Monday, May 2, 2011

Faux Roman shade tutorial




A few weeks ago I completed a fun project for my kitchen. I shared it with Traci at Beneath My Heart, but in case you missed it, I want to show it off here. It's a completely no-sew faux Roman shade.

Here's exactly how I made it.

First I chose a fabric.  I considered something light-colored, but this is a west-facing window, so I wanted a dark background color to provide good heat-blocking on summer afternoons. I was tickled when I found this fabric:


This fabric looks cheerful and summery to me. As an added bonus, it's an outdoor fabric, so it won't fade. (Note: Several folks have asked about my fabric.  It's from from Not Just Linens in North Carolina, and it's called "Dorothy Ebony.")

After selecting fabric, I followed these steps to make the shade.  You can do it too!

Decide on the measurements you need. For this method, you'll need to end up with a shade that's the width of the inside of your window. The length of the shade would ideally be the length of your window, but it doesn't necessarily have to be that long. Simply cut your fabric to the correct width plus an inch on either side and the twice the length you want to end up with. (This is a no-sew method, so you'll need double the fabric length. If you want to sew a lining fabric to your shade fabric, you'll just need a single length of fabric and a length of lining.)

Lay your fabric out on a large work surface. You've cut your fabric an extra inch wide on each side; now turn the fabric under 1 inch on each side and secure the flaps with fabric glue or with Stitch Witchery. (For my shade, I needed the full width of the fabric plus a little extra, so I simply used glue to secure ribbon to the selvages of my fabric.


Once you have your fabric to the desired width with the sides finished however you like, double the fabric over, right sides together. Glue (or Stitch Witch, or sew if you like) the two cut ends together to create a seam.  (Note: just connect the two ends together.  You're creating a huge loop of fabric, not a flat rectangle of fabric.)


Turn the fabric right side out. Now you have a large rectangle of doubled fabric.

And now for the secret tool that makes this shade possible: the tension rod. These rods are adjustable to any length. Measure the inside of your window frame to find the length you need, and adjust the rod using the manufacturer's directions. (**Notes: The insides of my window frames are not very deep, so I used an oval rod. Be sure to get tension rods that are plenty wide enough for your window. Tension rods are extremely adjustable, but as you stretch tension rods out to their fullest lengths, they get weak in the middle. Also, before you try to make this shade, be sure that your window casing is smooth enough to hold a tension rod. Mine are smooth wood, so the tension rods stay in place with no problem.)



Insert the rod into one end of your fabric rectangle, like so:


Hang your fabric rectangle in the top of your window frame. (Remember that your rod needs to be just a little longer than the window, so that you have to apply some pressure to squeeze them into the window casing. It's that tension that will keep them hanging in place.)


See? My shade isn't exactly the right length, but I'm only going to use it as a stationary treatment at the top of my window, so it doesn't matter that it's not quite long enough.

Take a second tension rod and hang it a few inches lower than your top rod (mine is about 7 inches lower than the top rod), like so:


Now bring your fabric up to double over the second rod.


Now, if you like, repeat that process with a third tension rod. Here's how the shade will look under the folds. (Just ignore those cup hooks; they're still in place there from making a shade using Thrifty Decor Chick's method.)


You'll have to fiddle with it to get the folds just the length you like, but it doesn't take long. And if you use three tension rods, here's what you'll have:


A fun, faux Roman shade that's so quick and easy to create that you may want to make one for each different season!


What do you think? I'm loving it!  I made a some fun no-sew accessories to go with the shade: click here to read about those. Or click here to see more photos of my kitchen.

Updated to add: I finally found some trim to add to the sides of the shade so that it would be wide enough to cover the tension rods. Here's a peek:


It's a small difference, but I'm glad for the rods not to be showing anymore. Unless you have a very wide window like mine, this won't be a problem for you (and to be honest, the shades will lie flatter if you don't have to add trim to the sides).   Update: later I found a source of wider fabric that allows me to cover my wide window without having to add trim: a tablecloth!)





Check this out: Deidre from For Such a Time as This created a shade using my tension-rod method for her master bathroom. Deidre shows how you can space the rods further apart for the look of a Roman shade that's mostly lowered, thus covering most of the window. Isn't it lovely? Thank you, Deidre, for sharing your no-sew creation!


And look at these multiple windows treated by Jenny from Evolution of Style. Beautiful!  As you can see, Jenny used only two tension rods in her shades.


Isn't the blogging community the greatest place for sharing ideas?

