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How to Make a {No Sew!} Rolled Fabric Shade

by | Nov 25, 2014 | Decorating Inspiration, Details, Laundry Rooms, my house

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How to Make a {No Sew!} Rolled Fabric Shade

Thanks for all the nice comments on our laundry room progress! I’m glad you like it, I am so excited to be rid of the swine and feel like I have a fresh space to do laundry in! I promise to share more of the room as the details come together and I have a more “finished” room to share.

Meanwhile, I received a lot of questions on the shade so I’m happy to share a few more details! It is SO easy! It’s not only adorable but it’s NO SEW, NO STRESS and AFFORDABLE. THOSE THINGS ARE MY FAVORITE! You can have this shade up in a matter of minutes! In my laundry room, this is intended to be a stationary shade for extra pattern and softness on the window

How to Make a {No Sew!} Rolled Fabric Shade

Here’s what you need:

Curtain Rod

Any curtain rod will work, but we used this one from Target that is designed without brackets or finials. It is streamlined and especially perfect for a small space (and it will let the fabric look more like a shade, less like a curtain). You will hardly see the rod once you are done if you use this kind of rod!

Curtain Panel

We found our panel at Target, here’s my direct link to buy it online. Or pick any pattern and color you like!

This is where you’ll have to measure and then use your own discretion and judgement to adjust your fabric for your particular width and length of window.

You’ll want to measure the width of your window and how much wall space you have available. Then you can determine how many panels and what width of curtain panel you need. Pre-made curtain panels come in various widths, often 48 inches or 54 inches. We used one 54 inch panel stretched out straight and we hung the rod a couple of inches outside of the window frame. If our window was wider, we would have used two panels or done some other modification such as folding the fabric and pinning it over the rod to make it work.

Of course, you could use regular fabric and just fold it over the rod or sew your own rod pocket or tabs.

Rope or ribbon

For the rustic look, we used rope we already had, but here’s something similar.

How to Make a {No Sew!} Rolled Fabric Shade

How To Make a New Sew Rolled Fabric Shade:

Step one: Hang curtain rod a couple of inches wider than your window opening, using wall anchors for stability if necessary. We were able to hang our rod up to the ceiling, giving the illusion of a bigger window and showing more fabric without blocking too much light.

Step two: Put curtain panel on rod and let the curtain hang down, covering the window.

Step three: Cut your rope or ribbon, perhaps about two feet long. You can trim the excess if necessary later.

Step four: Roll the fabric evenly (backwards), so the pattern will remain visible. You might need some extra hands for this step and especially the next one, depending on how wide your fabric is.

Step five: While keeping your fabric rolled (using an extra set of hands or pins) tie the rope around the rod in a knot or bow at the bottom of the rolled fabric.

Step six: Adjust curtain as desired. Step back and see how it looks so far! It’s easy to roll the fabric a little tighter, higher or lower, slide the rope left or right and even adjust how the fabric hangs. If you don’t plan to unroll the shade, you could even use push pins to help the fabric hang exactly right against the wall. If your rolled fabric isn’t behaving, you could even roll your fabric around a lightweight dowel or cafe rod for added stiffness.

Step back and admire your new shade! :)


  1. Christina Rodriguez

    I made a similar window shade for my kid’s bathroom, but yours is easier than the way I did it. I made mine from fabric, ribbon and a wood valance. It didn’t take long to make, but cutting wood is not my specialty! lol

  2. Deanna

    This is such a fresh, clean look. And simple.

    So pretty!

  3. Lauren Baxter

    This is a great idea! Especially if you don’t have to time or sewing skills ( like myself) to do something like this! Love the laundry room what a difference! I can’t wait to try that one day when I have an actual laundry room!

  4. Deborah

    I like the light and I like the shade, but I don’t think the colors go together.

  5. Tanya

    I love this shade Melissa! The addition of the rope is perfect too. Have a wonderful, Happy Thanksgiving!!

    xoxo, Tanya

  6. Barbara (WA)

    I love how you avoid sewing at all costs, haha, and that you are SO close to No More Swine!!!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      RIGHT? I’m the master at avoiding sewing. And, yes, I’m so close to no more swine I can almost SMELL IT. I think I might have to throw a no more swine party next year! :-)

  7. Faith

    Thanks for the info. Love it !!

  8. Crystal

    I have the same curtains from Target in our dining area!!!

  9. sandyc

    Did get a chance to tell you how lovely your laundry room looks. Of course, the best thing about it is that you have a window which I crave because I don’t. However, your window shade here and the easy with which you produce gives me inspiration for the two corner sink windows in my kitchen. When I moved in, there were cellular shades which worked fine once my tall friend reversed the cords so that they were both at the outer edges (owners had them both in the corner – go figure). Was able to pull them up to their valance during the day and lower them for privacy at night. Then one cord locked and the blind came tumbling down. A month or so later the other blind came tumbling down. Realized they were old blinds and even the best efforts of a vertically-challenged woman to pull the cords straight up and down across a 3-foot sink/countertop were inadequate, I left them down and have been trying different things since. I’d still have to do some alterations to make this work for my situation but you’ve inspired me. Could be colorful in my choice of fabric, could be easy to “operate”, and certainly would be cheaper than ordering new custom-size blinds, especially since I’d probably need to order the remote control feature to balance my short stature. Thanks for doing your thing once again, and Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Lisa

      So sad your links no longer work :(

  10. Angela

    Super cute! love it.

