Not every DIY is a success. Its trial and error nature means that sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. These DIY experiences are still valuable because learning how not to do something is as important as learning how to do something.
I don’t know what about Movember screamed ‘shower curtain’ to me, but as soon as I had the idea, I knew it had to be done.
Unfortunately for my drawing hand, because of the pattern I chose, it had to be precise and there was no artistic Hail Mary that could save me if I wimped out halfway.
You cannot imagine the finger cramps, neck cramps, tears, back pain, lost sleep and despair that occurred during the 10-plus hours it took to trace, and the three late nights it took to colour-in this 6-foot-tall, 6-foot-wide monster in time for deadline.
However, the beauty of this Amazing Race-like ordeal is that I explored all the things not to do so that you can, dealing with a variety of variables, execute the shower curtain design of your dreams, instead of your nightmares.
Let’s talk pens
Paint pens are this awesome invention that produce an opaque paint effect on glass, metal, plastic, wood and more. They come in oil- or water-based colours and have the precision of a pen without the water, brushes and sloppiness of the real thing.
Unfortunately, each brand behaves differently. I found the Sharpie brand to flake off on a shower curtain, while the Craft Smart brand worked perfectly fine — until they ran out shortly after I had started. I went through eight of these before hitting the one-eighth mark.
If you are drawing something other than an intense pattern that will use up a ton of paint, you can go with paint pens. Alternatively, you can try duct tape pens (expensive) or a plain permanent marker (cheap). Tip: Buy pens from a place with a great return policy. *Editor’s note: After use, the second type of paint pen flaked off, therefor nulling any recommendation for paint pens. Don’t use them on this material!
It’s all about testing
This shower curtain was a heavy-duty 100% vinyl hotel-grade shower liner, so its texture was more like smooth plastic than weaved cloth, which meant I could use one fat Sharpie marker on the whole thing without it bleeding and ruining my design. I found this out by testing how the permanent marker wrote on the inside of the curtain at the bottom. It bled like crazy on my old shower curtain (100% polyester), but worked perfectly on this one. Save yourself the headache and go heavy-duty vinyl.
- 100% vinyl shower curtain ($10 @ HomeSense)
- permanent marker ($1.50)
- stencil (optional)
- printer (optional)
[howot]How-to: Mo shower curtain
- Find a shower curtain or liner made from 100% vinyl.
- The curtain doesn’t have to be a light colour, but I traced my image and had to be able to see through it. With a stencil, this wouldn’t be an issue.
- You can freehand a design or trace a stencilled pattern or picture. I made a moustache pattern in InDesign and printed it out, but any pattern from the Internet, or proper stencil kit from a store will work.
- Trace your design out in pencil first.
- After rigorous testing, plain old permanent marker is best as long as you’re using a vinyl curtain that won’t let the pen bleed. So get a fat Sharpie in any colour and start filling in all your traced moustaches.
- Remember to take breaks.[/howto]
Tweet me @JuliaDilworth if you try this out!