DIY Fabric Roller Shades

cottage front roomIf you’ve stopped by before, you’ve probably heard that we are remodeling our lake house cottage in Wisconsin on the cheap.  It’s technically a two bedroom house, but it also has another room that’s almost like another living area, and a hallway from the side door into the kitchen/main living area.  We needed more sleeping space, so we converted this into more of a bedroom/living area.

fabric roller shade 2We wanted to keep the area semi-open to the main living area, but we also wanted the option to close it off in case people were sleeping in there.  Originally, there was a solid wood door separating the two spaces, so we cut out the inside and installed a piece of glass to help open it up.  I love the way it turned out, but I needed to come up with a solution to create some privacy when it needs to be used as a bedroom.

DIY fabric roller shadeThis roller shade was on sale for FREE after a $5 rebate, so I jumped at the chance to finally create a divider.  I’ve seen how people have added fabric to roller shades as an easy update to an otherwise boring window treatment, so I gave it a whirl.

diy fabric roller shadeI laid out my roller shade and cut the fabric about one inch bigger on all sides.

fabric roller shade 3Thankfully, I read the instructions right before adhering my fabric to the shade, and it’s a good thing I did, because I would have put it on the wrong side!  The image shows the correct way to lay out your fabric and shade.

add fabric to roller shadeI love spray adhesive and use it for all of my fabric and paper lined drawers for furntiure, so I figured it would work well for this project as well.  Be sure to use medium duty or high performance, as I don’t think the light duty spray would work very well.  To get good adhesion, it’s important to spray both surfaces (in this case, the fabric and the roller shade).

fabric roller shade 5After sticking the two together, I finished off the edges.  For a clean look, I folded 1/2″ in, and then folded it over again, creating a folded edge.  It made the back look very nice, but it adds quite a bit of thickness to the shade when it’s rolled up.  The rolled up shade was actually slightly thicker than the bracket would allow for.  I figured out a solution when I installed it, but if you wanted to avoid that extra step, you may want to just use pinking shears and eliminate the extra fold.  I tried out both fabric glue and hot glue, and both worked just fine.  I ended up using hot glue because it stuck together much faster than the fabric glue.

To make up for the extra thickness of the shade, I cut a piece of wood 1″ thick and wide, screwed this into the door, and then screwed the bracket right on the edge.  This allows the shade to sit away from the door (and gave me something to attach my DIY valance to).

add fabric to roller shadeIt’s the perfect length to cover the entire window, and can easily be rolled up during the day.

add fabric to roller shadeOne quick note, when I went to test it out, I thought I messed up, because I couldn’t get it to roll up.  I thought that the fabric made it too heavy and thick to roll up properly, and I was not happy.  I figured out that it only will roll up if it’s pulled on when it’s completely down.  It’s possible that all roller shades are like this and I didn’t know, or maybe it’s because fabric has been added.  Either way, it works! (It reminds me of the magic touch I needed to roll up the maps in my classroom.  I have these rolly-things mastered now.)

Now, you should come check out how I made that rope valance!  I hope you enjoyed all the cameo appearances made by my dogs and youngest daughter through the window.

Like what you see? I’d love for you to follow along!

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