Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rewind: DIY (no sew!) roman shades


Hello! Hope you had a great weekend! This rewind post is about a project I get a ton o’ questions about so I wanted to revisit it. I first showed you my DIY roman shades here and they are one of my all time favorite projects and are SO easy to do it’s just silly.

I think it was my friend AnNicole who made me aware of a similar project a couple years ago – and like always I tweaked the project she had found and simplified it a bit. It involves NO sewing. You just need to start with piece of fabric that fits the width and length of your window:


The length doesn’t have to be exact unless you want to be able to lower them for privacy or light control. I hemmed these with my BFF hemming tape (you can find it at any craft store). All you need is the tape and a hot iron – did I mention NO SEWING??

Next up, you’ll need some cup hooks. I only use two hooks per window (one on each side). The example I took this from used them down the window instead, but I think my way is easier. And a teensy bit less work!

For my shades I put the cup hooks down from the top of the window about five or six inches. The placement really doesn’t matter too much, you just don’t want them too low or the shade will hang too low on the window:


Once you have the fabric hemmed, add a little tab top on the top by folding over the fabric and making a slot for your hardware. I use tension rods and simple cafe rods for mine – about $2 each. (You don’t see much if any of them when you are done.)


Then, you’ll need some ribbon. It doesn’t even have to match the fabric – you won’t see it. The ribbon is how you create the folds, or pleats, in the shade. If you want three folds like I have, you’ll need three strips of ribbon for each side. I made the ribbon for the top fold the shortest – I think it was about two inches. Cut it to the length you want, and hand sew it on at the exact same spot on both sides of the fabric.

OK, OK – so there is SOME sewing – sew me. Hardy har har! Oh, I kill myself. But it’s like sewing a button on a shirt peeps, not a biggie!

For my lower pleats, I made the ribbon a bit longer, I think three inches for the next, then four inches for the last one. I used a button on the front to give the thread something to really grab on to, and it's decorative – although again, you really can't see the button when done. Here is is from the front and the back:


You need to make sure both your cup hooks and the ribbons are placed at the exact same spot on each side of both the window and the fabric – otherwise you will have lopsided roman shades and we all know lopsided ain’t pretty.

I added the ribbon with the fabric hanging – so I could pull them up and see how each pleat would hang and where I wanted the ribbon. It’s much easier this way then putting the shade up and down a million times. Or if you have someone hold them up for you, you can determine where you want the ribbons to go and then sew them on with the shade off the window.

When your ribbons are attached, you just take the top set of ribbons up from behind (the ribbon goes on the back of the fabric) and hang them on the hook, one by one:




Taaa daaaa! That’s it! You’re done!:      


Unless you are faaareeeek like me, then you have to add some trim to the bottom:


When I first hung these, the fabric was so thick the top folds were kind of poofing out too much, so I did sew a few stitches so they would lay flat, but now that’s not needed. And if you get a ton of light, you may want to line them. I didn’t need to because I kept our shades behind them:

032  034 

That’s another bonus to these – if you don’t want to have to mess with raising and lowering them for privacy, you can still keep shades or blinds behind them – you won’t even see them!

I get questions almost weekly about the treatments on our back door:


This door was a toughie – I love the light coming in but only a few months into living in our house, the non-privacy of it was giving me the heebies. This was a perfect solution – I got the hardware at Lowe’s (shocker, I know!). They are magnetic drapery rods – made for doors like this. I plan to spray paint these, as there aren’t many options for the finish, but they work really well:


To make the treatments, I just measured the length between the top and bottom magnetic rods and made the panels accordingly (all with hemming tape!). Because we get so much light coming in our back door, I lined this silk fabric with heavy duty lining:041

When I did that, I just left the top and bottoms open for the rod:


Add a strip of the roman shades fabric for a tie in the middle and yer done!:


These are easily opened up for privacy, which is always a nice option. If you are worried about losing light, you could use a lighter fabric that would allow more sun to get through.

I love how they all tie together in our kitchen! I have the two shades on the bay windows, and one above the kitchen sink as well.


These were a great option for me because a.) they were cheap, b.) they were cheap and c.) they were easy.  :)  Oh yeah, and they are a custom fit for reeeeeally skinny windows, which is impossible to find ready made:


Oh yeah, and I KNOW!!! The fabric is GORG!! I can’t help  you on that one. I bought them at the design shop where I used to work for insanely less than what they are sold for by the yard. The owner carried “short ends” of fabulous fabric so this was sold at a deep discount. I found the fabric later in a fabric book and I believe it was around $70 a yard. (I think it is Kravet?) It is heavy, thick upholstery fabric, but still – YIKES.

I know many of you have tried these out yourself! If you have tried it and have a picture somewhere, let me know or link to it here in the comments.

The fantastic cleaning Shaklee giveaway (below) is open until tomorrow at noon! Good luck!


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