10 Smart Ways to Repurpose a Shower Curtain

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They're made to be sturdy and water-resistant, so it stands to reason that shower curtains can prove useful beyond your bathroom. From helping you sleep on a camping trip, to lowering your heating bill in the winter, old shower curtains can serve a myriad of purposes. Vinyl shower curtain liners and fabric shower curtains aren't equally suited for all projects, but both types have their uses. Just be sure to clean a curtain before using it.

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1. DIY Drop Cloth

Painting projects are always messier than you think they're going to be. One wrong move and you've sent paint droplets flying across the room. The more drop cloths you lay out in advance, the better. An old shower curtain is perfect for this purpose.

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2. Protect Tables

Again, the washable and water-resistant nature of a shower curtain makes it perfect for protecting your surfaces from paint. It's useful for any sort of messy project. Spread a clean curtain over a table before giving kids clay or glitter to play with, or throw it over a picnic table before spreading out a sticky snack.

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3. Pet-Proof Car Seats

Your furry companion may love going for adventures in the car.... or they may associate it with the vet's office and put up a fight. Either way, pet owners know how hard it is to clean fur out of car seats. Before the next trip, lay out a shower curtain over the entire backseat, tucking it into the seat to keep it in place. (If you're using a slippery vinyl shower liner, cover it with a towel to keep your pet from sliding around.)

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4. Line Drawers

No one wants to think about exactly what that crud is in the corners of their junk drawers. Instead of cleaning in those corners, it's far preferable to just lift up a drawer liner and toss it out, leaving a clean surface behind. You can buy drawer liners in a store, but cutting up an old shower curtain is a free alternative. If possible, pull the drawers out and trace them on the curtain to get the perfect fit.

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5. Under Tents or Sleeping Bags

Sleeping under the stars is only relaxing when you're warm and dry. To that end, you need a barrier between your tent or sleeping bag and the cold, damp ground. Old shower curtains are great for this purpose. They fold or roll up fairly tight, so carrying one shouldn't add extra bulk to your next camping trip.

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6. As a Weed Barrier

Love growing new things but hate pulling weeds? Many gardeners opt to bury fabric beneath the soil as a weed barrier. If you want to try it but don't want to pay for weed barriers, you could use an old shower curtain for this purpose. Try experimenting with one small plot at first.

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7. Make a Slip and Slide

Children of the 1980s and 1990s will never forget the sheer joy of their first slip and slide experience....followed by the bruises that would appear after you landed on a rock or tree root. Ah, the good old days. An old vinyl shower curtain can recreate the experience for today's kids. Spread it out, turn a hose on it and let kids slip and slide across the curtain.

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8. Make an Art Apron

When your home includes little kids, you can never have too many washable art smocks. Keep a half dozen handy for messy playdates. They're easy to make from a clean vinyl shower curtain liner. Cut out a piece large enough to fit your child, then safety-pin on some straps.

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9. Paint a Banner

Let's be honest: a "welcome home" sign on a sheet of computer paper is nice, but a "welcome home" banner on a giant piece of fabric feels so much more... welcoming. A giant banner always makes a statement. An old shower curtain is the perfect canvas. Use paint to create your message.

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10. Make Draft Stoppers

One drafty door can send a cold breeze through your home, and raise your heating bill as you try to compensate. Keep rooms warmer using draft stoppers, which are basically just fabric tubes filled with rice or other insulators. Making them yourself does require some basic sewing skills. A shower curtain liner isn't great for this purpose, but a sturdy fabric shower curtain would work well.

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