Tutorial: Cheater Roman Shade *UPDATED*

Happy Friday, everybody!  After I posted this tutorial a couple weeks ago (which was then featured on The Inspired Room – woot!), I got a couple questions that I thought would be easiest to address with some sketches.  For your DIY enjoyment, here is the new and improved Cheater Roman Shade Tutorial!  If you’ve still got questions, let me know!

Tutorial: Cheater Roman Shade (from a Fitted Sheet)

Empty kitchen window Finished blind on kitchen window


1. Fitted Sheet
2. Sewing machine and/or hem tape
3. Velcro strips
4. Glue (I used rubber cement and hot glue)
5. A board or sturdy piece of metal (cut to a little wider than your window)
6. Nails or screws to attach the board to your wall
7. 2 metal cup hooks or Command Strips hooks
8. Thread or plastic rings to create folds in the shade

Step 1: Cut the elastic off of your fitted sheet all the way around.

Fitted Sheet

Cutting elastic

Step 2: Iron the remaining section of fitted sheet so that it lays flat and tack it up above your window to find the appropriate width for your Roman shade.  Mine is a couple inches wider than my window.

Checking size

Step 3: Mark the width and hem the sides and top (by sewing or using hem tape).  At this point your fabric will be a large rectangle with 3 sides hemmed.

Hemmed edges

Step 4: Cut your velcro into small sections and lay them out along the top hem of your fabric.  Lay your board or piece of metal along the top hem of your fabric.  (This will be the bracket you use to hang the shade.)

Cutting velcro

Laying out velcro

The metal piece I used is actually part of the track from the bi-fold doors we removed to access our washer and dryer.  It’s just what I had on hand, but it worked out because there were already several holes which I used to nail the metal to the wall later on.

Step 5: Glue your velcro pieces to the fabric and to your bracket.  I used hot glue to attach the “soft” side of the velcro to my material, but it didn’t work to attach the velcro to my metal bracket.  Rubber cement to the rescue!

Rubber cement velcro

You can see here that the velcro is glued to the top edge of my bracket.  This way, when the fabric is attached, it will go up and over the bracket to disguise it.

Velcro added

Step 6: Hang the bracket with screws or nails above your window where you want your Roman shade to start.  Make sure it’s level and the velcro edge is facing the ceiling!

Leveled bracket

Step 7: Attach the velcro along the top hem of your fabric to the bracket.  You now have what is essentially a Roman shade in the “down” position!

Checking heights

Step 8: Position a metal cup hook or Command Strip hook on each side of the window. Mine are approximately 8 inches below the bracket.

Side view of cheater method

Use 2 Command hooks (like I did) or 2 cup hooks, like these from Lowes.  The choice is yours.

Step 9: Using thread (or plastic rings if you’re fancy), create loops down each side of the panel.  Hang these loops over your hook to create the folds in your Roman shade.

Adding folds to blind

Your loops of thread will get progressively farther apart as you move down the shade.  Here’s a sketch of approximate spacing for your loops (or plastic rings).  I just fiddled around with the placement of my loops until the folds in the shade looked right.

Ring Placement

As you add loops, you’ll find that you have to put the lowest loops on the hook first, followed by the next lowest and so on.  You essentially stack the loops on the hooks to raise the shade and remove the loops to lower it.

Hanging Rings on Hooks

Your shade will essentially look like this as you hang the loops on hooks to raise it.

How the Shade Looks as you Hang It

Last pleat going in

Step 10: Once all your loops are in place, take down the shade and hem the bottom edge to the desired height.

Finished blind on kitchen window

Here’s a glimpse of the shade from the side.  The hook and loops are only visible if you’re standing at the side of the shade and looking for them.  If the shade was mounted inside a window frame, the hook and loops would be invisible.  The ends of my metal bracket are also visible, but they’re small and not really noticeable.  If your board or bracket is much bigger than mine, I’d suggest painting the ends the same color as your wall for a more seamless look.

