How to Sew a Fake Roman Shade

One item I’ve been looking forward to making with my sewing machine is fake roman shades for some of our windows. Although I’m sure I could tackle the working shades, I had an idea to make fake ones for the bathroom and kitchen. My trip to Ikea last weekend was perfectly timed since I got to pick up some fabric and get my project off the ground.  This was my chance to learn how to sew a roman shade.

How to Sew a Roman Shade

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • Decorative fabric
  • Liner fabric
  • Decorative ribbon {optional}
  • Scissors, measuring tape, pins, sewing machine, staple gun, needle, thread
  • Wood 1 inch x 2 inch
  • Hanging hardware

I mostly followed Centsational Girl’s flat fixed roman shade project here. The only thing I didn’t do was add dowels in the folds since my shades were so small.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Here is the wood strip that I purchased at Lowes. It was cedar and was about $3.50 for a 1x2x8. I had them cut it in the store to the two sizes I needed {I ended up making two shades}. Look around in the trim section though, I think there was pine that was even cheaper, about $1.10 for 8 feet. Of course I saw that after I had this cut!

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

To get started, you can practice with your fabric to see how tall you will make the shade. Mine were about 12 inches high and about 1 1/2 inches wider than the window on each side. Then you’ll know how much fabric to cut based on how big or how many folds you want in the shade. Mine had just 2 folds each, but you can certainly make more.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

First, cut your fabric. The liner fabric will be an inch shorter than your decorative fabric all around. You can skip the top edge {meaning make it line up}, since it will be folded behind the piece of wood anyway and you don’t have to hem it there.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Sew your edges like usual, pinning along the way since helps to keep the fabric in place. I sewed three edges, all of them except the top which is not necessary since it gets covered by the wood piece when you hang it up.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

If you choose, add a decorative ribbon along the edges of the fabric. I thought this touch made all the difference, so I chose a contrasting black ribbon and sewed it on. You could glue it on, but you have to wait 24 hours for fabric glue to dry and I wanted to get these finished in one sitting.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

A close up of my corners and accent ribbon.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Once your edges are sewn and your ribbon is on, place your shade on the table and make the folds in it where you want. To remember where they were to sew them, I placed pins on the folds. The vertical ones are for the edge of the fold. The horizontal ones were for the straight line that will get sewn across the shade {see below}.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

This next step was not something I would have though of, but I went ahead and did it anyway. It is to sew straight lines all the way across the front width-wise of the piece so that the decorative fabric and back liner fabric stay together while it is hung up. I did this after I put the ribbon on and after I knew where my folds would be so the sewn line would be hidden by the folds.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

The lines that were sewn across the width of the shade are not seen from the front since they are the folds in the shade. Here they are from the front and back.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Once the fabric is all sewn together and the accent ribbon is on, re-make your folds in the shade, then clothespin the folds together so they stay. Then flip the whole thing over.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Carefully sew the folds on the ends of each side, making sure not to pierce the needed through the front of the fabric, only the liner.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Also, loosely sew together the folds on the backside, making sure not to pierce through the front, so that your folds don’t sag once the shade is hung up. This is also not something I would have thought to do, but it makes such a difference. You can kind of see the tan colored thread here where I did that running vertically along the top of the folds on the back.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

 Lastly, staple the fabric onto the piece of wood. See no need to trim that top part.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

All finished!

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

A much needed improvement from the sorry valance  and blinds that were in the bathroom previously.

Bathroom Updates

The black and white fabric goes perfectly with my neutral bathroom. I even updated the chalkboard too.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

After hammering in some picture hanging tools, I hung up my masterpiece. Here’s a tip for getting those tiny nails to stay while you hammer, hold them with needle nose pliers.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

I also make one of these for the kitchen, which previously looked like this.  It was a simple white valance that was put up when we moved in.


Now it has some beautiful fabric above the window and above my Eiffel Tower kitchen accessory collection. One is a cookie cutout and one is a cheese grater, aren’t they cute?

DIY Roman Shade at Decor Adventures

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

I rested the wood for the kitchen shade right on top of the window frame and held it in place with three small finishing nails.

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Here is the latest on the bathroom makeover. We are making progress!

Paint and seal the vanity More on that here
Spray paint the mirror and sconces More on that here
Prime and paint the window frame More on that here
Make a roman shade for the window More on that here
Get some kind of covering for the window glass
Put up a shelf and some art on the walls More on that here
Re-do the towel hooks More on that here
Get a new rug
Finish cleaning off the floor adhesive
Replace broken floor tiles
Replace baseboards
Prime and paint the ceiling More on that here
Replace the vanity top
Select and get a new faucet for the vanity
Paint the heat vent cover More on that here
Paint and seal the door frame
Strip and seal the back of the door
Restore the doorknob

Easy Roman Shade Tutorial

Shared with Tutorials and Tips Tuesday at Home Stories A to Z

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  1. I need to make one of these! Cute!

  2. Melanie H says:

    I totally CAN and NEED to do this! Thanks for the info

  3. HI, what a fantastic tutorial, your blinds look amazing.
    I have been asked to make some false roman blinds and I am just wondering how much to charge/how long they take to make?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    • Hi Kirsty,

      If you were to buy blinds off the shelf at a store, then tend to be pretty expensive. Depending on the size, I think they start at $40 and go up. I would see how long it takes you to make one and then decide how much per hour, plus supplies you feel your time is worth. That might help give you an idea. I hop that helps.

      To make this one, it took me about 90 minutes.

  4. Love this and going to try it myself. I’m a little confused as to how you sewed the folds in back? Did you sew a straight line in back so that it was hidden by the folds in front?

    • Hi Jocelyn,

      You could sew a straight line that would become the “fold” in the piece, which would be hidden when you hung it up, by the folds themselves. But I just hand sewed a few stitches every few inches along that fold line, coming from the back. I think it would work either way. I hope this helps!

  5. I googled fake roman shades and found yours. It’s gorgeous!!!! Thanks!!!


  1. […] Make some of your own with this detailed tutorial by Decor Adventures! […]

  2. […] a black ribbon trim, which adds a cute touch. They don’t go up and down, they’re just fake roman shades also stapled to a piece of 1×1 wood that’s nailed to the […]

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