5 - 2011

A Guide to Making Roman Shades

Photo by breezyjay

The following is a guest post by Kieron Casey.

Ready made roman blinds have become a popular decorating style over the past decade, although they have been around for much longer. Many people, however, don’t realise how easy it is to make roman shades on their own. Making roman shades can save a fortune and create a customised look for the home that’s both durable and practical. Here are step-by-step instructions showing how to make roman shades in a single afternoon.

Necessary Tools
Selected fabric for the shade
Selected lining for the shade
Dowel rods, small
Small metal or plastic rings
Screw eyes
1″ x 2″ board, cut to the length of window measurements
Nylon string
Measuring tape
Fabric marker
Curtain cleats
Staple gun

1. Begin by accurately measuring the width and height of the window. Be sure to measure the inside of the window and not the outside, as the Roman shade is designed to cover the window space and not the frame.

2. Next, cut the fabric for the shade you purchased. The fabric for the shade should be about five inches longer than the actual window measurement and two inches wider. This allows for seams and adjustments.

3. After the shade fabric has been cut, move on to the lining fabric. This should have the same measurements as the shade fabric.

4. Measure and mark a line with the fabric marker to show the length of the blind. This line should be exactly 5 inches from the edge at the top because 5 inches was added to the window measurements in step two.

5. Mark the locations for the channels that will be sewn into the lining. The space between these pockets should be 8 to 12 inches. Focus only on the actual window size. The larger the space between the channels, the bigger the pleats will be when the shade is drawn. The first measurement must be taken from the bottom edge of the shade to the first pocket channel. This first area will be half the size of the area between all remaining dowel channels.

6. Now it’s time to cut the fabric for the channel pockets that will go on the lining. Cut 2-inch strips that are the same length as the width of the lining material. Fold the material over and iron a 1/2″ on the top and bottom. Next, align the folded edge of the strips beneath the marks on the lining. Pin the edges open so the crease sits on the top of the line and stitch the inside of the folded crease. Leave a 1/2″ of each strip unstitched at one edge. Iron each strip over the line that was just sewed.

7. Sew the lining to the shade fabric by centring the lining on the larger shade fabric, leaving a 1/2″ of shade fabric along the edges. Leave a 1/2″ on either side unstitched.

8. Turn the shade inside-out and press the seams with an iron. On the channels, attach metal or plastic rings.

9. Insert a dowel rod into each channel and stitch closed. Wrap the top of the shade fabric around the 1×2 board and use a staple gun to attach.

10. On the underside of this board, attach a screw eye at points that line up with the rows of plastic rings. One inch from the right side of the blind screw in another eye screw for the cord.

11. Cut two pieces of cord that are each twice the length of the entire shade. Knot the cord with a ring on the bottom row of the shade and thread it through the rings in the same row, and then through the screw eye attached at the top. Do the same for the other side of the shade. Next, thread the cord through the screw eye that’s farthest away and thread both cords through the last remaining eye to complete the shade. It’s this easy to make ready made roman blinds at home.

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