Burlap Roman Shade

I recently had the privilege of making some burlap curtains for a friend. Allisa from Thobe Rentals asked me to make her some window treatments – 2 of the places a couple simple, hemmed panels would suffice. But for the door we decided something a bit more sophisticated was called for.  I suggested a Burlap Roman Shade.  After discussing it and checking with her husband about his opinion of making a Roman shade work there we decided to go for it.
burlap roman shade handmade tutorial

Making the Burlap Roman shade was easy enough.  I just used my own Roman Shade Tutorial.  I’m happy to say that I still make Roman Shades the same – I think that means my tutorial was a good one 😀

After the Burlap Roman Shade was created, I needed to attach some sort of rings to run the roping through instead of just running the roping through the fabric like I usually do.  For a couple of reasons.

1. The roping wouldn’t run through the burlap as easily as cotton fabric.

2. I didn’t like the idea of white polyester roping because this Roman Shade was going to be on the door everyone enters to Allisa’s rental business.  I wanted it to look good from the backside too.

3. Using the hemp rope I was planning to use made it impossible to run the roping through the fabric like I had on other Roman Shades.

burlap roman shade (1 of 15)
Using the white plastic rings sold at the fabric store specifically for Roman Shades wasn’t really the look I was going for either.  So I headed to my local Home Improvement store.  Heading into the hardware section a couple guys who worked there asked me if I needed help.  I told them sort of what I was looking for – they really didn’t get it at all!  I just know they love to see a woman walk in who is trying to create something industrial and ‘cute’ but really isn’t quite sure what to call what she needs to accomplish here goal.

I did find washers that would work for me and I think they were relieved to see me go 😀
burlap roman shade

Some of my tools.  The eye screws are for the roping to run through on the piece of wood at the top.  The hemp rope is what I used for the Roman Shade’s pull ropes.  You can see all the how-to and step-by-step instructions in my Roman Shade Tutorial post.

burlap roman shade (2 of 15)

I quite like the look of burlap made into a Roman shade.

burlap roman shade (3 of 15)

I figured how far in from the edge I wanted the roping to run and stitched a washer to each dowel pocket.  The dowel rods were already in place.

burlap roman shade (5 of 15)

I only stitched one side of he washer on.  The washer needs to be able to move freely in the stitching.

burlap roman shade (4 of 15)

Here you can see this washer is turned over – it swings back the other way too – I did not make the stitching super tight it wouldn’t break as the washer moved around.

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Washers all in a row.  There is another row identical to this one on the other side.
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And here it is installed on the door it was made for!

burlap roman shade (11 of 15)

 Doesn’t that roping look cool with the burlap??

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And the most impressive part – Allisa’s husband, Rob, installed the shade by using the screws that held the molding on around the door of the window.  I think it’s so cool that we could add a Roman Shade to a steel door without adding screws or making new holes in the door.  burlap roman shade (15 of 15)

And from the outside.  Doesn’t that look amazing?!  If I do say so myself.  I love the washers and the hemp rope with the burlap.  So much better than white plastic rings and white polyester rope.burlap roman shade (14 of 15)

One of the curtain panels I made went on a tension rod behind this old window inside the shop.

burlap roman shade (9 of 15)
These panels were added for some texture and fun with the shutters.

burlap roman shade (13 of 15)

The curtains were easy and made a great impact in the shop.  The Burlap Roman Shade was easy too, and such fun to create something a bit unique and something so perfect for this space.

If you are in my area and need a rental for weddings, events, photo shoots, or whatever – Check out Thobe Rentals – she has some great stuff!


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    • says

      Hi Susan – yes that is regular burlap – straight from Joann Fabrics 😀 It sheds some but mostly while you are working with it. I do think if you washed it first, or even just soaked it in water and then hung it outside to dry first it would take some of the shedding out of it.

  1. says

    Jill these look amazing! I am definitely pinning and sharing. I need new roman shades for my back doors and I haven’t liked the look of anything I have seen.

