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How to Sew Window Curtains from Reused Shower Curtain

Updated on October 22, 2012
These super simple curtains were created from a recycled shower curtain after one of the grommets fell off.
These super simple curtains were created from a recycled shower curtain after one of the grommets fell off.

We are on a tight budget, so spending a lot on window coverings isn't really an option right now. I held on to an old shower curtain that had lost one of its grommets, but the fabric was still in great shape. It is a simple white waffle weave that I thought could be reused somewhere when the time was right. Tight budget for window coverings + recycling an old shower curtain = instant cheap curtains for our little laundry room window! I am by no means an expert at sewing, but I do like VERY simple sewing projects, so if you are new to sewing or don't mind a simple project, this one is for you.

Measure and cut your shower curtain to fit the dimensions of your window.
Measure and cut your shower curtain to fit the dimensions of your window.

Step 1: Measure and cut your panels

Measure your window first, then spread out your shower curtain or piece of fabric to carefully measure for your panels. I trimmed off the top edge with the grommets and save those scraps for another project. I used .5" seam allowances on all 4 sides as well as 4" allowance for the pocket for the curtain rod and the extra fabric poof on top.

I folded the curtain in half and cut right down the middle with a sharp pair of fabric scissors. Make sure to make straight clean cuts to make folding, pinning, and sewing much easier.

Use straight pins or sewing pins to hold your seam allowance in place.
Use straight pins or sewing pins to hold your seam allowance in place.

Step 2: Fold and pin seam allowances

Turn your fabric right/pattern side down on your ironing board. Using a hot iron and a small ruler, turn your fabric in to make the .5" seam allowance. Use straight pins to hold the seam in place. You can use a rotary cutter or sharp scissors to cut the excess off of the corners so they'll lay flat. Place your pins about 5-6 inches apart to hold your seam securely.

Step 3: Sew your seams

Once you have all of your seams folded and pinned, its time to sew. Make sure your bobbin is full loaded with thread--I had trouble with the thread breaking every 4 or 5 inches and I think it was because the bobbin was running low. Sew your seams using a straight stitch, make sure you lock down the corners with a few back stitches. You don't want anything coming loose. Remove the pins as you go.

Sew your seams carefully making sure to lock stitches with a few back stitches and the beginning and end of each side.
Sew your seams carefully making sure to lock stitches with a few back stitches and the beginning and end of each side.
Pin the lines for your curtain rod pocket and allowance for the ruffled top.
Pin the lines for your curtain rod pocket and allowance for the ruffled top.

Step 4: Make the rod pocket and allowance for top

Once all of your raw edges are sewn, return your panel to the ironing board to press and pin the top of the panel to allow a pocket for the curtain rod. If you want a poofy top, you will need to allow the extra fabric, other wise, you can sew the pocket just to lay flush with the rod.

I turned my top down 3.5" to allow 1" for the rod and 2.5" for the ruffled top. You will need to measure according to your own window and curtain rod. Once you have your measurements in place, pin the lines for the rod pocket and allowance for the top. Before you sew, test out your rod to make sure it fits in your pinned pocket. Go one step further and test hanging your pinned panel in your window just to triple check that all of your measurements are correct and the panel will not be too short. Its easier to re-pin than remove stitches!

When you are satisfied with your measurements and pin placement, sew along the pins to finish off the top of the panel. Repeat these steps for the second or subsequent panels until you achieve the looking you're going for.

Give your panels a good ironing then hang in your window.

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