If you have roller shades anywhere in your home, you are about to become one very happy person! We currently live in a rental home that has roller shades on many of the windows, and you may have seen on Instagram last week when I said I’m working on special project for them! Well that mission was accomplished, and today I’m sharing the awesome transformation from plain white roller shades, to custom fabric covered roller shades complete with a handmade tassel! This easy DIY project is a great way to add color and pattern and give your home a beautiful custom look on a budget!
So here’s what I started with… plain, white, boring roller shades with clearance sheer curtains from Target. We are very lucky to have tons of windows in our home, and most of them already had roller shades in them. I caught a big clearance sale at Target right before we moved in and picked up tons of packages of white sheers for $5 or less because frankly, I would go broke trying to buy nice curtains for all these windows! Oh yeah, and I used my super cheap DIY curtain rod trick on these windows too! Seriously, that trick is life-changing!
We have two big windows on the side of our living room, and I’ve been wanting to do something fun with them forever. I pinned a few ideas from Martha Stewart awhile back, (okay, like 2 years ago!) and I’m so excited to finally check this off my list! YAY for progress 🙂
I started by pulling my roller shade down to the bottom of the window and measuring… I used the width of the shade plus 1 inch and the length plus about 4 inches. I wanted to leave a half inch on each side to hem the loose edges, and I wanted the fabric to cover all of the shade that is exposed when pulled down. Make sense? I hope so!
I picked up this pretty fabric from Hobby Lobby that is the perfect mix of pattern, neutrals, and a little pop of color. I am seriously smitten with this fabric! I cut it to my measurements and hemmed each edge, only folding once, 1/2 inch in. The width of the fabric is now the exact width of the shade. Take care to make a very straight hem, or it won’t line up with the straight edge of your shade! Then I ironed the fabric until I got every wrinkle out that I possibly could. Projects like this are the only time my poor iron gets used, so I tried to give it a little extra love that day 🙂
Okay, now to the fun part! I took down my roller shade and opened it up on a plastic drop cloth. I taped down the bottom edge that holds the pull bar because I didn’t want that part covered in fabric. Then I laid my hemmed fabric over the shade, making sure to line up the edges starting at the bottom.
Working quickly, I applied a good amount of spray adhesive (I used Elmer’s) onto the bottom 1′ of the shade and carefully smoothed the fabric over the glue, pressing out any air bubbles. Make sure you keep an eye on the sides of the shade so you stay in line with the edges! And the glue holds best when you quickly apply the fabric, so make sure you’re all ready to go before you spray!
After I applied fabric to the first bottom section, I flipped the fabric backwards over the glued part and continued spraying and smoothing fabric up to the top of the shade in 1′ sections. You’ll notice the very top of my shade isn’t covered, but I don’t pull the shade down far enough to see that part. Save your pennies on the extra fabric!
I found a few things to embellish the shade with at Hobby Lobby also, so while the adhesive was setting I added those to the shade. I hot glued some rope trim to the bottom of the fabric, which gives the shade a finished look and helps hide the fact that I can’t make a straight hem 🙂
I also made my own tassel out of embroidery thread to match the yellow in the fabric. It only took one package of thread for 40 cents to make the perfect finishing touch for the shade! I seriously want to make tassels for everything in my house now… so cute!
I used a small amount of embroidery thread to attach the tassel and hung my beautiful new shade back in the window! I so so so wish I could take better window photos because these just do not show how gorgeous they are in person!
I love the pop of yellow from the fabric and tassel, and the fabric ties in the wall color perfectly! Do you ever finish a project and feel like you’ve conquered Mount Everest or something? That’s how I feel with this project!! I used our existing shades, spent only $16 on fabric for TWO windows, added some gorgeous pattern to the room, and I can rip the fabric off and replace it with something different whenever the mood strikes! Not that I’ll ever get tired of this dreamy fabric 🙂
Tassels. I love em. The end.
HUGE improvement right?? Aside from the old windows and ugly heater underneath, I say this is perfection! Now I just need to find a cute little chair to sit next to the window and some fun pillows. Uh oh… I see a living room makeover in the works!
Do you have roller shades in your home? Love em or hate em?
I have been meaning to do this with our roller shades. Love how yours turned out!
Looks great! I love that fabric from Hobby Lobby, too! Thanks for giving such detailed instructions. Rhonda
i think i love just about everything you do! lol 😉 thank you for sharing this!
