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DIY Faux Roman Shades

**This post may contain affiliate links that are of no additional cost to you, but allows me to buy more drop cloths.**

The inspector who looked at our house before we bought it, said that we may want to think about replacing our kitchen window because the top part was a little cloudy.  He said that it didn’t appear to have any cracks or be leaking any air, just more something to think about. Right now it’s on the list of home improvements, but I’ll be honest, it’s not really at the top of the list. This window also lets in a good amount of light, but sometimes too much light. Like blinding, you walked in front of headlights, kind of bright. That’s when I got the bright idea, get it, to put up curtains, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to fully commit.

DIY, faux roman shades
How to DIY faux roman shades.

In our master bedroom I used drop cloths to make really long and inexpensive curtains. Each panel was about $13 a piece and I had plenty of left over fabric after I hemmed the bedroom curtains to the length I needed. What was included in this left over fabric, were three “finished” or already sewn sides. I thought about making a valance, but my husband thought that maybe a roman shade would look better. (I know you may be shocked, but honestly hubby knows a lot about decor. That and he discovered Pinterest last year.) Knowing that we would never pull it down because there is a wooded area outside the window, I decided to go for the look of a roman shade instead. I’ve seen tutorials where people have cut apart blinds and attached fabric, but this particular window had no window treatments at all. Not sure if this window treatment would be the answer we were looking for, I decided to go with an idea that was faux and less commital. Since I didn’t want to screw anything into the trim or the walls, our answer would lie with tension rods.

First thing I did was measure the length and the width of the window. Unfortunately, but no big deal, I could only use two of the three finished edges as the window wasn’t as wide as the fabric. I already knew that I was going to have to sew a pocket at the top of the fabric for the tension rod to slide through and hold the fabric up. To account for the pocket, I added 2 inches to the length of the fabric.  To make the finished edge of the width, I added an extra inch, and I cut the fabric according to those two measurements.

For the width, I folded the fabric over 1/2 of an inch and ironed the fabric into place. I then folded the fabric over another 1/2 of an inch and again ironed the fabric. This made a crisp edge and looked just like the other side of the fabric.


With the length, I folded the fabric over 1/2 of an inch and then again 1 full inch to make the pocket big enough for the tension rod to slide through. I used my sewing machine to do a straight stitch on both folded pieces to give the fabric a finished look.

DIY, faux roman shade.
The left side is the edge that I sewed and the bottom was the already sewn seam that was on the drop cloth.


If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can still do the above steps, but instead you can use seam tape to bond the fabric together. You won’t have a finished sewn edge, but unless someone is right up on your curtains, they’re not going to notice this missing piece. Your secret is safe with me. 😉

For this project I needed a total of 4 tension rods. To do the installation I slid one of the tension rods into the pocket and placed it into the widow to check and make sure there were no issues with the fabric to reaching the other side or that I wouldn’t have enough fabric to do the next steps. Once everything was fine, I added three additional tension rods spaced evenly, or as close to evenly, apart.

DIY, faux roman shade
Three tension rods spaced evenly apart will serve as the back bone for the faux roman shade.

Using a hand on either side of the fabric, I pulled it until it draped just over the first rod at a length that I liked. I continued working my way down to the next two rods pulling and draping the fabric over the rods. I left a little bit of fabric hanging at the end. I’m not gonna lie, I was very pleased with the way it turned out and I loved that there was still a decent amount of light that could still get through the fabric.

DIY, faux roman shade
Fabric pulled over the first of the three tension rods for the DIY faux roman shade.

You don’t have to use drop cloths, you could use any other type of fabric that matches your decor better. I just chose the drop cloth because I liked the way it looked in our bedroom and I already had it on hand. All in total I only had to invest about an additional $12 for all the tension rods. Purchasing a real roman shade could cost you well over $100. If we decide that we don’t like this style after all, I can just take it down, no big deal.

DIY, Faux roman shade
The finished DIY faux roman shade. Still lets in a good amount of light, while hiding the ugly part of the window.

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