Roman Shades- Looking for been-there-done-that

angiebeaglesDecember 19, 2008

I got distracted at the fabric store yesterday (i'm sure none of y'all have this problem!). I went in to buy backing for a pillow i was going to make.

I came out with 20 yards of that warm window 4 layer fabric.

So, now having decided to spend my Xmas vacation days making Roman Shades for every window (and the sliding glass door) in my house, i am looking for some advice.

I'm hoping i can find all the hardware locally, but i may have to order online, and won't be able to finish till after the new year. If anyone knows where to get good quality shade hardware in austin, i'm all ears. the fabric store i bought the fabric in had a small section of the hardware by the same company that goes with the fabric, but i was less than impressed, and figure there must be better quality out there somehwere- esp. as i have very wide windows (7+ feet wide).

So, basically, i'm asking any and everyone who has made Roman shades before, if you had it to do over, what would you do?

I read one comment somewhere that said to use the metal rings, because they will hold up longer, and take abuse from men jerking on the strings (altho i'm a pretty good jerker myself). But on a good website w/ very good instructions, they said to use plastic rings, they will hold up to sun exposure better. Do they make ring tape w/ metal rings?

And what about pulleys? I am confused about what type of pulley is best. The metal ones look good to me, but they come in a few different forms. Do i need a locking pulley, or can i just use cord cleat? (note- i tend to break anything that looks even remotely technical.)

And what are the screw eyes for? I'm a bit lost here. Are they in place of the pulleys, or in addition too?

Any other tips/tricks/advice that y'all have would be most appreciated, as i will be making shades for 5 windows, 1 sliding glass door, and figuring out somethign to put in front of hte fireplace.


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Angie, I've made several Roman shades, including 2 that are 4 ft wide to cover my living room slider. I've used 2 kinds of goes horizontally & has a pocket for a dowel and the other goes vertically and has plastic rings attached. I had a Roman shade on my kitchen window for many years (like 12 or 13) that had plastic rings. These were the little "bone" rings you can buy at a craft store and I sewed them on individually. I replaced a lot of them over the years...the sun shining in the window made them brittle. But the ones in my living room have the tape with rings; they've been up several years and have the same sun exposure, and I haven't had to replace any.

I got the tape at JoAnn Fabrics, and all the other hardware & the wooden slats & dowels I got at Lowe's. Mine don't have any pulleys...the cords just go through eyebolts.

Mine are all lined, too. They were really easy to make since they're just rectangles.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 12:32PM
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With your width they are going to be very heavy to pull up and down, especially with a layered fabric. Is it all one wide window? Like the previous person I used eye bolts and cord cleats. The pulley sounds like a better idea for such a wide window, otherwise the abrasion through the eye bolt might very well wear out the cord. I sewed my rings on individually as I couldnÂt find ring tape. None ever broke down. Since then I have seen the ring tape at Jo-ann. IÂd look too at a store that carries mostly upholstery fabrics, look in your phone book. Chains in this area are Loomcraft and Calico Corners, not sure if those are in Texas.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 4:06PM
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Go check this web site. It might help you.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 4:53AM
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I made insulated shades for almost every window. Yes, the plastic rings do become brittle & break. You can zig zag them on with your machine. I used clear monofilament thread. I also used the screw eyes & a cleat. For weight in the bottom I used a threaded rod from Home Depot. I think it's 3/8".

Be careful if you have window locks & they happen to stick out. You have to lift the shade over the lock or you'll eventually tear the hem out.

The magnets stuck to the side of the window, if you use them, will also eventually lose their stickiness & come off. You can use double sided tape to stick them back on.

Our Joann's have everything you need. Even a little book on how to make them. The site below has a book you can order & made them side drawn for patio doors.

They are very warm & they look nice. A nice feature is they are room darkening, so perfect for bedrooms. My granddaughter used to take LONG naps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Directions & materials

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 10:14AM
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