DIY shower curtain: draw a squid on it!

Guestpost by Lara on Jul 26th

Ever since watching 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at an impressionable young age, I've been part-fascinated, part-terrified by the thought of giant squids (Squid? Squids? Plurals, ha I laugh at the idea of using the correct plurals). To be honest they creep me out a little bit, but, oh Offbeat Homies, are they fun to draw.

The joy of this particular DIY is that it is very cheap to do and because of that, I didn't feel any pressure to get it perfect or worry too much if it doesn't last that long. Come with me on an adventure in drawing on your stuff! It's ok, you are a grown up now, you are allowed.

Here are some things you will need:

  • A shower curtain (doesn't have to be special, I used a cheap one I bought at a bargain shop, but it is best if it is not so thick and opaque that you cannot trace through it)
  • Water-resistant permanent marker pens. There are loads of different ones and I didn't investigate which were best, so you might want to do some research. I used Posca pens. They come in quite a few different colours and pen nib sizes. I used black, round tip, fine lined ones. It took two pens to do this squid, but they were getting very low on ink towards the end! I love them. You can also use these to draw straight onto walls! Here's a mural I did with them… oooh mountainy!
  • Enough scrap paper to map out your drawing and some chunky felt tips (you can skip this if you are feeling confident in your drawing skills and want to just go for it!)
  • Masking tape
  • Blu-tack
  • and a flat, reasonably smooth surface to lean on (in my case, a wall in my flat)

First of all, make sure the shower curtain is clean and dry. I gave mine a good old scrub with cleaner first just to get rid of any soapy scum, dust etc.

You can skip this step if you want to just draw away, but if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the size of the curtain, I found this really helpful! Measure it and make a template the same size out of old paper. I had a lot of paper in the recycling so just used that and taped it together.

Using a fairly chunky felt tip, sketch out your design on the paper template. As you can probably see from the photo, I took three stabs to get the design how I wanted. I started with a light colour and each time I chose a darker felt tip and refined the lines to make it neater until it was more or less how I wanted it. This is probably not very efficient but it takes away the pressure to get it right first time!

Next, tape or blu-tack your template onto a flat surface and tape the shower curtain over the top, so that your design is where you want it to sit on your curtain. You should be able to see the pen lines through the fabric. Make sure you are about to draw on the side of the curtain that will face away from the water when hanging in the shower.

Now, start tracing that bad boy! I found it easiest to do the outlines first and then come back to do details like suckers and the cross hatching afterwards. Be careful, it is easy to smudge the ink when it is wet (but it dries pretty fast).

Let it dry and then hang it up and enjoy! Woohoo — your very own squidy curtain!

A word of caution: I'm not sure how long this squid will last. I've had mine up in the shower room for about three months now and it doesn't smudge or shed bits of crud all over the place, but it is scratching away a tiny bit in places. You may be able to get other pens that last longer, but I am pretty happy with the results. It's cheap, quick and if it goes wrong or you accidentally rip the curtain or get hair dye on it, it's not the end of the world!

Enjoy drawing on your stuff and when it starts to look sad or get grubby, get those pens out and start thinking of what other fun things you could doodle…

Because I love the Offbeat Homies I've made a PDF of this design for your tracing pleasure! Email me if you would like it. For those that prefer diagrams, here's a cartoon how-to as well!

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About Lara

Lara is an illustrator and art editor. When not drawing, photoshopping, cutting up bits of paper or knocking ink over everything, she is usually found drinking many cups of tea, thinking about how great dogs are and watching films. Tweet tweet @toasty_monster