Mother Earth Living

Try This: Shower Curtain Caddy

Recycle your old shower curtain into a functional bath caddy with this sewing project.
By Tiffany Threadgould
March 2011 Web
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Turn your old shower curtain into a functional bath tote.
Photo Courtesy Sterling

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The following is an excerpt from ReMake It! Recycling Projects from the Stuff You Usually Scrap by Tiffany Threadgould (Sterling, 2011). The excerpt is from Chapter 2: Fantastic Plastic. 

Shower Curtain Caddy 
Skill Level: Hard


• 1 used, clean shower curtain
• scissors
• ruler
• washable marker
• binder clips
• straight pins
• sewing machine or needle and thread


1. Using a ruler, mark up your pieces on the shower curtain and cut them out. You’ll need two rectangles that are 13½ inches x 10 inches (body of the caddy), two rectangles that are 14 inches x 3 inches (handles), one rectangle that’s 12¾ inches x 5 inches (inside divider), and two or three rectangles that are 2 inches x 4½ inches (optional side tabs).

2. Cut a 3-inch square out of both bottom corners of the body pieces (see diagram a). These cuts will become “box corners” later in this project.

3. Fold each side of the handle pieces in ½ inch lengthwise. Then, fold each in half lengthwise. Clip both handle pieces together with binder clips or paper clips. Stitch a backstitch in a straight line ½ inch from the open edge (see diagram b). When you’re sewing on vinyl, use a wide stitch that is between ¹/8 inch and ¼ inch wide. Vinyl is sewn a bit differently from fabric. If you’re using a sewing machine, sometimes you have to pull the vinyl through the machine, rather than letting the machine feed it through.

4. Hem the top of each body piece by ½ inch. Make sure the “wrong side,” that is, the side you don’t want to have as the outside of the bag, is facing toward you as you hem. Hem the top and bottom of the center divider piece by ½ inch (see diagram c).

5. Place one of the body pieces on a flat surface with the wrong side facing up. Place the divider piece on top of the body piece 1 inch down from the top. Center it from both edges and pin it in place. Measure the exact center point on the top of the body piece, and stitch a straight line down the center of the two pieces, sewing them together (see diagram d).

6. If you want small outer tabs on your caddy now is the time to hem and then sew them to the body of the shower caddy. Hem the top and bottom by ½ inch. Center the tab piece on the right side (outside) of the body piece. Sew the short ends to the body piece to make a larger strap that can hold a wide hairbrush (see diagram e). If you want your strap to hold smaller items like toothbrushes, just stitch another line down the middle of the strap.

7. Lay one of the body pieces on a flat surface with the wrong side facing up. Take one handle and place each end 3 inches in from the edges of the body piece and 1½ inches down from the top of the body piece. Pin both sides of the handle in place. Stitch an “X” through both ends where it overlaps the body piece (see diagram f). Repeat for the other body piece.

8. With the right sides facing each other, place both body pieces together (match the edges so they are straight). Sew through both pieces along the bottom and side edges (see diagram g). Make sure you do not sew along the notches or along the divider piece.

9. Now, you will sew up the box corners you cut in step 2. Pick up the body pieces you just sewed together and lay the side seam on top of the bottom seam. Flatten the body of the bag with the side seam laying flat on top of the bottom seam. Stitch a straight line along the box corner, perpendicular to the side and bottom stitches (see diagram h). Repeat for the other box corner.

10. Flip the caddy inside out so the correct side is facing out. Sew the loose edges of your center dividers to the opposite side of the inside of the caddy directly below the handles (see diagram i). To do this, sew a running stitch through both the fabric of the center dividers and the body of the shower caddy to secure them together. Pack your new caddy with shampoo, conditioner, combs, and ReMake It power!

Lay out the pieces to use the existing grommets at the top of the curtain as drainage holes in the caddy. To do this, use the top edge of the shower curtain as the bottom edge of the caddy’s body pieces. Make sure your shower curtain is clean and free of mold.

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