Projects: DIY Ombre Shower Curtain (Plus a guest post on DBL!)

Before I get into the topic of the day, I’m very excited to let you know I’m guest posting today over on Design Build Love. I met Ashley a while ago through blog-land and always enjoy reading her awesome DIY blog, so I was very excited when she asked me to round up my favorite gift ideas for the holiday season. Hop over and check it out if you have a minute. And while you’re at it, check out the other guest bloggers in her Favorite Things series:


Ok, now back to the matter at hand. My new half-homemade shower curtain.

If you follow me on Facebook (and you should!) you already saw a sneak peak of this project a couple weeks ago. I am very excited about it. Mostly because it was a huge pain in the rear and I am just excited to be done with it since it was a big hold up in our guest bathroom progress. But also because I think it turned out awesome! And it only took a few weeks of trial and error. Emphasis on the error.

It all started when I decided that I wanted an extra long shower curtain for our super tall bathroom. You know. The one I’ve been working on renovating for like ever. You can read the last update here if you’ve forgotten. I know it’s been a while. :( We have actually made a little more progress in the room, and I’ll share that soon. But today, I’m just here to talk about the shower curtain.

Anyway… I knew I wanted an extra tall curtain, but fun shower curtains and tall shower curtains just don’t seem to coexist. So I decided to buy a plain one and force it to be fun. I placed an Amazon order (a long time ago) for this curtain and this liner. Here’s the curtain:

shower curtain ombre-1

When they came, I had already decided that I wanted a yellow ombre. I have been in love with these curtains from Anthro forever:

… and this image I pinned ages ago had me in awe:

… so even though the thought of dying things scares me a little, I figured if I can successfully paint my kitchen counters, a box of dye should be child’s play. Not so my friends. Not so.

I’ll not bore you with the details, but here are some photos of my first attempt:

shower curtain ombre-2 shower curtain ombre-3 shower curtain ombre-5 shower curtain ombre-4

At this point I sent a picture to Dania, who responded with “Perhaps yellow isn’t the best ombre color for a bathroom…” Yeah. I get the point. The dye didn’t take at all. And my curtain just looks, well, gross.

I was going for a golden yellow, but ended up with pee-stain yellow. I really should have known that the nylon blend curtain wouldn’t absorb dye well, but I was hoping for the best. Turns out it was just a waste of time. On the plus side, I was able to bleach the curtain and get all the yellow right out. So we can reuse it when we get to our master bathroom update some day.

Don’t worry though. This story has a happy ending. As usual, when I can’t think of a solution, I just avoid the problem. Hence the bathroom reno stall out. But a few weeks later I was walking through Tuesday Morning when I happened on a clearance bin of bedsheets. And it occurred to me that cotton would be much easier to dye. And that a full size bed-sheet is almost the exact same size as the liner I’d already bought. And that really any fabric can be a shower curtain if you add grommets and a liner. You see where I’m going with this. Ombre attempt take two – OR – how I made my own no-sew shower curtain.

I bought a 100% cotton flat sheet for $10 and dyed it again. And it worked much better this time, but I wasn’t quite satisfied. It was still pretty sun-yellow, and I wanted gold-yellow. (I couldn’t get Dania’s sarcastic warning out of my head.) So a week or so after the first dye attempt on my second curtain, I dyed just the end in a more orange shade. Yes that’s three dye sessions if you’re keeping track. Luckily a box of dye is only around $3.00, so this was still a pretty inexpensive project overall.

I can’t express enough how nervous this all made me. It’s easy to recap now, but at the time I was terrified that after washing the whole thing would come out orange. Or pee-yellow again. It was really one big crap shoot as to what I would end up with and I just tried things as I went to get the gradation I was looking for. At one point I even had to bleach the top of the curtain back because it turned yellowish in the wash when the dye bled off the bottom half. (If I’m honest, it could still probably stand to get a little whiter, but we’ll see how ambitious I am about that.)

Well after several weekends of this ongoing curtain drama, I finally got a result I am very happy with:

Then it was just a matter of adding grommets. So I bought a grommet kit at Lowes for a few dollars and followed the instructions. I did spray paint the grommets before putting them on, just because the brassy gold they came in wasn’t looking awesome to me.

Then I lined up my shower liner with the top of my new curtain (Lucious helped if you’re wondering why there’s a cat-shaped lump in the middle of the liner):

And marked off all the holes with a sharpie so my spacing would be correct (I cut these out later, so I wasn’t left with any marker on the curtain):

Then you just punch a hole (I used the kit to get started but had to break out some scissors to get it to cut all the way through):

and put in the grommet, and use the kit to pinch the two sides together:

Twelve grommets and a tired arm later and hooray shower curtain!! Yay for persistence!

So that’s one more bathroom project I can check off the list. We don’t actually have it hung up yet though, because I want to finish painting before we install the new curtain rod (yeah that’s still not done…), which will block access to the part of the room that needs the paint. Hopefully we can get it taken care of soon, because I’m dying to see my homemade ombre curtain in action! And to show it to you guys too of course. :)

Hope you had a great Monday.


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  • Tina

    Hi where can I get the silver rings for my shower curtain
    Can you tell me what is called I went to a DIY shop but no help he didn’t
    Know where to get it from.the shower curtain has holes already just
    Want to put those sliver rings so won’t get rips on it when using the shower curtain.

    • Dawn Sailors

      Hi Tina! I think you are referring to the grommets. I bought mine at Lowes in the hardware department. I think you should also be able to find them at Hobby Lobby or Michaels and they usually come in a kit to attach them to the curtain. Hope that helps! :)

  • elaine

    Can you post a picture of the finished project. I have an extra tall shower curtain liner and NO shower curtain. I’ve been looking for a blue ombre.


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