DIY “Custom” Roman Shades

17 Jun

Why is it that window treatments are so expensive?  Unless you are one of the small percentage of people who can happily purchase off the shelf/stocked blinds or shades you need to either make do or pay the price of custom treatments.  For our master bedroom I wanted something that looked clean, crisp and tailored.  I am a decent seamstress, but I was not up for making something from scratch.   After looking at countless websites with custom and pre-made blinds I found some beautiful silk roman shades on clearance at  Of course they were about 12″ too long, but the width was perfect for hanging inside the window frame.   I decided to hem the pre-made roman shades.

I tried to find instructions for shortening a roman shade on-line, but I could not seem to find anything too helpful.   So here is what I did (I realize there may be a better way, or perhaps an easier solution, but this worked also):

1. Detach the cord from the bottom of the shade (do not cut the cord or the loops connected to the cord as you will reattach these).

Cutting the loop that held the cord

2.  Make sure you measure the exact height of the window for each window (our house is almost 100 years old and nothing is symmetrical).  I took this measurement and then added an additional 2 inches to it (to allow for the hem/weighted rod at the bottom-this could vary depending on the size of the rod in your shade.  I also removed a small decorative seam that was on my particular blinds so the new seams would be nice and smooth).   I measured up from the bottom of the shade to accurately measure the amount to cut…then I cut…glup.  Don’t cut the cord!

Measuring up from the bottom

Cut across, but don't cut the cords

3.  Remove the rod/weight from the excess and set aside.  I also set the remaining fabric aside (I may make throw pillows or something…it is pretty fabric!)

Remove plastic rod

4.  Use an iron to begin to make the hem.  I folded up 1/2″ then ironed.  Then I folded the remaining 1.5″ up and ironed.   Be careful with the iron: my shades had a coating on the reverse side (probably for privacy/light filtering), and I think this would have melted if I was not careful.

Measure and Iron

5.  Reattached loops directly under the cords and sewed the loops into the hem of the shade (I used a narrow ribbon that was similar to what kept the loop in place originally).  Keep in place with pins and sew!

Hem is pinned...about to put cord into seam


6. Slide the weighted rod back in and sew up the side seams.

"white roman shades"

Finished blind...just right! (I ironed them over and over, but the photo makes them look wrinkled)

And there you have it:  custom roman shades on a dime!  I paid less than $18 for each one  (that was the clearance price including shipping, and using a coupon cabin code!) =)


2 Responses to “DIY “Custom” Roman Shades”

  1. Carolyn June 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Nice shades. What a cost savings and they are perfect in the windows. They don’t look wrinkled. Good going!

  2. Riya Johns October 17, 2011 at 4:48 am #

    Great…Really cost saving and it looks awesome. I would like to try for my home windows as it’s in my budget and I liked the trick of yours!

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