How to Make Roman Shades

Learn how to make Roman shades so you can create exactly the look you want for less cost than buying ready-made Roman shades. Making your own not only lets you select exactly the fabric and trim you want, but to also make it to fit any odd-size or shape window.

The clean, simple lines of a roman shade make it a very popular window covering choice. Roman shades come in a variety of colors and materials to enable you to find the shade that enhances your room's feel and d├ęcor. You can, of course, purchase your roman shades at a window covering, department, or home improvement store, but there is another option that you may want to consider -- especially if you are looking for a particular color or kind of fabric. You can learn how to make roman shades so that you can save some money and create the perfect shade for your room.

You will first need to determine what kind of roman shade you want for your room. There are several different types, so you will need to choose the one that will work best for your room to enhance your decor. Here are the two basic types of Roman shades.

  • Flat Roman Shades -- These are the classic type of roman shade. When they are raised, they stack up in evenly sized panels, which gives them a clean appearance. They feature flat folds and come lined, unlined, sheer, and insulated varieties. This is the easiest roman shade to make on your own due to the straight lines and design.
  • Hobbled Roman Shades -- These shades come in much of the same varieties as the flat shades, but when they are raised, they do not stack evenly behind each other, which gives them a "hobbled" look. They are a more casual roman shade.

Learning how to make roman shades on your own can be done with very little or even no sewing experience. There are many different how-to articles and books available on the internet or even at your local library. They are all made in essentially the same fashion as below, however, with just a few different touches.

Gather the materials you need for making your Roman shades. This includes fabric for the face, lining fabric (if desired), wooden dowels, lift rings, nylon cord, a wooden batten, and either sewing supplies or place and stick Velcro. These are basic supplies and, depending upon the instructions that you use, there may be other items that are needed.

First, hang the wood batten in the position that you desire. This is the base for your roman shade and you can choose to hang it inside your window frame or on the outside of the frame, whichever your personal preference. Attach the adhesive side of the Velcro to the front edge of the wooden batten.

Now you are ready to create your fabric shade. Measure the window's length and add enough to allow for a seam. Measure your window batten and add on a hem allowance as well. Now you have the width and length measurements for your roman shade. Cut it out and hem it using your sewing skills or by using fabric glue or other adhesive. Remember to make a pocket for the wooden dowel at the bottom of the panel.

Attach the plastic lift rings at an equal distance to the back of the fabric panel. The most common fold width of Roman shades is between 8 and 12 inches. You need to make sure that they are level across the shade to ensure that they fold up correctly when raised. Attach your panel to the batten by using the Velcro that was placed at the edge of the batten at the beginning of the process. Thread the nylon cord through the lift rings and attach to the batten with an eyelet hook. A cleat will help to gather all of the cording together so that you can raise and lower the shade. Enjoy the shade!

These instructions are not all-encompassing, but they can give you an idea of how simple it is to learn how to make roman shades for your home. With more detailed instructions and clear pictures, you will be able to learn how to make roman shades in no time!