Friday, September 7, 2012

No Sew Faux Roman Shades

I've officially lived in my apartment for a year. So far, this apartment is in the running to be my favorite and if you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I've lived in quite a few places since moving to NYC in 2006. I'm a fan of older homes with charm and character and this place has it. It might not have all the modern conveniences of other places I've lived in, but it has personality and that's what I love the most.

My building was built in the 1920's and at the time it was somewhat of a "scandal" because it was one of the first non-brownstone apartment buildings on the block. There's great molding, high ceilings, real hardwood floors and large windows just to name a few. But, like older places it has its quirks too (and rodents - I saw a mouse a few months back, but he hasn't shown his face in awhile, thank goodness!).

Since moving last year, I've quickly tried to make it feel homey. It's hard when you are renting because nothing is definite. I'm not quite as brave as some bloggers out there, who are renting and renovating. To me that just doesn't make a lot of sense. But, there are small things you can do.

I don't think I'll ever really be "finished" with decorating but that's half the fun. There is always something more to be done. Last week, I decided to tackle the bathroom. The bathroom in this apartment is nothing special, but has potential.

Here is the window as it was before. Very bland and boring. Aren't you jealous of my view? Can't get much better than a brick wall right?!

I found this teal Ikat dot fabric at Mood Fabric in the Fashion District and LOVE it. Ikat fabric is trendy right now, so I thought it would be great for a curtain rather than a piece of upholstered furniture that I might get sick of down the road.

I did this whole project in less than 30 minutes and it cost less than $30. Here is what you need:
  • A yard of fabric
  • Iron on hem tape
  • 3 tension rods
First, I measured the width of the window and hemmed each side so that my fabric fit across the window without going over too much on either side.

Then, I hemmed the top of the curtain so that a tension rod could easily be inserted through. Once that was done, I hung the tension rode at the top of the window and let the fabric drape down.

Next, I hung the second tension rod and then pulled the fabric over, letting it double over like a fold. Now it's starting to look like a roman shade. Then, I hung the third tension rod about six inches apart and pulled the fabric up, repeating the fold like the first section. You can hang the tension rods any width you want, depending on how tight you want the shade to look. I prefer a more open look so my rods are spread further apart.

If you have a bright room, I would recommend hemming a back to your fabric. Or, if you have enough you could double-over the fabric. My bathroom doesn't get a lot of light thanks to the beautiful brick wall, so I left it as is.

Here is the finished curtain. I love it so much that I'm thinking of redoing the curtain in the kitchen and adding one in the bedroom.

Since hanging it last week, the wrinkles have fallen out, otherwise you could iron the fabric before you hem it. What do y'all think?


  1. Thanks, Molly! So easy. I'll do them for you in your home if you want!

  2. suzy homemaker! How clever. I would never have thought about putting in tension rods like that!

  3. Love it, I will be doing this project this wknd!

  4. Replies
    1. Love this tip. Have a bedroom window looking for a make over. Will be using his idea.

  5. So I'm not very crafty, or a Suzie homemaker, or a good decorator. I just wanted to put that out there before I asked my question. To change how open the shade is, I would move the bottom two tension rods, correct? I love the fabric & the look of this. I'd like to do something like this for my classroom, and just wondered how easy it is to open or close.

  6. Love this idea! The fabric is so great! Do you remember where you got it?

  7. Ex-NYC-er here, mourning my loss (MOOD made me teary!) - so your brick wall looks FABULOUS from Cincinnati.

    Plan to try your super idea here, however, where my large first-floor pre-war apt. gets WAY too much attention from onlookers. Thanks for this. Pinning.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie - ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    - ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder -
    "It takes a village to transform a world!"

  8. Question: are these functional? Or are they purely decorative and do not go up and down like a regular roman shade?

  9. Suzani Embroidery and Ikat fabric is really great option for decoration either it is wall decoration or furniture decoration. It goes very well with everything.

  10. I love this idea! I've been looking for an easy way to make shades :D

  11. Love this idea,plan to use a shower curtain and make one for a 4 ft screen window in my outdoor patio. There's only one spot where rain comes in.

  12. what a great and easy idea, you just solved a problem that I had for a window treatment that I was looking for. thanks so much.

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