How to Make a Faux Roman Shade Valance

Looking for a modern take on the window valences of the 80’s and 90’s? A faux Roman shade is the way to go! They’ve become a go to window treatment of mine because they’re a great way to add color and texture to your space, can make your windows look larger, and give any room a finished, elevated look.

Unlike the ruffled or pleated valances of past decades, faux Roman shades have clean lines and are definitely a window treatment to consider for any decor style.

The DIY faux Roman shades that I’ll show you how to make today don’t function like a regular Roman shade. They don’t pull up and down to cover your window. Instead they act as a purely decorative window valance that hide the hardware of roller shades, go above the window frame, making the window appear larger, and can be made from any fabric of your choosing. (I made mine from fabric shower curtains that I found on sale!)

DIY Faux Roman Shade TutorialPin

What you'll need to make faux roman shades:

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  • Fabric of your choice - home decor weight fabric works best for this project.
    • Measurements- You'll want the width of your fabric to be the width of your window plus 9 inches to allow for seams and for overhang.
    • The length depends on how you are planning to hang your faux roman shade. I hang mine well above the window so that the finished faux roman hangs only about 3-4 inches into the window frame.
      • The faux roman I made here is 18 inches tall. You'll need to adjust accordingly if your dimensions are different.
  • Fabric for the lining- The width of your window by 21 inches (if you are making an 18 inch high faux roman.)
  • Sewing machine- this is my favorite, not too expensive and not too complicated machine.
  • Coordinating thread
  • Straight edge and rotary cutter
  • Fabric pen
  • Double sided hem tape
  • 1 x 3 piece of wood cut to the width of the window minus 3 inches
  • Drill and 2-3 screws
  • Measuring tape and level

How To Make Roman Shades

Step 1: Cut lining fabric for the faux Roman blinds

Cut a piece of fabric for the lining of your faux roman shade the width of your window by 21 inches. (This will make a faux roman that's 18 inches long. If the top of your window is really close to the ceiling you may want to make a shorter faux roman. You really only want to cover about 3-4 inches of the top of the window.)

Step 2: Measure for your side seams

The width of your fabric for your mock Roman shade valance will be the width of your window + 9 inches. This will allow the faux roman to go beyond the edge of the window frame 1.5 inches on each side. If you want it to go further you'll need to add to this measurement.

The length of your fabric will depend on how big you want your folds. You may want to start with a long piece and cut it once you've planned your folds. To give you an idea, my fabric was 50 inches long.

Step 3: Mark the side seams of your faux roman shade

With the good side of your fabric facing down, fold one side edge over and measure 1 inch in from the edge and make a mark, then measure 2 more inches in from the edge (for a total of 3 inches in from the edge) and make a mark.

Repeat this down the edge about every 10 inches.

Step 4: Prepare your edges to be sewn

Fold your fabric along the 1 inch mark and iron flat.

Then fold again at the 3 inch mark and iron flat. The mark you made should be right on the edge of your fold.

Step 5: Sew the sides of your faux roman shade

Using the edge of your fold as a guide sew a straight line down the side of your faux roman shade.

Repeat steps 2-5 on the other side of your fabric.

DIY mock roman shade valancePin

Step 6: Sew the bottom seam of your faux roman shade

Once the sides are sewn, repeat steps 2-5 along the bottom edge of your faux roman.

Step 7: Attach your lining

Lay your top piece of fabric good side down and lay your lining piece on top lining up the top edge of your fabric and top edge of your lining. Sew along the edge leaving the edge raw.

Step 8: Plan your folds

Turn your faux roman good side up and, making sure to leave your lining piece flat, start creating your folds. It's best to put a heavy book at the top of of your faux roman to hold it in place and just start playing around with the folds starting with the top one first.

You'll be folding the top of your faux roman over a board when you hang it, so keep in mind that about 3 inches at the top won't be seen when planning your first fold.

You'll want to make sure that the folds are straight, so it's often best to get one side looking good, then measure down from the top and adjust the other side accordingly for a perfectly straight fold.

You'll want the underside of each fold to be just under the flap of the fold before it so that your seams won't show on your finished project.

Once you have your folds planned, you'll need to make some marks

  • First, reach under with your fabric marker and make a mark where the under side of each fold is on your lining piece.
  • Then carefully lift each fold and make a straight line with your fabric marker across your fabric. This will help you sew a perfectly straight line.

Step 9: Sew your folds

You're going to sew one fold at a time, which is why you made marks. So take all your folds apart except your first (top) fold.

Gently roll your fabric up and over so that the line you drew for this fold is still laying flat on the lining fabric and place a piece of double sided hem tape just below your top fabric, so that when you lay it back down it attaches the back side of your top fabric and the top side of your lining fabric. The line you drew on your fabric and the marks you made on the lining fabric should match up. This is just to hold it in place so you can sew without mistakes.

Step 10: Sew your fold

Place your faux roman on your machine and sew a straight line along the line you made for your first fold, but be sure you're only going through one layer of your top fabric and the lining piece.

Step 11: Repeat for each fold

Lay your faux roman good side up and create your next fold based on the marks you made when you were planning your folds. The line you drew should match up with the mark you made on the lining fabric.

Roll the fabric up, lay the tape, and sew for each additional fold.

How to hang your faux roman shade

Step 1: Prepare your board

Cut your 1 x 3 board to about 3 inches less than the width of your window.

Step 2: Start your screws into the board

Start your screws into your board but don't go through the board. The screws at the edge should be about 3-4 inches in from the edges, than one in the middle.

Step 3: Position your faux roman shade on your board

Lay your roman shade valance out, good side down, and lay your board on top, lining up the edge of the board with the top edge of your fabric.

Lift the board with the fabric and continue your screws through the board (going a little slow) so that they go just through the board and the fabric.

Step 4: Attach the Roman shade valance to the wall

You'll need a buddy for this part. Hold your board against the wall above your window making sure that your faux roman is centered. You'll want to make sure that the fabric goes past the edge of the window evenly on each side.

Holding the board against the wall, lift the faux roman so that you can continue screwing the screws in. Start with the middle screw then, using a level, check that the board is level before drilling the side screws in.

Step 5: Let your roman shade down and adjust the folds

Adjust the folds so they look nice. If you're having a hard time getting your faux roman to lay flat against the edges of the window don't be afraid to grab a staple gun and staple the edges to the wall. Of course you'll want to do this under the folds so no one will see it.

faux roman shadePin

Perfect way to add a fun fabric to a space and hide the hardware of the new blackout shades we put in when they're pulled up!

I've hung DIY faux roman shades in my family room and in my kitchen too!

Ready to create a home that feels like you without the overwhelm?

Inside my course, Style Your Way Home, I'll teach you my step-by-step approach to discovering your unique design style and how to incorporate all the styles you love into your own home design plan. Plus, you'll learn my simple 4 step process to to apply your decor plan to any room in your home so you can make quick and confident decisions and create a home that feels like YOU.