How to Diy Roman Shades for Beginners UncategorizedHow to Diy Roman Sh

4 Materials
3 Hours

If you have wondered how to diy a roman shade I’ve got you covered! This tutorial is simple and for a beginner which is why I can do it and you can too!

Several years ago I attended a beginner sewing class hoping I would become the next Martha Stewart. Although that never happened I did learn some sewing basics and how to sew a roman shade, which I am so glad to know.

When I say basics I mean I can sew a relatively straight line and that is all the sewing skills you need to make a roman shade.


As you can see my dining room used to have curtain panels, but I have realized that I would like these windows to have roman shades instead. If my drapery choice only needed to be for looks I would stay with the panels BUT I really need to choose for function here as well. I could have chosed a different drapery panel to block more sunlight, but since I am making the change I decided to do something completely different.

The sun rises at this side of the house and those linen look curtains just were not sufficient to block the glare of the sun. I purchased those curtains from Home Depot Decorators Collection and I love them. I hate to take them down, but they just don’t function well for this room. I have the same curtains in the living area however and they are perfect there.

If you would like to make your own roman shades this is how I learned to make them.

  • scrap wood the width of the window
  • fabric
  • eye or hook screws
  • rings
  • string
  • cleats
  • Tools: sewing machine, drill, thread & needle, stapler

Determine fabric and size

You will want to select your fabric according to your needs. Since I want my roman shades to block light I do not want a sheer fabric. If you want light to filter through you many want a more light and light filtering fabric.

Surprise, surprise, I chose to use a drop cloth.

Why would I do that when there are so many options? For me it was a no brainer. Since I had not made a roman shade or really done any kind of sewing for many years, I just wanted to use a drop cloth just in case I messed up.

I would rather be out the price of a drop cloth than fabric by the yard if it didn’t work out.

Not only that, I love drop cloths! You can see in this post , and also this one, that I have used them in the past as well.

Some (not all) of them are great fabric made of canvas which is great for many uses. I chose the 6oz. type becuase I did not want a stiff fabric and thought it would be easier to work with. It was:)

If you choose to use a canvas drop cloth be aware that:

  • drop cloths come in different weights and colors
  • some drop cloths have a seam in the middle

Also, be sure to wash and dry your fabric before using it to accommodate for shrinkage.

To determine the size I measured the inside of the window.

Since I wanted a 1/2″ hem I added a 1″ seam allowance on each side for the width.

(30″ + 1″ + 1″)

And for the length I added an additional 3/4″ to go over the top of the mounting board.

(60″ + 1 + 1 + 3/4 )

Sew edges of fabric

You will then sew your fabric with your desired seam allowance on each side. As you can see I decided on a 1/2′ seam allowance.

The reason for this is because the drop cloth is already sewn on the edges and I was going to use the sewn edges whenever I could. You can call this lazy sewing! You can see some of my other lazy sewing techniques in this post about how I hem my pants. Good thing it’s in style:)

If you want a tutorial about how to hem your pants with the original seam this is a good one. And yes it is easy!

Attach the rings

You will now attach the rings to the fabric. ( I know this photo shows the mounting board and screws attached, ignore that for now)

I sewed the rings 1″ in from the side and 6″ down from the top with a 5″ spacing.

Things to consider:

How much of a valance do you want when the shade is pulled to the top? I wanted a small valance so I chose to place the rings at 6″. If you want a larger valance area you would place your rings further down.

Do you want the shade to fold from the very bottom or have a drape? I originally ended the rings 6″ up from the bottom to create a drape when the shade is pulled. I did not like that so I ended up sewing another ring at the bottom of the fabric.

Do you want large or small folds of fabric when the drape is pulled? I wanted small folds so I placed the rings with a 5″ spacing. If you want larger folds of fabric you would choose more spacing.

Attach the mounting board

The mounting board will be attached to the fabric and once the roman shade is complete the mounting board will be attached to the window. I will explain this further later.

As you can see here I attached the fabric to the mounting board by wrapping the fabric over the top and stapling in place.

If the look of the wood will bother you, you can either completely wrap the board with fabric (be sure to acomodate for this when determining the size of the fabric), or paint the board.

Attach the screws

I pre-drilled my screw holes to prevent me from splitting the wood, and then just screwed the hooks to the mounting board. I placed mine at 6″ apart. I used hooks because that is what I had on hand, however eye hooks would probably work better.

You can attach the screws either before or after you attach the mounting board. Whatever works best for you.

Attach the strings

This step was very intimidating for me but it really is not difficult, just don’t overthink it.

  • Begin by tying the string to the bottom ring (consider which side you will want to pull the shade from). From the bottom ring pull the string through each ring above until you get to the top.
  • Once at the top pull the string through each eye hook and after the last hook leave quite a few inches of string for easy reach when pulling the shade up.
  • Use a second string to attach the the bottom ring on the other side and pull through each ring above until you get to the top.
  • Once at the top pull the string through only the eye hook directly above the last ring and again leave extra string once pulled through.
Attach shade to the window

I used 2″ screws and screwed the shade directly into the window trim. Attaching the shade this way allows the shade to fit snug to the top of the inside of the window.

I have seen some roman shades hung using cup hooks. This method leaves a gap between the shade and the window, but makes for easier removal.

You could choose to mount your blind directly onto the front or above your window trim. This method would make your windows look larger.

It all comes down to preference.

Attach the cleats

Attach your cleats wherever you want them to be. I attached mine to the inside of the window frame at the 1/2 way point of the window.

I have seen some placed high, some placed low, and even some placed on the front of the frame too. Just decide what will work best for you.

Enjoy your new shades!

I am so freaking happy with these shades!

These turned out great for being a novice at sewing. This lesson has given me the confidence to make roman shades in other rooms in our house as well. Now that I completed these with no problem I will be open to using actual fabric by the yard…yay!!!!

I hope this tutorial on how to make a roman shade for beginners has given you the direction and confidence to make your own!

If you have questions just let me know and I will try to explain if my directions weren’t as clear as mud!

I also encourage you to use a drop cloth if you are not yet confident in using purchased fabric. I am so glad I did, and lucky for me it looks great in my house!

As always I thank you for reading my blog! Please share it with a friend or on social media:)

Have a great day,


Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Terry Terry on Apr 28, 2021

    The roman shade project was great, but I was looking for the link to the post about hemming your pants. Where is it. I even went to your blog and couldn't find it. ;-(

  • Pineapple Pineapple on Apr 28, 2021

    Great instructions but how the heck do you clean them?

    Is it possible to use velcro rather than stapling the fabric to the wood? Also, can you use a tension rod rather than attaching the wood into the top of the window?

  • Monica Jean Monica Jean on Apr 29, 2021

    Yes but where do you buy the plastic round hooks you run the cord through.


Join the conversation

2 of 24 comments
  • Charise. Charise. on May 25, 2021

    Your entire room looks great!!!

    ...but I tapped out as soon as I read "sewing machine". LOL!

    Very nicely done, though!

  • Maria Maria on May 25, 2021

    You are funny! But I get it:) thanks for checking out the post!