**Update:  These Roman shades hold up wonderfully!  I'm still loving them two years later, and I've made another one for when I want a lighter look, and as you can see this one is wide enough without having to have trim on the sides.  You can read all about it here!  Here's a peek:




Another bonus of this window treatment is that it can be taken down and put back up very easily.  At Christmastime, the window looks like this:


Click here to read all about that window treatment, including the DIY Noel sign.  I like being able to change the look of the window at Christmastime, and it's so easy to put the Roman shade back up after the holidays.

What do you think?





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96 comments:

Paula said...

Aren't you smart to figure out how to make this no-sew? I love this idea and would love to try it in my own home. It's so easy that you could have a different treatment for each season without much cost. Great project!

Stacie said...

Great idea--I would never have thought of that. Beautiful fabric!

Regina from The Queenly Abode said...

I love the no-sew idea! Your kitchen is is beautiful....love the fabric!

Erin said...

Genious using the tension rods!! :)

I think it is gorgeous! I love the fabric choice...and anything that beautiful that doesn't require sewing is right up my alley. ;)

Steph said...

How clever! I have a faux roman shade almost finished but was stuck at a point, now I know how I am going to finish! Thanks for sharing!

Linda said...

I did see the previous post...but this one just reminds me that we can do our own thing and put our own special touch on our decorating.

You made this look so easy...I may even try it! (:>)

I LOVE your kitchen.

Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Aren't you clever??! I never would have thought of that. Great job!!! I love the new fabric. :)

Pam said...

I have had a bare kitchen window for 6 years because I couldn't find something I loved enough to hang there...but now I have!!! I am thrilled I can do it myself,even though I can't sew! When people see things I have made,they will say "Pam, I didn't know you could sew", and I always reply, "I can't...but I can do a mean hot glue job"! I Love your blog, and I have been keeping your family and husband in my prayers.God is good!

Patti said...

I think I got it - so do you see the right side of your fabric from outside, too?

This looks lovely - nicely made!

Deidre said...

I love this! I made one for my bathroom window after I saw your post at Traci's.

http://raisingfutureesthers.blogspot.com/2011/04/bathroom-window-treatment.html

Thanks so much for posting this. I love your blog!

FrouFrouBritches said...

Oh my gracious!!!! Richella, that is brilliant! I love it! I used Sarah's tutorial to do my old one too, but it didn't flatten out right when it was hanging like yours did. I need to be on the lookout for cute fabric to do mine like your new one. I love, love, love it!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Sweet Tea said...

VERY nice !
Beautifully done, my new Friend.

Cyndi@Walking in His Grace said...

Richella those look gorgeous!! Sorry I haven't stopped by lately but I read through your posts and got caught up. I have had you and Jack on my prayer list and have been lifting you up daily.
Lots going on here! Love you bunches!!
Cyndi

SweetSugarBelle said...

I found you via Stories of A to Z....love this!!! I love bloggng for this reason too! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the simplicity of this technique, but have to hang the shades outside my window frame. Does anyone have super-easy instructions for faux roman shades that don't require a window frame?

Richella said...

I think you could make a faux Roman shade that goes outside the window frame by using Thrifty Decor Chick's method (find her post at http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2010/01/rewind-diy-no-sew-roman-shades.html). You could hang your fabric panel from a regular outside-mount curtain rod or simply tack the top of your fabric to your window frame. TDC's method requires hand-sewing ribbon loops onto your fabric panel and hanging the loops from cup hooks. It's really simple. Good luck!

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

These are awesome too. I saw Beth's tutorial too today credited to you..and it is great!

My Beautiful Life said...

It turned out great. Who would have thought a couple of tension rods would do the trick.

P.S. Came via Amanda's linky party.

Bella Michelle said...

This is exactly what I need on my kitchen window as well! I even have the fabric already!!!! Now, off to plan the project. Thanks for sharing, yours looks fantastic and custom. I am especially loving your ribbon on the edges, that adds a great finish!

Popping over from Amanda's Weekend Bloggy Reading Party!

the workaholic momma said...

Stopping by from Amanda's weekend blog party - this is awesome. I love the look of Roman shades and had no idea I could make my own - I'll def have to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

Redo 101 said...

This was just the tutorial I needed as I've thought all week of making a Roman shade for my bathroom redo - thanks for being so timely ;) Thanks,

Mary
Redo 101

Elsa said...

Love this!! Will have to try it our for our kitchen and bathroom.

