A basic understanding is needed to make your own Roman shades. Simply put, there will be an even number of folds in the fabric. The folds are divided into “up” folds and “down” folds. This is important when mounting the hardware for DIY Roman shades. Roman shades fold under as they are pulled up by the lift cord in even dimensions of fabric, which will create a stack of folds of one dimension at the top of the window. This set of instructions on how to make Roman shades is for a one-color, pattern-less design. Fabric with different colors and patterns require more precise measuring.
Items needed for DIY Roman shades:
Tape measure or yardstick
Measured amount of fabric
(see measuring instructions below – cotton preferred)
1″ x 2″ pine board for mounting Roman shades
(width of window determines length of board)
Eye screws or pulleys
(pulleys preferred – number determined by size of window)
Cord lock pulley
Cord drop for end of pull cord (optional)
(length determined by size of window – braided polyester cord preferred)
Sew-on Velcro (“soft” type preferred)
5/8 ” plastic lift rings
(number determined by size of window)
Double-sided tape for Velcro attachment to fabric
Instructions for making Roman shades:
(Note: this method applies to a 3 foot by 4 foot window. Calculate proportions for different sized windows)
Measure height and width inside window casing subtract ½ inch from width so that shades will slide freely when pulling up. Measure depth of window casing.
Lay out fabric. Measure 3 ½ inches from the bottom and lay the yardstick horizontally across the fabric. Mark a dot at the center of this line (18 inches). Then mark dots at 4 ½ intervals to the left and right of this center dot, making 2 dots per side.
Bring yardstick up another 4 ½ inches and repeat step 2 marking. Do this 7 more times, until there is a 4 inch top section of fabric left. Sew the rings to each dot so that they lay horizontally.
Lay 1 x 2 board across top of fabric on the top line of ring markings. Make sure board is evenly placed. Draw vertical lines on the board that match up with the dots on the top line of markings. This is where the pulleys will be screwed in.
Mount pulleys on the vertical lines with the cord lock pulley on the desired end for cord placement. Mount board onto top of window casing near the front, ¼ to ½ inches from the front of the casing.
Staple the fastening part of the Velcro across the board at the top, making sure it is evenly placed. Attach strip of double-sided tape (cut to size of width of the fabric) to top edge of fabric. Then attach the other side of the Velcro to the tape. Now mount the fabric to the mounting board, making sure is evenly placed, and press firmly.
Thread the cord lock pulley with the polyester cord. Thread the leads through each pulley and down through each row of pull rings, then tie off at bottom ring in each row. (Note: a dowel rod may be used on the bottom ring row to stabilize the cord). Tie ends from cord lock pulley together. If using cord drop, slide this over the ends before tying together.