Looking for a unique way to cover your windows? These DIY drop cloth roman shades are easy and a great way to change up the look of your rooms.

roman shade post promo graphic

When I was little, I used to call things cool.

Things that were amazing, things that were incredible, things that poems and songs and odes should be written about….

…they were called cool.

When I got older?  Things were awesome.  And tubular.  And fetch.  And on fleek.

But now?

Throw all that out the window.

If you love something.  If you are all about it.  If it’s amazing and out of this world and off the charts like how to make a drop cloth roman shade?

It’s now called savage.

Please use that in conversation today and thank me later.

You can easily turn these simple drop clothes into amazing Roman Shades.

Before we begin, I have to get something out of the way.

You can do this.

You got this.  Really.  It’s so much easier than it looks. And so much cheaper and custom than buying a linen shade like this off the racks. Pin it for later if you don’t want to do it now.  You’ll be so happy you did one day when you’re looking for an easy window option and you remember this tutorial.

Okay.  Are you ready?

Now let’s get started.

Making Roman Shades from drop clothes is simple and easy to do with these instructions.

How to Make a Drop Cloth Roman Shade


1″ x 2″ pine board

eye hooks


white plastic rings (you can find them at any craft store over by the fabric)

drop cloth

Simple boards to get you started on your Roman Shade project.

Carefully place the hooks in your boards to create your Roman Shades

Step 1:  Cut your pine boards to make your drop cloth roman shades

The boards need to fit just inside the top of the window.

Add an eye hook to each end as shown.

(See how easy it is so far?  You got this.)

Pin the hem of your drop cloth as you proceed on your project.

Step 2:  Hem dropcloth

Measure your window and cut your drop cloth to fit.

You’ll want to add two inches on each side and two inches on the top and bottom.

I used the existing hem for the top and bottom and folded over the sides, ironed and hemmed.

Carefully add rings to the hem of your drop cloth.

Step 3: Sew rings

Every five inches on the side, you’ll want to sew one plastic ring.

Start at the bottom and add rings going up.

I used five rings on each side.

You’ll want to leave a five inch clearance from the top board so the curtain hangs properly.

Continue by stapling the drop clothes to the pine wood boards.

Step 4:  Staple drop cloth

Staple the drop cloth to the top of the board as shown.

You’ll want to wrap it around and attach to back.

You'll need this twine to attach the Roman Shades to the wood boards.

Attach the rings to the drop cloth as you prepare to attach them to the pine.

Step 5:  Thread cording

Start at the bottom of one edge of the shade and tie the cording on.

Then thread the cord through all the round plastic ring and through the eye hooks at the top.

Thread the twine through the rings across the drop cloth.

Continue to weave the twine through the hooks.

Pull the twine through all the hooks on your shade.

One of the sides will go through all the rings on that side and then through the eye hooks in the top.

The other side will go through all the rings on that side and ONLY the one eye hook located directly above that side.

Both strings will come out through the same eye hook on the same side.


Oh good.

I made a graphic that shows the layout to try and help.

This handy graphic will help as you put together your Roman Shade.

I didn’t show the drop cloth attached in the graphic to try to help explain it.

But in a perfect world, the drop cloth would be wrapped over the board at the top.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions on this part.

These new shades look fantastic on our windows, we couldn't be happier with the end result.

Step 6:  Attach shade

Simply nail in the shade to the top of the window.

And then?

Grab both ends of the cording and the most amazing thing happens….

….as you pull it up, it layers itself.

Tie off the cords to a small hook you add inside the window frame.  Fluff the shade to get it to the exact look you want.  You can raise it or lower it by the cords any time you want.

It’s awesome.

Oh, wait.

I forgot it was 2019.

Now they are savage. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Awesome! Lol, Miz karianne at 72 if I were to sprinkle "savage" throughout my conversations with the guys I hang out with....they'd want me to have a psych evaluation! Of course, like myself, most of them are psych nurses...and they know how to make that happen so I think I'll continue using my favorite adjective....just to be on the safe side. However, I am going to pin this for later use. Love it. Thanks so much for sharing and have an awesome day, little one!

  2. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Love the drop cloth roman shades and especially that you made them yourself! Definitely savage ;-) I was OK following along in the instructions up until threading the cord lol so thank you for anticipating some of us would require the diagram! I'm currently in a sewing frenzy making Christmas gifts. Totally on a side-note: Is it my imagination or do expressive words change more frequently as I get older? I'm pretty sure it all started with "groovy."