Kelli @ RTSM said...

That is such a great idea! I love that nothing about it is permanent too so you can change it out without leaving holes in your moldings! That fabric is awesome too!

withywindle said...

This is a great tutorial! Thanks!! I will have to try this in my kitchen.

Anonymous said...

What is the name of this fabric? I love it and it matches my green walls perfectly.

Julie said...

I absolutely love this! Although I sew, I've often found the directions for roman shades very confusing in the simplicity/mccalls patterns...this looks so beautiful and so easy!! I can't wait to do this!

Six in the Mix said...

YES!!! I am doing this. I've looked for the right trick for me for a month. This is it!

Pagoda Road said...

What a wonderful tutorial - and what a professional-looking job you did on those shades. Just great!

carole said...

You can also make a no sew roman shade with a cheap plastic mini blind. I found the tutorial here: http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2009/02/make-shades-out-of-mini-blinds.html

Steph said...

I just posted on my blog my finished faux shade! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial!

Maureen said...

FABULOUS!

Anonymous said...

yes, fabulous...i never thought i'd put anything but something that the decorator charged me an arm and a leg for...but i am thinking different now...thank you for imparting the free feeling!

Courtney said...

That is AMAZING!! I can't wait to try it. Great job lady!

Sarah said...

Well now isn't that just the most creative idea! Thanks for sharing. I don't think I'll ever look at tension rods the same way again... ahh, the possibilities!

Austin Shade said...

This is a great project for the DIYer, and an excellent choice of fabric for your kitchen.

For a little more money and effort, you could turn this into a fully-operational roman shade. Many window treatments stores sell roman shades kits that are inexpensive and simple to put together.

Evelyn said...

Wow! I am an experienced sewer but I would definitely give these a try. No sense in doing more than you need to create the same look. Wonderful tutorial.

Linda Leyble said...

Very smart and creative! I love this idea. I am pretty much all thumbs when it comes to sewing...but I think I may be able to pull this one off. Give me a paint brush and I am brilliant - but I should be nowhere near a sewing machine. Thanks for posting!

Linda

tgoodaker said...

Just made this for a window in our basement- turned out great! thanks so much!

Julie said...

That is the most clever ideas I've seen in a long time! Looks great and so do-able!

Julie said...

That is the most clever ideas I've seen in a long time! Looks great and so do-able!

Julie said...

That is the most clever ideas I've seen in a long time! Looks great and so do-able!

Libby said...

These were so easy to make. I took my blah boring kitchen office windows and make them so warm and yummy looking with $100 and a few hours of my time. Thanks so much for sharing this great idea!

Libby said...

These were so easy to make!!!! I took three blah and boring windows in my kitchen office and turned them into something warm and inviting with $100 of stuff and a few hours of my time. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome idea! I found it on pinterest and am so glad that I did!!!

Delia said...

OHH! i just looove this. Brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!! I have a weird layout for the kitchen where windows crash into cabinets and I had no idea what to do. I never tried roman shades before because I thought they would be hard to install. However this is the answer to my prayers. Thanks!

homescoolmom said...

I wonder if this would look good if you just wanted to cover the lower half of a window, say from the middle to the floor, leaving the top half open to light? Any thoughts on that idea?

Sam @ The Junk House said...

The tension rod idea is pure genius! I just finished 3 roman shades using your idea. The tension rods made it so much easier and faster! Thanks!

http://thejunkhouse.blogspot.com/2012/01/faux-roman-shades.html

Annie said...

Wow, so smart! I've made Roman Shades before, and they are not easy. This is perfect for a window treatment you don't need to raise and lower. Brilliant!

Sheli22 said...

You just saved me $100. I was set to just bite the bullet and pay someone to make a roman shade for my kitchen after almost 2 years of a bare window. I had already called to find out the price and was going the next day to give them measurements. Thank you! Now 2 days later, I have what I wanted for about $45, fabric and all (v. $150 or so).

Herballistic Garden said...

Love these and I have a perfect spot for them...thanks for the tutorial!
wendy. (newest follower) xo

jason said...

So excited to find this tutorial. I have a question for you. My kitchen windows are both about 75"w. Do you think that they are way to large for this design? I did find extension rods that size (heavy duty ones.) I love the look of the Roman Shades but debating on if this "No sew" method would work or look right for my windows. Anyone have experience with larger windows?

Jennifer said...

