How to Use Leaves as Stamps to Make a Botanical Shower Curtain

Use nature and a plain flat sheet to create a stunning shower curtain on the cheap.

By: Carla Wiking

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Create a gorgeous custom shower curtain that looks trendy and luxe, but won’t break the bank. Gather leaves from the backyard to stamp your pattern on a full-sized sheet. Then use a sewing machine for a simple, professional finish or for a no-sew option use grommets and iron-on tape.

Tools and Materials

  • full size flat sheet
  • fabric or acrylic paint (three green colors)
  • fabric medium (if using acrylic paint)
  • leaves (three different types/sizes, several of each)
  • sponge roller
  • rolling pin
  • cardboard
  • drop cloth
  • paper towels
  • sewing machine
  • tailor’s chalk/disappearing marker
  • iron
  • thread
  • seam ripper
  • (12) grommets (no-sew option)
  • iron-on adhesive hemming tape (no-sew option)

Step 1: Gather Materials and Prep Fabric

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Wash and iron the sheet. Lay the sheet on a flat surface with a drop cloth underneath it. If the surface under your sheet is not smooth you may want to place a piece of cardboard or foam board under the spot you will be stamping.

Step 2: Stamp First Leaf

Start with the largest leaf and mid-tone color paint. If using standard acrylic paint, mix it with fabric medium according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Lay the leaf face down on a piece of cardboard. Use a paint roller to apply paint to the underside of the leaf. Carefully lay the leaf paint side down on the sheet, cover with paper towels, and roll over it with the rolling pin to press the design into the fabric. Gently lift the leaf.

Step 3: Continue Stamping

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Repeat the process with your largest leaf shape. You can use the same leaf many times. Try to lay each print down in a different direction and with a variety of space between the stamps to create an organic pattern. Let this first set of stamps dry completely.

Step 4: Stamp Second Leaf

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Take the medium-sized leaf and darkest green paint and repeat steps 2 and 3.

Step 5: Stamp Final Leaf

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Use your smallest leaf and lightest color to repeat steps 2 and 3. Be sure to make some leaves overlap and fill in any gaps in your design.

Step 6: Set the Design

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Once the sheet is completely dry and cures, ideally at least 24 hours, use a hot dry iron to press the back side of your sheet to set the paint.

Step 7: Prep for Button Holes

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Sew 12 button holes across the top of the sheet for hanging from shower rings. To determine how far apart to place the holes, measure the width of the sheet, subtract 4 and divide by 11. My sheet was 82” so I started the first hole 2” from the edge and spaced the rest of the holes 7” apart. Use a fabric marker or tailor’s chalk to mark the buttonholes 1” down from the top edge and 1/2” long.

Step 8: Sew Button Holes

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Follow your sewing machine’s instructions for sewing buttonholes along each of your marks. Open the holes by placing a pin across the top of the hole and carefully pulling a seam ripper through the space in your stitches. For a no-sew option, install grommets at each mark using the instructions that come with the grommet package.

Step 9: Double Fold and Hem

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

Hang your curtain and measure where you would like it to fall. If it needs to be hemmed more than a few inches, cut some of the excess fabric off. Hem the sheet to the desired length by folding the fabric up 1/2" and pressing and then folding it again to the desired length and pressing again. Stitch along the top of the fold. For a no-sew option, use iron-on adhesive hemming tape.

Step 10: Hang and Enjoy

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

As will any decorative shower curtain, you will also need to hang a waterproof curtain liner behind it. Get ready for lots of compliments to which you can reply, “Thanks, I made it myself!”

Photo by: Carla Wiking

Carla Wiking

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