Sunday, March 21, 2010

Window Shade Tutorial

Buy the Walmart low budget brand of vinyl window shade and the hardware which used to come with the shade but is now a seperate expense and use a ceiling mount-about 1/2" from the back wall.  Since I have a double window I use two shades side by side to cover the 6' expanse. 
Screw in the wall side hardware and now you are ready to measure the width of your shade.
Rip off the vinyl part of the shade-we are not going to use it.  Slide your roller out in length for a firm fit and tape it to that width.  Do not assume both rollers will be the same, measure both individually and mark right and left-trust me on this!

Measure your roller bar from edge to edge excluding the plastic end caps.  This is the width of the iron- on decorator interfacing.  Measure both roller bars.  I use my rotary cutter for these cuts so they are straight.  The length of the shade is determined by the length of your window+ 3" for covering the roller bar+ 6-8" for ease and overlap.
Now iron on the decorator weight interfacing to the wrong side of your shade fabric.  This step cannot be rushed.  It requires 12-15 seconds of pressure (no sliding) for a good bond.  Be patient, start in the middle and work out.  It will all come together and stay that way if you are slow and methodical at this stage!
Leave 5/8" of fabric  beyond the interfacting on long outside edge of your shade and
.....leave the rest of the width of fabric loose on the other. 
Place fusible hem tape (double sided) on the edge of the long sides and iron in place, and trim to the edge of
the tape and...
remove the paper backing. 
...iron the hem onto the back of the shade, start from the center and work out to the ends.
Use whatever means you have for drawing the decorative edge on the bottom of the shade.  I am using a template that came with the expensive shade kit. Center your template or draw the design placement.  
Be sure to level your design,
Now, cut with good scissors along this marked line. 
Cut a width of fabric, it does not have to be on the bias, the curves are gentle and it is not required.  I cut the strip the width of the fabric by 2 1/4" for the binding on the lower edge.  Fold it in half and press.
Sew this like a quilt binding, using a quarter inch seam allowance across the bottom, sewing slowly and easing the strip across the gentle curves.
I use the Sharon Schaumber binding technique of putting a line of kid's washable glue on the seam allowance on the back of the shade, then pulling the binding to the back and pressing it in place with a hot iron.
Again, start in the middle and work out to the edges.  This can get a little sticky but it produces a perfect edge every time-no missed areas on the back when you stitch from the front (stitch in the ditch along the front of the binding on the right side)
This might be the trickiest part but we are on the home stretch now.  Place a length of duck tape (I am using white) along the top edge of the fabric.  Line up the roller shade keeping it level.  Stick the tape real well to the roller.  Wind the fabric on the bar-you will want the tension of the spring device very loose.  It can be a pain to adjust it but keep working at it. 
Put the roller bars in their respective hardware and you have made the shades ($5 each + fabric) for a very sleek , clean window treatment!
Ta Da!

Optional bottom treatment is to measure up 4-6" from the bottom and place a sewn in fold in the fabric to make a header for the pull bar which is what I used on the other shades I have made but wanted to try this one a bit more formal without it.  You will have to allow another 2 1/2" for using this as an edge to pull your shade up and down. 


  1. 'Ta da' is right! They came out nicely.

    You only forgot two things on your tutorial: #1 - Having your daughter there to do some of the assembly line steps makes it go a little faster...or at least makes it a little more fun. :) #2 - In lieu of your daughter, call the cat in to help (I noticed that you used option #2)!

  2. Thanks!! :o) BUT, if you cut off the vinyl part, what do you stick your fabric to?

  3. Of course, it works better if you have a four-footed friend to give you guidance and assistance! LOL

  4. Now hurry and get done so you can come help me do my windows!!!

    With the interfacing on the back is it just a "plain white view" from the outside? Or can you still see the fabric?

    That fabric is perfect for the living room, nice choice!

  5. I needed that tutorial like a need another project to add to my list! LOL.. But really thank you for taking the time and pics to explain. I may take on the bathroom window as a tester after all.

  6. Great tutorial!! That's one of the solutions I looked into for our sunroom, but the fabric store people made it sound like it was impossible to get it to hold up to actual use. It sounds like you have it figured out though.

    They look great!



Thanks for taking the time to let me know you stopped by to read my blog! If you can't get the blog to accept a comment-email me! If you don't have a blog yourself, use my email so I can then email you back-I love to respond to those who leave comments! Thanks!


The quilt group QOV is off the frame and ready to turn in;   another will apply the binding on this one. The spinning is continuing;  there ...