How to make a No-Sew Shower Curtain (aka I have a close, personal relationship with my glue gun.)

It doesn’t matter if you can’t (or don’t) sew… You can still make your own shower curtain.
no-sew, shower curtain, bath decor, fabric, glue gun
You can tell a lot about a person by the state of their craft tools.  What does this tell you about me?
glue gun
Yep, I use it a lot. Yep, I’m a kind of fly by the seat of my pants crafter. Yep, it’s probably time for a new glue gun.
My latest glue gun project?  A No-Sew shower curtain for Rick & Jodi’s house.
Now please keep in mind that the bathroom itself is not finished. The walls still need paint, the cabinets are still being re-done… I just wanted to get it up so that I can show you how to do this.  (It needs to steam out in a hot bathroom and the tassel is a temporary tie-back.)
But at any rate, here’s how I did it.  What you’ll need:
  • 2 tension shower rods
  • 1 shower liner
  • a set of 12 shower rings
  • about 4 yards of fabric for the curtain
  • about 5.5 yards of fabric for the decorative panel
  • about 3 yards of trim for the panel
  • a glue gun & several glue sticks
  • scissors
  • an iron
You’ll also need a big work space.  I used the floor. Spread the curtain fabric on the floor, folded in half lengthwise.  It should look a bit like this.

Cut at the fold, so that you have 2 pieces, one on top of the other.

Make sure the selvage edges are lined up, then little by little, run a bead of hot glue down the entire length of the fabric.
It is VERY important to only glue 10 to 12 inches at a time, because you need to smooth it together as quickly as possible.  Hot glue dries very quickly, you want to ensure a tight, smooth adhesion.  You do not want it to harden before you can smooth it completely flat.

Once you’ve glued one entire selvage edge together, open it up and press that seam.  I decided that the selvage edges that remained were kind of cool looking, so I opted not to “hem” them.  I did create a “hem” on the top and the bottom of the panel.

To ensure that the little hem you are making is straight, when you make and press the fold for your hem, make sure the selvage edges are lined up straight.  If they are, chances are good that your hem is straight, even if the fabric is cut a little crooked.
(NOTE: there are some of you who are die-hard Measure People. If it makes you feel more comfortable, measure away.  The rest of you? Come with me, we’re moving on the the next step.)

Once you’ve hemmed the top and the bottom of the panel, it’s time to measure for the shower rings.

A standard bathtub is about 54″ wide and the panel I created is 107″ wide.
There are 12 shower curtain rings.  You know you’re going to need one on each end of your curtain.
Take the 107″ and divide it by 10 (the remaining number of rings). That comes out to placing the rings 10.7″ apart.  I am a complete idiot when it comes to math, (what is this .7 business and how does it translate to the measuring tape!?) so I measured out and made little dots at just over 10″ apart, then laid the rings out so I could eyeball them.  (You know how I like to just eyeball things…)

They looked evenly spaced to me, so at that point I just poked a teeny tiny hole in the fabric and poked the ring through.
(NOTE: If you wanted to do it the best, proper way you would use grommets here.  I opted to do it the lazy, fast way, but can always add the grommets later.)

Snip your little loose threads, use Fray Check if you need it, then add the shower liner on the same hook.

Slide onto one of the tension rods and hang so that the liner is in the tub and the fabric is about an inch off of the floor.

Moving on to the decorative panel.  I wanted the finished panel to hang pretty much from the 7′ ceiling to the floor.

So I measured out  7′ of my fabric, then added an inch for the bottom hem.  Cut and set aside.

Take the remaining fabric and cut so that you have two long strips.  I needed the stripes to all go in the same direction.  This will create the valance.  My strips were the width of the fabric (54″) and I knew I wanted the finished valance to be about 14″ long.  I measured 14″ and added an inch for the bottom hem and an extra 4.5 inches to create the pocket for the second tension rod.

Take the two edges and glue like you did for the curtain, a little at a time and quickly.  Check and make sure that the pattern is lined up once you open it up.  I did not do this right the first time and had to re-do it. (Just keepin’ it real.)

Once you have created one long strip of fabric for the valence, press the seam flat.
Then fold over the side edges, press them and glue.
Hem the bottom. Then, making sure the tension rod fits, glue the top of the valance to make the pocket.  (NOTE: Do Not try and glue the pocket with the rod in there… just make sure it fits before you start gluing is all…)

Remember, you can ensure that your fabric is straight by making sure the front side of the stripe lines up perfectly with the stripe you can see through the back side of the fabric.

