Upcycled Shower Curtain DIY Pillow Covers

A few months ago I replaced the shower curtain in our master bath at the lake and intended to donate the old shower curtain. Instead of donating it, I used the shower curtain to make pillow covers.

Pillow covers made using a shower curtain.

I’m sharing my Upcycled Shower Curtain DIY Pillow Covers for this month’s Thrifty Style Team project hosted by Julie of Redhead Can Decorate.

The Thrifty Style Team shares thrifty projects on the second Friday of each month. You’ll find links to all of the projects shared at the end of this post.

Upcycled Shower Curtain Pillow Covers

After I made the pillow covers, I took them to the lake as I knew that I had several spots there where they would be perfect to use.

On the Swing

The first spot that I tried using the pillows was on the DIY 2×4 Porch Swing that we made a few years ago.

Pillow cover made using a shower curtain.

I love to sit on this swing while relaxing and admiring the lake.

I’m so glad that this shower curtain didn’t make its way to Goodwill. The fabric pattern is perfect for spring and summer pillow covers to enjoy.

Pillow cover made using a shower curtain.

On the Sofa

The next spot that I tested for enjoying the pillow covers was the sofa on our patio.

Patio at a lake house with a sofa, pillows, and a rug

We love sitting out here, particularly in the evenings.

Patio at a lake house with sofa, chairs, and a porch swing.

We usually bring our porch furniture and rug in for the winter, but this year did not because of the work that we’ve been doing in our basement.

I thought that the rug might need replacing, but after giving it a good vacuuming, I realized that it will be fine for another year’s use. I have a carpet shampooer and will shampoo it once pollen season is over.

On the Dock

Another favorite spot to enjoy at the lake is our dock. We made these Adirondack chairs back in 2014 and they are still going strong.

Two adirondack chairs on a dock with pillows

They normally sit under the covered part of our deck which has helped to prolong their life.

Two adirondack chairs on a dock with pillows and a dog

In the evening, we like to pull the chairs to the end of the dock to sit and relax. I turned them around for pictures so that you could see the view that we enjoy.

On the Front Porch

Another spot at the lake that will be perfect for enjoying these pillows is on the DIY 2×4 Bench on our front porch.

You can barely see the bench in this picture taken at the end of March.

Smith Mountain Lake House

In this picture from February, you can see the bench a bit better.

Smith Mountain Lake House

We don’t sit on the front porch but we do use this bench for putting on our shoes or to sit groceries or other things when we arrive at the house for a weekend.

How to Make the Pillow Covers

I have been making pillow covers for years. This tutorial is another that shows step-by-step instruction for making a pillow cover. In that post you also can see some vintage cowboy and Indian things in that post that belonged to my dad.

I was on a time crunch when I made these pillows as we were leaving for the lake for the weekend and not only did I need to make these pillows covers before leaving, but also I needed to mow the grass.

I made the covers in my sewing room on a dark afternoon. The room has poor light, which made my pictures a bit dark.

Spread the Shower Curtain Out on the Floor or on a Cutting Table

I started by spreading the shower curtain out on my sewing room floor. I should have ironed the shower curtain before starting my project.

Shower curtain used to make pillow covers.

My sewing room is a mess. I moved the antique washstand that I purchased with my first teacher paycheck back in 1991 into this room from the guest room. The washstand is headed to the lake (I think) because it lost its spot in the guest room when we had a wall mounted HVAC system installed over the summer.

The Sherman pictures all used to be used in my classroom. The felt Sherman ornament on the bulletin board was made by my good friend, Suzanne.

Messy sewing room

Since I make pillow covers often, a long time ago I made patterns using craft paper.

To make a pillow cover for a 20″ pillow form, cut one piece 18″ x 18″, one 13″ x 18″, and a third 8″ x 18″.

Pattern pieces for an 18 x 18 pillows

Cut out the Pieces

I positioned the 18″ x 18″ pattern piece over a spot on the shower curtain that had the design that I wanted for the pillow front.

For the back two pillow pieces, I positioned them on the side of the shower curtain that was hemmed. This saved a sewing step in my pillow cover making process.

I recommend using pins on a pattern but if you don’t care if your cuts aren’t perfect, pattern weights (similar) save a lot of cutting time.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

After I cut out the pieces for the first pillow cover, I repositioned the pattern pieces and cut out pieces for a second cover.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

I have a cutting table that I inherited from my mother-in-law, but I always tend to use the floor instead.

Normally when making a cover, each side of the back pieces would need to be folded over 1/2″, pressed, then folded over again and pressed, and finally sewn.

Using the hemmed edges of the shower curtain allowed me to skip that step.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Before pinning the pieces together, I ironed each one.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Pin the Pieces Together

Place the front cover piece face up. (Now I’m using my cutting table.)

