Roman shades are a simple and elegant window treatment to block out the sun or prying neighbors. Prettier than plain plastic shades, but less expensive than ornate window shades, Roman shades provide the perfect start for a beginning home decorator.
Roman shades can be purchased at home improvement or department stores, or customized by an interior designer. The cheapest way to decorate your home with Roman shades is by making them yourself. Get ready to brush up on your math skills!
To make Roman shades, first measure the window you want to place them on. Measure the height and width of the window from inside its frame. Or, if you want the blind to cover more than the window, measure the height and width of the surface that the blind will cover. Your shadow will likely need to be between 45 and 54 inches wide.
Before purchasing your fabric, you will need to calculate the number of studs and the amount of fabric you will need. To calculate how many pegs you will need, divide the height of the window by six to nine inches, which will be the space between each fold of the peg. You will need to find a number that evenly matches the height of the window. For example, if your window height is 64 inches, divide by six. Then you will need eight dowels for eight folds. Each peg needs 1.5 inches, so multiplied by eight, you will need an additional 12 inches of fabric. You will also need an additional six inches of fabric to mount the display, which means you will need an additional 18 inches for this example. Add this to the height of your window to get your final height. Add two inches of fabric to the width of your window. Now you have the size of the fabric you need. Phew!
Next, the fun part: selecting the fabric of your shadow. Curtains without busy patterns are the easiest to work with because you won’t need to make sure the pattern blends seamlessly with every fold. If your window receives light from the south, consider choosing a nearly sharp fabric. This will produce a warm and relaxing light in your room. Take a photo of your room, fabric swatches from your furniture, and a paint swatch from your room when you go shopping. You don’t want to finish making your Roman shade to find it collides with the rest of your room!
While you’re shopping for your fabric, shop for the rest of your supplies:
Curtain lining fabric. You will need an additional 0.25 inch to cover the mounting plate.
Quarter-inch diameter window dowels, 0.25 inches smaller than the width of the window
A wooden mounting board, 0.25 inches smaller than the width of the window which is 1×2 inches.
Half-inch diameter shadow rings
Chalk or air-soluble marker
The simplest way to make a shadow uses a lot of pictures and few words. Find instructions at a home improvement store or free online for making your own Roman shade. Find patterns that make the type of Roman shade you want, whether it’s flat, pleated, or sunburst. You will probably need a sewing machine to make the roman shade quickly, especially for attaching the lining to the fabric. With patience you can make your own Roman shade.