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Make your own Roman Shades: A DIY Tutorial Inspired by How We Make Window Treatments at Loganova Shades

When you decide to freshen your window treatments with something more modern than drapes and blinds, Roman shades are a natural choice due to their flexibility of design, fabric, pattern, size, and colour. Many people who want Roman shades have only two ways to get them: buy ready-made shades at a store and choose from what’s available, or have them custom-made to your exact taste and specification.

DIY Roman Shade

However, there is a third choice for the handy-of-hand: make them yourself. Making Roman shades seems simple enough when you look at them, but a second look may bring second thoughts. Because of Roman shades’ contemporary uncluttered design, even small mistakes in measurement, trimming, and construction can stand out and grab attention away from your personal creativity.

Here at Loganova Roman Shades we’ve hand-made thousands of individually beautiful and reliably functional Roman shades for our customers, and we put two qualities into all our shades that distinguish Loganova window coverings – care and more care. With that in mind, we present our guide to making Roman shades that won’t look DIY.

Come on over to view our collection and see just how wide the variety of styles and designs can be when your Roman shades are custom-made.

The right tools for the job

tools DIY shades

make window treatments

Begin with everything you need on-hand and ready to go – tools, materials, and time enough for careful work. Here are the tools and materials, the time is up to you:

  • Decorator fabric

  • Drapery lining fabric

  • Fusible web, 1/2″ wide

  • Plastic rings, 1/2″

  • Shade cord

  • Cord cleat

  • Cord pulls

  • Velcro tape - loop side

  • Velcro tape - hook side

  • Thread

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

  • Pins

  • Fabric marker

  • Iron

  • Sewing machine

  • Serger (for adding a nice finishing touch to the seams)

  • Drill

  • Screw driver

  • Screws for your hardware

  • Hand saw (optional)

  • Staple gun or hot glue gun

  • Corner braces, 1 1/2″

  • 1 x 2 wood board (length will be determined by the width of your shade)

  • Wood dowels

  • Slat of wood, large wood dowel or metal rod (for weighing down shade)

  • 3 Screw eyes

Note that exact sizes and amounts of fabrics and some materials are determined by your measurements. This is another area where you need to be careful, so here’s how to measure properly:

Measuring and cutting, getting it right from the start

First and foremost, measure your window for width and length. Measure it again. There is a good video showing how to measure your shade on our youtube channel.

Cut your decorator fabric 6″ wider than the finished width and 5″ longer. For instance, assume that – based on your measurements your window measurements – our example shade will be 24″ wide and 62″ long. Your fabric will then be 30″ wide and 67″ long. Cut the lining 24” wide (finished width)  and 67” long (finish length plus 5 inches).

DIY sketch window treatment     

Now calculate the wood dowel spacing. Evenly space the dowels 8″-12″ apart, and cut them 1″ shorter than the finished width of the shade. For our example shade we’ll use 3/8″ dowels spaced  8 7/8″ apart with a 1.5″ hem.

wood pieces roman shade

Cut the 1 x 2 wood board to the measurement of the finished width of the Roman shade. Home improvement materials suppliers can cut your wood to measure. Dowels are available there, too. If you cut your own, a small hand saw will do the job.

Alternatively, you can use a metal weight (found at Home Depot) and plastic dowels and metal track with chain mechanism (order the complete set from the LOGANOVA DIY department).

metal pieces roman shades

Sewing the decorative fabric and the lining together

steps DIY window treatment
  • 1/ Make the edges of the fabric and lining clean and even. 

  • 2/ Double fold the edge of the decorative fabric on 1.5’’ and iron it firmly. 

  • 3/ Spread your decorator fabric right side down and align the inner edge with the lining fabric to it, right side up. 

  • 4/ Use fusible web to connect the lining with the shade’s edge. 

steps DIY roman shade

  • 5/ Iron the shade’s edge. 

  • 6/ Optional: For your convenience, pin the edge before using the iron. Hand sew the edge together with the lining. 

  • 7/ Iron the edge. In illustration 8, you can see how the edge should look after you finish.

  • 8/ Do the same for the other side.

Marking the dowel positions

steps DIY window treatments

  • 9/ Here, we are using an example shade. Use your project’s measurements. Mark the dowel positions on the wrong side of the decorator fabric using your ruler and fabric marker, starting from the bottom. The line for the first dowel will be 8 ⅞” from the bottom (our segment’s size) plus 3 inches (needed to create the bottom pocket hem for the weight) plus the dowel’s diameter (in this case 1 ¼”). The rest of the dowel’s lines will be 8 ⅞” above the previous line plus the dowel’s diameter.

Making the dowel pockets

  • 10/ Make a seam along each line you marked. 

  • 11/ Fold on each seam with the right side of the fabric inside, and iron. 

  • 12/ Sew along the folded edge to create a pocket for the dowel. Approximate size is the diameter of the dowel divided by 2 plus ⅛”. 

Hemming the bottom

DIY process window treatment
  • 13/ Double fold the edge of the shade’s bottom on 1.5’’ and iron it firmly. 

  • 14/ Repeat steps in illustrations 6, 7, and 8. Make sure you leave an opening on one end of the pocket to insert the bottom weight. 

DIY process roman shade

Finishing the top

  • 15/ Creating decorative piping along the top of the shade is optional. We will issue a separate tutorial for creating the piping.

  • 16/ Sew the velcro loop along the last inch of the top of the shade.

DIY window treatment

DIY window treatment

Attaching the rings

  • 17/ Insert dowels into the pockets. 

DIY roman shades

DIY steps window treatments

  • 18/ If the shade is wider than 25-27 inches, hand sew the rings at the ends of the dowel and in the middle. 

Attaching the mounting board

steps DIY roman shades
  • 19/ Covering the mounting board is a final touch that gives your shade a professional finish. Cut a fabric strip the length of the mounting board plus 3” and the width of the distance all the way around the board plus 3”. Staple or hot glue the fabric around the board.

  • 20/ Staple the velcro hook side stripe to one edge. Attach the shade to the mounting board using velcro. 

step DIY process window treatment

Installing screw eyes

  • 21/ Install screw eyes on the underside of the mounting board above each row of rings. Drill the holes or screw them in by hand.

DIY roman shade

DIY window treatment

  • 22/ Insert the screw eyes and use a screwdriver or similar tool to tighten them.

Fitting the cords and hardware

  • 23/ Place your shade face down on a flat surface. Decide which side your draw cord needs to be. This is the direction the cords will. Cut enough cord that there will be two or more feet left after the last screw eye. Start at the bottom and begin at the first row.

step DIY window treatment

  • 24/ and 25/ String the cord through the rings and through each eye screw as in the diagram. Do each row the same way. Secure each cord to the bottom rings. Use fabric glue to stop the knots from fraying or loosening.

step DIY roman shade

step DIY roman shade

  • 26/ Mount “L” brackets from a hardware store to the mounting board, then mount the Roman shade to the intended window or wall, as shown above.

step DIY roman shade

Adjust the length of the cord with the shade lowered, keeping equal tension among the cords. Add a cord pull to your cord and a cord cleat to your wall.

DIY roman shade

Now step back and enjoy your beautiful Roman shade. It’s a weekend project that gives you years of functional décor.

Browse through our whole Roman shades collection for more inspiration. Check the high-quality fabrics our professionals work with!

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