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How to cover a roller shade

Updated February 21, 2017

When you want to save money on your window treatments and still have them look good, the solution may lie with roller shades. Window roller shades provide practical solutions for your room decorating and lighting needs. You can choose from various types of light-filtering roller shades or room-darkening shades, useful for bedrooms, for example. Roller shades also provide privacy. Custom-design your own shades by covering simple vinyl roller shades with the fabric of your choice. You can accomplish this project in a short time and have the window treatments adding a new look to your rooms.

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  1. Remove vinyl roller shade, unroll it completely and lay it out on a large table or floor.

  2. Measure the shade's width and length.

  3. Cut your fabric using the measurements from the shade, adding 1 more inch to the width and length. This gives you a little room for hemming.

  4. Hem the edges of the fabric to keep them from fraying.

  5. Glue the hemmed fabric to the vinyl shade using fabric glue. Allow it to dry completely.

  6. Mount your new custom-made roller shade.

  7. Remove and unroll your vinyl roller shade completely. Lay it out on a large table or floor, protected with newspapers. Or, unroll the shade outside.

  8. Paint your shade using spray paint in a colour of your choice. Choose a nontoxic paint made for fabric and vinyl surfaces. Let the paint dry completely, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  9. Express your artistic skills by hand-painting your shade. Create a freestyle design using the colours of the room. Paint a mural such as a sunset or flowers--anything you desire. Do not apply the acrylic paint too thin or too thick. Sign your artwork also.

  10. Mount your new custom-painted roller shade.

  11. Remove and unroll your vinyl window roller shade completely. Lay it out on a large table or floor.

  12. Measure the shade's width and length.

  13. Cut a sheet of wallpaper using the roller shade measurements, adding 1 inch or 2 to the length.

  14. Attach the wallpaper to the roller shade using a spray adhesive.

  15. Fold the extra 2 inches at the bottom of the shade to cover the edge.

  16. Mount your new custom wallpapered roller shade.

  17. Tip

    Choose not to cover the whole shade with fabric if you do not plan to pull the shades all the way down. Sew or glue decorations like tassels and trim on your fabric after it has dried onto the shade.


    After you have applied wallpaper or fabric to your roller shade, you will have a slightly thicker roll than before. You may need to lower the roller shade mounting mechanism so the shade can roll freely.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vinyl window shade
  • Fabric of any kind
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric glue
  • Spray paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Art paint brushes
  • Wallpaper
  • Spray adhesive

About the Author

Chyrene Pendleton

Chyrene Pendleton has been a business owner and newsletter editor for more than seven years. She is a freelance writer with over 25 years experience and teaches a variety of topics, including alternative health, hair care and metaphysics. Pendleton is a certified television show producer, radio talk-show host and producer, and a computer programmer with a bachelor's degree in computer science.

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