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Tie-up shades are a great way to add some texture to a window as well as do something other than long curtains. Because these will be in my playroom I didn’t want curtains hanging to the floor. I saw lots of curtains rods being pulled down if I chose to go that route. So this was a simple way to dress up the windows and still offer some privacy.


  • 2 yards of fabric for each window
  • 4 – 3″ x 40″ strip in a coordinating fabric
  • pins
  • sewing machine
  • coordinating thread
  • quilting ruler
  • cutting mat
  • rotary cutter
  1. Cut 4 coordinating stripes of 3″ x 40″ fabric for the ties. Iron each side about 1/4″ under and then iron the strip in half.

2. Sew it together around the edged. I sewed it as close to the edge as possible.

It looks like this when done.

3. I have a 35″ wide window so I cut my fabric 47″ x 63″ because i wanted it to be hung on the outside of my window.

4. Turn the fabric over to the wrong side and then tuck under your fabric 1/2″ and pin on all four sides and then sew fabric down.

5. Pin the top of the shade 2 1/2″ down and pin in place. This will be the pocket for your curtain rod so make sure you leave enough room for the rod to fit in. Sew in place. I actually used the sewing line as my guide and tried to sew on top of that.

6. Now measure 16″ from the top of the shade and cut your shade.

7. Measure 9″ from the side edge and lay the tie down. The edge of the tie should be at 9″ from each side of the shade. With right sides together pin the top of the shade and then one of the ties, then the bottom half of the shade, then the other tie. Pin in place.

Close up view

8. Now pin the rest of the shade with right sides together. It was pretty easy to do with this pattern because I just matched up the stripes. Sew about 3/8″ from the edge.

9. Press the seam flat so it will lay all nice when you hang it.

10. Then I sewed the two edges of the fabric down so it layed flat.

To make one it probably took me about an hour. I do not claim to be a seamstress, but this really is an easy project.

They are nice and bright and perfect for a playroom!

Cost: $35 for the fabric for three windows. I used some leftover blue fabric for the ties that I had laying around. I also already had the thread.

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  1. Adorable. But I have to admit that I only looked at the finished project. Sewing stymies me…therefore, I prefer not to deal with it, and instead enjoy the results of your labor! You rock!

  2. Great Tutorial, I am such a visual person, thanks so much for doing this.
    I JUST LOVE these curtains, perfect fabric,just adorable!
    Great job!

  3. Great instructions! I like the idea of tie-up shades.I need to dress 6 windows that all have different sill depths. But I can’t find any pics of a tie-up shade fully closed or fully open. I only have 1″ of sill room in one window, and 2 windows have full screens on the inside.I have to be careful about the size of the “bunch” (folded material when it is tied up as high as it will go). They are north facing windows, so I will want to open them fully some days to get as much light as I can. Can you tell me how deep the “bunch” is when it is fully up? (I plan to use very light material, so my bunch is guaranteed to be less.)
    Thanks a ” bunch”! 🙂

  4. I just used your tutorial to make a little tie-up shade for my daughter’s room. She has one teeny-tiny square window in her room, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to find curtains already made that would fit it. Anyway, the shade turned out super cute! I used ribbon instead of fabric for the ties, and it looks great. Thanks for walking me through it. I am such a novice sewer, it took me almost 3 hours, but I am so excited about the results. Thank you!

  5. These are great! I’ll have to try making some for my kitchen. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  6. The shades are adorable! I just bought some as I am definitely not a seamstress but am embarassed to admit I can't figure out how to tie them up. No instructions so I think they thought I could figure it out… There is the loop in the back and two long strips but I am confused… Can you help me? Thanks so much!

  7. Really good tutorial, Beckie! I have similar treatments in my girls' rooms, but I didn't make them myself. Now I know how if I have to redo with new fabric. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  8. Thanks for reposting this! I am going to make my neice and nephew curtains for their room for Christmas and this would be great. My only question is that their windows are 60" wide do you think that would work? Or would I need to add another tie in the middle to keep all the fabric up? Thanks!

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