Friday, July 22, 2011

How to Make Roman Shades part 2

Part 1 can be read here.

roman shades for guest room2 (3)

This post will show you how to make a Roman Shade for an inside mount. Meaning, the shade will sit inside of your window frame. Most of the sewing details are the same and can be found in part 1, but some are different. Here goes!

My window is 41” side so I want my shade exactly 41” wide for the finished width. When I was a beginner I used to make the shade 1” narrower than my window so that it fit perfectly inside my window frame. However, the problem with that is that if your shade isn’t perfectly straight you will see it hang crooked once it is installed. We are amateurs after all, right? I have made that mistake many times, which isn’t a huge deal since your shades are mostly pulled up, but trust me, make them the exact width of your window to achieve near perfect results.

Use to tape measure to measure every inch of the way up and down your shade to acheive the exact width of your window. Normally, the sides seams are about 1 1/2 inches, but I had to adjust the pins as necessary to get the exact measurement of 41”. Then sew. Again, this is all explained in my first post.

roman shades in guest room (5)

The length of your finished shade will be the same as my previous post.

For this shade though I am not starting my rings at the very bottom of the shade. I am starting them a bit higher up so that the bottom section doesn’t get sun bleached by the sun when in the raised position. You will need to make a dowel pocket out of leftover lining. I used black out lining which is kind of ‘plastic-y’ and it doesn’t ravel, so I cut a strip 3” wide, folded it in half and sewed it 6 1/2” from the bottom.  Obviously, don’t sew the sides shut or you won’t be able to get the dowel in you moron.

Why 6 1/2” inches up from the bottom? Patience grasshopper.

Here’s the math. My rows of rings will once again be spaced 10”, which means I will have 5” pleats when pulled up. So if I want to see about an inch of the very bottom of the shade when it is pulled up I need to add about 1 1/2” to the to 5” to get the the point at which I want my rings to start. Consequently, you will need two dowels. (Hey, 7/16” inch dowels are only $1.24 at Lowes, so don’t be cheap.)

roman shades in guest room (10)

 roman shades in guest room (8)

Attach your rings the same as part 1, either by hand or by using the button sew-on feature on your sewing machine.

Staple your shade to your 1x2 board. You’ll notice my board is just raw wood this time. On my outside mount shade I wrapped the 1x2 in fabric because it would show otherwise. Here it will not show so I don’t care. I have seen professionally installed roman shades and they usually paint the 1x2 to match the inside of the window, but I can’t be bothered. Hence, raw wood.

Attach your ring eyes and if you want the best roman shade ever use a cord lock!! Cord locks can be found at  What a cord lock does is allow your roman shade to be pulled up and down like mini blinds. Meaning, they will lock into place just by pulling them to right, and pulling to the left releases them. BRILLIANT!!! Totally worth the $9. As a side note, I have to just rave about Drapery Sewing because they sell really high quality products to make roman shades and they have videos to show you how to use the items. I never would’ve figured out the cord lock on my own, but thankfully the video explained it P-E-R-F-E-C-T-L-Y. Their nylon cord is superior to the crap at Joann Fabrics. (See below photo to understand how crappy the nylon cord is I use from Joann.)

And if you use the cord lock you don’t need the wall cleat anymore. But you can still use a cleat just to keep the cords all nice and gathered. (The roman shade in the below photo is 5 years old, hence the dirty dingy falling-apart string.)


The only way I knew about the cord lock was that I went and toured this amazing gorgeous home for the Utah Valley Parade of Homes and noticed all the gorgeous roman shades at every window in this house. I lifted up the blinds and saw the cord lock, and of course snapped this  photo below because I was on a hunt to figure out where that little contraption came from. Bless you Google search. (Noticed the 1x2 is just painted? Awesome!)

parde of homes (17)

roman shades in guest room (12)

And instead of tying knots at the bottom row of rings, I now use these little orbs instead. Makes pulling up your installed shade with perfectly even rows much easier because you don’t have to untie the knots to get them even anymore. About $1 each. Worth it. But definitely optional.

All ready to be installed! (I have the shade obviously in the pulled-up position.)

roman shades in guest room (11)

You’ll need another helper to install them. For this 41” wide window 3 screws, 2.5” long is all that was needed. Woops, you can see how the board split on the right side.

roman shades in guest room (24)

I think my guests will never wanna leave now that they have black-out lined roman shades to keep out the glaring light of the street lamp just outside this window. (Thanks Provo city. Actually, I do like that light, great for security.)

Before (These gorgeous curtains were too long (heaven forbid I hem them) and never made for this window—they used to hang in my office and are now for sale for $40. Contact me!)

roman shades in guest room (15)


roman shades in guest room (21)

roman shades for guest room2 (3)roman shades in guest room (23)

roman shades for guest room2 (1)

roman shades in guest room (17)

Breakdown of project cost:

fabric: Waverly Print from Joann $10, Blackout lining, $6, Rings $1.50, dowels and board $4, Orbs $4, 0.9 mm Nylon Cording $3, Screw Eyes $2, Cord lock $9, Cord condensor (for the end of the strings) $1. Most supplies purchased here.


Not bad compared to $350 for these shades at The Shade Store.



Win said...

LOVE IT Cynthia! It looks great!!!

nicole said...

Thanks Cynthia! Maybe some day I will... I actually bought that exact same fabric from Joann's a month ago with the thought I might make some outdoor pillows with it. But I love it as a shade!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...