Instructables

How to make a fabric roller shade using repurposed materials

Upon moving into our new home, I discovered old yellowed vinyl roller shades on all the windows. My first instinct was to tear them all off... but then what? We needed window coverings. I looked online and went to the local blind stores. Window coverings are expensive!!

Wait... wait don't throw those vinyl shades away... at least not before grabbing the roller and the dowel!  Find some remnant material or repurpose sheets or draperies from a local 2nd hand store. Grab your sewing machine and a couple hours... and you've got new beautiful fabric roller shade!!!
 
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Step 1: Snag a Vinyl Roller Shade

Take your vinyl roller shade off the window. Rip off the vinyl and grab the dowel that was used to weight down the bottom.

Step 2: Measure

Measure the roller from metal cap to metal cap.

If you are moving the shade from the outside to the inside of the window frame (like I did), you can still use the roller. You just need to cut it down to the right size. You can take off the metal ends and reattach them.

Add 1-2 inches to your width, depending on what size hem you want to use. I added 2 inches for 1 inch seams on either side.

Measure the length of the window.

Add 9 inches to your length to give you room for the bottom hem and to have enough fabric to cover the roller when the shade is fully extended.

My area was 27 1/2"  by 55".

After my addition, I needed fabric 29 1/2"wide by  64" long.

Step 3: Gather Materials

You need -
Fabric
Roller and dowel
staple gun with 1/4 inch staples (don't use larger staples or you may damage the roller hardware)

Also:
sewing machine OR double-sided hem tape if you'd rather not sew
scissors
measuring tape


Step 4: Cut Fabric

Picture of Cut Fabric
Cut the fabric to your desired width and length.
Use a grid board to help you cut straight.
vern12281 year ago
I have 2 38x78 windows. Wondering if these will hang straight and smooth because of length. Would a light or heavy fabric hang better? They would be either pulled down all the way or half way up. The windows are in my dining room and the front of the house. So it's important to me how they look from the street. Any ideas or imput would be appreciated before I start the project. I love the look and cost!
linzmicaela (author)  vern12281 year ago
Hi,
I'll preface my response by saying I'm not a sewing expert by any means.. so I'm just guessing. You probably want to google other people's advice.

From my experience with these shade, I think it is good to have a drapery fabric or a medium weight cotton to give more substance to the shade. I could see a heavy fabric might bulk up when rolling if it's too long but since you're planning on mostly having half way down or all the way down, that may not be a problem.

Let me know how it goes!
I have seen this project in books, TV, etc..........but they have always skipped over important details such as the size of staple. Thank you for taking your time in detailing the project........now I can redo all my torn plastic roller shades.
linzmicaela (author)  whitemountainwoman3 years ago
I'm so glad you found it useful. Good luck with your shades!
Ronyon3 years ago
I've always wondered if such a project was feasible, thank your for the proof of concept!
Extraordinary.