How to Make a Window Shade

    by eHow Contributor

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    The roller style once was the only window shade option. Today there are many window shade styles; one popular window treatment is the roman shade. Simple to make, a roman shade to adds beauty, increases privacy and controls light transfer.

    Things You'll Need

    • Decorator and lining fabric
    • Measuring tape
    • Scissors
    • Ruler
    • Lead pencil or air-soluble marker
    • Sewing machine
    • Thread
    • Staple gun
    • 1 by 2 inches wide mounting board 1/4 inches shorter than the shade width
    • Dowels 1/4 inch thick, each 1/4 inches shorter than the shade width
    • Screw eyes
    • Shade rings,1/2 inches in diameter
    • Hand-sewing needle
    • Shade cord
    • Cord cleat
    • Drill and screws

    show more


    Measure the width of the window. Add 1 inch to the width of the shade for a ½-inch seam on each side of the shade.

    Measure the length of the window and add 1 1/2 inches length for each wooden dowel placed horizontally, in an encased fold, every 6 to 9 inches. Add 1 1/2 inches for the bottom rod. Add 6 inches for the header.

    Purchase lining material the same size as the decorator fabric.


    Cut the decorator and lining fabric according to required cut measurements.

    Align the right side of the decorator fabric and lining. Pin and sew the sides and bottom together using a ½-inch seam allowance.

    Press the seams open. Turn the material right side out and press the shade.

    Mark straight horizontal lines across the width of the shade on the front. These lines mark the center of the folds that encase the rods. Make the first line 1 ½ inches from the bottom of the fabric length.

    Fold the shade, lining sides together, on the marked lines, and pin the material together on the right side to form the rod casing.

    Stitch the casing 3/4 inch from the fold.

    Mounting Board

    Cover the mounting board with lining fabric. Staple the fabric to the top of the board on the back edge.

    Position the screw eyes in the board parallel to the ends of the board. Put the two end screws 4 inches from the edge of the board's under side.

    Space the remaining screw eyes equally and no more than 12 inches apart.

    Assemble Unit

    Measure up from the bottom of the shade and draw a horizontal line indicating the shade length. Cut the excess shade off 1 inch above this line. Staple the shade to the front and top of the mounting board with the lining against the board, matching the top of shade line with the top edge of the board.

    Slide the rods into the casing folds.

    Place the entire shade unit on a flat working surface with the lining side up.

    Use a ruler to measure and mark the placement for the rings along the dowel casing seams. Line up the rings with the screw eyes in the mounting board, and sew the rings at each dowel placement, on to the lining.

    Final Assembly

    Determine whether you want the draw cords on the left or right of the shade. Install the cord cleat on the same side of the window casing as the draw cords so you can wrap the cords around the cleat.

    Start on the side of the draw cords and feed one cord through the first screw eye in the mounting. Feed the cord down through all of the rings in the first row next to the draw cord, and tie the cord to the bottom ring.

    Repeat the process for the rest of the cords and rows of rings. Leave the cords hanging down the side of the shade longer than the cleat so you can tie up the cords.

    Attach the mounting board and shade to the inside of the window frame using a drill and wood screws.