My older brother wanted some curtains in his room, but had extra no cash for a long time. Eventually, I went to the dollar tree and picked him up some shower curtains and stuck 'em in his room. He was pretty happy with em because his room was only just plain and white before. It was only 4 bucks for everything. They were so cheap that I had an idea to just write on them for a design.
I know it's odd to use shower curtains as regular curtains, but I always try keep as much money in my pocket if I can. If you don't have time, patience, and like to draw or color, then you can buy curtains with a design on them already. But if you want to create your own personal design, then I hope my first instructable gives you a good idea and an inexpensive alternative.
Step 1: Finding an Image/design
I have a blue themed bedroom and I knew I was going to buy blue shower curtains to match with them. You can always take any design and draw on the color of your choosing. Shower curtains I found at the Dollar Tree had limited colors, such as pink, light brown, green, gray, and blue.
For my room, I wanted to add some asian flavor to it, because I had plain blue stripes or plaid in it before. I really liked the idea of white cherry blossoms. Google found me this nice painting of a tree at http://fineartamerica.com/featured/cherry-blossom-at-night-rick-lowe.html
You could always draw your own and create your own design if there's something specific you wanted, like the logo of a band you like, something musical related, piano keys, or hello kitty... flowers, airplanes, sports teams or equipment, names, letters, a character you like etc etc.. Make sure it isn't too complicated or large and has a lot of colors.
Step 2: Materials
2 Vinyl Shower Curtains (My package says 70in x 72in, or 177.8cm x 182.9cm)
1 Box of Shower Curtain Rings (12 pcs of rings)
Black Permanent Markers
Pencil (or a white crayon)
Everything I needed was picked up at the dollar store, Dollar Tree.
Shower curtains - I only drew on one shower curtain and then layered another behind it because they are thin.
Shower curtain rings - Shower curtains have holes in them, and all you need to do is stick the rings in them before you can hang them up. I used one set of rings but stuck two curtains on them.
Black Permanent Markers - The shower curtains are made of vinyl, which is why I use permanent markers to color on it. I previously had to design a large poster for a school club event using a large table cloth, but the parts of the acrylic paint cracked off as the wind moved it around. In this project, out of the four pack of markers I bought, only one ran out of ink. TRY TO GET FAT TIPPED MARKERS, if you're trying to color a large area. Chisel tipped ones are perfect.
Whiteout - I found this laying around my house in my garage. I didn't see any at the dollar tree when I went. But it should be around a buck or two.
Facemask - I can't stand the smell of permanent markers or eraser board markers. So I found this in my garage to be on the safe side. If there's a lot of coloring involved, stay in a ventilated area so you won't feel sick!
Step 3: Graphing Your Image Onto Your Curtains
My shower curtain was folded into a square, so when I opened it and spread it out, it had the wrinkles left of squares. This saved me a lot of trouble, because I didn't have to measure it or draw out a graph like I thought I had to. I counted how squares there were and the length was 7 by 8 squares. There are some left over "squares" that run off the top and bottom of the curtains, but I didn't count them because I didn't plan to draw that far. Think about if you want to have your design on the top, center, or sides, and how it might look when you hang it up. I have a bed that I know is going to be covering the bottom of the curtain, so I made my design higher.
If you have graphing paper, you can draw out and sketch your design on it. My image was on the computer, so I used open office to create a layer of a regular graph. Then on the layer under, I moved around my image under the graph to see how everything would fit. If you have a simple paint program, you can just draw lines over an image, but you need to make the squares the same size.
Lay your curtain on a flat surface to draw on. I put mine between the floor of my kitchen and garage and left all of the doors open around me to let the air in. I labeled my squares alphabetically on the width and used numbers for the length. The first column was labeled A. Since there were 8 columns, I labeled them with post-its from A - H. You could always pencil in the intervals. The rows were 1 - 7. Just like bingo, A4, etc etc.
Step 4: Sketching and Outlining Your Image
For my image, I graphed it to look the same. From there, I began pencil sketching it out from left to right. Putting it in a graph makes it easier to follow the design and makes it proportional. The labeling from before will be a good reference, so you don't lose your spot or make the mistake of drawing it in the wrong place. Especially with an image like the tree with a lot of branches, it could get confusing where you are drawing.
In my sketch, I just drew a general circle where a flower would belong, instead of drawing the entire flowers. I left space for them as I was drawing the branches.
Once you're all set with the pencil, you can start outlining it. It wouldn't make sense to draw with marker at first because we might make mistakes. I got a little lazy at the end and accidentally added some extra branches that weren't there. Patience during the planning will make turn out better!
Afterward, I "painted" in the flowers with whiteout. I didn't need to use that much whiteout for all of them.
Step 5: Coloring!
Color in your design with marker. When you put your curtain in the sunlight, it will be EASY to see the lines of the marker! =( Which is another reason I put the second curtain to layer it behind, to make it darker.
I used this to my advantage, and created the texture of a tree on the curtains by coloring it in round strokes. Make sure you use the same kind of permanent marker when coloring when you run out. The ink might be a little off in color, and will be really noticeable when the light shines through it.
It takes a loooong time to color in large areas, which is why I suggest chisel or fat tipped markers. Just coloring in marker in general takes a while. If you have a simple image and some help, it'll go along a lot smoother and faster!
Step 6: Putting Your Curtains Up
After the tedious coloring with markers is done, it's finally finished! All you have to do is put the shower curtain rings through the holes of the shower curtain. I used two shower curtains and used the one set of rings to puncture through the holes to hold both. I spent about 4 dollars on it because I had whiteout already.
I wanted to have two sides of the curtains meet together in the center to make the giant picture, but I think I like the way it looks whole.