Shower curtain rings, but not the stupid plastic ones

I have this problem.  I see something in a store and I think “I can totally make that” or “that’s pretty tacky.  I could make something better,” so I don’t buy it.  Then I go home and proceed to NOT make that thing, and then I just live without it.  I did that with curtain rings for about 3 or 4 months.  Consequently, I didn’t have a shower curtain.  I went to the gym to shower—a lot.

Having a roommate meant I sort of needed to get at least one shower curtain up in one bathroom, and so I did a rather make-shifty thing, which ultimately worked pretty well.  I just threaded about 5 yards of spooled grosgrain ribbon through the shower curtain holes and around the shower rod.  Voila.  It was girlie, but my roommate (a dude) weathered on.  Hey, it matches at least!  Eh… it was a happy accident that it did match.  I won’t take credit; anyone who knows me knows matching stuff just isn’t in my DNA.

So skip ahead about 10 lost pounds, the result of being forced to at least show up at the gym, which in turn forced me to at least get on the treadmill, which… you see the spiral:  I finally sat down to make the stupid shower curtain rings I’d been swearing to make.  Here’s what I did:

Gather ye mats:
16-gauge wire
Needle-nose pliers

1)  First, I cut a length of wire to start my little hook.

I didn’t worry too much about accuracy, but they were all about 18-inches long.  I cut them one at a time in case I found they were too long or short as I went.  I’m making this stuff up, here.  I think too long would be better.

2) Next, I bent that length in half.

The loop/bend part of the wire will become the hook end.  You can see in the finished photo above there’s a little tiny wire loop at the end of each hook.

3) Then I bent a hook in the wire. (Pictured)

I had varying success with this.  The smoothest bends were attained by holding the loop in the pliers, then guiding the bend in the wire with my other hand, all in one slow motion.  Stopping the motion is bad.  If the bend was too sharp, I fixed it afterwards.  If I tried to bend a little, move the pliers, bend a little, move the pliers, I had a really jerky-looking hook.  I didn’t like those as much, although my pictured hook is just that.  Oh well.

4)  Make 90-degree bends in the wire tail. (Pictured)

This is the one place I made sure things were uniform.  Since the shower curtain would hang on these little 90-degree shoulders, these shoulder-bends should be the same distance from the hooks.  To keep this consistent from hook to hook (and because I hate measuring),  I decided my first hook would be the master hook.  Any time I bent a new hook, I’d hang the master hook and the new hook off my finger.  I marked where the new hook’s 90-degree bend should go when it hung by the master hook.  Bingo.

5) Go crazy with bending and beading.

This is the part where anything goes.  Skip ahead to see how I’d bend things differently, but for the most part, I just grabbed the wire with the pliers and twisted, curled, bent, and whatever else.  For some hooks, I would determine they should have beads on them, so after a couple of preliminary bends close to the 90-degree shoulders,  I’d thread some beads onto the wire, then continue bending out to the ends.  Sadly, most of the beads I had on hand didn’t fit over the wire.  Again, skippy to see how I’d fix that next time (aside from NOT overlooking my large-holed beads sitting happily in my precious craft box, smiling at me well after the project was finished.  The bastards).

That’s it.  Thread the hooks into your shower curtain’s holes and go take a shower, man.

Things I’d do differently next time:

  1. Smaller gauge wire.  The wire was bigger than I’d’ve liked, actually.  None of my beads fit it, except for like 6 of the really huge ones.  If I had had even one size smaller wire (a bigger number, like 20 gauge, which I’m not sure actually exists), I would have had some seriously fancy rings.  Maybe I could have reinforced the rings for stability by wrapping another wire after the fact, after the beads were strung.
  2. I would have made some sort of jig to bend the hooks around.  I just sort of guessed how much of a curve to put on the rings, which turned out “meh”, but ok for a first project.
  3. I would have made fewer (or no) upwards or sideways curlies and more downward curlies.  One issue is that they can tangle.  It’s infrequent, but still.  Another issue is that I don’t like how they stick up above the curtain.  If I’d stuck to downward-pointing frou-frou, that would’ve solved those problems.

5 thoughts on “Shower curtain rings, but not the stupid plastic ones

  1. You could still go back and bead up some really small gauge wire with whatever you want and wrap that around your hooks of bigger wire you’ve already made if you really wanted. 🙂

  2. Your local craft store is sure to have 20 gauge. Both the Michael’s and the Jo-Ann’s in my area have always had some small spools of it in the bead & jewelry section. The wire even comes in multiple colors 🙂

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