How to make rod pocket roman shades

Roman shades are a type of window treatment that fits inside the window casing. You can draw them up in soft pleats with a pull cord. This shade is simple and elegant and fits well with most types of decor. Making a Roman shade has many steps but the overall process is easy, and after you make your first shade it is likely you will make more because they are attractive and inexpensive.

Measure the width of the window inside the casing. Cut your 1 by 1-inch wood batten to this width. Screw the wood batten into the top underside of the window casing using long wood screws and a screwdriver.

Cut hook and loop tape the length of the batten. Press the sticky side of the hook tape and attach the tape as close to the top front (facing the room) of the batten as possible. Put the other part of the tape aside for later.

Measure the width of the batten and add 2 inches. Measure the length of the window from the top of the batten to the windowsill and add 6 inches. Cut your fabric and liner fabric to these dimensions using scissors.

Cut six wood dowels the width of the batten less 1 1/4 inches.

Place your fabric right sides together, and sew a 1-inch seam down each side and across the bottom. Sew a second seam across the bottom 1/4 inch from the fabric edge. Cut the bottom corners at a 45-degree angle 1/4 inch from the 1-inch seam. Insert one dowel in the pocket between the two seams and turn the fabric right side out. Iron the seams flat.

Fold the top edge of the fabric over 1 1/2 inches toward the back. Pin the loop side of the hook and loop tape across the folded fabric and sew the tape to the fabric using a double seam.

Measure 3 inches down from the top edge and mark in two places. Draw a straight horizontal line with a straight edge (yardstick) on the liner in pencil. Measure 4 inches up from the bottom edge of the blind and mark. Draw a horizontal line. Measure between the lines. Divide your measurement by 3. If the quotient is less than 6 or more than 8, try dividing your measurement by 4; you want a quotient between 6 and 8. This is the size of pleat you are looking for. For example, if the measurement is 27 inches and you divide by 3 your quotient will be 9. That is too large a pleat. If you divide 27 by 4, your quotient is 6 3/4 inches, which falls between 6 and 8--perfect. This is your pleat amount. Measure down and draw a line for each pleat amount.

Cut Roman shade tube tape the width of the shade. Take your first piece and line up the plastic rings or slots. Trim off one side and the length of the other side so that your two pieces of tube tape are identical. Cut an identical tube tape for each horizontal line you have drawn.

Position the top of the tube tape at the horizontal pencil line. Start to sew 1/2 inch from the edge and finish 1/2 inch from the other edge. Sew below the seam on the tube tape and above the rings or slots. Insert a wood dowel into the tube and hand sew the ends shut using needle and thread. Repeat for each horizontal line.

Cut nylon cord twice the length of the window plus once the width. Cut four cords for a standard width window (32 to 40 inches wide). Knot one cord in the bottom most ring (or slot) 2 inches from the edge of the shade. Thread the cord upward from the bottom to the top through the next ring or slot. Continue to the top. Repeat with a second cord 2 inches from the other edge of the shade. Divide the distance between the cords by 3. Mark the loops, or slots, this distance apart. This will give you 2 more cords evenly spaced in the middle of the shade. Knot and thread a cord upward vertically from each mark.

Place the Roman shade by pressing the hook and loop tape together. Lift the shade and mark the underside of the wood batten directly under where each cord comes through the top rings. Screw a screw eye into each mark. Add an extra screw eye to the side where you want to pull the cords.

Thread each cord through its own screw-eye, and then through each screw-eye moving toward the extra screw-eye. Thread each cord through the extra screw-eye too. Gather all of the cords evenly (if you pull on them collectively the shade should lift horizontally). With the shade in the closed (lowered) position, place the cords in a cord reducer, about 8 inches below the extra screw-eye. (A cord reducer is a plastic device that converts many cords to one.)

Place an acorn on the end of the cord and knot. An acorn is a decorative plastic cup that covers the knot and makes it easier to find and pull.

Screw a cleat to the side of the window frame 2/3 of the way down the side of the window. A cleat is a two-hook metal piece for wrapping the cord and holding the shade in the position you want.


Show your children, friends and family how to operate the shade to keep them from pulling on the blind trying to open it.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 1 by 1-inch wood batten
  • Table saw
  • Wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Fabric
  • Liner fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Wood dowel
  • Iron
  • Needle and thread
  • Nylon cord
  • Acorn
  • Cleat
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.