How-to: Repair a Roller Shade with Fabric

roller shade repaired with stash fabric and a vintage pillowcase

How many ways can the bottom of a window roller shade end up in tatters? Let’s see…two kids yanking on it, two cats batting at it, that time that my older daughter thought she could use it to help her climb out the window, Rapunzel-style.

That’ll do it, all right.

Fortunately, a roller shade is easy to repair. Replacing the torn section with fabric won’t hinder the shade’s performance, and considering how roller shades are about the cheapest and most crappy-looking window covering available, anyway, the repair will actually vastly improve the overall look of the entire window treatment.

Here’s how to repair a torn roller shade with fabric that you already own, making it look even better than it did when you first bought it:

cut off the torn portion with a straight edge

To begin, cut off the torn section of the roller shade, using a straight edge and a gridded cutting mat to keep the cut perfectly level. You can easily remove the shade from the window to do this, but since this torn roller shade abuts my work table, I simply pulled it down and worked with it while it stayed mounted.

Measure the width of the shade; this measurement, plus the seam allowance to create a double-fold hem on each side, will be the width of fabric that you need to cut for your repair.

For the length of fabric, use the length of the shade that you cut off, again plus the seam allowance to create a double-fold hem on each end.

Of course, if you’d like to fancy the roller shade up even more, you can piece together two or more fabrics to reach this measurement; for instance, I used both a floral fabric from my stash and a vintage hand-embroidered thrifted pillowcase as my repair fabrics. Just remember to include enough seam allowance to sew enclosed seams in each measurement.

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.


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