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Make Your Own Roman Shades

Martha Stewart Living, June 2006

Smart, tailored panels combine the softness of curtains with the functionality of blinds, and they work almost anywhere. Their lines are perfect for small windows, in which elaborate treatments might be too busy, and for large ones, in which they can complement a room without overpowering it.

When lowered, the shades fit snugly in a window frame, almost flush against the glass; when raised, their fabric hangs in neat symmetrical folds.

There are three basic styles: classic, casual, and formal. The choice of fabric will influence the final effect (toile, for instance, tends to look more formal than gingham, regardless of the shade's shape). We installed the panels inside window frames; they can also be mounted to the front casing.

You can dress up your shade with stripes or trim, but its beauty lies in its simplicity: a single length of finished cloth fit with a system of cords. Lighting and privacy needs will determine when the shade should be raised or lowered.

Tools and Materials for Making Your Own Roman Shade
Making a Classic Shade
Making a Casual Sheer Shade
Making a Formal Shade

Comments (5)

  • 2 Sep, 2013

    unbelievable what you have to do to get a printed copy not worth it

  • 7 Aug, 2013

    I had considered simply using ready made curtains for a task like this, but after reading your post, i think i am ready to tackle this project.


  • 23 May, 2013

    I was helping out my sister-in-law to make her newly purchased screen door attractive, rather than look like a plain-looking one straight from the store. She knows that I have the knack for DIY stuff, especially when I helped her and my brother during their renovation.

  • 23 May, 2013

    I did not want to disappoint her that I do not have that much of an idea on making plain looking screen doors looks attractive, but stumbling upon this article made me so grateful that I could help her with it. It has to be childproof as well. So, I decided to do a classic shade and the length will have to be beyond reach of her young children. I shared with her these great tips, and she is very happy with the outcome of my DIY screen door shade.

  • 1 Dec, 2012

    Hi Martha Stewart,

    I'm glad to read your post, specially the idea you have notify here is "there are three basic styles: classic, casual, and formal". Brilliant contribution, i must be thank you.

    I wanted to decor my bedroom window covers with a different look and feel. That should be quit & worm but wind should come into here. In that case I'd love to know more detail from you....

    More resource going to help people: