Make Your Own Blackout Roman Shades

Roman shades provide a touch of elegance to a house, and using blackout Roman shades can make these ornamental features the practical choice for homeowners. These kinds of blinds use blackout lining to make Roman shades darker and better able to keep heat within the room. Blackout Roman shades are a perfect compromise to homeowners looking to keep the sunlight out for a few hours, but still wanting to be able to allow it in at certain times.

Using Blackout Lining

Blackout Roman shades can be used instead of the traditional solutions to keeping the sun out of the bedroom - for example pinning a newspaper or piece of card to the window. These blinds can be closed and drawn to just the right level, so someone working in one part of the room can use the shade, while those nearer the window can enjoy the sunshine.

Blackout lining comes in a range of materials, all of which block out the light. These include plastic, heavier fabrics, vinyl, and of course thick paper and cardboard. When choosing blackout lining, you will often find that these materials are on offer in stores, coated with PVC. These will filter out most light, although it is also possible to buy 'light filtering' PVC, which lets in some sun. Some homeowners may not like the idea of PVC blackout lights, as they are known for their unattractive smell, and also the heaviness of the material. If you are not willing to use PVC on your blackout Roman shades, look for fabric with a tight weave, and hold it up to the light source in the store.

Making Blackout Roman Shades

Once you have found the right material for your blackout Roman shades, sewing them together could not be easier. Measure the length of the window that the shades will be fitted into, and then times this by 2, adding around 24 inches. The width of the window should be long enough for the width of the blackout Roman shades. Cut your fabric and your blackout lining according to these measurements.

Next, sew seams into each of the sides of the fabric, and then pin the sides of the fabric and blackout lining together. Sew all sides but the top together, and then iron flat (turn inside-out to do this). Then fold both fabric and blackout lining together, to create 'pleats'. Leave a larger gap at the bottom. Sew these pleats together, taking care to avoid 'bunching' the material as you sew.

Put the top of the drape around a doweling rod, and then sew or glue the wood and fabric together. You should now have a combination of fabric and blackout lining hanging from the wood. Insert rings along the edges of the 'pleats' that you sewed, taking care to sew them to the bottom of each pleat. Add hooks to the doweling for each pulley you require, and then sew your sash cord to the bottom of the fabric. Thread through each of the holes. and then wrap around the top hook. Check that the blackout Roman shades work correctly, then hang them onto the window.