DIY: Fixed Flat Fold Roman Shade

By Kate Riley June 2, 2010

Hey everybody, how’s your week shaping up ?  Mine is soooo full of activity -  I’ve got one daughter finishing kindergarten and another graduating from high school this weekend – how crazy is that ?  It makes for plenty of excitement around these parts. 

Last week, I finished the laundry room makeover, and many of you inquired about the window treatment.  Here’s the play-by-play on how I made this fixed flat fold shade.


cg flat fold shade


The room is on the second story and never in need of darkness.  I’ve made roman shades before, but this time I made it a fixed shade.  Yep, it’s true, this one’s a big fat faux, fake & phony – it doesn’t go up and down.   I wanted just the ‘look’ of a functioning flat fold roman shade since I never intended to raise or lower it for light control.   When I was researching fixed shades online, I found this fantastic tutorial by Darby and I was completely inspired.  

This is a very simple sew project that anyone can do, if you can sew a straight stitch on a sewing machine.  Since this is an outside mount shade, I measured the width of my window (48”), then added 2 inches on each side.  The total width of the shade = 52”.  I allowed one inch extra on each side for the hem = 54” before sewing the liner and fabric together. 

On a large flat surface, layer your blackout liner on top of your decorative fabric (the upside down version of what you see), then smooth out any ripples or bubbles and pin them together.   Sew together on three sides with straight stitch on sewing machine. 

stitch blackout to fabric


hem sides

Next, pin your fabric to your liner every 12” horizontally and every 8” vertically.  With a sewing machine (or by hand), stitch your liner to your fabric using a complementary thread.  Do this to avoid puckering, to secure your liner to your decorative fabric, and to prevent your liner if from pulling away from your decorative fabric when it hangs above the window.  

tack fabric

With a functioning shade, this would be achieved by stitching the loop tape and rings to the back, but since this is a fixed shade, the small stitches are essential to ensure your fabric hangs without sagging.   

If adding decorative ribbon, do so with complementary thread or no sew fabric glue. 

fabric glue 2


To create a crisp corner, pinch the ribbon and fold it under the horizontal side – secure with a sewing machine or fabric glue. 

corner ribbon

When your ribbon and fabric glue is dry, lay out your fabric on a large flat surface to  create your folds.   Once you’ve determined your folds, measure the fabric to make sure your shade is length that you want for your window treatment. 

measure length


After you measure the folds, stitch them together on the sides with a needle and thread. 

stitch folds


I also loosely stitched the folds together along on the back of the shade to prevent sagging in the middle.   

stitch folds together


Insert a dowel rod at the bottom of each fold to keep a smooth line across the bottom.

    insert dowel rod


Staple your fabric shade to your strip of wood and you’re ready to hang it up !

To secure to your wall, lift the fabric and screw the wood directly into your wall studs. 

staple to wood strip


That’s it, a simple sew project that adds a fixed fabric window treatment to your space !

cg laundry room after


cg flat fold shade


If you want to create a fully functioning flat fold shade, you can buy a kit which includes the cord, cord lock and cleat, screw eyes, tape and rings – I’ve spied them at Joann’s and other fabric stores – the kit includes all the instructions to make a roman shade – OR . . . you can also check out this functioning roman shade I made last year for my master bath !


  1. This is going to be perfect for my kitchen! We only have one window, and it looks into a private backyard so we don’t need to close it either. Can’t wait to try this – yours looks wonderful!

  2. I love the shade and the fabric is what really makes it great! I have to tell you something. Every time I visit you blog I picture you with a cape on with a big CG on the back! I know, I’m a weirdo. Must be all those years of watching superhero movies with my boys. You are a decorating superhero ;)

  3. Anita, you made my day. But you forgot to tell me what color the cape is ?

  4. My mom just learned how to make Roman shades and she swears she is going to teach me. I have had a few posts about curtains(I love them, how can I not?) that we have made together! Here is the link to one if you are interested, it’s very, very simple, nothing as cool as yours!

    I will add my two cents and say that the cape would probably be yellow, trimmed in grosgrain ribbon or pleats like your chair slip covers!

  5. Thanks for the tutorial! I saw this on Darcy’s blog too and am planning to make one for our family room window. Looks nice and easy :)

  6. WOW! This tutorial came JUST in time! I have 6 windows in our TV living room that I wanted some sort of valance or shade. I too didnt want something I needed to lower or shut for light purposes-(I already have wooden blinds) so this is going to be PERFECT. Now if I can just duplicate it 6 times!!! AND have them ALL even. *scared*

  7. You are a faker. I LOVE IT! It is gorgeous fabric too. You make me want to refab my new laundry room. Right now it is functional and I am happy but your darn chandie has me drooling. Dang you Kate why do you always have to inspire me to be better, think bigger, and make everything more beautiful?

  8. It looks great in the room. Uh…well, some of us can’t sew a straight line with a sewing machine. I’ve never even owned a sewing machine. I actually got a D on my slippers made from washcloths in 8th grade Home Ec….now if you want a great dessert-I’m your girl!

