May 22, 2012

Faux Roman Shade Tutorial

faux roman shade

 As is the tutorial on how I made my lined  faux roman shades for my Craft room/Guest room..

Usually when I create something, I go online or look through magazines to get inspiration and ideas, then mash them all together in my head and just try and figure it out, which is exactly what I did making these blinds! I'm going to try my best to show you my thought process step-by-step, but sometimes stepping into my brain can be a scary place!! So hang in we go!

 So, why faux roman shades you ask? Well, first of all, my window is a double and measures 6' wide, so I would need to make 2 blinds. Secondly, when looking for fabric, I came across this gorgeous Ikat fabric from Magnolia fabrics that I just had to have! But at over $20 a yard with delivery, I really didn't want to pay quite that much to make two full blinds, so I only ordered 2 yards of fabric which I knew I could work with to make a faux pair.

ikat fabric

I already had an awesome pair of grommet panels that I scored for $9 each at Ikea that I was planning on using too, so the purpose of the blind was only to dress up the window a bit, and the drapes would close to use for privacy when we had a guest staying.

The first thing I always do when starting a project from scratch is to draw up a little sketch of the ideas floating around in my head. I knew that my options were limited with only 2 yards of fabric, so I thought I could either make the faux roman blinds with drapery panles to either side, or create a box valence to hang above the drapes.

faux roman blind sketch

After putting my ideas on paper, I knew that the faux roman blind with an inside mount was the look I was going for. The box valence seemed a little too formal for me. So now to start sewing!!

 Step #1. Measure twice, cut once.

 This is very important especially when working with a larger scale pattern such as the one I chose. (And I have been known to only measure once then cut it the wrong size and have to start all over again!)
My window is 6' wide and measures about 71" from casing to casing on the inside, so I decided to make 2 panels that were 35" wide each.

  • The goal is to have 2 panels cut the same height and width that mirror each other, so in order to achieve this, I had to measure from the center of my fabric to find the width, so that my pattern repeat was equal on either side, and my pattern was centered.
  • Once you have found the center of the fabric, cut out your panel so it will be the same width of your finished blind plus 2" ( 1/2" seam allowance on either side, plus an additional 1/2" on either side to wrap around the lining. There will be more about this step later.)
  • Cut the length to whatever length you desire, just remember to add 1/2" at the top for seam allowance and about 1" at the bottom for a hem. I cut mine to be about 24" long.
  • Cut your lining so that it is the same length as your panel, but 2" shorter in width as your panel.

Step #2. Sew on the lining.

Now I like my fabric to wrap around the back of my shades/drapes to give it a more professional, finished look. You don't have to do this, I just find the fabric hangs a little nicer. You also don't have to line your shade, but I chose too because the window that it will be hanging from is very sunny, and this way you will see more of the pattern of the fabric instead of seeing through the fabric when the sun is shining.

  • Pin your lining to each side of your fabric, right sides together. (in the first photo I only have one side pinned. Remember, the lining is not as wide as the fabric!)
  • Sew each side using a 1/2" seam allowance.
  • Press open the seams.
  • Turn shade right side out.

Step #3.Press the seams and stitch the top.

  After you have turned your fabric right side out, press the sides so there is about 1/2" of the fabric showing on the back of the shade. Make sure you get a really nice crisp seam.
  • Turn the shade inside out again, and using your crisply pressed seam as a guide, pin the top edge together, keeping the 1/2" of wrapped fabric to either side at the back.
  • Sew a straight edge all the way across the top of the shade.
  • Clip the corners, press the seam open, then turn the shade right side out again and press to get a crisp clean line across the top.

Step #4. Hem with hemming tape.

I like using hemming tape, because it is quick and easy! There are many methods, but this is the way I hem with the tape:
  • Stitch the bottom of the shade and the lining together using a zig zag stitch to prevent fraying.
  • Press the seam up once, then once again to the desired length.
  • I used Heat n Bond hemming tape, but which ever one you choose, read & follow the instructions!!
  • Press tape under hem as per instructions.

