How to Make Your Own Mock Roman Shades

Written by shirl snyder
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How to Make Your Own Mock Roman Shades
Making Roman shades (machine sewing stripy fabric image by David Winwood from

Roman shades have been used for centuries to soften the look of a window, add texture behind a drapery or cover only the top view of a window. Mock shades can accomplish the same thing without the strings, tape, rings, hooks and pulleys. Mock shades will not raise or lower but will add a touch of elegance and can still block that unsightly view of the neighbour's roof.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Metal tape measure
  • Paper and pencil
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Straight pins
  • 1-inch-by-2-inch wood
  • Staples
  • 1/2-inch dowel
  • L brackets
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Use a metal tape measure to determine the width and the length of the window to be covered. Measure from the inside of the moulding on one side to the inside of the other for the width. Measure the inside of the top moulding to the window sill on the bottom for the length. Draw a sketch of the window.

  2. 2

    Divide the length measurement by three. Use this one-third measurement for your window covering overall length, leaving two-thirds of the window open.

  3. 3

    Determine the number of folds for the mock Roman shade. Use 6-inch folds for full Roman style or 4-inch folds for a more contemporary look. Draw the folds on the sketch.

  4. 4

    Measure the fabric to be used for the shade. Determine the length of the fabric by adding together the one-third window measurement, then adding 1 inch for each fold and 8 additional inches for hems and headers.

  5. 5

    Determine the width using the overall window measurement and add 3 inches for side hems. Using side seams, add additional widths of fabric for shades wider than the fabric width. Fixed in place, the mock Roman shade can be as wide as you choose.

  1. 1

    Mark the back of the fabric with the locations of the folds. Measure each of the folds and mark the fold locations using a long straight edge and pencil or chalk. Pin the seams with straight pins. Sew the fold seams to create a pocket. Check the right side of the fabric to make certain that the seam is straight and that the look of the seam is right for your design.

  2. 2

    Check the wrong side of the fabric to determine that the width of the pocket is the same for all of the fold seams. Sew 1-inch hems into the sides of the fabric using the overall width measurement as a guide. Leave the bottom seam open on one side in order to slip in the bottom rail dowel.

  3. 3

    Roll the top of the Roman shade onto a 1-inch-by-3-inch piece of wood until it completely covers the wood. Tuck and fold the side fabric into the covering. Staple in place. Allow the fabric to hang from the 1-inch side of the wood. Screw the shade to the bottom side of the top moulding on the window using L brackets or inset wooden top rail into the recess and screw directly into the window frame. Measure for fit and make adjustments if necessary. Measure and pin the bottom hem. Remove from the window.

  4. 4

    Sew the bottom hem. Insert a wooden dowel to weight the window covering. Keep the fabric taut.

  5. 5

    Reinstall the finished mock Roman shade.

Tips and warnings

  • Add a custom look to your mock Roman shades with buttons, faux string ties, ruffles or contrasting colour fabric.
  • Fixed in place, fabric mock Roman shades cannot be removed and reinstalled easily. Use only in areas where they do not need to be cleaned regularly.

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