Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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A big thanks to Cassity for having me over again to guest post.  You will find me at my blog, 33 Shades of Green, crafting, cooking, decorating, and trying out all sorts of creative projects.

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Today I am sharing with you how I sewed a Roman Shade for my laundry room.  I’ve lived in my house for 5 years now and never had a blind in the laundry room – I thought it was about time I got busy and sewed one up.  I procrastinated for A LONG time because I thought it was going to be a hard project.  It really wasn’t – I wish I hadn’t waited so long!
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial Supplies:
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– fabric (I used an upholstery weight)
– drapery lining (there will be several to choose from – light all the way to blackout; if your shade is going in a bedroom, you will most likely want to use blackout lining)
– 5/16″ d. wood dowels (number will depend on the height of your shade; I use four)
– wood board for bottom of shade (1″ w x 1/8″ thick)
– header board for mounting your shade (1-1/2″ x 1/2″ or something similar)
– nylon cord (length of cording you need will be somewhere around 5 times the length of your shade)
– eye screws
– small plastic rings (you will find these in the drapery section of the craft or sewing store)
– angle brackets for mounting
– cord cleat
– staple gun and other misc. tools

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1.  Determine what size to cut your fabric.  Measure your window and add 4″ to the width and 8-1/2″ to the length.  Cut fabric and lining to the same size.  For example, I wanted my blind to be mounted on the outside of my window and wanted it to cover the wood trim.  I also wanted it mounted 6″ above the window to add a little height.  That dimension was 46″ h. x 33″ w.  So, I needed to cut my fabric 54-1/2″ h. x 37″ w.
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2.  Use an iron and press a 2″ hem on the sides and bottom edge of your fabric.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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3.  Make mitered corners.  Unfold the hems you just ironed.  Fold up each corner and iron.  See photo below.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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Refold hems.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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4.  Now repeat hems on your lining except make hems 2-1/2″ on each side.
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5.  Lay out fabric, right side down.  Place liner on fabric, right side up, and pin together.  Place lining 2″ above bottom edge of fabric.  Sew lining and fabric together.  You only need to sew along the two side and bottom edges.  You do not need to sew at the top edge.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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6.  Now you need to determine how many dowels you need and how far apart you want them.  Dowels should be 8 – 12″ apart.  According to directions I followed from marthastewart.com, the position of the bottom dowel can be determined by dividing the distance of the dowel intervals by 2, and then add 1.  For example, if your dowels are placed 12″ apart, the bottom pocket should be 7″ from the bottom.  The top dowel should be at least 10″ from the top.  The total length of my shade is 46″ and I space the dowels 9″ apart.  Once you determine location for the dowels, mark with a pencil.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial
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7.  Now it’s time to sew pockets for the dowels.  For each dowel you have, cut a strip of fabric 3″ w. x the width of your lining.  Iron in half and then on the side opposite to the fold, fold down 1/2″ and iron.  Sorry if that is confusing – see the pictures below!
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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8.  Lay the dowel pockets on the liner at each spot you made a pencil mark and pin.  Place the strips with the 1/2″ folded side toward the bottom of the shade.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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9.  Sew along the bottom edge of each dowel pocket.
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The sewing is finished!
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10.  Cut dowels and bottom board to size.  Insert each dowel into pocket and place bottom board at the bottom of the shade.  See photo below.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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11.  Sew on plastic rings.  At each dowel sew, by hand, three plastic rings.  One in the center and one about two inches in from each end.  When you finish, you will have 3  vertical columns of rings.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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12.  Divide your cord by three parts and cut.  Tie one end of a cord to the lowest ring and thread up through the vertical line of rings to the top of the shade.  Repeat with the other two ring columns and cord.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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13.  Cut the header board to size (about 1/2″ shorter than the finished width of your shade).  Wrap the header board with leftover fabric or lining fabric and attach with staple gun.  Now you need to determine the location of screw eyes on the header board.  Lay the board next to your shade and make a mark at each of the three ring locations.  Insert eye screw at each mark.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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14.  Attach angle brackets to header board and then mount header board to wall.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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15.  Hold your blind up to header board to check the length.  You may need to trim the top edge a little.  Leave enough so that you can fold over about 1/2 inch, like this:
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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16.  Use a staple gun to attach the shade to the top of the header board.
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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17.  Thread the cords through the eyes on the header board.  The first cord will need to go through all three eyes.  The second cord through two, and the last one only through one.
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The underside of the shade looks like this:
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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18.  Attach a cord cleat on window frame so that you have something to wrap the cords around.  If you want, you can also buy a cord connector with will join all three cords together.

Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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Your shade is finished!
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Here are a few photos of my finished shade
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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Here it is shut:
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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And open:
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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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Fully Operational Roman Shade Tutorial

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* The fabric I used can be found right here.
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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial – hopefully it was helpful!  If you have any questions, come visit me at 33 Shades of Green.
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32 Comments

  1. I used these instructions to sew roman shades for our basement when we finished it. Thanks so much! Now, I’m using it again to make Roman shades for my son’s bedroom; he broke his fancy Levelor shades so we’ll use these and it will add a decorative flare I’ve been wanting for years in that room!

  2. I would like to use these in my bay windows. I hate having mini blinds that cover my window as well as the area I have decorated. I have two smaller windows with a larger one in the middle. What’s is the lowest width you can make these?

  3. This is the best, and comprehensive set of instructions for making Roman shades that I’ve come across. Thank you

  4. I was kinda curious why the 3″ wide strip, folded over? It seems harder to measure and iron the creases than just sewing a seam down one side before attaching.

  5. My window is 60 inches wide, and I have been unable to find dowels wide enough. What do you think about using PVC pipe instead? Is 60 inches too wide to use a Roman Shade?

    Thanks
    Linda

    1. Great question, Linda. 60 inches is really wide for a window treatment and I’d be worried that the full shade would be cumbersome and heavy to raise and lower. Could you do 2 narrower shades of a little less than 30 inches each? That would solve the dowel problem and also probably be easier to raise and lower the shade.

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