Today I’m going to show you how to make a No Sew Privacy Liner for Woven Shades.
If I can do this – a gal who doesn’t own a sewing machine – you can do this!
I’m defining ‘no sew’ as not using a sewing machine. My DIY does include a needle and thread. If you are really opposed to that, I have an alternative that is truly no-sew. It gets the job done. However, in my experience, it is more expensive, doesn’t look as good, and it won’t last as long. Yep! I tried ALL the techniques I could think of in
my desperation the process of figuring out this No Sew Privacy Liner for Woven Shades. I will even share (with pictures!) how I messed up along the way.
Also, you can easily substitute the hemming parts of this DIY with actual sewing on a sewing machine. If I had your mad sewing skills, I’d probably do the same thing!
There are a variety of reasons why you might need to DIY a privacy liner for a woven shade. You are here, so I know you’ve got your reason!
In my case, I thought I could get away with using a regular, unlined woven shade in a hallway window. After I had the unlined woven shade installed I decided I’d really like more privacy from that window. My neighbors would probably appreciate it too! Hence the need to figure out how to DIY a no sew privacy liner for woven shades.
See what I mean…If I can see them, they can see me.
This project snowballed from there and I ended up making privacy liners for multiple shades in my house.
Materials Needed for this No Sew Privacy Liner for Woven Shades: unlined woven shade, privacy fabric/drapery lining, needle and thread, scissors, Liquid Stitch, measuring tape, pencil, iron and ironing board, straight edge or L-square (helpful, but not necessary). If you are going for the truly no-sew option you can eliminate the needle and thread, but you will need safety pins and sticky-backed velcro or double-sided tape.
Where do you get privacy fabric? You can buy it at any fabric store. It may also be called drapery lining. I ordered mine from Amazon. (The fabric I ordered isn’t available at the time I’m writing this, but this one is similar.) You could also use a fabric that isn’t specifically labeled as privacy fabric or drapery lining. You just need fabric that you can’t see through when you hold it up to a light source.
Please note that adding a privacy liner to your woven shade is going to make the shade ever-so-slightly heavier. I haven’t noticed this affecting the performance of my woven shades, but it is something to keep in mind. It might even void any warranty you have on the shades.
DIY NO SEW PRIVACY LINER FOR WOVEN SHADES TUTORIAL
Woohoo! Here we go…
Please note: This tutorial should work for both cordless and corded woven shades. I’ve only purchased woven shades from two different companies, so I haven’t tried this tutorial with all shades on the market. If your woven shade looks similar to mine on the back, the tutorial should work.
If you’d rather watch a video on how to make the privacy liner, I will save it in a stories highlight on Instagram.
Step #1: Measure the Back of Your Woven Shade
Lay your woven shade on a hard, flat surface with the back of the shade facing up so that you can see the cords on the back. Make sure the woven shade is pulled down as far as it can go. The cordless shades like to slowly inch back up when laid flat, so keep an eye on this when measuring.
Now measure the back of the shade to determine how big to cut your privacy liner. You can decide if you want your privacy liner to go all the way to the edge of the shade or not. I elected to do mine about half an inch from the edge since my window frame would cover that unlined area from a privacy standpoint. Also, I needed a little wiggle room just in case I messed up somewhere along the way. It happens!
Keep in mind that if you DO NOT run your privacy liner all the way to the edge of your shade, light will get through that area.
Once you have your dimensions, add 1/2-inch – 1-inch to each side to account for the hem.
So, if you want your privacy liner to end up being 20 inches x 30 inches and you are using a 1-inch hem, you’ll actually cut the fabric to 22 inches x 32 inches.
Step #2: Cut Your Privacy Liner to Size
If you’re like me and don’t sew frequently, then the most tedious part of this project is making sure you cut your privacy liner fabric square. You’re going for a rectangle, not a rhomboid.
First, make sure you don’t have wrinkles in the fabric that are going to mess you up.