So excited to see your tutorial... I am debating about making these beautiful shades for kitchen windows. My hesitations are my 70" windows. I have found larger heavy duty extension rods but wandering if this "no Sew" design will work and look right on such large windows. Does anyone have any experience making them for larger windows. Thanks!

Richella said...

Jennifer and Jason, you both asked about larger windows. My kitchen window is 57" wide and this method works well. My advice to you would be find the very longest, most heavy-duty tension rods available, to carefully open one the package of one of the large tension rods and simply drape fabric over it and see if looks good hanging in the window. You should be able to tell if it will work. My concern is that it might sag in the middle, so that's what you would want to check for. If it does sag, you'll probably want to re-package the tension rod and return it. If your expanse of window includes several individual frames, then I'd suggest doing a series of small shades like the ones in the last photo above. Good luck!

Jennifer said...

OK OMG THAT IS BRILLIANT!

Thanks for posting!!!

Chandy said...

Wow! I really think I can make that! Thanks! I don't sew so this is perfect for me!

Lesley said...

Wow. I've GOT to make this for my kitchen! Thanks a million!

Lesley
http://byporchlight.blogspot.com

Ricci said...

What a great project! I was in the midst of doing a blog post on window shades and came across this tutorial....Now I think I'll postpone the post, so I can not only share your tutorial with my readers, but show them how your post moved me to try it too. Thanks for the inspiration! I'll let you know how it goes.
Ricci
Yourdesignpartner.com/blog

Kristi said...

I am making these right now!! I have three windows across the back of my kitchen and I just finished the first of my shades!! Thanks so much for a great tutorial. The first one looks great...can't wait to finish the other two up as well! :)

Kristi said...

I finished mine!! I linked back to you so you get credit as the mastermind behind this GENIUS technique!!
http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com/2012/04/no-sew-faux-roman-shades.html

{HUGS},
kristi

decodeniquo said...

That's seriously brilliant! I can't wait to try my hand on these! Thanks for the tip!

Lesley said...

YAY! I just made my own! Gonna post them on my blog http://byporchlight.blogspot.com

THANKS!

A Diver's Mom said...

Just completed mine and so happy. Ended up sewing not gluing as the indoor outdoor fabric didn't like the glue. Thanks so much for your easy to understand directions. Two windows completed and hung in an hour!

Kate @EmbracingLifesJourney said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I have seen the tutorials going around where you use the cheap blinds and glue. I never attempted them because it didn't seem like something that was truly simple. This however is amazing! I will be making this for our new house for sure over the kitchen sink! :) Mine isn't this wide but I still love the idea of embellishing it with ribbon on the edges. I will be sharing your tutorial on my blog too, if you don't mind. :)

Kate

ps I am officially hooked to your blog and am following now.

Anonymous said...

Just curiousto know how much trouble it is to lower the shade if need be. Very nice

Anonymous said...

Just made these and LOVE how they look! I have been looking for something like this for 11 years, thank you!

christopher cooper said...

I am making one of your Faux Roman Shades for my kitchen this weekend, I'm very excited about it. I like the idea of being able to change the fabric quickly for different occasions, or remove it all together as you did for your Christmas garland (Love that idea too). Will be looking through the blog for some simple valance ideas to go over some bamboo shades to add color...

Am now following your blog. Too many great ideas to let them slip by.

Anonymous said...

gorgeous. After just receiving a $1,700 quote for a custom faux roman shade over our kitchen sink I am going to try this instead!

Anonymous said...

This is such a clever idea! Your ability to explain in a clear, succinct manner is unparalleled. Kudos!

Linda Thiltgen said...

Thank you SO much. I appreciate you sharing this SO much. I have the fabric now just need to get busy! Thank you!! Love, love, love this idea!

Linda Thiltgen said...

Thank you so much!! Love, love love this idea and SO appreciate you sharing! Can't wait to do this! Have the fabric...just need the time!

Heather said...

I was looking for a tutorial on faux roman blinds and found yours. I have completed mine (although I did do some sewing) and it looks great! The tension rod idea was spectacular! I gave you full credit on my blog at http://southernabbey.com/adding-colour-to-the-kitchen-part-1/# Thanks for the instruction!

Anonymous said...

Ok so this may be a dumb question, but what if you can't find fabric the width of your window? I can only find fabric in those 3 yard rolls. ....

Jas said...

So grateful for this idea! I have an open window between the kitchen and the sun room and the roman shade added interest, softened the look of the window and made both areas cozy. It was a little harder to do as I used two different fabrics for the same shade(one for the kitchen side of the window and another for the sun room side)but it turned out great and it's inexpensive! Two birds...