    • says

      Thanks so much Karen! I love the industrial look of the washers and hemp rope. I don’t like seeing the plastic rings and polyester cord from the outside if the shades are down a lot.

  2. JaneEllen says

    I need to make a roman shade for our back door, a steel door. I have a magnetized rod on it. Would be so nice to be able to raise and lower it depending on time of day. Your tutorial is wonderful and you were so right to use washers and jute string for the ropes. I won’t be making a burlap shade for back door but seriously considering for our bathroom window or sewing room window. Think I will line it tho as sewing room window faces west in hot afternoon sun. Lucky lady to have you make her window treatments.
    Happy summer days.
    Need to go wash my arm pitties so we can go to thrift store and coop for more treats for chickens. I am loving having chickens except one of them (our favorite) is being pecked on the head. She has white/black feathers that look like a mop on her head. She’s quite a social chicken.
    Swear if I go outside for one minute it’s so hot I’m soaking right away. Hate to offend anybody. How come men can go to store all grubby, sweaty but a woman would be scorned for putrifying the place up? lol Just curious. Happy summer days dear friend.

    • says

      Yes, lining the roman shades when they need to keep out the hot sun is a great idea. The linen roman shades I made for a friend a couple years ago were lined to protect the linen and create a better light block.

  3. brenda says

    you are a born instructor. you make it all seem so easy and your explanations are not preachy or coming across as if you are talking to a bunch of do dos
    thank you.

    • says

      Awww, thanks Brenda! I try to write instructions the way I would want to read them if I were making it for the first time! Thanks for the great complement!

  4. says

    Perfect timing on this post! I need to make some Roman shades for m kitchen and one of them is for a new steel door that I am not allowed to put holes in!! Do you have any pictures of how it was attached to the door? I’m saving this post and the post of your tutorial so I can do this!!! Love the look of your curtains and shades!!!

    • says

      Hi Susan – sorry it took me so long to get back to you. There is a close up pic in the post of one side of the shade screwed into the door. The screws the farthest out on the top of the trim around the window were removed. I think longer screws were needed to go through the board and into the door. Drill holes through the board in the spots where the screw holes on the door line up and just screw through the board and into the holes in the trim! Let me know if you need more details – I can go back to the shop and get some more pics if you need them.

  5. says

    My extra-large kitchen window needs a Roman shade!! I just need to find the perfect material…..burlap could definitely work with my kitchen décor!

    • says

      Hi Tonya – this would be great in a kitchen – or if you decided not to use burlap I think the washers and hemp rope would still be great on another fabric :)

    • says

      Thanks Jami. This hemp rope is from Hobby Lobby I think, and is pretty thick. It might wear more than the polyester cording but I think it will be a long time before it wears enough to wear through. I like it enough that it would be worth it to me to have to change out the rope if and when it wears too much.

      • says

        Oh, I totally agree – definitely worth it, Jill! Just wondering the type of rope/twine you used, as I’ve gotten some really low-quality stuff lately. :) I think the hemp may be better wearing than regular jute, so I’ll look for that – thanks!

        • says

          Hi Jami – the rope I used was from Hobby Lobby – I don’t have the packaging anymore :( It’s not as thin as the polyester cording normally used for Roman shades but with the washers being a bit larger than the plastic rings it worked just fine. I did have to use larger eye screws so the rope would go through those easily.

  6. says

    Our youngest daughter just gave me this website, Pin it, today.
    In the next few weeks, “hopefully” by the end of May, we will be building a 10′ x 10′
    gazebo, for me to sit outside and cross stitch,(31 yrs. this July). I sat outside last yr. for almost 4 months and loved it, and I told her today, that I wanted Roman Shades,to “block” some of the sun,while I am stitching. We found this part on Pin it.
    As the gazebo will be made out of pressured treated lumber and stained with a “clear” stain, I think these burlap shades will “fit the bill” for our gazebo.
    I will add pics. of the “finished” gazebo to my website, that she made me for my 61st. b/d.
    Wonder idea.
    Now going “back” to Pin it, to “browse” some more to get “more” ideas.
    GBU all.

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