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Window Shade Leather Border How-To

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2006


  • Piece of lambskin measuring at least 3 square feet (bring your pattern to the leather store to ensure the piece is large enough)

  • Double-stick tape

  • Leather adhesive

  • One-inch brush for the leather adhesive

  • Bone folder

  • Thread in a contrasting color for topstitching (we used light gray)

  • Fabric scissors

  • Ballpoint pen

  • Straightedge


  1. Download templates; enlarge 200 percent on a copy machine to fit a 3-inch window. Adjust the size to fit your window as needed.

  2. Cut out leather patterns according to our leather cutting instructions. Cut out 2 of pattern A. Cut 2 of pattern B, then flip the template over and cut 2 more pieces so that you have 4 total; 2 are mirror images.

  3. Take one A leather piece and 2 opposing B pieces; lay B pieces on top of A, "good" sides together, so that the sides marked "a" are aligned. Instead of pinning, use small pieces of double-stick tape to hold leather together, no more than 1/2 inch from the edge of the leather.

  4. Sew pieces together according to our leather sewing instructions, with a 1/2 inch seam allowance; smooth flaps open with a bone folder and glue flaps open with leather adhesive. Add topstitch on both sides of the seam, 1/8 inch from the seam.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with remaining pieces.

  6. Using a ballpoint pen and a straightedge, lightly draw a line on the "wrong" side of the leather, one inch from the top of just one of the leather pieces. Lay the other piece on it, "wrong" sides together.

  7. Add topstitch along the bottom of the leather, 1/2 inch from the edge of the leather.

  8. Using a brush, spread leather adhesive inside the pocket you've just created, making sure to cover both sides completely. Lay your window shade inside the pocket so it matches up with the line you drew in step 6 and is centered from left to right. Carefully press leather together, smoothing out air bubbles. Let adhesive dry, according to manufacturer's instructions.

  9. To make the edges perfect, use sharp scissors to trim off the excess leather along the bottom edge, 1/8 inch from the topstitching you added in step 7. Trim excess leather on the left and right sides so it lines up with the edge of the shade.

  10. Add topstitching to the sides and top, 1/8 inch from the edge of the leather.

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