Fabric Covered Roller Shade

*Update: check out this post to see how I have changed these shades!

Remember a couple weeks ago when I shared that I have been dreaming of a window seat?  Well, we are drawing out plans to add one to…drumroll, please…our master bedroom!  I’m really excited about it and think it will add some great lightness and brightness to our room.  It will take us a little while to get the seat and built-ins going, but I went ahead and started on some window treatments in the meantime.  All of the inspiration photos I pinned had beautiful blinds rather than curtains, which makes sense since there is a seat under it.  I wanted to keep some of the feel of curtains, however, because we like to sleep:)  Preferably, without the sun beaming in our eyes, so I started to search for ways to cover all my requirements {pretty window treatments that have some darkening effect and don’t interfere with the bench seat.  I’m not needy at all.}.  After searching for blinds on Amazon, I came across roller shades.  Very functional, very ugly.  They are also very cheap, which always helps when you are working with a budget.  So to pretty them up, I came up with a simple plan to cover them in fabric.  I first went to Home Depot to check them out in person and asked the nice guy who worked there if he thought my plan would work, and he was all for it, so I ordered my fabric to get started.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • room darkening roller shade
  • 2 yards of fabric {this may vary depending on the size of your window}
  • sewing machine
  • coordinating thread
  • shade hardware {to attach to the window frame}

I purchased a Levelor room darkening roller shade from Lowe’s for $9.99 and had it cut to the width of our window {34 1/2″}.

Then I laid my fabric out on the table to prep it for sewing {very similar to prepping for surgery, but much less scary.  Just kidding, that just sounded very serious.}

Then I laid my fabric out on top and cut it to size, leaving about an inch on each side of the shade.

Next, pull the fabric under the bottom edge and double fold and pin.

Then sew it.

It should flow really easily through your machine, but may be a little awkward to handle because it’s a lot of stuff to hold.  Fair warning.  Then do the same thing on the sides-double fold around, pin, and sew.

Then sew a seam across the top also.  I have about 5 extra inches above the fabric where the shade isn’t covered.  It’s ok:)  The shade is longer than our window, so I just cut and sewed enough fabric to the shade to cover the window and not show.  Since the top will never be seen, I just pinned and sewed it, without giving it a nice hemmed edge.  It’s always rolled in so no one will ever know.  Well, except all you since I just told you, but let’s keep that our secret.  Run that through your machine as well.  You’ll have to slide the rolled top in your machine which is a little awkward {once again} because it’s so long, but still easy enough to do.

That’s all the sewing there is-4 straight lines.  Very doable.  Then it’s time to hang it.  Take it from someone who does everything wrong and then has Mike fix it knows, read the directions on how to install the hardware.  Side note-you’ll want to get the mounting hardware that goes into the sides of the frame, not from the top.  Since your roll will be larger than the normal roller shade, you won’t have enough room if you use the top hardware.  Anywho, I we got it installed and I was less than satisfied with the result.  Maybe because of the big chunky roll at the top of that pretty shade.

So I measured the width of the window frame and also measured from the top of the frame to the bottom of the roll {when all the way rolled up} and sewed a simple flap with the scrap fabric that would be large enough to cover the ugly roll.  Then, to make it easy on myself, I just hot glued it to the top frame.

Problem solved.  Looks great, works well, and was simple and cheap to make.

Total cost:  about $26.  I spent about $10 on the shade itself, then ordered this Premier Prints fabric from fabric.com for a little less than $8/yard.  I will be making one more for the window next to this one, but you’ll have to wait for the window seat to get done to see it all together:)




PS:  For all of you picture fools out there {like myself},I edited all my pictures in PicMonkey last night {all the ones included in this post} and loved it!  Definitely the new Picnik for me:)

I’ll be linking this up with Young House LoveBower PowerHi Sugarplum, and The Great Indoors for their Pinterest challenge on Wednesday!

These are the fabulous blog parties I link up to each week:

DIY Showoff: DIY Project Parade

I Heart Naptime: Sundae Scoop

Skip to My Lou: Made By You Mondays

Today’s Creative Blog: Get Your Craft On

Tip Junkie: Tip Me Tuesday

Home Stories A to Z: Tutorials and Tips Tuesdays

Not Just a Housewife: Shoe Me What Ya Got

Blue Cricket Design: Show and Tell

Hooking Up with Hepworths

Shabby Chic Cottage: Transformation Thursday

Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

CSI Project: Challenge

5 Days, 5 Ways

Remodelaholic: Blog Link Up

30 Handmade Days

Serenity Now

Tatertots and Jello: Weekend Wrap-Up


Thrifty Decor Chick



  1. This looks great! I really like the fabric you chose and I’m digging the way you hid the top – super smart idea.

  2. Angela Jones says:

    I love your fabric and can’t wait to see more! Very clever way to make a beautiful window treatment!!

