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


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