Remember the window seat from this post?

It has super-high windows that need a little help.

I planned to make roman shades for these windows like these roman shades I made out of drop cloth.

But did I really need to go to all that work?

Was I ever going to crawl up on the window seat and stand there and reach up raise these shades up and down?

Survey says….NO.

So instead?

I came up with this easy faux roman shade option for these windows. Now in full disclosure, if you tend toward perfection? If random uneven lines and things that are not really lined up and kind of making it work folds of material are not your thing?

Walk away now.

This tutorial is not for the perfectionist in any of us.

How to make a faux roman shade


1″ x 2″ board


staple gun



Step 1: Cut the 1″ x 2″ board the width of your window

There are three windows in our window seat.

Two of them measure 24″ across.

The larger one in the center measures 42″ across.

We cut a board to fit INSIDE the window because I wanted the shades to be inset. If you prefer your shades to be on the outside of the window frame, add 2″ of board on each side when you cut your wood.

Step 2: Cut your fabric

You want to cut a length of fabric twice the length of the window. This will give you plenty of leeway (is that even a word and is that even how you spell it) when gathering it up at the bottom and creating your faux shade.

Allow a 2″ seam allowance on each side when you cut your fabric.

Step 3: Sew (or fabric glue) your hem

Fold under and sew (or use fabric glue) to create a hem on three sides of the fabric.

Step 4: Staple the fabric to the board at the top

Wrap the fabric around the board.

Twist once so the fabric hangs down as shown.

Staple in place with the staple gun.

Now you are ready to start faux roman shading it.

Step 5: Fold the shade and pin in place


Just between us.

That step sounds SO MUCH EASIER than it actually is.

It’s not that it’s hard—it’s just unwieldy.

Here’s what you want the shade to look like after you finish.

Here are some tips for the folding process:

  • Each fold is about 3″ wide
  • You want to mimic a roman shade and fold them close together
  • You’ll also want to pin the shade in the middle if you want the shade to hold its shape
  • If you want the shade to drape, simply pin on the sides
  • I love these pins with larger heads to make them easier to see
  • I got the pins at Hobby Lobby in a package of 50
  • Feel free to add an extra random pin here and there to hold it in place
  • After you’ve pinned the shade, hold it up and readjust
  • Complete these steps over and over and over again until it looks right
  • Patience is the key

Step 6: Hang the shades inside the window

We hung the shades inside the window.

One note—this fabric is reversible, so I didn’t need to line it. If your fabric isn’t reversible, then you may want to line your curtains, especially if the back of your curtains are visible like these curtains are.

Here are the finished shades.

I love how they look in the space and how they add a little bit of color and texture to the windows.

And now?

The shades are keeping the window seat company.

All they need now is a cup of coffee and a really good book…..

….and me. 🙂

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  1. Image for Lyn Lyn

    I wanted to add a Roman shade to my kitchen windows that are over my sink area. I had made my own lined swags for the window, dining area double doors, and family room windows about 20 years before. Really needed a change. After looking at fabric and considering the work involved I ended up ordering a custom stationary Roman blind from Etsy for the kitchen window. I am very happy with the outcome. For the other areas I installed simple semi-sheer lined cream color draperies on brushed gold rods. A few years ago I would have made the blind myself, but I'm at the age where it's nice to see someone else do the work for me! Good for you - always love your projects. You look spectacular!

  2. Image for Marjorie Marjorie

    I love I love your idea on this. They look great! I have some windows I need to do something with so I think I may use both your ideas on Roman shades. Thanks for sharing. I love quick and easy!!!

  3. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    However your day may be going, when you pass this area it speaks peacefulness and cozy. Love the colors.. Love the pillows. Have a Blessed Independence Day.

  4. Image for Kris Kris

    You left the pins in instead of sewing it? That is SUCH a move that I would make. I've always loved Roman shades and considered one for my dining area but they are expensive to buy and at that point in life, I didn't have time to make one. I instead made cornices for that and the window overlooking the sink. They are made from foam core board, batting, and duct tape. Like so many things in my home, the dining area window is wonky (it butts right up to the cupboards) so cornices (we have a pull-down blind for privacy at night--during the day it is hidden under the cornice) were one of the few window treatment ideas that would work in the space. That was several years ago and I still love them. I'd love it if you would continue to send different styles of window treatments that we can diy. Traditional curtains don't work in some areas of my home.

  5. Image for Cate Cate

    I did almost the same but with window tension rods, I use to hang at the top and a 2nd to fold over to create the look of a Roman shade.

  6. Image for Jennifer Morris Jennifer Morris

    Kari, Awesome project! How did you hang the wood in the windows? (Sorry if that’s a silly question!) Inquiring minds want to know! Did you use some sort of bracket? Would you consider doing a post on tips to paint behind bookcases (like your navy ones!)? My built ins need some character, and I want to either paint or wallpaper behind them, but the shelves aren’t removable. We’re yours? Any tips from the wise? Thanks! Love your content, always!! Jen in NC

  7. Image for Kay Kay

    Great ideas for the roman shade, looks professional when hung. Please, please tell me where you got the blue jumpsuit you are wearing in one of these pictures. K

  8. Image for Dee Turk Dee Turk

    They turned out so super cute! And you'd never know that They are meticulously sound, and that there's a possibility of glue pins and staple gun involved! Definitely a win come and they look amazing And I think it's totally doable! Thanks so much for sharing! The only thing I was wondering did you hang them on a rod on the inside of the casing or how did you get them to stay up there? If you don't mind me asking? Love all your creative ideas XO Dee

  9. Image for Richella J. Parham Richella J. Parham

    It looks awesome, KariAnne! Years ago I developed a technique for making a faux Roman shade using tension rods. To my knowledge I was the first one to write about the method. . . since then, it's been done by many bloggers (a couple of whom gave me credit for the idea, God bless them). But what I like about your method here is that the folds "hang" more naturally. My tension rod method is great if you want a very straight-across kind of look, but yours hang so gracefully, like real Roman shades! Well done.

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