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DIY Roman Shades

Easy DIY Roman Shades

Phew!  What a week!  It’s amazing how much stuff you can get done during a bloggy vacation when you set your mind to it.  And because of it, I now have so much new stuff to share with YOU!  The first of which is a DIY project I’ve been working on for several months but never had found the time to finish–DIY Roman Shades.  Yes, this non-DIYer has once again stepped over that threshold and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

In the past I’ve shared a couple of posts about our sun room turned playroom. We are so thankful to have this area as a play area and home school room with one exception–the extreme light and heat factor.  Up until now the windows have had no window treatments with which to regulate the sunshine.  As such, even in the winter months we had to adjust our time in the sun room based on the location of the sun in the sky.

The sun room before it became a play room with a good view of the windows without shades.

The windows in the sun room are not your typical width or height so buying cheap blinds at the home store wasn’t an option.  We knew we’d have to go the customized route to create window coverage, but customized anything can cost a fortune.  So, I looked into DIY options and came across this simple DIY Roman Shade tutorial by Jen Duncan.  I gave it a try and the results are what you see below.

The shades pulled up.
The shades down.
The shades up and down.
A close-up of the roman shades.

We love them and are very pleased with how they turned out.  The real nice thing about them–you only have to sew three seams and the rest is just sewing some rings by hand.  No dowel rods.  No sewing seams by hand.  None of that extra pain-staking stuff.  And, just like Jen says, after a few times they hold their shape pretty well.  With the use of 40% and 50% coupons for Hobby Lobby we eventually were able to spend less than $200 for 11 custom shades…something that would have cost hundreds more if bought from the home store.

Easy DIY Roman #Shades w/o a Dowel Rod

I won’t go into much detail as far as how we made these shades since Jen did does an excellent job on her website.  However, if you decide to make these shades yourself, there are a few things I did slightly different than Jen which we found to be to our advantage:

1.  We used metal rings from the bead department–so much cheaper.
2.  Before you add the metal rings, drop your metal rod into the bottom of the shade.  This saves you from having to cut and re-sew the shade later.
3.  We didn’t use the staple gun at all and didn’t really find it necessary.
4.  To keep the nylon cord from unraveling we slightly burned the ends.
5.  We did a 3/4 inch seam allowance on each side (vs. 1/2″) and 5″ for added length (vs. 4″).  This allowed me to have a 5/8 inch seam and extra space for ironing and human error (something I’m notorious for).

Now we can play in the sun room at any time of day; it’s great.  So what projects have you been up to lately.  Don’t forget, tomorrow is our first ever link up party!  Hope to see you there and be sure to invite your friends too.  I can’t wait!

The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.  Ecclesiastes 1:5


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  1. says

    Oh Kathy, what a HUGE difference in your room! It looks FANTASTIC! Love the fabric too, I’ve used that for some little fabric flower clips and it’s so cute. Roman shades are something I have considered daunting, but I have one spot where I’m thinking of using one, so I’m excited about this tutorial. Way to go girl!

  2. says

    wow, beautiful ! i have some hideous blinds in my florida room that i’d love to replace with something as inexpensive and cute as this !!

  3. says

    I love the material! I think they look great! We are feeling the heat around here too. I guess I should try shutting my curtains!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    Beautiful! I’m sure you stand in that room and smile, while mentally patting yourself on the back. I would! 😉

    I just bought some chartreuse cotton duck fabric to make my own, but wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to do it yet. Thankfully, I found your post and link to instructions. Watch my blog for pics. :)

  5. says

    These turned out super cute! I’m so not a DIYer either, but I still love the occasional project that makes me feel like a regular DIYgal. I like how they turned out. They’re so fun.

  6. says

    I found this article whilst looking for other information on roman blinds however I have to say I think these are greta homemade blinds. I especially like the unique retro patterned material although probably too loud for my all white interiors! haha

  7. says

    I’m in the process of making mine, but need help in determining the ring separation length on longer blinds. Mine are 42″ and 54″ long. I’m not sure how to figure out how to separate the rings to give them the nice layered look. Any suggestions?

    • says

      Jessica, my shades were longer too. I now wished I had saved the measurements I used. I think I ended up adding a couple extra rows of rings at the top 8″ and 9″ apart so as to keep the inch progression between rows. It seemed to work for me as they still lay right. So, with the 42″ I may just add an extra row 8″ above the 7″ row as mentioned in the tutorial and then also a 9″ row about that for the 54″ length. I hope that makes sense. When they are all done, I do hope you share them on Titus 2 Tuesday. I’d love to see how they turn out! Good luck!