May 29, 2019

DIY No-Sew Roll Up Shades

We finished our guest room reveal for the Spring 2019 One Room Challenge a few weeks ago and ever since then I've been flooded with requests for a tutorial on the DIY roll up shades I made. They are super easy and since I had drop cloths on hand, it was a great project for the budget. If you can use scissors, you can do this DIY — trust me.

First off, let's start with my inspiration pin. Yep, Pinterest to the rescue again and per the usual, I cannot find where the original image came from. It was a really simple idea and since I had already worked with drop cloths as curtains before, I knew I could whip something similar up.

I tried dyeing the drop cloths to get this pretty heather gray color, but once I got a sliver the right color, I held it up to the window and knew the original canvas color would work better.

Canvas drop cloths (how many and size depends on size of window)
Leather straps (or remnants)
Eyelets (size depends on how thick you want the straps)

1. Step one is to gather all your supplies and make sure the window is ready to go.

A few notes on the supplies: 100% of this tutorial is up to your discretion. If you want to dye the drop cloths, dye them. If you want different colored leather or want to use rope instead, if you want black or silver cup hooks, you do you homie. 

2. Measure the window. The size of the window(s) will determine how many drop cloths you use, so be sure you do this before you buy them! Mine are 32"x 53" so I only had to use one 9'x 12' I had laying around.

3. Measure and mark the window dimensions on the drop cloth. You're going to cut along these lines so it fits in the window frame. If you have a long yard stick it'll be easier to make the lines straight.

4. Cut along the lines. If you know how to use a sewing machine, you can also sew the edges but since this post is titled "No-Sew", you don't have to. I did sew mine because I wanted a specific look on the hems and it's easy to use the machine, but again there's no need.

5. Make sure the cut-out panel fits in between the window frame. If not, do some trimming.

6. Screw in the cup hooks. I spaced mine by sight, but if you're more technical feel free to whip out the measuring tape.

7. Mark where the hooks will go through the drop cloths, you'll be cutting holes here. Again, I did mine by sight but you can also measure.

8. Cut a slit in the drop cloth where you just marked so the hook comes through. If you're feeling like that's a little unfinished to you, you can also put some eyelets in it, but it's not necessary.

9. Roll up the shade to the desired length you want it to sit at and measure from the back of hook to the front of the hook so the roll sits on the tape. This is the length the strap will need to be to hold the roll up.

10. Now you need to make the straps. I got leather remnants from Hobby Lobby because I was short on time, but it would be the easiest to order just a roll of leather strip.

If you have remnants, you'll have to cut both long and short wise to get the long narrow strips. If you have the pre-cut straps, just cut the length you measured from the back of the hook to the front of the hook.

11. Punch a hole in  both ends of the strap so you can put the eyelets in.

12. Put the eyelets in. If you don't know how to do that, watch this really good video. You need an eyelet (also called a grommet) tool and a hammer.

13. Hook one end of the strap on the hook.

I actually had to cheat a little here and had to use string as an extender because my leather remnants weren't long enough (another good reason to get the big roll). So you'll see the string in my example but ideally your's will be long enough to go the whole way.

14. Put the drop cloth panel back up through the holes you cut earlier.

15. Roll up the curtain and hook the other end of strap on the hook to hold it in place.

That's all! Its really a simple DIY but if you have trouble, be sure to give me a shout.


  1. Love this! I actually wanted to do something similar for my plant hangers - but I couldn't find leather I liked in my local shops and went with macrame loops (it's what I know!) instead. I didn't even know you could buy remnants! Gotta keep my eye out for that for future projects.

    1. Thanks Kayla!! Yes, remnants are in most craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels. They have tons of leather stuff!


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