  3. Image for Debbie Debbie

    These are awesome!! I spent a loooong time searching for fabric in the fabric store that was exactly this texture... walked into the hardware store and found the drop clothes in the perfect greyish beige colour and perfect texture. I immediately bought 6 of them, lol. Question is, mine are very stiff... did you wash yours? Or iron them? Once opened out of the package they have the huge fold marks. I am going to use that word tonight when my 14 year old daughter gets home... will have to see if I get an eye roll or not! lol

    1. Image for Toro Toro

      I always wash my drop cloths before sewing them, to pre-shrink the fabric. Then you can wash again in the future, without worrying they'll shrink up and be too small for the space (though you may still have to stretch out again as they dry). I made six dining chair-seat slipcovers, and prewashed the fabric first.

  4. Image for Leslie Leslie

    I absolutely LOVE IT! I may just look at this photo all day...and thanks for the new word...would have never guessed that one! Have a great week, friend!! You truly outdid yourself with this post!!

  5. Image for Susan Susan

    Your Roman shades are seriously SICK, KariAnne...and in case you didn't know, sick=savage=awesome=tubular=fetch=fleek! In real world talk, they are completely fantabulous and so are *YOU*! Thank you sooooooo very much for giving us a tutorial on these...imma take my time and read it through carefully a few hundred times and then print it off and go running for my friend who is MUCH better at stuff like this than I am and ask for her help with lots of pretty pleases and home-baked chocolate chip cookies sprinkled in amongst my pleas and I am sure she will offer to help...mostly because she would hate to see a grown woman cry...hehe! These would seriously look absolutely SAVAGE in my dining-room window! This is yet even more proof that *YOU*, m'dear, are as savagely genius as they come! :)

  6. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Love this idea. I have made Roan Shades for my Kitchen French doors. They are much easier than you think to make. I like the idea of using a drop cloth, great money saving tip. I had a hard time finding the rings when I made mine long, long ago and went to the local farm supply and got chicken rings. It worked. I love my shades. Thanks for the tip.

  7. Image for Becky Becky

    I love these and I e been looking for something different in my living. Any tips on buying drop cloths? Are there different kinds?

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Becky, My favorite are the Blue Hawk if you can find them! They used to sell them at Lowe's. I washed these before I made the shades to prevent any shrinking. Plus it makes them softer and easier to work with! Hope this helps! karianne

  8. Image for Annie Annie

    I've been wanting to make Roman Shades for years. your instructions are so easy to follow!!! I can't wait to get the cranked out.

  9. Image for Lisa Lisa

    We like to say things are "lit" around here because using the word legit is just too much trouble! I love your tutorial, could you just come make one for my dining room? Have a great week!

  10. Image for Gretchen Neal Gretchen Neal

    Karianne!! How crazy is this?! We are moving in two weeks to new home and it has TONS of windows! I was already stressing over what to do because there are no window treatments on any of them. Last night when I went to bed I laid there decorating and redecorating and redecorating every inch of the new house and I had a SIT UP IN THE BED OMG "THAT's IT"moment!! I sat up and said, "Honey, Ive got it! Instead of spending a gajillion dollars on fabric for curtains I bet I can figure out how to make ROMAN BLINDS FROM DROP a CLOTH!!!" And now I open my emails for the morning and open my latest fav "Thistlewood Farms" AND YOU had the same thought! I will admit the blinds in my mind tucked-stacked-pleated on top of each other when raised BUT THIS.....THIS IS SO much more "FANCY"!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE !!! Can not wait to make mine!!!!

  11. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    I love roman shades and drop cloth ones are somehow even better. I have a sunroom that needs a whole bunch of shades and the drop cloth approach will make them so much more affordable! Thanks.

  12. Image for jenni jenni

    thank you!! and i got it all but the nailing-it-in-the-window part because i don't see any nail heads in the covered board at the top of the window...so i'm a little confused there. apparently, i'm anything but savage this morning.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Jenni, LOL! You actually attach the board from the bottom. Place the shade in the window and lift back the shade and nail into the top of the window through the board. Does this make sense? Happy day! karianne

  13. Image for Rebecca Parker Rebecca Parker

    This is so cool and will work great for my sun room! I do have a question though. Would you recommend putting a third string in the middle for wide windows? Thanks girl.... you are totally savage!!! :-)

  14. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    I know you are definitely "savage", but I prefer to think of you as "cool" and "awesome"!! I made faux Roman shades for the nine windows in my sun room. However, they are stationary. I wish I had YOUR plan to followed when I made them!!

