How to Make a Fabric Roller Shade

Things You'll Need

  • Vinyl roller shade
  • 1 yard fabric (depending upon shade's size)
  • Measuring tape
  • Tailor's pencil or chalk
  • Pinking shears
  • Spray adhesive
  • Ruler
  • Ribbon
  • Fabric glue
  • Tassel (for a shade pull)
  • Needle and matching thread (optional)

Vinyl shades lack personality. Add some fabric to your shade, however, and you have elegance. Create a put-together look for any room by simply attaching a coordinating fabric to an inexpensive roller shade.

Place newspaper or some other protective covering on your work surface. Unroll the shade completely without removing the vinyl from the rod. Set a large book on the shade, if necessary, to keep it from rolling. Take the shade's width and length measurements. Add 2 inches to the length and width totals.

Place your fabric, front side facing down, on a flat work surface. Mark the measurements on the fabric, including the extra 2 inches, and cut the fabric to size.

Spray the adhesive onto the vinyl shade's front. Center the fabric, front side up, allowing 2 inches to overlap on both sides and bottom. Smooth any bubbles or wrinkles from the fabric using a straight edge like a ruler.

Cut a slit in the fabric at both the left and right bottom corners of the shade. The slit should be diagonal and cut as close to the shade's actual corner as possible. Don't cut the shade, however, just the fabric. Leave 1/8 inch of fabric between the slit and the shade's corner.

Flip the shade over and glue the overlapping fabric to the back side of the shade. Work out any wrinkles or air bubbles. At the left bottom corner, fold half of the slit onto the shade, glue and smooth the bumps. Do the same with the other half of the slit. Repeat Step 5 with the right corner.

Cut the ribbon to match the shade's bottom measurement with an extra 2 inches on each side. Attach the ribbon along the shade's bottom edge with fabric glue, allowing the 2 inches extra to overlap. Glue or sew the tassel's top to the back of the shade, at the bottom. Hang your shade in the window and enjoy.


  • Don't use too much glue when attaching the ribbon or it will bleed through. Sewing the ribbon to the shade is another option.



About the Author

Jennifer Marlowe is a seasoned journalist with experience since 1994. As a former reporter and columnist, she has written for a variety of publications including "The Cleveland Plain Dealer," "Sew Simple Magazine," "Northern Ohio Live," "Ohio Game & Fish" and "The Country's Best Log Homes." Marlowe holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Akron.