DIY Roll-Up Canvas Shades

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As a fabric, canvas comes in a variety of prints for any budget. It is also durable and easy to clean. Making canvas roll-up shades allows you to customize your window coverings, no matter where you live. You can make roll-up shades in a number of ways, including no-sew versions if you don't sew.

Measurement

  • It is important to get your measurements correct. Decide whether your shades will rest inside the window frame or outside. For the inner frame, measure the width and height of your window. Your wooden roller must match this width. If you are going with an outer version, then measure 4 inches on each side of the window and about 6 inches lower than the window.
    When cutting your material, add 12 inches to the length so that the dowel can be covered by fabric at all times. For added precaution, give yourself about 2 inches on each side of the material for the width; this can be trimmed at a later point.
    A thicker fabric will hang better and make rolling easier, so look for heavy canvas. Apply a stiffener or lining if necessary. Lining not only makes the shade look neater, but it also protects your fabric from sunlight damage.

Simple Rollup Shade

  • A simple roll-up shade uses no pulley system. The shades will be manually rolled up and secured. Strips of fabric about double the length of the shade plus 12 inches are sewn along the length of the fabric; you can also use Velcro strips instead. If you have printed canvas, keep the direction of your print in mind while working. The bottom needs an anchor to allow it to hang nicely; sew a wooden slate 1/2 inch smaller than your fabric into the hem.

No-sew shade

  • You can make no-sew versions using glue or Velcro to attach the fabric to the top dowel. The hem is made of fusible lining. Snap-on fasteners can be attached to secure the rolled-up blinds. You can use Velcro to attach the shade to the wall. This version is useful for renters worried about making holes.

Vinyl shade

  • You can buy a vinyl roll-up shade and replace it with fabric. Use the vinyl to determine how much fabric you need. You can also glue your canvas directly on the vinyl. If you use an old shade, mark the direction of the mechanism so that you know how it should hang when reassembling it.

Roller shade kit

  • You can buy a roll-up shade kit and assemble it yourself. Measure the length of your window to determine what you need, and follow the manufacturer's instructions to assemble the system. A kit usually includes a dowel with an inner spring mechanism, nails and metal brackets for both ends, and a beaded chain.

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