Happy Friday, everybody! After I posted this tutorial a couple weeks ago (which was then featured on The Inspired Room – woot!), I got a couple questions that I thought would be easiest to address with some sketches. For your DIY enjoyment, here is the new and improved Cheater Roman Shade Tutorial! If you’ve still got questions, let me know!
Tutorial: Cheater Roman Shade (from a Fitted Sheet)
1. Fitted Sheet
2. Sewing machine and/or hem tape
3. Velcro strips
4. Glue (I used rubber cement and hot glue)
5. A board or sturdy piece of metal (cut to a little wider than your window)
6. Nails or screws to attach the board to your wall
7. 2 metal cup hooks or Command Strips hooks
8. Thread or plastic rings to create folds in the shade
Step 1: Cut the elastic off of your fitted sheet all the way around.
Step 2: Iron the remaining section of fitted sheet so that it lays flat and tack it up above your window to find the appropriate width for your Roman shade. Mine is a couple inches wider than my window.
Step 3: Mark the width and hem the sides and top (by sewing or using hem tape). At this point your fabric will be a large rectangle with 3 sides hemmed.
Step 4: Cut your velcro into small sections and lay them out along the top hem of your fabric. Lay your board or piece of metal along the top hem of your fabric. (This will be the bracket you use to hang the shade.)
The metal piece I used is actually part of the track from the bi-fold doors we removed to access our washer and dryer. It’s just what I had on hand, but it worked out because there were already several holes which I used to nail the metal to the wall later on.
Step 5: Glue your velcro pieces to the fabric and to your bracket. I used hot glue to attach the “soft” side of the velcro to my material, but it didn’t work to attach the velcro to my metal bracket. Rubber cement to the rescue!
You can see here that the velcro is glued to the top edge of my bracket. This way, when the fabric is attached, it will go up and over the bracket to disguise it.
Step 6: Hang the bracket with screws or nails above your window where you want your Roman shade to start. Make sure it’s level and the velcro edge is facing the ceiling!
Step 7: Attach the velcro along the top hem of your fabric to the bracket. You now have what is essentially a Roman shade in the “down” position!
Step 8: Position a metal cup hook or Command Strip hook on each side of the window. Mine are approximately 8 inches below the bracket.
Use 2 Command hooks (like I did) or 2 cup hooks, like these from Lowes. The choice is yours.
Your loops of thread will get progressively farther apart as you move down the shade. Here’s a sketch of approximate spacing for your loops (or plastic rings). I just fiddled around with the placement of my loops until the folds in the shade looked right.
As you add loops, you’ll find that you have to put the lowest loops on the hook first, followed by the next lowest and so on. You essentially stack the loops on the hooks to raise the shade and remove the loops to lower it.
Your shade will essentially look like this as you hang the loops on hooks to raise it.
Step 10: Once all your loops are in place, take down the shade and hem the bottom edge to the desired height.
Here’s a glimpse of the shade from the side. The hook and loops are only visible if you’re standing at the side of the shade and looking for them. If the shade was mounted inside a window frame, the hook and loops would be invisible. The ends of my metal bracket are also visible, but they’re small and not really noticeable. If your board or bracket is much bigger than mine, I’d suggest painting the ends the same color as your wall for a more seamless look.
Although the shade is not “operable” in the sense that we can pull cords to raise and lower it, we can lower it manually to cover the window by simply taking the loops off the hooks. Eventually I’d like to rework the shade to add the lift and lower mechanism, but for now it mostly stays up!
Pretty straightforward, no? Also pretty friendly on the budget. I’m psyched we got two dining room curtains and this shade from one set of $10 sheets! Is my cheater Roman shade too ghetto for you, or could you see yourself making one of these for your home?
I hope those sketches help to clarify the tutorial! If you have a question or would like to see a tutorial on something in our home, please feel free to email me at meredithheard (at) gmail (dot) com!