Second, one side of your fabric is probably already straight (i.e. the top or bottom of the bolt), but you can double check against a straight edge.
Third, to get an exact 90-degree angle you can use an L-square to help with this or the edge of a table. Just make sure your table has truly square corners if using the table.
Step #2: Iron Guide Lines for Your Shade
This step is optional, but you’ll like the end result much better if you iron guide lines for your shade. I learned this the hard way!
Think of these ironed guide lines (creases where the shade folds up) as a way to train your shade to fold up nicely. The shade will still fold up if you don’t do this, but it will look a little messier from the back.
To figure out where to iron my guide lines, I laid my privacy liner out flat on the back of the shade. It’s important to line it up where you plan on securing it in place.
Next, feel for the round rings on the back of the shade. Using a pencil, make a light dot or mark on your fabric everywhere there is a ring. You’ll use these pencil marks as a guide to fold your liner and iron it.
Keep the iron out because you need it for the next step!
Step #3: Hem the Liner Using Liquid Stitch
After your rectangle is cut to size (finish size plus the hem area), now you need to hem the edges.
There are many ways to do this, including free-handing it, but I use a pencil to mark a line along my hem mark. Then I fold over the hemmed edge and iron along the line. You can trim some of the corners so there is less bulk (i.e. they lay flatter) if you want.
Then lay your privacy liner on a hard, flat surface and use your Liquid Stitch to glue down the hem. Liquid Stitch is a permanent adhesive. I usually set a book on each corner to make sure to hold the fabric down while the glue dries. It doesn’t take long – maybe 20 – 30 minutes.
Step #3: Attach Privacy Liner to the Woven Shade
Now that you’ve made your privacy liner, it is time to attach it to the woven shade.
Lay your fully extended shade on a hard, flat surface with the back or window side of the shade facing up. There should be a series of rings or clips on the back. Those are what you are going to attach your privacy liner to.
Note for a true NO SEW OPTION: If you want to double check that this is going to work before getting out the needle and thread, I recommend you follow the next steps, but use safety pins instead of a needle and thread. Once you are satisfied with how it works, you can remove the safety pins and attach the liner with the thread. Or just leave the safety pins if you don’t care how the liner looks from the window side or don’t want to use a needle and thread. Keep in mind that we won’t attach the top and bottom of the liner until after the liner is attached to the rings. The no sew option for attaching the top and bottom of the liner to the shade is detailed at the end of Step #4.
Line up your privacy liner on the back of your shade. Be careful with the positioning. Once you start attaching the liner to the rings, you can’t adjust it without starting over.
Start at either the top or bottom of the shade.
Through the fabric, find one of the rings and pinch the fabric around the ring with your finger. See the below photo as a reference.
You’ll use a needle and thread to attach the liner to the ring. Just loop it through the fabric and around the ring a couple of times. I used embroidery thread, so I only had to loop it a couple of times until I felt it was secure enough for the long haul. If using regular thread, I’d loop it a few more times for good measure.
Proceed up one side of the shade attaching the liner the rings, making sure to straighten the fabric of the privacy liner as you go. When you’ve completed one side, work your way down the other side of the shade.
Step #4: Attach Top, Bottom, and Sides of Liner
You are almost done! The last thing to do is attach the top, bottom, and sides of your liner to the shade.
There are two ways to do this. You can use a needle and thread. You can also go the totally no-sew route and use sticky-backed velcro or double-sided tape.
Needle and Thread Option: My preferred way to attach the top, bottom, and sides of the liner to the shade is using a technique very similar to how we attached the shade to the rings with a needle and thread.
Start with securing the sides and working from the bottom of the shade up, run an imaginary line from the point where you secured the first ring to the shade to the very edge of the shade. You’ll then find the vertical line where the reeds of the shade are stitched together with thread. You’re going to loop your thread through one of those lines to secure the liner to the shade, tying it off on the back.
