How to make roman shades

The near perfect window treatment for any home just might be Roman shades. They are a minimal look that can be customized to either blend in with the walls to expand space, or add a punch of color for personality. The fabric softens harsh lines creating a smoother overall look to a room.  The only drawback is that to order them custom made is expensive. However, with some basic sewing skills (or even no sewing at all in some of these tutorials!) you can DIY roman shades for every room in your home. Did I mention, they also help with energy efficiency? So if you are looking for an alternative to those boring mini-blinds, here are several tutorials on how to make roman shades for you home!

Fresh & New DIY Roman Shades

Step Two: Gather Supplies

  • Fabric – I purchased 5 yards of fabric. If you have a wide window, you’ll want to take the fabric’s repeat into consideration.
  • Matching thread
  • 1″ x 2″ x 8′ board – This will help form the top of the shade. I spent a little more for a nice hardwood board, so I could count on it lying flat.
  • Contrasting 1″ ribbon – I chose black. I actually wish I had gone with a thicker ribbon, so if you have a wide window, you might want to look at the 2″ ribbons.
  •  Tension curtain rods x 3 – Purchase one that will work for the width of your window. Mine were 48-84″ rods.
  • Sewing gauge
  • Sewing machinethis is the one I purchased and I’m really happy with it so far! It was a minimal investment and is pretty straight-forward: exactly what I needed.
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Step Four: Sew the pieces together

Some careful pinning and even more careful stitching, and my pattern matching actually worked! It wasn’t absolutely flawless, but I’d say it was pretty good for an absolute beginning sewer.

This is the sewing machine I purchased on Amazon, the Brother CS6000i. I was intimidated to start sewing, but I pored over the user manual (yep, that’s how I roll!) and have found it incredibly easy to use so far. It has 60 pre-programmed stitches, including some incredibly fun designs like a Greek Key pattern and a daisy chain! And as someone who will use it only occasionally, mainly for home decor projects, the price point made it extremely attractive!


Step Six: Mount the shade

First, predrill your 1×2 for the screws. I did the middle and both ends.

Your 1×2 now gets mounted directly to the window well, with the stapled edge of the fabric hidden. Because I was mounting my shade inside the window nook, I screwed my 1×2 to the “ceiling” of the nook using 2″ wood screws into the studs.


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