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How to Lengthen or Shorten Roller Shades

Updated November 22, 2016

A roller shade is a useful way to block views or light from a window without adding bulk the way curtains do. Once your roller shades are in place, however, you may find they run short, not blocking out the entire window, or too long, where the shade extends below the windowsill making it unsightly. You can lengthen or shorten roller shades without much difficulty using only a few tools.

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  1. Extend the shade as far down as it will go. Measure the amount of excess hanging below the window. Remove the shade from the brackets where it is installed at the window.

  2. Place a T-square along the width of the shade as close to the roller as possible. Draw a line across the width. Move the T-square down from the line by the distance needed based on Step 1 minus 1 inch. Draw a second line to mark this point.

  3. Cut the shade along both lines to separate it from the roller and get rid of the excess. Place the newly cut edge against the roller. Staple the shade to the roller with a staple gun every 4 inches. Remount the roller and use as before.

  4. Extend your shade as far down as it will go. Measure the distance between the bottom of your shade and the top of your windowsill. Measure the width of your shade as well.

  5. Cut a piece of upholstery fabric or vinyl to the width of the shade plus 1 inch and to the length needed plus 4 inches.

  6. Fold both short sides to the back by 1/2 inch and sew in place. Fold one of the long sides to the back of the fabric twice by 1 inch. Sew the fold in place near the edge of the fold to form a long rod pocket.

  7. Remove the shade from the window. Remove the pull rod from the bottom of the shade. Cut off the bottom rod pocket of the shade along the existing stitch line.

  8. Place the fabric over the face of the shade with the patterned sides facing in. Adjust the fabric so the raw edge is aligned with the cut bottom of the shade. Sew the fabric to the shade with a ½-inch seam. Remount the shade and insert the rod into the fabric's bottom pocket.

  9. Tip

    When lengthening the shade, be sure to select a fabric which matching the colour of the existing shade as well as the colour already found in the room you're working in.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • T-square
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Upholstery fabric or vinyl
  • Sewing machine

About the Author

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