  9. Love this faux shade!! I have to admit I have been anxiously awaiting these instructions since you posted your laundry makeover! I am planning faux shades in my dining room so this is so very helpful! I lve your blog, and I hope you don’t mind I have added it to my blogroll.

  10. I really love the fabric you chose! I have aqua in my master bedroom, and I have been toying with the idea of making some shades for my french doors. Something like this would be so cute. Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. Trust me Kate I will do this one! I may email if I run into a snag!! Beautiful!

    Art by Karena

  12. Its about time…I’ve been stalking your blog for a week now waiting for this tutorial!!! lol I love this so much and will for sure be making a couple of these for my new pad. Question for you though….I have a funky “half round” window in my guest room/sewing room. Its freakishly high up and is above a regular window with curtains on it and kinda recessed into a cove in the ceiling…if that makes sense. Any ideas what I would do to cover it and make it not look horrible and ugly? It lets A LOT of light in and when we have quests stay in that room I don’t want them up at 5am! I’ve seen those accordion kind of fan type shades online but they are hideous and I wanted something cuter and I thought…who better to ask! Let me know if anything rings a bell!

  13. Kelsey, I think I know what kind of window you’re talking about . . . they can be tricky. Send me a picture and we can brainstorm some ideas !

  14. This was a really good tutorial, Kate! :) I like the tip about pinching the ribbon to make a nice angle. Thanks for taking the time in the middle of your busy week to show us how you did this. :) I’m off to Texas today! Have a great rest of the week!

  15. Thank you for this!! I have a couple of questions before I begin the project: 1) Did you actually sew a straight horizontal line across the fabric (at each fold)? 2) If I am understanding correctly, your staples are directly on the front of the shade. Right? I am asking becuase the shade that I plan to sew will be solid white and I’m wondering how I will hide the staples. And 3) When you cut your lining wider than your fabric, when did you fold the edges over to create your bottom and side hems? Was that the 2nd picture in your tutorial? and (last!) 4) When you pinned your lining to the fabric (step 1), were right sides together or not?

    I am so anxious to get started on this!! I, too, have been checking hourly since your laundry room reveal to see if you’ve posted your tutorial yet.

    Many thanks!!

  16. Now, I really need to get on finding an inexpensive sewing machine! I cannot tell you how much I love this shade. It is amazingly gorgeous and I NEED them in my bedroom…and my dining room!

  17. I love love love the fabric you chose. Can you please tell us where you got it from? It’s absolutely amazing.

  18. P.S. I’m curious about your liner…when I’ve made roman shades, I’ve cut the decorative fabric 1-inch wider than the window width, and the liner 1-inch narrower so that when I sew it, the decorative fabric forms a nice automatic hem on the backside of the shade. Does this make sense??? It seems like your liner and decorative fabric were both the same size.

  19. How B E A U T I F U L! You are seriously the most talented, crafty person I’ve come across – and I visit a lot of blogs! How wonderful and gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your brilliance!

    :) amy @ mango + palm

  20. You are so darn clever! I’m amazed at everything you do and its always seem so effortless! Hope your 2 lucky girls inherit your crafting abilities! Thanks again for all you do…love your blog and enjoy it daily!

  21. CG you’ve done it again! That fabric is definitely swoon worthy! and the teal ribbon was the perfect touch. This post reminds me that I need a sewing machine;-)

  22. I love the blue patterned fabric you chose! I am really week for blue-ish colors, and therefore repainted our bathroom in ocean blue/turquoes.
    I found your blog through another blog (iheartmini) and thought they design tips were really great. Thanks for a great blog to read.

  23. Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m in love with your laundry room! All the colors are gorgeous. I’ll be linking. =)

  24. I LOVE the fabric and ribbon. Do you happen to know the name of the designer or the fabric line? And/or where you got it? I really like this and might try it for our kitchen window. I’ve been debating about doing a roman shade or some cafe curtains! Thanks for the tute!

  25. Kate,

    I have been reading your blog for a while now, and when I saw this post, I filed it away for future reference because I knew I would use it in at least one room in my house! And I did…I made some fixed shades for our boys’ playroom. I love how they turned out and I’m so grateful for your tutorial that helped get me to my end product!

  26. You have inspired me. I have fabric that I fell in love with for my kitchen windows but didn’t know what to do with it. I now know I want these faux roman shades. I love them. Question – I already have honey comb shades for privacy and would like to attach these shades with an outside mount. Any ideas how to do that with these roman shades?


    • Hi Georgette, these are an outside mount – it attaches to the wall with ‘L’ brackets that are found at the home improvement store!

  27. Hi
    I know this is an old blog post but hoe you can still answer my question. Do the wood dowels show on the sides or did you disquise them somehow?

    • Hi Darlene, I buried them inside the fabric so they wouldn’t show. Hope that helps!

  28. Love the whole room especially the window shade. I am doing my den in those colors. Are you able to let me know where I can get the fabric? Thanks a million.

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