How to Make a Roman Shade by Recycling Clothes


| 3/31/2015 9:26:00 AM


Custom Roman Shade made by recycling clothes

The Roman shade on our bathroom window finally disintegrated after decades of use. Bathroom shades must be replaced for obvious reasons, but our window is an unusual size and hard to fit with readymade coverings. Custom retail shades can cost up to $200! Although I knew that buying new fabric for a homemade replacement would save us a lot of money, I decided to take it up a notch and figure out how to make a Roman shade from an old linen garment. This would save us buckets of money, and I knew I’d like the result much better than a commercial window covering.

My DIY Roman shade project turned out even better than I’d hoped. You, too, can make a cheap Roman shade for your home. All you need are basic sewing skills and a few simple tools — no sewing machine required. First, carefully read these instructions and plan your shade before you search for clothing to recycle.

Step 1: Measure Your Window

Measuring the window frame to make an inside-mount Roman shade

Your first step is to take careful measurements of your window. Graph paper is a good way to figure your fabric needs, and is especially helpful if you must make your Roman shade out of multiple clothing panels, as I did. Don’t forget to include extra for seam allowances and hems in your calculations.



Because I wanted to make a Roman shade that could be raised and lowered inside (not overlapping) the window frame, I needed to take accurate measurements of the distance between the frame’s interior wooden elements (see photo). Inside-mount Roman shades should be slightly narrower than the window’s inside width so they can move without dragging on the frame, so I remembered to subtract a small amount from the measurement: The interior width of our bathroom window is about 26-3/4 inches, so I rounded down to 26 inches. I also measured the inside height of the frame and added on several inches to create plenty of wiggle room. (Step 7 includes information on how to adjust the finished height.)





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