  15. Image for Karen Karen

    Ha! Totally savage! I still prefer 'fabulous ' myself, and they are fabulous! My 16 year old son, my 18 year old daughter and I are all so glad that 'on fleek' is done with! My son said 'it's gross'. My niece 7 states away also says that... so, it must be a thing now too... Anyway, totally gorgeous, fabulous, awesome, and SAVAGE! K

  16. Image for Richella Parham Richella Parham

    Oh, yes, these are savage! You are so funny and fun. :) One of the great things about drop cloths is that you have so much nice WIDTH to work with. I used a drop cloth to make a cool (no, excuse me--savage) faux Roman shade for my wide kitchen window. I added stripes a la grain sack, and I love the look. (I also originated the idea of using tension rods to make faux Roman shades, if I can give myself a small pat on the back.) If you want to see the drop cloth faux shades, check out https://www.impartinggrace.com/2011/05/faux-roman-shade-tutorial.html (photo of drop cloth shade is at the end).

  17. Image for Claudia A. Claudia A.

    Girl, I don't know if we're ahead or behind up here, but we did Savage a long while ago. Have you hit the age of Fierce, Awesome Sauce? Yep, that was a minute ago. Amped and Rocking' were too. For the moment cool is Aight, cool while slowly bobbing your head. Or at least that's the signal I keep getting. Lol. It's just so hard to stay on top of all the lingo. Aight, Cool...*slow head bob* roman shade tutorial. I just got new fabric for my kitchen window. I didn't just want to do the SOSO (same old, same old) window treatment. Fo sizzle. Lol. Sounds really stupid interjected into the type convos we have...Aight, cool. Later, peace out.

  18. Image for Lisa at celebrate creativity Lisa at celebrate creativity

    Karianne, first I love drop cloth fabric. It's so sturdy and often underrated. I use it all the time for great sewing projects. Second, these shades are just lovely. Oh, my. I have window seat envy now. The shades are perfect and your instructions look pretty simple. I'll have to give this a try. What a beautiful place to sit and read a favorite magazine

  19. Image for Linda Andersen Linda Andersen

    You savage girl you...I will never do it, forget it..I you see am not savage..I do not sew, never have and when I've tried I have failed. But, I have found my dream home, my mini Thistlewood!!!! It has windows all over the place and I am going to use drop cloths. I guess I'll have to learn to sew!

  20. Image for Mary Crozier Mary Crozier

    Your windows look fabulous!!!! and of course, this is a great and easy post. Finally launched my blog today-- a few hiccups and there is still alot to learn but hopefully, you got the notice and please let me know what you think! I so respect your opinion!

  21. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Oh my goodness, I'm so glad I have you to tell me what the latest, greatest word is. Savage, huh? Never heard it. But those roman shades? Made with a drop cloth? Savage! LOL. love them...definitely need to pin for future use! Have a great rest of the week! hugs, Cecilia

  22. Image for Jane Jane

    oh I love these! I wonder if they'd be too fancy in our living room, but I would love to have something to cover the blinds I pull up each morning. We have three large windows and I don't like the look of the blinds pulled up, but love letting full light in! I've never heard the word "savage" Lol..I'm still using "awesome"

  23. Image for Laurie Straw Laurie Straw

    Yes, drop cloth blinds are awesomely savage. Anytime I use this fabric for curtains I wash them first. Then use spray starch to iron. It makes them nice and crisp, and when you pull up the shade to reveal the outside world, your shade hangs nicely on the inside. Looks savage!

  24. Image for Kelly Kelly

    These are so cool ? (it's still totally a popular word in my book!) I need something quick, easy and inexpensive for our guest bedroom and these will be perfect! Best, Kelly

  25. Image for Tori Tori

    Quick question... It says you used five rings on each side, five inches apart, with a five inch border at the top - this makes the total length (without extra 2" all the way around) about 30". So, you didn't make them to go down to the bottom of your window? Just more for a decorative topper? Just curious. Would you do them the same 5" apart (between rings) if making for the full length of the window, or spread them out more to have less pleats when raised? Okay, so apparently I had THREE "quick questions". ?

  26. Image for Pamela A Pamela A

    KeriAnne - Call it what you like, these are great! I've been trying to come up with something to add to our family room windows that were for the eye not functionality. I love these and I like the texture of the drop cloths. Will be making a trip to Lowe's. You're tutorial looks great. Thank you (as always) for your awesome instructions and most of all inspiration, so very much appreciated! Looking at the post, this must be an interesting project for a lot of people.

  27. Image for Steph Steph

    Perfect for what I need for my sunroom windows without obscuring the view of my back 40! Question: did you add more o rings than just the two on each end of your pine board? First pic looks like the two on each end then in the threading pic and diagram looks like more than two. THANK YOU!

  28. Image for Pamela A Pamela A

    KariAnne-I'm back looking at this project again, I love this idea. I know it would depend on the size of the window your are doing but are you getting more than one window from each drop cloth? Love your blog!

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