Today I bring you a tutorial on how to make a DIY no sew faux roman shade. This DIY was inspired by a need (more of a want) for a window treatment on the window above our kitchen sink. It is an odd shaped window, roughly 42” W x 40” H.
Here is a shot of the window soon after we moved in, when our kitchen looked much different.
When we first moved in I went around the house ripping down (really Nathan carefully took them down) all of the existing window treatments. Our house had blinds and curtains that had likely been in place since 1980. Yuck.
After our window treatment removal rampage I have been very slowly adding window treatments around our house, but man you guys, window coverings are EXPENSIVE. Especially the ones I wanted. We have new curtains (from Ikea, because I couldn’t commit to nicer ones just yet) that we added in our breakfast nook and living room and blinds in our master bedroom (they are the only original blinds we kept because we kind of needed blinds in our bedroom).
I really wanted a roman shade for the window above our kitchen sink to add some texture and color to the area, while still being able to keep the shade pulled up most of the time. That also did not cost a fortune. We had blinds on the window above our sink in our old house and those things always got disgustingly dirty if we left them all the way down. Water splashes, dust, and general kitchen grime did not make for a good combination and I was always wiping those darn slats off until one day I decided that I would just pull the blinds up and leave them that way. This got me thinking that I didn’t really need to be able to close this window covering so I decided to get creative and make a faux roman shade that was fixed in place.
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I went to my fabric stash and found remnants of fabric I had from two previous projects, re-covering an old ottoman (pre-blog) and making my DIY No Sew Headboard Slipcover which you can check out here. I had originally bought both of these fabrics from the clearance/remnant section of the fabric store so I estimate the total cost to be around $5 for all of the fabric I used for the shade, which is a win in my book! Since I had two different fabric patterns I decided to make it work and use it to my advantage so I decided to make the shade double sided – perfect for my indecisive self who changes her mind all the time. One fabric was a patterned Ikat style fabric, while the other was a more simple, linen-type fabric.
I bought 3 curtain tension rods to use to hold the roman shade in place.
To assemble the shade I measured the exact dimensions of the inset of the window (inside the frame) to determine exactly how much fabric I needed. I cut 1 piece of the patterned fabric slightly larger (1/4 inch on each of the left, bottom, and right sides, and 2 inches on the top) than the window dimension. I then cut the linen fabric to the exact dimensions of the window.
I took the top side of patterned fabric (that was cut 2 inches more than the window dimensions) and folded it over to create a “pocket” for one of the tension rods to slip through and hold the shade in place. I secured this newly formed pocket by using fabric glue I already had on hand down the whole length of the pocket. Then I attached the linen fabric to the back side of the patterned fabric using fabric glue along each of the 4 edges. This was the extent of my “sewing” I decided to leave the edges un-hemmed because I like the more relaxed look it gives the shade, without looking too shabby chic. Plus, I’m lazy. Lazy girl DIYs over here.
After securing the pocket I slipped one of the tension rods in (that I had already adjusted to the width of the window).
I then put the remaining to tension rods in place in the window frame, which you can see below. After much trial and error I determined they looked best closer together like this because it made the folds of the shade look more like a true roman shade. Leaving room at the top for the 3rd tension rod that was in the shade’s pocket.
After this step you insert the remaining tension rod (with the roman shade attached) into the space you left near the top of the window.
When it is really sunny out (like it was the day I did this) you can see the patterned fabric through the linen fabric (the patterned fabric was on the back side. So if this bothers you it might be a good idea to consider doing the same fabric on both sides. I would recommend doing two sides of fabric for the shade to make it look higher quality.
Next, you want to start pulling the fabric gently through the opening between the top and middle tension rods, enough fabric to give you a nice “fold” with enough remaining fabric to repeat this step and pull fabric through the middle and bottom tension rods to create the bottom fold. You could add more tension rods for more folds, but I determined for our window 3 was enough.
This was a very easy project that took me less than an hour total to do! I am so pleased with the result. Not to mention it was less $20 for the all of the material (well $25 if you count the fabric glue, but still!). I think that’s pretty fantastic. It is definitely a great option if you aren’t ready to commit to more expensive, nicer window coverings, and if you are looking more for the form and style of a window covering, rather than the function of something that gives you privacy.
I would love to hear if you try this project out yourself!