  3. This is an amazing project! Great job!

  4. I love this. My husband and I just bought a house that has ugly roller shades – I was planning to get rid of them, but this might be just the ticket to fixing them. Was the shade you bought vinyl? Did you find it harder to sew because of that?

    • Thanks, Paula! Yes, we just used the vinyl roller shades and it went through my machine with no problems. It’s just a little awkward to maneuver at times because it was a large amount, but not difficult:) I think the sewing part took 30-45 minutes.

      • Jennifer says:

        They just had this idea on one of the talk shows Monday. Theres an easier way….they cut off the vinyl but left just enough at the top of the roll to roll up and down. At the bottom they bought metal material as a weight. They hot glued the fabric to the lil bit of vinyl they left by the roll.They also hot glued fabric around the weight of a contrasting color and added a toggle for an added detail. They turned out super cute!!

        • That sounds like a good way also! I actually just read somewhere about creating it without the vinyl also, but I like the idea of having a little extra light blocking with the vinyl:) I bet those are cute though!

  5. Great idea! This may solve the window problem we have and doesn’t involve the DIY roman shade tutorial i pinned :P

  6. Great solution! Love the fabric!

  7. Great tutorial, and it looks beautiful.

  8. Hi! I found your blog through the pinterest challenge. I love how your roller shade turned out! I have a quick question for you…does it still function properly? I ask because I tried this same technique but now my shade won’t work right:( and I tried with another shade with the same result. Thanks!

    • Hi Kate!
      Thanks! To be honest, we haven’t had them up much since installing them earlier in the week because we currently still have our curtains hanging in our room {it’s gonna be a big ol’ mess in there until we get this window seat finished}, but we have played around with it a little. It does not roll up as quickly as it did without the fabric on it {probably because it’s heavier now}, but it does still function like it should! We checked that on the first shade before I make the second one to be sure they would still work correctly. The only tip I could give would be to make sure your hardware is installed correctly. The only reason I say that is because I put ours in sideways and it should have gone up and down-Mike to the rescue! I wish I could be more help!

  9. Veronica says:

    Great idea but…. Your added flap is crooked and your shade is not wide enough so will stil let in sun without curtains down the sides. Love the look of the material.

    • Hi Veronica,
      Thanks for your comments:) Yes, the flap does look crooked in the picture, but I realized later it was stuck on something in the corner. The problem has since been resolved! You’ll get to see the more “polished” picture when I share our final bench seat and both shades done. And, yes, there is a smidge of light that will get through on the sides and we realized when we installed these that they would be a much different setting from the blackout curtains we currently have {since the shades are only room darkening and not blackout}. This was a personal choice and we are very happy with the results:)

  10. Great comment Veronica but….is there anything else you want to point out that isn’t perfect?

  11. Great tutorial! I might have to try this in our MBR, as we have lots of windows and will be expensive to make draperies. This might be an easy fix. Visiting from Serendipity Now.

  12. So great, and thanks for linking up AGAIN to the Pinterest fun! You get extra points. :-)

  13. Jessie, thanks for the uber helpful tutorial! I’ve been looking for something to use in my guest room… and this just might be the winner.

    Thank you!

  14. Looks great! Fabulous job! Never would have thought to do that! Thanks for sharing with my group! Hope to see you back again tomorrow with another one of your great projects!


  1. […] an effort to keep it real around here, I had to make some adjustments to my beloved fabric covered roller shades this weekend.  They worked fine for awhile and then as I was trying to pull it down to raise it up […]

  2. […] tutorials on this big project, you can catch up by reading about how we did everything here:  fabric covered roller shades turned faux roman shades, bookcase styling and reveal, built-in bookcase tutorial, and how we […]

  3. […] More recently, we’ve revamped the window wall {previously the wall of curtains}.  There was a whole slew of DIY projects involved int his area of the room so bear with me.  We started by working on window treatments.  We know the built-in window seat would be under the windows so we wanted something that wouldn’t interrupt that area, but still add some style.  I bought some roller shades and covered them with fabric. […]

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