Our original shades in the RV were accordion style and super hard to push up and down. While the day and night option was handy, we found ourselves rarely using the day shades.
After we renovated Georgie originally, and put the shades back up we noticed they were starting to fail. Mostly because the strings were getting brittle and weak from being in the sun and getting a lot of use.
While we liked the color and look of them, they just kept breaking and getting harder and harder to fix. So We finally replaced them. Instead of just going out and buy all brand new shades we decided to make our own.
Shades are expensive! And we really like the roman shades, but knew they were way out of our budget. After being inspired by fellow fulltime RVers @weelittlenomands we felt like we could just make our own.
So that is what we did.
It was a little tricky because we were literally just making it up as we went, but I love the final product! They are adorable, functional. and cheap!
We purchased everything we needed from either Michael’s, JoAnne Fabrics, or Lowe’s.
First, I cut the leather straps and taught myself how to attach snaps to leather. I only attached the “fancy” button end to the leather. The other receiving end would be screwed into the shade fixture. I punched a whole in the leather with a special leather working tool, then hammered in the buttons. I made our straps a half inch wide and as long as the leather fabric piece would allow. We weren’t very scientific about this, as long as they were all the same length. We knew the fabric would roll up pretty small.
Next, we cut out the fabric to size and added an inch to the measurements to leave room for a half inch hem on each side. I used liquid stitch to hem everything, because we live in an RV and I don’t have a sewing machine or an iron. I used binder clips and a yard stick to help me keep everything straight. (You have to get creative.)
We stapled the new fabric to the original plastic channel that runs through the fixture. We needed a heavy duty staple gun for this. But it ended up working great! We also stapled the end of the leather straps to that same channel as well. Make sure the “fancy” part is hanging behind the fabric so you can roll it up.
Then, we screwed in the receiving end of the snap to the metal fixture. All of our windows are different sizes so the straps had to be positioned at different lengths. The important part here is just to be consistant.
And that’s it! I hope this inspires someone else to make their own shades that work for their RV. Everyone’s style and RVs are different, so just work with what you have and be creative!
Below I broke down the price of all our materials for this project just to show you how inexpensive all new shades can be for your own RV.