DIY pom pom fringe curtains!

When I came across this pom pom fringe at Hobby Lobby the other month, I was completely inspired for the curtains in our van. Our windows are tinted now so no one can sneak-a-peak during the day, but at night if we had a light on, we’d still be in full view.

My mother is brilliant when it comes to sewing. She use to own an interior design business and made custom pillows, comforters, etc. Lucky for me, I inherited her sewing machines but not her skills…yet! So with a little bit of love, a lot of hate and my mother’s instructions, here’s what I tried.

(Oh sure, I look happy now.)

Mom’s amazingly detailed instuctions (that I could not follow due to problems that would surface later):

Sewing simple panels, like the ones I made for our home kitchen, are super easy…

BUT, I’ve never attempted roman shades for a van. I mean, have you?

I’ve been assured that normal roman shades are easy with a little practice, but here’s the problems I encountered while trying to make them fit in the van.

A – Since roman shades typically hang inside the window, like this example*, I needed to reuse the original curtain rod from the van (because it was already a custom fit).

Problem was, after I took them down, I forgot to check to see if they snap back in place again. They don’t.

Why, why did I not keep these you ask? Well, don’t. I just might scream.

I mean, look at all this effort. And for a useless rod that I’ll soon discover.

I won’t get this time in my life back. Depressing.

B – I wanted bright curtains to make the van feel bigger. Problem was, I didn’t double line them so when the weighted rod went in for the folds in the roman shades to fold nicely, you could see it through the fabric.

C – Well, there isn’t a C, just a reiteration of A. THE RODS DON’T GO BACK IN THE VAN!

At this point, with the many hours under my belt, I was cursing. This was just ridiculously not fun and slightly too extravagant for what we needed, I realized. I mean, I could’ve just left everything alone. But I had a vision, you know. That’s when I decided to snag some cheap-o IKEA curtain rods, sew top pockets on the panels, rig them up with gray fabric straps and call it a day (slash a month).

At least I got one thing right in the easy department.

I glued the fringe on with fabric tape and an iron.

It felt really good to finally cross this off our to-do list and luckily the damage was only $22 and 22 days of my life (practically).

To download my mother’s full roman shades instructions, if and only if you’re not making them for a van, click here.

*image from


  1. Donna Montgomery

    FYI to all blog followers: Those sketchy instructions were scribbled down quickly one morning while I was at work. I had to sketch it out (thinking back to how I used to make them) while hiding my secret “project” from my boss and his wife who randomly walked through my office! Haha Shhhhh…don’t tell…anyway, these instructions are NOT my best work! And its obvious because my daughter resorted to cursing! JK…hopefully someone, somewhere can make sense out of the info and make a very basic shade. I LOVE the shade Lauren ultimately made and if I didn’t live TWO STATES AWAY…I could have helped her think things through and maybe spared her a few hair-pulling moments!

    Comment by Donna Montgomery on May 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm

  2. You are hilarious. And I am so impressed because after about four minutes on a sewing machine I would have thrown everything onto the front lawn and taped trash bags to my windows.

    Comment by Karin on June 3, 2011 at 9:02 am

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