How to Make Fabric Roller Shades

How to Make Fabric Roller Shades yourself! Please read through the entire post as there are some tips on selecting the best kinds of fabrics to use with this DIY project.

Here is what you’ll need to make a fabric roller shade: {no sew!}

(This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I could receive compensation when you purchase.)

  • 1 plastic roller shade (measure your window & get one cut to size at Home Depot)
  • roller shade brackets
  • fabric of your choice – see tips on selecting the right kind of fabric
  • iron on craft fuse (I used Pellon 808 Craft Fuse)
  • iron
  • scissors
  • staple gun or Fabri-tac fabric glue

Before you go shopping for your supplies, there are a few things you need. Most importantly is the measurements.

Decide if you are going to hang these inside the window frame or outside, then measure the length & width.



time to shop

*When shopping for a roller shade, know that you are going to cut the plastic shade off and it won’t be used. You will probably need it to be cut down to your window width (length won’t matter). They will cut it for you in the store.

*When shopping for fabric take note of a couple things. The heavier or thicker your fabric is, the more difficult it will be for it to roll up at the top when you want the shade up. Some upholstery type fabrics won’t work at all. Also keep in mind that you will be ironing on a fusible backing and that will add to the thickness. Printed cottons usually work really well. I used a printed cotton twill fabric from Joann’s.

time to cut

Once you’ve purchased your fabric & fusible backing, you can cut it to the size you need. It’s always a good idea to iron you fabric before cutting!

time to iron

  1. Iron in 1/2″ seams down the length of both sides of your fabric and 1″ on the bottom. 
  2. Lay your fabric face side down on the ironing board, place the fusible backing on top of it, with the shiny side down pressed to the fabric. Get this lined up so that the fusible backing is overlapping the seams. (no sewing needed!)
  3. When your iron is hot, go ahead and start fusing it to the fabric. This takes a bit of time and patience. Go slow and be careful not to get any wrinkles in the face fabric.

time to assemble

First unwind the shade you bought and cut the plastic off of the cardboard tube. Now find a work table that you can lay your fabric out on and using a staple gun or Fabri-tac glue attach your fabric to the cardboard.  Take care to lay the fabric side against the cardboard roller. Now roll it up {rolling the tube under the fabric as shown in the picture will prevent the white backing from showing at the top. Hang your brackets and install your custom made-DIY-no sew fabric roller shade. That’s it!

Here are a few photos I took along the way …


So easy to make a clean and simple window treatment. These are hung in my bathroom. We almost never open them so they don’t have to take a lot of abuse. You might notice on mine that I did sew the bottom seam in – I forgot to iron that seam in before fusing the backing. But it also creates a pocket to slide the wooden strips in that come with your shade. Hope you’ve enjoyed this roller shade tutorial … Now get to makin!



Hi, I'm Robin, founder of The Designest, the place for tutorials, printables, and ideas to inspire you to create. A wife, mother, entrepreneur, and a true maker at heart. Most days you will find me in my studio listening to Spotify & making products for The Designest Shop.

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18 Replies to “How to Make Fabric Roller Shades”

  1. It’s actually really useful for me find out where to get the roller shades and other accessories. I’ve sewn quite a few shades and made most of my curtains in the past so this is v helpful.

    1. If you are using an inside mount bracket, you will need to adjust the width for the thickness of the brackets. A good way to measure this exactly is to measure the plastic ‘fabric’ from the roller shade that you removed.

    1. Hi Terri!

      I’ve not really worked with that fabric too much so I can’t really say. I don’t know how it reacts to an iron. If you choose to use the fabric without an iron on backing, hem your sides & bottom before you attach it to the roller.

  2. This was a disaster. I followed directions and measured and remeasured. Maybe it was the fabric. I wanted to make it double sided because the windows face the walk from the drive to the house. This way one would see the fabric. It is a guest area. I couldn’t get the fuse fabric to stick in some places. No matter what I did there would be wrinkles. Finally I decided to trash the project and make curtains. I can not help but to believe that more info is needed.

    1. Oh no! I hate it when a project doesn’t work. Do you know what kind of fusible fabric you were using? I know that they can be tricky. Sometimes too much steam and not enough pressure is the culprit. Also if you are trying to fuse 2 fabrics together, you need to be sure that they are very lightweight for a project like this. I hope that you are able to salvage your shades!

  3. I have casement windows and I was thinking about doing this with the material you use for window screens. Do you see any potential problems with that?

    1. Hello! I haven’t worked with that material before but it sounds like an interesting project. I would just wonder how the edges would hold up. I would love to know how it turns out!

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