Use a thread that corresponds to the color of the shade’s stitching. In this case, I used a dark brown thread and FROM THE FRONT it blends in perfectly with the woven shade. If I would have used a dark brown or black liner, it would have blended in perfectly from the back too.
Use the same technique to stitch the liner to the top and bottom of the shade, hiding your stitch in the stitching of the liner.
Please note: You don’t HAVE to secure the side edges of the liner. The liner isn’t going to fall off if the sides aren’t secured. However, the shade will fold up nicer if the sides are secured. If you want to see how it folds up before you secure the sides, have someone hold the shade for you and then fold the shade up to see how it looks from the back.
This is what it will look like if your liner isn’t secured to the shade on the sides AND if you didn’t iron guide lines where the shade folds. It will still provide privacy, but it is going to look like a mess.
When you have secured the sides, tops, and bottoms of your liner to the shade with thread, the below photo shows what it will probably look like.
Although, yours will undoubtedly look more professional than mine!
Remember, if I would have used a dark liner, you wouldn’t be able to see my dark brown stitches at all from the back. However, if someone is close enough to my windows to even see these stitches, I probably have a whole different set of things to worry about!
No-Sew Option to Attach Sides, Top, and Bottom of Liner to Shade: Start with either the top or bottom of your liner and attach the velcro or double-sided tape at the very edge of the fabric (basically, along the hemmed area). Then remove any backing on the tape/velcro, pull the fabric taut, and carefully press the fabric to the shade to secure. Repeat for the other end (top/bottom) of the liner. Please note: I didn’t have good luck with this tape solution lasting more than a few weeks, but maybe you’ll have better results.
For the sides, you’ll just need to select a handful of spots along each side of the shade to cut a 1 – 2 inch strip of velcro/tape and secure the fabric to the shade. Make sure the tape doesn’t hit right where there’s a bend in the shade. You don’t HAVE to secure the sides, but you’ll find the shade doesn’t fold up as nicely if you don’t. Again, I have not had good luck with the tape, especially on the sides, keeping the fabric in place for more than a few weeks.
Step #5: You are DONE! Hang Your Shade in the Window and Enjoy the Privacy
Awesome job! You made it through this tutorial and you now have a woven shade with a privacy liner attached. I’m sure your neighbors will thank you. Ha!
Here’s how my shade with the DIY privacy liner looks from direct on. Notice you can see where a bit of light is getting through on the sides, but no one can see through it. This is partly because I did not run my liner all the way to the edge of the shade and partly because I could probably secure the sides in a few other places. However, I don’t care enough to do that!
All in all, was this worth the trouble? Since I couldn’t return the custom-ordered shades, yes.
If I would have realized just how transparent the woven shades were without a liner, I probably would have purchased shades with a privacy liner and saved myself the hassle.
On the other hand, I did save a bunch of money (definitely not time) by adding the privacy liner myself. Since I already owned the thread, the cost of each liner is less than $10 of fabric.
It’s all about the tradeoffs.
If you DIY a no sew privacy liner for your woven shades it would make me so happy if you let me know in the comments section.
If you have a question also let me know in the comments section. It took me longer to write this tutorial than it did to make the privacy liner, but I still might have missed an important detail.
If you improve on the process, make sure you detail how so we can all learn together!
Thanks for being a part of this helpful community!
P.S. I am saving a video of how I made this privacy liner on my Instagram highlights, in case it is easier to learn that way!
Products For This Tutorial:
Privacy Fabric/Drapery Lining – The fabric I ordered is unavailable right now, but this one is similar and has good reviews.
Cordless Woven Shades – I ordered the Windows and Garden brand from Amazon in Ashbury Camel color from Amazon and haven’t had any complaints. The shades have excellent reviews. Just make sure you measure carefully before ordering. I did end up ordering my shades about an inch longer than my window measurements the second time around just to make sure the shade really kissed the windowsill when extended. I just wish these shades came lined so that I didn’t have to make the liner myself.
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