No-Sew Roman Shade: A Tutorial

Have you ever gazed upon the loveliness of a custom roman shade only to think you will never be able to enjoy (or afford) one in your own home? Well, languish no more! You, too, can have a gorgeous, custom shade of your very own. Without the giant price tag. And you can do it yourself. Yes.You.Can.  Seriously.

What’s that? You don’t sew? No problem. That may be the best part. There isn’t a stitch in the whole thing. How you ask? Let’s get started.

First, round up your supplies. You’ll need an off-the-shelf roman shade to fit your window (I found this one at Lowe’s on clearance for about $14), about 2 yards of the fabric of your choice, scissors, a tape measure, hot glue gun, and lots of hot glue. Oh, and you’ll need an iron, though he didn’t make it into this shot.

IMG_4449Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter what color the shade is. It will be covered by the fabric, so check out the clearance section in case they have something in the size you’ll need.

Next, measure the width of your shade and add two inches for the hem on either side. Spreading out on a large surface (like a ginormous dining table) makes this job much easier.


For example, my shade is 36″ wide, so I cut my fabric to 38″ to accommodate the hem. Turn under the left and the right sides one inch and press.

IMG_4451Using a strip of Heat n’ Bond iron on tape keeps everything in place and the hem nice and crisp.

Now that the sides are hemmed, lay the fabric on top of the shade (right sides up) and line up the hemmed sides to the sides of the shade.

IMG_4453Now it’s time to start gluin’ it up. Start by running a bead of glue on the left and right sides making sure to stop once you get to the first “rib.” 

IMG_4454This next part is a little hard to explain, but hang with me. Once you see the completed shade, it will make more sense. Now that the left and right sides are glued down, run a bead of glue along the underside of the rib and press down. Now do the same to the top side of the rib and press down again. It’s important to glue the fabric to the ribs so that the shade pleats properly (look at the photo below-it will make more sense). If your shade doesn’t have ribs, then just glue the hems down on the left and right sides. Here’s what it will look like after you’ve glued the fabric down on each side and on each rib.

IMG_4457Make a little more sense now? See, I knew you’d get it! Now just “hem” the top and the bottom by folding the fabric around the ends and glue ’em down. My shade came with a short valance with velcro that attaches to the shade to finish it off, so I covered it with fabric just as I did the entire shade, minus the ribs.

Now just hang it up, step back, and be amazed by your hot gluing capabilities! And there’s not a stitch in the thing. Amazing.

IMG_4463Now all this space needs is a cute dog to squash the pillows. Now, go round up your supplies and get to it. You can do it, people!!!

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