prefer to wing it also. Anyway, sorry such a long post, but thank you for your inspiration! I am can’t wait to finish mine and put it into my freshly painted bathroom!!

Sylvia had this to say on 10.01.11:

I wish I could buy one of these off you!! :P I have been seraching forver for a cheaper version of this…I don’t think I can make this myself :(

JennyMiecz had this to say on 11.10.11:

You ROCK! I have been searching for an affordable ruffle curtain and they are all either sold out or waaaaaay over priced! I am definitely making my own now! Yours is gorgeous! Congrats.

Joy had this to say on 02.15.12:

Do you do any kind of treatment to the fabric (scotchguard) to make it water resistant?

Mindy had this to say on 02.27.12:

I didn’t treat it – I used a plastic liner inside instead. But it probably couldn’t hurt!

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