Balloon Shade Sewing Instructions


To add a sophisticated yet elegant look to any room, a balloon shade can be hung in the windows. Where a regular curtain will hang straight down, a balloon or cloud shade drapes and curves out from the wall. While premade balloon shades can be bought in department stores for a hefty price, you can always opt to make your own balloon shades either from your own fabric or from premade basic curtains.

Things You'll Need

  • Rod-pocket curtain
  • Scissors, if needed
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Yardstick
  • Water-soluble fabric marker
  • Plastic craft rings
  • Hand-sewing needle
  • Spray bottle
  • ¼-inch dowel rod
  • Handsaw
  • Staple gun
  • Cotton cording
  • Hook eye screw
  • Cut your curtain, if needed, so it will hang down to your window sill but no longer. Fold over the bottom twice by an inch and pin to form a hem that is open along the sides. Sew the hem in place with a ¼-inch seam.

  • Spread your curtain out flat with the right side of the fabric facing down and the rod pocket of the curtain running horizontally along the top. Draw a vertical line 2 inches away from each side edge all the way down the curtain. Draw two more vertical lines evenly spaced between the outside lines.

  • Mark a small ½-inch-long horizontal line over each vertical line, starting just above the bottom hem and working up every 9 inches. Stop when you are just below the rod pocket.

  • Sew a plastic ring at each horizontal mark along each of your vertical lines. Spray the curtain over with clean water to remove the drawn lines from the back of the fabric.

  • Trim your dowel rod to the width of your window so it fits between the window casing with about 1/2 inch free on each side. Slip your dowel rod through the hem in the bottom of the curtain. Adjust the fabric so it is even before stapling through the fabric every foot and into the rod to hold it in place.

  • Cut your cording into four pieces that are as long as your window plus 2 feet. Tie one end of a cording length to each bottom ring. Thread the cording vertically up the rings above where it is tied until you reach the uppermost ring just before the rod pocket.

  • Bring the ends of the cording together along one side of the curtain and tie them together. Hang up your curtain and find a point along the window casing where your cording is tied together. Screw a hook eye screw into the casing.

  • Pull your cording to raise the shade up as far as you want it and loop the cording around the hook eye screw. Fluff the fabric of the shade to create the ballooned look you want in the material.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make your own curtain base, cut a piece of fabric that is twice the width of your window by the length between your curtain rod and the window sill. Sew a 1-inch hem onto all four sides of the fabric, and then fold over the top edge by 2 inches to make a rod pocket. Use this panel of fabric to proceed to Step 2.
  • When you pick out the curtains or fabric for making your balloon shade, select a fabric pattern that works well with the furniture, prints, fabrics and colors already present in the room you are making the shades for.

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  • "Simply Window Treatments"; Linda J. Selden; 1998
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