DIY Fabric Roller Shades

Window treatments can be a budget breaker for a budget decorating project.  A pair of panels can easily top the $100 mark from the more popular catalog stores and that about blows your entire decorating budget if you’re really designing on a dime.

Don’t give up on making the windows part of your décor, get creative.  Roller shades are the least expensive window treatment and easy as heck to install.  But what you don’t pay for in price, you pay for in looks – they’re also the least attractive window treatment, so turn your shades into the custom made window treatment you so richly deserve for your room – for under $30!


Roller shade – use an existing shade or if you need to purchase one, expect to pay under $10 per shade
Fabric – use leftover fabric from another design project, or purchase discount designer fabrics, they’re plenty of online sources.  $10
Other supplies listed for each option

  • Choose your fabric – this is a great way to work in a higher end fabric to your decorating project.  Fabrics that are discontinued by manufacturers or leftover fabrics from interior design projects are a great deal.   Choose fabrics that aren’t too sheer nor too plush.
  • Using a roller shade that fits the window, you can either replace the ugly plastic shade part with stiffened fabric using iron on fusible interfacing (option 1), or if you’re using a thinner fabric, you can cover the ugly plastic shade part with the fabric (option 2).

Option 1
Iron on/fusible interfacing – available at craft and fabric stores - $5
Seam Sealant – available at fabric stores - $3
No sew tape – if you can’t thread a needle, this is a great solution - $2

  • Remove the shade from the roller barrel – before you remove it, mark which way it fell on the barrel so you’ll know which way to reattach it.  Measure the old shade and add two inches to the width and three inches to the length and cut your fabric to this size and iron it.
  • Cut fusible interfacing to the same size of the fabric and follow the directions to fuse it to the back of your fabric.  
  • After fusing, flip to front and iron out any wrinkles.
  • Trim the reinforced fabric to the width of the roller barrel, but before you do, mark a light line from top to bottom and side to side on the bottom where you will be trimming and use the seam sealant on the line to avoid having to pick up a needle and thread.
  • Trim your fabric where your markings are – use longer strokes of the scissors to avoid a chopped look. 
  • To make a hem, for the bottom, fold the bottom between ½-3/4 inches and use the no-sew tape. 
  • Attach to the barrel using a staple gun making sure it falls the correct way – and now here’s where you thank me for the mark you made in step 1.

Option 2
Trim - $5
Spray Adhesive - $3
Double Sided Tape - $1

  • Spray the fabric with spray adhesive. Don't saturate,  but spray smoothly holding the can 7-8 inches from the surface. Make sure the raw edge will be at the bottom of the shade and not the sides.
  • Lay your roller shade that has been unwound all the way on top.  Remove creases and press down firmly to the fabric and trim fabric to the shade.  The seam sealant can also be used as in Option 1 for a smoother look.
  • Cut your trim leaving an extra 1/4 inch on each side so that you can wrap it around to the back of the shade. Attach using double sided tape and wrap the ends around the sides and secure to the back.

If you have any problems with your shade rolling or unrolling, take the roller shade down and roll it up and let it set for a few days using several rubber bands to keep it tight – it works almost as a reminder to the shade how to go up and down.