Roman Shade DIY Tutorial

I wanted roman shades for my home office but options for my long window were crazy expensive.

So I got some fabric on sale and some trim and made them myself.

This project took around 4 hours to complete and was not hard at all!

I will try to explain as best I can, but highly recommend watching the video as well.

This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing from these links you will not pay more, but I receive a small commission to help me continue this blog.


I based my design by watching several YouTube videos, this one below was my favorite


Sew Classics Hopsack Linen Fabric

Pink Trim

.5 in Diameter Dowel

Curtain Cord and Rings

Stitch Witchery

Tension Rod

Sewing Machine

Cutting the Fabric

To determine the size of your fabric, we’re going to have to do some math.

Take your window length, and automatically add 3″ for the bottom and 4″ for the top. So then take that 7″ and add an extra inch for every dowel you plan to use (not including the bottom, that one is already taken care of).

So for example my window is 52″ long, I’ll add for the top and bottom hems to get 59″, then I had three middle dowels to get 62″ total for my length.

The width is a little easier. Just take the width of your window and add 4″, since we’ll be doing a double one inch hem on both sides.

Press and Sew the Sides

I chose to do a double hem because I think they look nice.

You’ll start by hemming the sides of the shade. So I folded the sides down an inch, pressed them with an iron, then folded that and pressed it.

I pinned as I pressed on the second fold to prep for sewing.

Then I started sewing the sides up. I used a hem foot that comes with my machine that makes it super easy to sew a straight line.

Press and Sew the Top and Bottom

Then I moved on to the top and bottom. For the bottom I still did a double hem at the bottom like the sides. Same for the top. Then I pinned where the pockets will be for the rod as well as the bottom dowel.

I measured out the top by seeing what fit with my particular tension rod, and it was about three inches. So I folded over the fabric creating that three inch pocket and sewed along the back.

For the bottom I did a 1 inch pocket, since my dowel is .5 in diameter this is plenty of room.

Measuring and Sewing the Dowel Pockets

Once you have all of your sides, top, and bottom hemmed up you can measure out how you want to space out your dowels.

For my project I had four total, three in the middle then one at the very bottom. If I could do it over again I would maybe do five instead.

Measure your finished shades length, divide by number of dowels and that should give you the number of inches to space your dowels out in the middle.

Then you’ll pin in place a pocket for the dowel to go in and sew. I did 1″ seam allowance when sewing and it was perfect.

Sewing the Rings

Then you’ll need to take your rings and hand sew them on the back at every dowel and on both sides. Sew them a few inches in from the sides.

See diagrams below for their placement.

Putting in the Blind Cord

I put together some diagrams, because this process confused me at first.

So in this first diagram, imagine that the blue squares represent a ring and the dark blue line is where the cord will go.

Lay the blind down, back side facing up. Then start threading the blind cord through the bottom left ring and then continue through each ring above it, then over to the right, then down the right.

You will leave it loose on the left where you started, but tie it on the bottom right ring where you end. Leave at least six inches of extra cord on the loose end.

Then you’ll take a second strand of the blind cord and on the left side tie the end on the bottom ring, go up to the top of the left side then back down leaving it loose when you end. Leave at least six inches of extra cord on the loose end.

Now there will be two loose ends, one from the first strand and one from the second.

Tie those together and you will uses those to operate your blind.

Adding the Trim

If you want to add some trim, now’s the time! I just used iron on adhesive and added the trim the same way I added the pleating tape in this post.

Insert the Dowels and Hang

Finally you’re ready to insert the dowels and hang your curtain.

Using the tension rods made this easy and tool-less. I hadn’t seen anyone else use them before but they have worked well for me.

Would you make your own roman shades?

It sounds complicated but it was pretty simple! I’m considering making more for my kitchen.

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