We have a few windows with blinds, I think they need a gorgeous upgrade like this!! xo
Oh my word, this is gorgeous and I love your fabric. Great tutorial. I would love to have you link up to my Inspire Me party that goes live on Monday at 2:30 PT. http://www.astrollthrulife.net Hope to see you there. Hugs, Marty
What a transformation, and on a budget too! Great job. I don’t have roller shades but I will be pinning this just in case 🙂
I just bought a home that came with roller shades in the master bedroom. I hate them…with the most passionate hate but we don’t have the funds to really do the windows the way I want with other more important projects to get done first. This is definitely a solution for the time being.
this looks great! you did an amazing job! this would be perfect for my kids baby sitter to do to her dorm blinds!
this is gorgeous
These are so beautiful, Liz! What a great idea for updating something so plain.
Love this!! The fabric is gorgeous! XO
I really love this! We had those roller shades in our old condo – I wish I had seen this earlier 🙂
So cute! Thanks for sharing this. I have window shades in almost every window in my house.
this looks gorgeous, but i’m still too intimidated to try this on my windows. I would probably somehow ruin the fabric.
I just love coming to see what you’ve been up to! I bet your house is so nicely decorated 🙂 Great job, Liz!
Girl, you are so talented! Love the fun shade makeover!! And seriously so easy!!!
found you over @ Roadkill Rescue – LOVE this idea! – can’t wait to take a look around your blog! I am your newest follower!
Hopped over from the Wow Me Wednesday link party… This is a great idea for when you want the look of sheer curtains, but need to block light (like for a bedroom). Thanks for sharing!
You’ve motivated me to try this. Great tutorial.
Mary @ Orphans With Makeup
Love this tutorial! The pop of color looks fabulous!
These look amazing – love the before and afters. Great tutorial!
Looks so great! I love it. What fabric from Hobby Lobby is that?
Thank you! I just love those colors together. I found it in the home decor fabrics at Hobby Lobby.
HI Liz Thanks to you, I’ve just saved $100 I was going to spend for new roman shades for our bedroom windows. Think I hadn’t ordered them yet cause I was hoping to come across a better, much less expensive idea I could do. Don’t think roller shades are $100. I love the cotton duck fabric at HL, makes so many gorgeous projects for lot less. It’s $8.99 per yard at our HL so with 40% off will be $5.39 a yard, whoooohooo. Lovin’ that. Now to decide which fabric I want to use. So many pretty ones. Think one with aqua, would love an IKAT print but not sure they have one with aqua. So glad you shared this awesome project cause I’ll be shopping for roller shades and cotton duck fabric. Happy Spring days
I’m so glad that worked out for you, JaneEllen! A teal Ikat fabric sounds perfect! I hope you have fun working on this little project just like I did! 🙂
Any issues with them rolling up & down after this gorgeous transformation?? I am worried that since we open & close ours all the time, that the spring mechanism may not want to handle the extra weight/ bulk? Thanks Liz!
Hey Jen! With ours, I do have to be a little careful rolling them up and down. I used a pretty thick home decor fabric, but the shades still hold the weight just fine. Maybe try using a lighter-weight fabric if that’s something you’re worried about. You’ll have to let me know how it turns out!
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo Liz
Material is beautiful, but is on wrong side of shade. Should not be able to see original shade at top.
There are two ways to do a roller shade. The first is the standard way, which is what Liz did. Typically, the roll is covered by a valance or cornice. Rolling it in this manner keeps the fabric closer to the glass.
The second method is a reverse roll, which is what you are thinking of, Linda. It’s ideal for windows that won’t have a valance and although it would be more appropriate for Liz’s application, I think her roller shade looks absolutely awesome.
I made some roller shades like these a few years ago and made a little gimp-trimmed valance to match using velcro to attach it to the top of the window frame. Hid the roll beautifully.
Sorry but you put the fabric on the wrong side of the shade. The shade should be turned around so when the shade is DOWN, you do not see the white roll of the shade at the top. I just did one this morning with ticking and when it is pulled down you will see ONLT fabric on the shade.
Thank you for the tip, Linda! I’m always learning something new. 🙂 I’ve since taken down the fabric, but I appreciate the note!
Hmm…wondering if this idea would work on my scalloped shades? Has anyone tried this?
I love these, but have a question: Did you hem the sides of the fabric before gluing as well as the end? I can’t tell from the pictures. Also, how did you keep the whole thing straight? Did you use a square to begin with? Thanks!
Hi Jeaneene! I didn’t hem the sides of the fabric (out of sheer laziness). When it was time to glue the fabric down, I just started with a straight edge on the bottom and worked my way to the top. It was pretty easy to keep everything in line. I hope this helps!
Switch the brackets around and rehang the shade. Your shade will now unroll over the top of the roller eliminating the problem.
Hi Liz, I love this tutorial, it is so thorough. Does the shade roll up and down easily??? Would you know if this method is ideal for windows as wide as 45-46 inches? I love this project and would love to try it for my windows.
Yes, ours did! You’ll want to pick a fabric that is heavy enough to cover the roller shade, but not so heavy that it stops the shade from rolling easily.