Roman Shade Redo
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So, we had these amazing superior custom-made Roman shades in our kitchen when we moved in. The only problem was that they were brown and I was going with the gray family. Seriously, everything in gray (or white, or cream). These were brown and once I painted the walls gray they just had to go.
The price of new custom Roman shades of the same quality would have cost between $500-$1,000 (price comparison below). Panel curtains were out of question for me because this is a high traffic area in the kitchen. In addition, any “off the shelf” shades/blinds didn’t fit because of the windows being custom sizes. I was convinced I could recover these Roman shades for a fraction of the cost of getting them professionally recovered while maintaining the superior quality, and you know what? I was right, I could. And they look amazing and it only cost me $50.
This project is a simple process with no sewing, however, it is super time consuming and slow. Do you have Roman shades you are thinking about recovering or replacing? Check out the process below and see if you’re up for the long haul and big savings involved in recovering them or if buying new is the right path for you!
RECOVER 3 ROMAN SHADES (Superior Grade, Roman Shades with fabric backing)
My Cost: $50
Lowes (In Stock): $204.91* Large Shade: $95.97, Small Shades: $108.94 ($54.47 each)
*Not actually available in the custom sizes I needed. Closest price comparison was Levolor Brand – Oak Wood Blinds.
Special Order Shades: $597.48 – $1,146.69 ($199.16 – $382.23 each)
Custom Roman Shade Estimates
$40 Fabric (I used 2 curtain panels from Target that I found on sale- $20 each)
$10.99 Fabric Spray
Spray Bottle (water)
Long Nose Pliers
Scrap fabric/plastic (for over-spray from fabric spray)
Part 1 ~ Curtain Prep
- Take Pictures!
Get an accurate sense of what the shades look like and document in pictures.
*We’ll be covering the brown fabric on the front of the shade, however, the white backing on the shade will remain.
- Detach Roman Shade from Window Frame
Use a drill or screwdriver to carefully remove curtains from window frame.
- Detach Eyelets and Pulley System From Wood Frame
The Roman shade uses a wooden frame at the top to hold the curtain together. Put curtain face down and the backing facing up. Use 2 sets of pliers and screw driver to remove eyelets and pulley system from wood frame. Leave the remaining pieces of the pulley system intact. I just left the rest of the rope attached down the back of the shade. Yes, It was a bit awkward when working with the front of the curtain but since the back had a plain white fabric which I kept as the backing, it was worth just dealing with the awkwardness and saving myself some extra work later.
- Prepare Fabric
Measure and experiment with fabric. Consider where you want the pattern of the fabric to start at the top of the window frame and how you want the fabric to be balanced. Each curtain will need to be set up similarly to ensure that the look is consistent.
*Check and recheck before cutting!
- Measure and Cut Fabric
Allow 3-5 inches on either side of the edge for folding over and mistakes.
Do the same for the top and bottom of the shade. Don’t forget to take into account that you will roll the fabric around the wood frame on top and fold it under at the bottom.
- Iron Fabric
- Prep Wooden Frame
The wooden frame is part of the top of the curtain which is used to attach it to the window frame. Gently pull back curtain fabric from around wooden frame. Pull off old curtain material that is wrapping the wooden end. Repeat on other side.
Part 2 ~ Bring on the New Look
- Recover Wooden Frame Edges
Use scraps of fabric left from the larger curtain to recover the edges of the wooden frame. Trim excess fabric so overlap won’t be too thick. Use a hot glue gun or a wood stapler to wrap it like a present on both ends of the wood frame.
- Prepare Wood Frame
Put new curtain fabric over the top of old fabric. Turn shade face down. Pull up new fabric around the wood frame and carefully position. Cut excess fabric for a smooth surface. It doesn’t matter if some of the original curtain gets cut or damaged as it will merely be the surface which we base our covering on. T
*Remember that the curtain needs to be positioned so that when it is wrapped around the wood frame the pattern is even. Check and recheck this before moving on.
- Attach New Fabric To Wood Frame
Staple/glue the fabric even with the wood frame over the old fabric. Roll wood frame and fabric while carefully folding in the new fabric over the old along both edges. Staple and glue as necessary. Once the fabric is properly attached on the wood frame very little glue will be needed.
*Roll Wood Frame until in the position it will be when hung.
- Reattach Hardware
Carefully screw in the hardware and rope system for the shade. I tried to put it back in the same location as before. I also marked where I would be screwing the wood frame into the window frame. Ensure that it is working properly. If you forgot what it was supposed to look like check your pictures to reassemble.
- Cover Original Fabric
Flip the curtain so the front is facing up. The new fabric should be resting loosely on top of the old fabric. The Top of the curtain should be securely attached. Smooth new fabric over old fabric and gently wrap the sides.
*For those of you who like wrapping presents think of the old fabric as the thing to be wrapped up in the new fabric.
- Iron Edges
Once the body of the curtain is laying in place iron the edges so they fold neatly over the old fabric and tuck under the backing for a clean line. The curtain should look almost done aside from the fabric still hanging loosely at the bottom of the shade.
*Keep in mind that I am tucking the new fabric only around the old brown fabric. The white fabric that makes up the backing will continue to be the backing of the curtain when redone.
Part 3 ~ Finishing Up
- Connect Old and New Fabric
Your new fabric should be lying loosely over the old fabric with the edges ironed, still able to fold or unfold from around the old fabric. It’s time to make a decision on how/if you will connect the old and new fabric.
Here are your choices:
1. Use spray adhesive between old and new fabric. This is what I did. It works well but is a lot of work to smooth out and shows the bends in the fabric very clearly. My shade will be up the majority of the time so this worked great for me. If you will have your shades down often, I recommend option 2.
2. Sew new fabric to old fabric in a few places. This is the best option but it’s more work. Choose a few spots in the bend of the fabric to attach the old and new fabric. This will keep the new fabric in place and it won’t show the spots sewn when the shade is pulled up.
3. Do nothing to attach and see if it stays together well enough. This might work great but if it doesn’t you might need to go back to option 1 0r 2.
- Fold In Edges
Position shade so the new fabric is facing up. Check to ensure edges are still crisp, iron again if needed. Use fabric adhesive to spray underneath the edges of the fabric then fold back in an press to secure. Be sure to guard from over spray with an old towel, plastic, or newspaper. Again, I folded the new fabric around only the old brown fabric and left the white backing exposed for a clean finished look on.
*As I went I continually checked to ensure my pattern was straight and my fabric wasn’t wrinkling.
- Finish Bottom
Use spray adhesive to fold the new fabric around the bottom of the old fabric and fold it over the edges at the bottom to give a clean finish. Iron the edging at the base if necessary.
*Also, notice how the front fabric has been separated from the backing so I can create a new look with the updated fabric while maintaining the clean lines the white backing will give when put back together.
Smooth out any bumps or crooked lines on the shade.
- Attach to Window Frame
Screw shade into window frame.
*Some nudging and pulling may be necessary to get the pattern perfectly aligned when being hung.
Roman Shade -Backing
Completed shade and backing will have completely clean lines.
No evidence of the old fabric remaining!
You Did it!
*Repeat as needed to get all of your shades recovered.