Looking towards dining room

Although the shade is not “operable” in the sense that we can pull cords to raise and lower it, we can lower it manually to cover the window by simply taking the loops off the hooks.  Eventually I’d like to rework the shade to add the lift and lower mechanism, but for now it mostly stays up!

Dining room towards kitchen

Pretty straightforward, no?  Also pretty friendly on the budget.  I’m psyched we got two dining room curtains and this shade from one set of $10 sheets!  Is my cheater Roman shade too ghetto for you, or could you see yourself making one of these for your home?

I hope those sketches help to clarify the tutorial! If you have a question or would like to see a tutorial on something in our home, please feel free to email me at meredithheard (at) gmail (dot) com!

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17 Responses to Tutorial: Cheater Roman Shade *UPDATED*

  1. Good idea! I may have to try this! I loved that you used bed sheets for the curtains. I bought a table cloth with the intentions of making curtains, but decided on a different color scheme. Crazy the tools we use to create something totally different!!

  2. Janet Lawson says:

    I love it..You instructions are straight forward and very easy to follow..Hence why I will be able to make one..LOL..Have a great weekend..

  3. Pingback: Tutorial: Cheater Roman Shade | Welcome to Heardmont

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  5. I love that fabric! It looks so new!

  6. ann Keister says:

    Rubber cement is not archival. It will eventually dry out and let go.

  7. Pingback: Operable Roman Shades: More Tips! | Welcome to Heardmont

  8. Nice! I think this is exactly what I’m going to do in my living room! I’ve been looking for a non-pull cord idea for roman shades. Hooks and loops! Brilliant!

  9. Teresa says:

    Thanks SO much!! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. It’s easy and washable!

  10. Nicole says:


    If I was to the shade on the inside, the rod would be placed right in front of the window frame, correct? I don’t know how I get so lost in such easy directions, but i did! :)



  11. Maggie Denney says:

    This is fantastic and not ghetto at all! its exactly what I need for 4 windows in my living room. My total cost when done is going to be $20 per window vs. $180 done professionally. (I chose a fabric that was $17 a yard) Your instructions are super. Much easier to follow and understand than all the other sites I’ve looked at. THANK YOU!!

  12. Trina says:

    Hi! I love your shades and curtains! I actually have made a shade but it is still in process cause when I hung it up the folds sagged….. You have any ideas? The inside of my window where I want to hang the shade is only 24 inches. I have purchased the hooks like you used but I haven’t installed them yet.

    Thanks for your time!


  13. Hannah says:

    Hi, love your idea! Just one question, when you say plastic rings what exactly do you mean? Like rivets that you would punch in to create a hole, or did you have something else in mind that would be easier. I thought about sewing little loops on the on the back, but thought you might be able to see those when the curtain is down and it is a sunny day. Would love to here you suggestions on this one.


  14. Mary says:

    I was looking for a DIY shade for my front door and I think this will work well, with some minor tweaking. Because my front door is metal, I will be using a magnetic curtain rod to hang it. So instead of using the metal strip with velcro, I will just make a little pocket for the magnetic rod to slip through. I wanted something simple, cheap and without dangerous parts for toddlers such as strings. This will be perfect. Thanks so much! And to answer the previous question, just go to JoAnn’s and ask for the drapery notions section, and they will have various sizes of the rings you need.

  15. VICKIE says:

    I really like how you made your roman shade. I was looking around the web to find uses for bed sheets; and I always wanted a roman shade that I could make easly. So your website solved both my problems. I’m always saying everthing has a dual purpose; First the purpose it was for and second whatever you can turn it in too.

  16. Jen says:

    Hi, I love your website. In your kitchen you have an awesome island with two stools. Is the built in or did you buy it? If its not where did you purchase it from! I have been looking everywhere for one exactly like it!

  17. Pingback: New Pillows and Old Chairs | Welcome to Heardmont

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