Adventures with Roman Shades (Round 1)

*Check back next week, I am working on finishing a full tutorial of how I made my shades.  Update: Check out the tutorial Part 1 and Part 2

After completing the curtains in the master bedroom the next room on the window covering agenda was the master bath.

I considered a number of options from cafe style curtains to just a simple curtain on a rod. Both options seemed inexpensive, quick and easy to change if I wanted to. I quickly ruled out both options because I didn’t think they would be easy enough to open and close and weren’t really a look that I wanted. Since I was having a hard time trying to come up with a solution to make I looked for a better option that we could purchase. After dragging Chris around to a number of stores we never really found an option that we liked and wasn’t more than we wanted to spend.

I’m not sure how I got the idea to sew roman shades, but after doing a lot of research online and even buying some patterns I found this great website that explains all the ins and outs of making a professional looking roman shade (Terrell Desgins).

It’s not to hard to see from this site that these shades are not the cheapest window covering option or the easiest way to make a roman shade. Having said that, after looking into those other options this method seemed like it would produce the best looking, well finished shade and I’m glad I went with it. It was worth all the hard work.

Engineering A Home: Roman Shades

To begin with I looked for fabric that I could buy by the yard but I had a hard time finding somthing that was light enough but would still match the things we already had. The main fabric for the first curtain was actually a shower curtain that we originally purchased and used after we got married. I was lucky enough to find a another shower curtain to match that I could make the second shade from.

Here’s the curtains pulled all the way up:

Engineering A Home: Roman Bath Shades

I think they turned out great, I’m happy with the fabric choice and the functionality of the shades. We pretty much open and close them everyday and so far they are holding up well.

Here they are from the outside when down:

Engineering A Home Bathroom Roman Shades

Here what they look like from outside when the shades are pulled all the way up. It’s a little hard to see with the reflection off the window but they do hide nicely when fully pulled up.

One thing about these windows that made construction difficult was that the opening are more than 4 feet wide.  We were actually unable to find a 1/4″ wooden dowel to use as a batten that was longer than 4 feet. So after trying to glue the ends together (which didn’t work) I ended up taping them with some masking tape. Since I decided to create slots for the dowels to slide in (*check out the tutorial for more info on this) once they were in the slots and assembled they seem to pull up well. So far we haven’t had any issues with the dowels bending.

Once we hung the shades and pulled them up and down a few times we noticed that pulling on the cord would cause the fabric to bunch up in the corner where the cord meets the mounting board. After living with them for a while and actually installing our second set Chris came up with a great solution.

He suggested we buy the smallest screw hook we could find and screw it into the wall on the edge of the window frame closest to where the strings start to pull.

Now the shades pull up really well and they don’t bunch at the side.

I liked how these turned out so well (and conveniently forgot how much work they were) that I decided to make a second set for our guest room. This time around I snapped a few pictures of the process and I plan to come back next week with a tutorial and some tips on how I made my shades.

Anyone else making custom shades to get a look that you wanted?

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