How to Make Roman Shades

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Take a look at your windows. Is it dying to be spruced up? If so, then you may want to consider Roman shades. Unlike the usual curtains and blinds that you are familiar with, Roman shades result to a smoother and more streamlined silhouette and will only allow a desired amount of light to get inside your home.

Not only do the Roman shades create a classic and contemporary look, they also do not require lots of special hardware for the installation and such, the curtains are so much easier to set up even if you are a novice when it comes to this. Here is a guide on how to make Roman shades. Take note that these steps are for the standard Roman shades.

Getting Started

Begin by cutting a piece of 1 x 1 inch wood. The wood should be able to fit right across the inside top of the window’s opening. To do this, screw the 1 x 1 wood towards the frame of the window. Aside from screws, you can use several other means to attach the wood to the frame. Remember that you cannot do an inside mount on French doors.

The next step on how to make Roman shades is to choose the fabric as well as the lining material that you want for your curtain. Although you can choose lightweight materials for the Roman shades, the decorator weight will be an ideal choice. Decorator weight is much heavier and has pretty much the same weight as that of a table cloth.

Next, cut the fabric. Add about one inch in both the height and the width of the overall size of the opening of your window. This extra inch will be used for seam allowances. The outer fabric can be cut a little wider such that it wraps on each side as the margin on the back portion of the Roman shade.

The next thing that you will do is to pin the two layers altogether and when doing so make sure that the printed parts are facing. You might want to consider sewing fabric tape towards the lining fabric in order to create channels in inserting the battens instead of gluing.

Sewing and Ironing the Fabric

On this next step on how to make Roman shades, you need to sew through the perimeter. Make sure that you leave several inches open in order to turn the fabric on the right side out when you are done. Cut off the seam allowances right at the corners such that they will turn clean and will not bunch up right on the corner. If the outer fabric is wide enough to create a margin at the back, then sew both sides together. Hem the bottom with the use of your hand and iron on the hem tape right at the top. This will not be visible.

Next, turn the fabric right side out and then iron it flat. When ironing, be very careful that the front or the focus fabric will be able to cover the lining fabric right at the edges such that the lining fabric will not show. Then, slip stitch the opening to close. Sew a Velcro right on the top of the edge portion of the material. This will then be used later in attaching the fabric towards the wood.

When you’re done, measure and put marks on the horizontal lines of the fabric. Simply put a mark where you want the horizontal folds or pleats to fall. Then glue the battens or those strips of the stiffening material right across the fabric at the pleat marks.

There are others who will unpick the seams right on the sides of the shade fabric and then slip the battens within the layers in order to hide them. Some of the batten materials include the old mini blinds slats, furring strips, 1/8 metal rods and paneling trip strips. Although you can do without the battens, you might be disappointed upon seeing the sag of the shade pleats without the battens.

Let the Glue to Dry

The next thing that you will do on these steps on how to make Roman shades is to leave the glue to dry up. This stage will take up to 20 minutes to finish. You can also choose to stitch the pockets for the battens to be able to slide into. This can be done by sewing parallel lines right across the shade on the pleat marks.

Finally, sew the plastic loops towards the battens. Make sure that you evenly space them to at least two vertical lines. Various fabric stores sell cotton tape that comes with plastic loops that are already attached for this purpose which saves a step. Be very careful in fastening these loops securely on the shade.

Prepare the Cord

Now that you have the Roman shades ready, you should now prepare the cord. Measure and cut two lengths of the cord and that they must be twice in length as that of the height of the window. Then, tie the cord securely at the bottom loop on each of the vertical line of the loops. Thread the cords in a vertical manner within the sewn on loops and then insert the screw-eye bolt towards the 1 x 1 wood at each point where the vertical lines will touch it. Next, attach the top of the Roman shade to the wood and you can make use of a Velcro or a staple for this.

Keep the fabric to lay flat and run each of the cord through its own screw eye right at the top. Run all the cords through the screw eyes on top in order to bring them all over into one side which you can use to raise and lower the shade. Knot the cords altogether beyond the last screw eye and tame the fabric to fall in a neat fold. Press with an iron, if you want to. At this point, you are now done with the steps on how to make Roman shades.

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