How to Make Balloon Shades

Author: Staff Writers
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Balloon shades are a type of full window treatment that resemble balloons across the bottom. Here are the steps to create your own.

Gather Materials

Gather a tape measure, wood batten (1" x 1" in size), sewing machine, pins, fabric, hook and length tape, wood screws, a wooden rod, shirring tape, ring tape, and needle and thread to make balloon shades.

Take Measurements

First, measure the inside width of the window from which the balloon shade will hang from. Attach the batten to the inside top casing of the window with wood screws. Then, measure double the width of the batten in fabric. Determine the height of the fabric piece by the batten down to the sill and add three inches.

Cutting & Sewing

Next, cut the fabric to the size. Then, cut a length of hook and length tape that is as long as the batten and attach the hook side to the room facing side of the batten. The loop side will be used later. Next, cut a wooden rod to the length of one half inch less than the length of the batten. Use the sewing machine to hem the fabric with a one half inch hem on each side. Pin one inch of fabric from the top and bottom over. Sew the bottom a quarter inch from the hem.

Taping & Pinning

Cut shirring tape into a size one inch wider than the hem. Knot the cords of each end of the shirring tape, then fold under the ends one half inch and pin. Sew this tape to the shade using the sewing machine. Next, clip four ring tapes of the same size and sew an equal distant apart within the top and bottom of the fabric.

Ruching & Gathering

Tug on the shirring cord so the fabric gathers to the width of the batten. Knot to secure and cut off excess cord. Place the loop tape over the shirring tape and sew altogether. Insert the rod into the bottom pocket and sew the ends closed. The balloon shade is complete.


Works Cited

Sewing for the home:
over 50 stylish projects to give your home a fresh look
Chanhassen, Minn.: Creative Publishing, 2002. Print

Elliott, Lynn, and Lisa Lent
The smart approach to window decor
3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Creative Homeowner, 2007. Print.

Expert Opinion 

Quote:  "When made from soft, sheer, or unlined fabrics, balloon shades drape into gentle poofs. With tightly woven, mediumweight fabrics, the shades have a crisper, more tailored appearance. "

Source:   Sewing for the Home: Over 50 Stylish Projects to Give Your Home a Fresh Look..

Chanhassen, Minn.: Creative Publishing, 2002. Print.

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"How to Make Balloon Shades." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

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