Once you’ve hemmed all the sides and created the pocket, flip it over and attach your decorative trim to the bottom of the valance.

Now, moving on to the decorative panel. Hem the sides by folding and pressing, then folding over and pressing again.  That will give you a nice clean side edge.

Hem the bottom of the panel.  Figure out which side you want your finished panel to be in (ie the left or the right side of the tub…)  I wanted my finished panel on the left, so I spread out the left half of my valance (upside down), then placed the panel on top of it.

This is a good time to measure from the top of the valance to the bottom of the panel.  I wanted the finished piece to come in at 6’10” for my 7′ ceiling.  Trim the top of the panel if necessary to achieve the length you want.

Attach panel with hot glue right at the bottom of the valance pocket.

Slide tension rod into the pocket and hang up your curtain.

Position the rod right under the ceiling and in front of the shower curtain.

Get a cute tie-back and gather the decorative panel to the side.  As I mentioned, this one was put up in a hurry.  It all needs to be steamed a bit, and the decorative panel needs proper poufing, but over all, I’m happy with how it turned out.

Here’s the original one I made for our front bathroom.

What do you think?
UPDATED: I was asked in the comments for a breakdown of what this project cost…
2 Tension Rods at 14.95 each
1 shower curtain liner at 14.95
1 set of shower curtain rings at 10.99
Sub total = $55.84 (less a bunch of Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons)
Total for hardware about $50
Striped fabric = $5 per yard
Solid fabric = $4 per yard
Trim = $1 per yard
Total for fabric about $46.50

So the whole project came in at less than $100.  You could bring it in for a lot less, it depends on your fabric choices.  The black & white curtain cost less than $50 because I chose less expensive materials and already had some of the hardware.

Check the bottom of the blog to see where I link up
Weekend Bloggy Reading


  1. says

    I think I LOVE it!!!! This will be bookmarked because I have not been able to find the right shower curtain for the kids’ bath. I have a vision and the current one kind of meets it but not quite. You are an amazing lady…who may or may not need a new glue gun :)

  2. says

    Erm . . . Word of warning. A craft glue gun doesn’t get as hot, meaning that the glue melts at a lower temperature, and if it gets hot enough your glue could remelt! I’ve had projects fall apart due to heat exposure – a too sunny window, car on a summer day. Not sure how hot a bathroom can get. Go for a standard glue gun if you can.

  3. says

    Thanks for your word of warning, Elaine Z. However, I have had this same shower curtain, made with the same glue gun, in a bathroom that is shared by 4 boys who take crazy long hot showers….
    It has held up beautifully for more than 3 years.

  4. says

    LOL about your glue gun! Mine is pristine and looks like it just came out of the box…what does that say about me? :-) That is an absolutely beautiful shower curtain you made. I can’t wait to see the rest of the bathroom! :-)

  5. says

    You are amazing! I’ve been a daily reader of your blog for about a month now…we’re closing on our new home at the end of the month and can’t wait to use some of your ideas! How much did this curtain ultimately end up costing? I would love if you could share costs w us when you write your blogs. Either way, you’re the best & keep it up!

  6. says

    I love my glue gun but I will admit I never thought to use it in place of my sewing machine.

    I think you should jump on an airplane and come help me fix a few things around here while IA is visiting, it will be like old times minus 3. Never mind we just need to hang again, no work. How about it? Should I expect you in 3 weeks too?!!?

  7. says

    This seriously could not have come at a better time! I was wondering yesterday if I could do this and WHAM! Viv to the rescue! Come link this up and share it with the 3 of 4 people who read my blog.

  8. says

    Wow! Not a single stitch of thread…speechless! Love the details of the tutorial…I feel I could do this now…where’s that glue gun?…

    Also, I would like to personally invite you to our new Rockin’ link party every Friday at RoCa and Company. Come and show off what you got this coming Friday. Hope to see you there…

    Remember…YOU ROCK!!

    Carmen @
    RoCa and Company

  9. says

    I feel like such an idiot! Never entered my mind to use a glue gun! I have been on a waiting list with seamstress, and paying $50-75 per panel for pocket drapes! I am going to start with a simple shower curtain, with no valance, and see how it goes…how do I get daily ideas from you??

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