Step #5. Create Pleats.
  • on a flat surface, figure out how you want your pleats to look by folding the fabric. Pin the pleats to hold in place when you are satisfied, and if you have a second shade, make sure the pleats are lined up so they match.
  • Secure pleats by using more hemming tape! (I used Heat & Bond Ultra on the pleats for added strength. This is a 2 step process where you press the tape down in the desired position on the paper side. Then you peel the paper off and press the top of the fabric on the sticky side of the tape. Just make sure to follow the instructions on whichever tape you end up using.) I just placed the tape all the way along the top of the pleat on the back side of my shade.
  • This step is optional, but I added a quick hand stitch to the end of each pleat for added strength.

Step #6. Mount your blind!

There are many different ways to mount your blind, but this is how I do mine! I've also seen it done by creating a pocket in the top of your blind and using a tension rod. My window is 6' wide, so this method is the most secure.

  • Cut a piece of 1" x 2"  wood to the length of the inside of your window and screw into the top of your window frame as shown using wood screws. Prime and paint the same color as your trim and it will look like part of your window trim!
  • Cut a piece of 3/4" sew on velcro the entire width of your shade, plus about an extra 1". 
  • Attach the soft loop side of the velcro to the top of your shade using the ultra strong hemming tape again. (I found that when I applied heat to the velcro, it shrunk a bit, so make sure to cut yourself the extra inch for shrinkage!!)
  • Attach the hook side of the velcro to your mounted board using a staple gun. Put the blind in place, and voila! Professional looking faux roman shades. The best part about this mounting method is you can easily change out the blind anytime you like and can even convert it to a working blind in the future if you like!

Check out my other completed projects for this room!

Guest Bedroom/Craft Room Mood Board
Thibaut Inspired Stenciled wall

Whitewashed Table

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  1. These look great!


  2. They look awesome and I LOVE the ikat fabric =)

    Visiting from DIY Showoff

  3. Love it! Pinning it! Nice, fatty, bling there, my friend. :)

    1. Ha! Took me a minute to figure out what you were talking about! I worked very hard for my bling ;D

  4. Sarah, Really nice tutorial. Your roman shades look marvelous! Visiting you from DIY Showoff. So happy to be now following! Can't wait to see more of your creative projects. :-)

    1. Thanks so much Sharla! I'll try my best to keep them coming!

  5. Hi Sarah! Great job on your shade! I love your fabric choice.

  6. They look great, Sarah! Super fabric choice. Ikat wins every time!

  7. They seriously are the bee's knees! Love how they turned out and love the fabric. Fabulous tutorial too!



  8. Great tutorial and I love your idea, now following. Would love for you to visit and follow back too!

    Hugs, Tanya

  9. LOVE these faux roman blinds! I can totally see myself making a set for our home. I featured your tutorial on Sew Woodsy today! Thanks again for linking up!

    1. Thanks for the feature Katie!! You just made my day:)

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. Found this great idea at Tatertots & Jello! Wow! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great week.
    House on the Way

  12. Shouldn't you sew the lining to the outer fabric with right sides together?

    1. Yes!! Thanks for pointing out that typo. Just caught it now and updated. You should sew right sides together:)

  13. Love it! I made these for my previous home and need to make some for this house. We only have blinds right now and my husband is anti-curtains (something to do with his beloved thick white trimwork....) so I think I will compromise and make faux romans since we keep the blinds up 98% of the time anyhow. Thanks for your tutorial!! Love your site, I am going to start following you on bloglovin'
    Krista @ thehappyhousie

    1. These would be the perfect solution for you! A great way to add some fabric without covering up that gorgeous trim. Thanks for visiting & following!

  14. I have not checked out much of the content of your website, but the site design is absolutely fabulous! Gonna like it and use it often! Cheers.

  15. Awesome tutorial, I've been looking for a while at faux roman blind tutorials and yours seems the easiest and look the nicest too! I plan on making one or two of these in the near future :)

    1. Great!! I'd love to see how yours turn out! Thanks for stopping by

  16. I am so happy I found this post- I was about to give up and was trying to do the same look in my craft room with the same size window. I couldn't figure out a couple things and you solved it for me! Thank you so much for the post. You did a great job:)

    1. Thanks so much!! I'm so glad you found the post useful! Make sure to send me a link of your finished project! I'd love to see it:)


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