Do It Yourself Machine Washable Roller Shades

A roller shade is an asset for a room with bright windows, but using a shade doesn't mean you have to sacrifice when it comes to style or ease of care. Making your own roller shade allows you to choose virtually any color or pattern fabric you want for your room while still constructing a shade that is machine washable. Luckily, you can make your machine washable roller shades for little cost and in very little time.

Measure both the width and length of your window inside the frame. Add 2 inches to the width and 6 inches to the length. Cut a piece of machine washable home d├ęcor fabric to this size. Suitable home decor fabrics include toile, upholstery fabric and denim, but avoid sheer or lightweight fabrics.

Spread the fabric out with the pattern facing down. Fold all of the edges over by 1/2 inch. Fold the edges a second time by 1/2 inch to trap the raw edges in the hem and pin in place. Sew along all four sides to hold the hem, removing the pins as you go.

Select one of the shorter sides of the fabric rectangle to be the bottom edge of your shade. Fold the bottom up by 1 1/2 inches and pin in place. Sew across the bottom of the shade 1 inch away from the edge to form a pocket. Remove any remaining pins.

Cut a length of hook and loop tape to the same measurement as your shade's width. Separate the hook portion from the loop portion. Peel back the paper from the loop portion. Attach the strip to the top edge of your shade fabric directly over the hem. Sew the loop strip to the shade with a zigzag stitch.

Purchase a roller mechanism which includes mounting brackets that will fit inside the frame of your window. Peel back the paper from the hook portion of your tape. Attach this strip down the length of the roller.

Hold the brackets of the roller to each side of the window a 1/2 inch below the top of the casing. Insert the provided screws through the pre-drilled holes in the brackets and screw them into the frame of the window to mount. Insert the ends of the roller into the brackets and push until each end of the roller clicks into place.

Rotate the roller so the hook tape is facing you. Pair the hook and loop tape portions back together to attach the shade to the roller. Cut a dowel rod equal to the width of the window. Slip the dowel into the pocket along the bottom of the shade.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Machine washable fabric
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Roller, including mounting brackets and screws
  • Screwdriver
  • 1-inch self adhesive hook and loop tape
  • 1/4-inch dowel rod
  • Saw


  • When you want to wash the shade simply peel apart the halves of the hook and loop tape and remove the dowel rod.
  • Lower the shade by gripping the dowel rod and pulling downward with steady tension until it reaches the desired height. Raise the shade by pulling the dowel rod down quickly, which will engage the roller, and allow the roller to pull the shade upward until it reaches the desired height.