Thank you for sharing!

The Houston House said...

I love this! Where's the best place to get tension rods?

Richella said...

I buy tension rods at discount retailers such as Walmart or Target. Very inexpensive and easy to use!

Rio vasquez said...

Love this!!! Im definitely going to do this on few of my windows! Never thought of tension rods!!!

Rio vasquez said...

Love Love Love!!!! Im gonna be buying tension rods tomorrow!! Thanks so much!

Rio vasquez said...

Love this!!! Im definitely going to do this on few of my windows! Never thought of tension rods!!!

Fran said...

I just found your site, after agnonizing for months on a tailored look without the fuss of constructing a true Roman shade I stumble upon your blog and your TERRIFIC idea! Thanks for sharing!!!

Saaria Projection Screen said...

the post tells us the accurate instructions to create our own roman shed you have also given importance to the color selection according to the direction. the instructions are so easy that they can be easily followed and one can have it done without a lot of menace..
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Home theatre accessories

Terry G. said...

I love this, and I don't even know who sent it to me. So I think I'll have to subscribe myself. Thanks for sharing. Even I can do that!

Carl said...

I found this article whilst looking for information on roman blinds and how to repair them and although this article talks about how to make your own, it has given me some ideas of how to repair mine!

Thanks

Carl
Roman Blinds

sally said...

I am a little confused about the double length - can you clarify that part...what a great outcome!!

Richella Parham said...

Sally, you need a double length of your fabric for this method because the tension rod that holds the whole thing in place slides into the doubled-over fabric. And then when you drape the fabric over the second and third tension rods, you get a nice full look. However, you could sew a pocket for a rod at the top of the fabric and just use one thickness of fabric to drape over the second and third rods.

Hope that helps!

Runspud said...

Love this tutorial-going to check out a few rooms to see where this will work. Ps-the pop-up Medifast ad is driving me crazy. :-(

susannah said...

Oh my gosh I love this. I am going to Joanne's Fabrics right now and get some fabric for the kitchen and dining room!!! What a great idea. you are right it would be great to switch out fabrics for the season!!

Denise said...

Like others I was going to make a regular roman shade. But this is SO much easier. Thank you for the idea.

Kelly Leiter said...

I am confused about the top.... did you make an opening at the top for the rod to go through or is the entire shade 'doubled' and it is at the half way mark on top... folded in half...

Richella Parham said...

Kelly, the entire shade is "doubled," as you said, and the top rod just slips through. No rod pocket.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

the bottom of my shade looks flat not full. Am i missing something. i did fold my fabic in half , as in length, and then glued them together to make one big rectangle of fabric. Any suggestions?

Richella Parham said...

Hi anonymous friend--note that I only glue the edges of the fabric down (to create a neat hem all around) and then glue the two ends of the fabric together. Basically, I create a giant loop of fabric, not a rectangle glued on all sides. If you glued the fabric together all around, it would probably lie flat. That might be a neat look, but that wasn't what I was going for and might not be what you want, either.

Elizabeth said...

Hey! I'm going to buy fabric today for this! Just making sure I understand correctly. If I choose to sew a lining on, I don't need to buy double the fabric length...right? Would you recommend trim at the bottom in this case?

Richella Parham said...

Elizabeth, I'm not sure about that. I suppose if you're going to add a lining you might not need double the fabric length. But honestly, this method works best if you do go ahead and buy double the fabric length. The shade looks realistic because of the way it hangs from the tension rods, and that look is dependent upon the way the fabric drapes over the rods. I don't know how well you could achieve that look without doubling the fabric. Maybe a single length with the extra weight of the lining would provide enough fullness; I'm not sure! Honestly, you might want to try it with some scrap fabric and lining first just to be sure it works.

As for trim, I think trim at the bottom would look great. That would be the advantage of not having a double length of fabric (i.e. just a rectangle of fabric instead of a rectangular loop). With the big loop, you don't know what spot on the shade will end up being the bottom; with a single length, you know exactly where it will be!

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely way to change your windows and so very easy thank you so much for sharing this idea. Annie Sullivan.

James Bond Bond said...

Now this is in actual fact cooperative. It’s very openhanded of you to share this with us.
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M.Jones said...

Any idea why the stitch glue wouldn't stick and leak through to the front of the fabric? My fabric is spun polyester. Would washing it help? Thanks for any help!

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