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Can a Shower Curtain Be Hung on the Wall as Art Or Would that be a Really Bad Idea? (Some Shower Curtains are Really Nice Though)

A bathroom with bathtub and shower curtains.

The question of whether you can use a shower curtain to make a piece of art for the wall is debatable. Mainly, shower curtains are super colorful and printed in overly sharp designs these days. It begs to wonder if these would look just as good in the living room as they do in the bathroom.

To help you decide whether or not you want to hang your very pretty shower curtain as it is made to be hung in the bathroom or in the bedroom for display purposes only. Because here’s my bottom line on this debate–you never want to depend on a shower curtain as the only work of art in a space. Yes, it can be used for a temporary background or backdrop, but otherwise, the shower curtain is not the right material to use for viewing and displaying a wonderful and wondrous work of photography or painting!

Not for Actual Art for Several Reasons

Here is the first one. Actual works of art should be properly displayed in either a canvas or framed manner. This is the traditional way that art, including paintings and two-dimensional works, are best viewed. It’s a manner of propriety for art in that format. Otherwise, it looks cheapened. You could use a shower curtain that has a really cool print on it. To do this, cut out the print in a square shape so it fits what would be a poster-sized area on the wall. 

Tangled sky lantern with a frame.

But if you do this, you are only going to end up with what looks like a cheap knock off of an actual painting or photograph. You are much better off getting the real deal in terms of art and leaving the shower curtains in the bathroom. As noted in the Ava Blake Creations photo above, there are people who do this with a shower curtain, and then use it for wall art in their own bathroom. In that instance, this makes sense. According to that blogger, “Here is a closer shot of the print. So romantic. I love the lanterns coming out of the castle at night but I super love the little couple in the boat! This curtain is polyester and water proof.”

Fine Art America Would Disagree

And so does Society6, as these companies provide shower curtains for sale for customers who want actual works of art printed on shower curtains. I know because I have created more than 55 designs to sell through Society6 and many of these can be purchased on a shower curtain.

It’s strange to think about, but in this case, no, I don’t think the shower curtain makes for a fine work of art. Even if a company called Fine Art America sells these custom printed shower curtains with art created by independent artists, this does not make the shower curtain suitable for hanging on the wall as art.

Shower curtain with custom design and metal connectors.

Source: Fine Art America

The material of a shower curtain sold by Fine Art America features really fancy prints like an Animal Map of the World.

Shower curtain with world map designs doodle.

Source: Fine Art America

But this artwork is made especially for bathroom decor. You are going to want to sit in your bathtub and stare at them for hours on end, yes, that’s true. However, you will not want to take them off of the shower curtain rod and use these shower curtains for wall art.

Hanging these works of art on the wall like a painting makes the entire vibe of the space feel off. You do not get the real benefit of the artwork, which is to inspire and blend in with the rest of the space. 

This is because the art is printed on thin and often shiny fabric. The light does not capture the colors and tones in the right way on a shower curtain. After all, works of art on a wall are made in a certain way for a reason. These prints of paintings and photography are either protected from glare and dust using a glass, which also clears up the work of art for our visual pleasure. 

Shower Curtains are Oversized Art

It is also important to note that a shower curtain is oversized in comparison to a typical work of art. Just like when you select the size of television you want for your living room based on the total room size, you should do the same with art.

In order to not overtake the entire space, the artwork needs to have the right dimension in proportion to the rest of the room. You are not going to achieve this with a shower curtain that is printed on a large scale. 

Shower curtains with custom flower designs.

Source: Fine Art America

The shower curtains are on average 71 inches wide by 74 inches tall. That’s six feet of material both wide and long. If you are trying to decorate a loft room that has a giant wall of 12 feet and it’s very far from where people hang out, then yes, that would be ideal. For about 97 percent of the rest of the people on the planet, our rooms are simply much too small for using shower curtains for hanging works of art on the wall. Art is made to be appreciated.

When is This Rule Overturned

Here is when I would say–along with having a room that’s huge–you want to use a shower curtain for a work of wall art. If you are trying to cover an entire wall for a short period of time with something new for inspiration or to take photos–or for a party occasion, then use a shower curtain to cover the wall.

This is an instant upgrade from whatever boring and bland and most likely beige or brown wall there was there before. However, this is not something that will last all of the time. You cannot depend on a shower curtain to suffice for an actual work of art hanging on a wall. It just won’t cut the muster.