How to Make Arch Shades

A common architectural device used to draw the eye upward and create the illusion of height and majesty is the arched window.

The combination of height with the rounded feature of the arch compliments the light entering the window to imbue an attractive quality in any space. If you have an arched window in your home, don't cover up the beauty using standard straight window shades. You can make your own beautiful arch window shades that will accent and flatter your windows all without even using a sewing machine.

Measure the width of the window with a measuring tape. If you want to make the shades gathered, multiply the width by 1.5.

Add 1 inch to the width measurement for seam allowances. This is how wide you need to cut the fabric for the shades.

Measure the window from the peak of the arch vertically down to the point where you want the curtains to stop. This is the height of the window shades.

Measure the diameter of the curtain rod and add the number to the height of the shades. So if the rod is 3 inches in diameter and the shade height is 18 inches you will get a new height of 21 inches.

Add 1 inch to the new height measurement for seam allowances. Cut the fabric to this length to achieve the correct size piece of fabric.

Lay the fabric with the right side facing down and fold over three of the edges by ½ inch. Leave one of the short lengths of the fabric unfolded.

Apply the seam tape along the three folded edges and iron it down to the fabric. Make sure the tape is touching the raw edges of the folded fabric and the wrong side fabric below it.

Fold the remaining unfolded edge over by the width of the curtain rod plus ½ inch. So for the 3-inch rod you would fold the fabric over by 3 ½ inches.

Apply seam tape along the last open edge in the same with you did with the other three sides. When you iron the tape in place you will create a pocket along the short length of the fabric.

Hold the curtain rod against the arch in the position you want. Make the wall with a pencil at each end of the rod.

Install the brackets included with the rod onto the wall at the pencil marks. Use a power drill and screws to secure the brackets in place.

Slide the curtain rod through the pocket at the top of the fabric and insert the rod ends into the brackets. Make sure the seam tape is facing out the window.

Wrap the tassel cord around the shades at waist height and pull the cord to one side of the window.

Adjust the height of the tassel until you like the look and mark the wall with a pencil. Attach the tie back hook at this point.

Loop the cord around the tie back hook and tie it around the shades. Release the cord when you want the shades to cover the window fully.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Curved curtain rod
  • Iron-on seam tape
  • Iron
  • Pencil
  • Power drill
  • Screws
  • Tassel cord
  • Curtain tie back hook

Tip

  • Use seam tape in a coordinating color to your shades fabric so it is inconspicuous.

Warning

  • Do not use sheer fabric if you intend the shades to serve as privacy from the window.

About the Author

Based in Princeton, N.J., Jim Stewart has been writing travel- and business-related articles since 1987. His work has appeared in “Inc.” and “Business 2.0” magazines and online at Wired. Stewart received the John Goldenberg Award in 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from The Ohio State University in Ohio.