Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Crafting: How to Make a DIY Custom Roll-Up Shade By Merri Cvetan

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this guest post,, free of charge, from Merri Cvetan, via Home Depot,  for posting purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it


Looking to refresh a room over the Summer?

Looking for a great craft for the teens, to change their room around?

I've got just the thing for you!


When I help clients decide on a window treatment style, I always ask the same question: Why do you want window coverings? 

There are four main reasons to cover up windows:

1. Privacy. Can neighbors see you from outside?

2. Light control. UV rays can really damage your upholstered furniture, rugs and even wood floors.

3. Heating and Cooling. Heat escapes through poorly insulated windows. Your air conditioner works a lot harder when the sun beats in. Window treatments can help save energy costs.

4. Bad view. Does your window face a brick wall?

Whatever your reason for installing window treatments, they’re an excellent way to add color, texture, pattern and style to a room.


I love designing and creating window coverings. They can be elaborate and formal or simple and casual. The good news is, many styles can be easy DIY projects, like this roll-up shade I made in an afternoon.


This project requires basic sewing skills. You will need:

- Face fabric: choose an appealing pattern or print

- Lining fabric: choose a solid color 

- Tension rod

- Wood dowel: 3/4 in. to 7/8 in. in circumference

- Ribbon

- Sewing machine and matching thread

Instead of buying new fabric, I chose to repurpose a drapery panel I found at Goodwill with vertical purple stripes. 

I decided on an inside mount, meaning the shade is installed within the framework. With an inside mount, you only need a tension rod, so no tools are required.


Measure the width and length of the window opening and add 2 in. to each measurement for seam allowance. My window is 31 in. wide by 56 in. long, so I need a piece of fabric 33 in. wide by 58 in. long. Cut a piece of lining fabric the same size.


Pin the right sides of the face fabric and lining together and sew all the way around, leaving an 8 in. opening at the bottom.


Trim the excess fabric from the seam allowance and clip the corners. Turn the shade right side out and press. Fold in the unfinished edges, press and top stitch across the bottom edge to close the opening.


Since you will be rolling up the shade from the bottom, you need a wood dowel to give it weight and stability. It also makes it easier to roll up evenly.

Cut the dowel ½ in. narrower than the width of your shade.


Cut a small slit in the lining at the bottom and insert the dowel.


Do the same at the top—cut a slit on the lining side of the shade and insert the tension rod.


You need ribbon ties to hold the rolled shade in place. I used 7/8 in. grosgrain ribbon. Any trim will work; just choose one that’s not slippery.

The ribbon length should be approximately ¾ of the length of the shade. In this case that’s 36  in. in front and back, so I needed two pieces of ribbon 72 in. long. Fold the ribbon in half and sew to the top edge (on the lining side).


Placement of ribbon should be between 1/3 and ¼ of the width from the edge.

A roll-up shade is an easy alternative to draperies or a standard shade. It adds color and pattern to a window. When closed, it provides privacy and can keep warm or cool air inside your house. 
When rolled up, it’s a charming little valance!


About the Author:

Merri Cvetan enjoys creating fabulous DIY projects for her 1890s fixer-upper farm house in Wisconsin. Merri is an interior designer who writes about both design and DIY for The Home Depot. A complete selection of window treatments available at Home Depot can be found online here.



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