  11. Elizabeth

    This is genius! I might just do this in my laundry room!

  12. Lauren

    This is SO perfect! My mom seriously needed a solution to finding fabric shades and now she can make it!

  13. Orianne

    What a great light fixture! Original shape, utilitarian in feel, it’s such a good choice for a laundry room.
    I think the curtain’s circular pattern and colours coordinate well with it, and whether by coincidence or choice, your wicker baskets tie in nicely with the rope ties. Thoughtful details always make a difference; it can transform ‘swine’ to divine. ;-)

  14. Lisa@2PerfectionDecor

    This is such a great idea.. I love how it turned out and how easy it is. Absolutely fabulous!

  15. Carolyn

    You MUST have a No More Swine party! I just saw a recipe for Bacon Baklava, which they say is wonderful — I’ll share the recipe…

  16. Julie

    Hi Melissa!
    I love this idea! I may try it in my office. I’ve been wanting a valance in there but something fresh and contemporary and not a scalloped edge floral (which most valances seem to be!) I read your site every few days and feel like you are a dear friend. I love your perspectives on home and life and you remind me that not everything has to be perfect to be perfectly wonderful. I’m so glad you are a blogger and share your self with the blogosphere!

  17. Jean |

    Melissa, I’ve been needing to buy (or make) two shades for my bedroom windows for simply ages. This wonderful post has made me think it’s something I can stop procrastinating about — I might not even have to break out my sewing machine!

  18. Ali Foster Claypoole

    Thanks for sharing. I love the shades! I have a large wall of windows and want to do something light-so may try this with a delicate white linen and maybe a silver silk rope-classic and classy at the same time I’m hoping.

  19. Brittney Farrar

    Where did you get the light? I love this room design.

  20. Erica

    Do you think this could work on a metal door? We have a metal door in our laundry/mudroom that has a window on the top half. I really love this look. But not sure how to install on a metal door! :) Thanks!

  21. Lara Harris

    I want to do this! Looks amazing! Just have a question for the rolling and unrolling because I will be using this for my kitchen: You have to undo the string to let it down each time, and then have someone help roll it back up and tie it? This is something I will be doing everyday, so if there’s some secret I’m not reading, I need it explained plainly, I’m so sorry!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Hi Lara! In my laundry room, this is intended to be a stationary shade for extra pattern and softness on the window. You certainly could roll and unroll it, but if it was me I would be inclined to treat it like a valance and put a regular roller shade behind it if I wanted to pull something down for privacy at the end of the day. But you certainly could untie it and roll it back up again!

  22. Lauren

    This is perfect!! I don’t normally like valances, but this one is so simple and would work great for my den and mud room. We already have cordless shades in those rooms, so I don’t need something to cover the entire window–just a decorative pop of color–so I might even be able to get away with using just one panel for two windows. This will mean a little bit of sewing to make an extra rod pocket, but that’s a lot less work than making an entire window treatment! Thanks for sharing this idea!

  23. Irma

    Hey Melissa!
    Thanks for sharing this post. Last year I bought a new curtain for my bathroom but it is the type where there are two strips of cloth attached so you can tie the curtain up to the length you want. Which is great except you’re left with these two bows and a balloon affect,not my style. I like your idea much better, less fussy looking. So I think I’ll take off the ties and cord up the way yours is. Great idea!

  24. Patricia Wilson

    When preairing my youngest son’s nursery I made scalloped window cornices our of cardboard insulation boxes. I measured the windows width and added 4″s to each side and top to fold into a box that I could attach to the top molding. I used a large dinner plate to trace 3 scallops along the bottom of the valance. I then covered the cardboard with batting by gluing followed by a thin striped material in blue and white, which happened to be the same coordinating fabric of his Peter Rabbit Bedding accessories. I found Peter Rabbit material and cut out 3 characters in the Peter Rabbit series, and affixed one on each on the scallops by using Elmer’s glue. I then edged the entire cornice/valance with extra-large zig zag in white. As my son grew and his theme change I was able to recover the the cornice to match his theme! This was by far by best DIY project. I had everyone who saw it beg me to make some for them! I wish I had taken a picture!

  25. JaneEllen Jones

    I have made curtains to roll up previously,found having to roll them up at night or whenever was bit of a pain but doable. Love this idea for Curtain so will make one for our bathroom window to rollup when needed which is mostly in summer when our window is open. Have curtain on window mostly for privacy due to single male living behind us. so he could see in our bathroom.
    I also noticed your bathroom light style,very nice.
    Love shutters on kitchen window which I like much better than a curtain. We live out in country so have much dirt and dust coming into our house,always dusty in house,constantly, very annoying.

  26. Allison OHare

    Hi, I stumbled across your website from Pinterest. This room is beautiful. It looks so fresh! Do you recall where you found the striped blue rug? It goes beautifully with the roll up curtain :)

    Thank you,


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