DIY Button Up Window Shades With Vintage Fabric

DIY Button up shade with vintage floral fabric

Hi everyone!  Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this post about the diy button up window shades done.  This summer has been so busy!  Because I’m behind schedule, I won’t be done completely by the time my daughter starts school as I had planned.  But soon I’ll have plenty of time during the day to finish the room plus I’ll be sharing lots of exciting new projects with you all.  I can’t wait!

Now, back to the shades…

I made a pair of diy button up window shades about 15 years ago for the living room of my first house.  They were also made of a vintage floral fabric and are very similar to this new set.  I would’ve used them again, but they’re not wide enough.  As you can see, my taste in fabric hasn’t changed much!

diy button up shades with two different styles of vintage floral fabric

I got the idea for my diy button up shades from an old issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.  What I love about these shades is their versatility… you can style them several different ways.  (More about that later).   If you have basic sewing skills, these are pretty easy to make.

You will need:

  • fabric of your choice (mine is vintage) – 1 1/2 yards per shade
  • backing fabric (I used linen) – 1 1/2 yards per shade
  • 3 buttons per shade
  • ribbon to tie up the shades (optional)
  • thread
  • twill tape
  • scissors
  • rotary cutter (optional)
  • cutting mat
  • quilting ruler
  • measuring tape
  • iron
  • straight pins
  • hand sewing needle
  • seam ripper
  • sewing machine
  • tension rod(s)

fabric, notions and tools needed to make diy button up shades

Step 1.

Measure the windows and cut both the fabric and backing to those dimensions (mine were 30″W x 52″L).

Step 2.

Pin the right sides together and fold and press the bottom of the fabric and backing a 1/2 inch outward.

Step 3.

Sew three 4 inch pieces of twill tape and form into loops (pointing up) onto the backing fold at the sides and middle.

making a button loop with seam binding

Step 4.

Sew up the 2 sides using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, turn the shade right side out, pull out the loops and sew up the bottom.

sewing machine sewing a seam on vintage floral diy button up shades

Step 5.

At the top, fold the fabric and backing inward a half inch, then press and sew it shut.

Step 6.

Make a curtain rod channel by sewing another seam 1 1/2 inches from the top.  Open the side seams with a seam ripper and insert the tension rod.

Step 7.

Hand sew three buttons at the very top that are in line with the loops at the bottom.

hand sewing a button onto diy button up shades

So here’s how it looks down.

vintage floral shade covering up a window

And yes, I know it’s too short!  Here’s what happened…I measured and wrote down 30″ x 52″ on a scrap of paper.  When I was ready to cut the fabric, I glanced at the paper and saw 30″ x 50″.  Now that I’m in my mid 40’s, I’ve noticed that my eyesight isn’t what it used to be.  My husband got me a pair of reading glasses, but apparently I need to use them while I’m sewing, as well.  Can you believe with my perfectionism I still ended up with shades that are too short?  Oh well.  At least they cover the window for privacy.  And they’re darn cute ­čÖé

Remember I said these can be styled several ways?  Martha designed the shades with two rows of buttons, one at the top and another in the middle.  This way, they can be buttoned up at two different lengths.  She also styled hers with the print side  buttoned up against the backing, so you see the solid colored backing when the shade is down.

For this room, I want to see all of the vintage floral fabric.  So I hung the shade with the print side facing out and I buttoned the blind at the top to the solid backing underneath.  Then I cinched it in the middle with a ribbon and tied a bow at the top.

DIY button up shade made with vintage floral fabric hung in a window and cinched in the middle with a ribbon bow

I just love how pretty my diy button up shades look!  A little short, but cute nonetheless.

If you missed the other projects I’ve been working on for my daughter’s ballet themed bedroom, you can catch up below.

Until next time!


Ballerina Bedroom Preview

My Grandfather’s Dresser

Chalk Paint Bookcase Makeover and My New Swivel Seat

IKEA Girl’s Bedroom Accessories

The IKEA Dollhouse Makeover

Ballerina Themed Bedroom Reveal

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