How to Make Roman Shades Using Iron-On Roman Rib Tape

2014_October-romanshadeSince we released our popular How to Make Roman Shades video, we’ve been working on finding new ways to make the process of making these beautiful shades even easier. Making your own Roman shades gives your windows a stylish, custom look and is much more affordable than purchasing pre-made shades at the store. We’ve recently added a few pieces of new hardware that help streamline Roman shade construction. Today we’re sharing a new video that shows you how to build a Roman shade using our new Iron-On Roman Rib Tape.

Iron-On Roman Rib Tape gives you an easy way to attach the dowels to your Roman shade, without sewing or gluing. The tape irons right to the back of your shade and features a small pocket in the center that holds the dowels. It works great, especially with our new lightweight, plastic Roman Shade Ribs, which are plastic dowel rods made just for this purpose.

We opted to use a heavy lining this time so the shades will block out more light. Softline’s Suite Blackout Drapery Fabric can be used on its own or as a blackout lining and worked really well for us in this application. We recommend pairing this heavy liner with a lightweight decorator fabric, so the folds will train easier.

In this video, you will learn how to measure your window, pattern the fabric, sew the lining, add ribs, string the shade, build the headrail and install the shade on your window.


Materials List:

Find all the materials needed to make your own custom Roman shades at

These instructions are intended for personal use. If making shades to sell or gift, they must comply with the latest safety regulations. To make your shades safety compliant, the lift rings must be no farther apart than 4 inches. To accomplish this, the stack height should be 6 inches. This will result in less visible fabric when the shade is fully open, but will prevent the formation of a hazardous loop.

Warning: Cords can be hazardous, even fatal, to young children. Keep cords out of reach of children. Keep cribs, playpens, and other furniture away from cords. Do not tie cords together or allow cords to twist or loop together.

Have you used these new Roman shade products yet? What do you think of them? Share your projects, experience and advice in the comments!

  1. I live in a ranch style home and most of the time we want light to come through the top 25% of the window. We prefer the feeling of fabric on the windows to honey comb blinds however the feature of top down/bottom up is most desirable.
    Would it be attractive and functional to install a top head rail for Roman Shades where the top is not at the top of the window? The Roman Shade would then hang from several inches below the top of the window and the bottom of the shade could still fold up?
    Thank you,

    • Nikki said:

      Hi Virginia,

      I don’t see a reason why you couldn’t hang your Roman Shades a little below the top of your window. I think it would give a similar look as a window with a transom at the top. The shade should build and function the same way, you’d just want to measure accordingly. At the end of the day, it’s all about personal preference.

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