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Position the 13″ x 18″ piece face down over the pillow front piece, lining up the edges.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Position the 8″ x 18″ pillow piece face down on the opposite side of the front pillow cover piece.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Pin around the edges.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Sew and Trim

Sew around all edges using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

To aid in turning the pillow cover, clip the corners.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Then remove bulk by trimming the sides of the pillow cover.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.
Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Turn and Press

Turn the pillow cover.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Then press with a hot iron.

Tutorial to make pillow covers using a shower curtain.

Stuff with a pillow form and then enjoy the pillow.

Here is one of my pillow covers on my sewing chair that is an antique teacher desk chair.

Pillow cover made using a shower curtain.

I’m super pleased with my new pillow covers and they didn’t cost a cent to make.

Pin It!

Pillow Covers made using an Upcycled Shower Curtain

More Thrifty Projects to Enjoy

Now it’s time to enjoy the projects that the rest of the Thrifty Style Team is sharing today. Click on the links below to see each thrifty project.

Home Decorating Done Thrifty Style


    1. Thank you, Colleen! I hope your Easter was wonderful. It was definitely sad to not be with family this year.


  1. Hi Paula! Funny you would post this today. Just this morning I was looking at a mini quilt I’d made some time ago. It was folded away and this morning I’d pulled it out, thinking I might as well make it into a pillow. And this is the perfect pattern to do that. I especially like that there is no hand sewing. Thank you for sending it along!

    1. I am so glad that my post was timley for you, Dawn! I saw some tablecloths in one of my old trunks and immediately thought about using them for pillow covers.


    1. Our lake house is definitely our happy place and we are lucky to have it as our retreat to enjoy every weekend. The pillow covers are being used and enjoyed!


  2. I’m so jealous that you have a lake house Paula!!!!! And I love your idea to repurpose a shower curtain as pillow covers! Genius! Happy Easter friend!

    1. We are so lucky to have a lake house to enjoy. It’s our happy place and we go there nearly every weekend. Hope you had a great Easter.


  3. This makes me want to buy a darn sewing machine!!! I have never had one, and haven’t sewed anything since 7th grade in home ec class. Oh wait a few buttons, and a rip, but that’s it. Have you ever tried fabric glue? I tried it once and it worked, but obviously if you can sew, this is fantastic. Your lake house is a dream!!!!

    1. I am positive that fabric glue would work for this project. You also could use iron on hemming tape.

      We are lucky to have a lake house to enjoy. It’s definitely our happy place.


  4. You are so clever.
    And I like your outdoor rug. I bought one for our deck at the lake. I just love it and hate to replace it because I have not seen one I like as well. But boy, it’s looking shabby.

    1. I bought that rug at Walmart a few years ago. The colors have faded but it is otherwise in good condition. I think shampooing it will make it look even better. Just need to make the effort to do it!


  5. What a great upcycling idea! And you know that the fabric will hold up well with the water too. You have so many beautiful places to sit and enjoy.

    1. Thank you, Joanne! We are really blessed to have a lake home to enjoy. It’s definitely our happy place.


    1. We have four more Adirondack chairs on our deck that haven’t been stained. Since they are somewhat protected, they still look almost new. I love sitting in those chairs and particularly love that you can set your drink or book on the arms.


  6. Great use of a shower curtain!I usually get mine at GW and have made tablecloths and gift bags with them, too! My favorite one was a sheer white one with violets–I used strings of plastic pearls for the tie, wrapped the gift in tissue first! Using existing hems saves so much time (I’ve also used sheets to may pillow shams).

    1. You have great ideas for using GW found shower curtains. When GW finally reopens, I’m going to start checking that section of the store.


    1. Thank you, Mary Beth! Glad I thought of a use for the shower curtain before it went off to Goodwill.


  7. Paula, I love this idea. I have made pillows for our patio and I’ve ordered expensive ones with Sunbrella fabric It doesn’t seem to matter the cost of the outdoor fabric, it eventually fades or gets really dirty. Was there a particular type of shower curtain fabric that you used? Yours has obviously lasted. Why do you think it lasts so long? Can you wash it? I’m dying to try this idea. Thank you for sharing at Tuesday Turn About. Great Blog Hop.

    1. The shower curtain is just a regular cotton shower curtain from Target. The pillows are only outdoors for weekends and only in good weather. Since they are newly made, I don’t know if the pattern will fade once they are in the sun. I haven’t washed the fabric but I don’t see why you couldn’t.

      Thank you for featuring this post at Tuesday Turn About!


  8. I absolutely love this idea!! What a great way to enjoy a pattern you love longer! Thanks for sharing at Charming Homes & Gardens!

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