DIY Faux Bamboo Shade from Placemats

~Bamboo Shade~


Bamboo Shade Banner

I have loved the look of bamboo shades for a while now. A beautiful bamboo shade paired with gorgeous curtains is a look to long for! Here a few examples of the look:

bamboo shade and curtains

via BHG

Bamboo shades and curtains

via Traditional Home


Sometimes…It’s Okay to be Fake

When I began my home office makeover I really didn’t intend to use a bamboo shade. But one day I was at the Dollar Tree and I found this…

Bamboo Placemat

I stood there holding the placemat…moving it…bending it…and then it struck me! I could create the “look” of a bamboo shade without it actually being a working shade. Which is fine, because I don’t need the “shade”…just the look!

Bamboo Shade

I love it! I love the bamboo with the Chinoiserie style fabric of the curtains.

The bonus…quick, easy and cheap!

Let me give you the details…

I wanted the placemat to “roll” under like a real shade, so I knew that they would need to be hung from the side of the placemat. Does that make sense? Basically the “sticks” would need to parallel to the top of the window.

Office Curtains

I measured the inside of the window because I knew the shade must hang inside the window. It also removes the need for any type of hardware.

The inside of my window is 34″ wide. I used three placemats, which were 13 inches each. Two of the placemats were cut down to 10.5″ and the third one was kept at 13″. I arranged them with the 13″ placemat in the center.

Bamboo Shade

I put a small amount of hot glue down the edges of the placemats and joined them together.

Bamboo Shade

Bamboo Shade

Next, I needed to create the “strings” that real shades have. Plus, I needed to hide the area where the placemats were joined together with the hot glue.

Bamboo Shades

I simply hot glued a strand along the area of the shade where the placemats met.

Bamboo Shade

When I added the twine, I wrapped it over the top and left some length on the bottom because when I “rolled” my shade under a little, I was able to use the extra length at the bottom to hold the folded end up.

Bamboo Shade

I created the rolls of the shade so that it would have the appearance of a real shade, pulled up to let the light in. I pulled the ends of the twine around the back of the shade and hot glued it to the back, at the top. I added some extra hot glue along the seams on the back of shade to reinforce where the placemats meet.

Bamboo Shade

Once you have the shade constructed, all you need to install the shade is a staple gun! I placed the shade inside the window and went underneath the shade to staple it to the bottom of the top window seal.

Bamboo Shade tutorial

As you can see, about an 1 1/2″ of the shade sits flat on the underside of the window seal. I stapled it about every 6″. When you are done stapling and you lower the shade it will look nice and flush against the window seal.

Bamboo Shade

I love it!

Bamboo Shade

It’s one of my proudest DIY moments!

Bamboo Shade

I love my DIY faux bamboo shade made from three $1.00 placemats! It’s an easy, stunning look! Just remember, it’s not a working shade. But if you want the look and do not need the privacy or light filtration, then it just might be the answer for you!

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Linking to:

RemodelaholicEast Coast CreativeThe 36th AvenueBetween Naps on the Porch, DIY Showoff, Alderberry Hill, Uncommon Designs, twelve O eight, Home Stories A to Z, Setting for Four, The Ironstone Nest, House of Hepworths, Design, Dining and Diapers, A Night Owl Blog, Classy Clutter, It’s Overflowing, Mom 4 Real


  1. says

    I am totally amazed at how well this turned out ! Who would have thought. Sometimes the look is all we are after how clever of you to find a way to make it happen.

  2. says

    Wow! I so know what I’m doing in my dining room now to go with my sheers. Brilliant!

    BTW, I found you through Transformation Tuesday 😉

  3. says

    Leslie – your makeover is like a room from a magazine!! WOW!! You are so clever to use placemats and twine to create an expensive looking roman shade! Love your new curtains and that Waverly (I think it’s Waverly!) pattern stencil! Gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity at Project Inspire{d}!

    • says

      Thanks for the kinds comments Heather! Made my day! I’ve still got a lot of work to do in that room, but it’s proving to be fun. I love my “shade.”

  4. says

    That is SO cool, Leslie! What a clever idea. It looks real, looks awesome! I’m sharing a link back in this week’s DIY highlights! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity! 🙂

  5. Beverly says

    You are a genius! I have wanted blinds in my kitchen forever, but my windows are wonky and I’d have to special order. Special order = $$$$$. I’m too cheap for that. I have passed these very placemats at my local Dollar Tree with the thought that they’d do the trick for me, but couldn’t figure out the details. And thanks to Pinterest, I’ve stumbled upon you and your instructions! Thanks! I’m off to Dollar Tree!!

  6. Gina F says

    I have been trying to find an idea like this for so long. Thank you so much for your brilliant creativity! I just googled faux bamboo shade and found your site. I wanted a shade in the kitchen to match our working ones, but didn’t want to pay for a real one since it is never closed. Thanks so much!

  7. says

    Love this, and it just what I need at work. I think I’ll take it a step further and make it a working shade by attaching a second cord of twine all around it, but hot gluing only the top 9-12 inches and fold up the shade, then tie it.When the afternoon sun comes, I’ll just untie the cord for shade. I can’t staple here, so I’ll just take some wide ribbon and hot glue tabs on the backside so it can hang from a skinny tension rod. Thanks!!!

  8. says

    Wow! What a fabulous looking easy inexpensive way to dress up your windows! Love it and am pinning for later use. Thanks so much for sharing this great tutorial!!
    Krista @thehappyhousie

  9. says

    What a fabulous idea!! I never would have even *thought* that these weren’t the real thing. We’ll be featuring this at Someday Crafts tomorrow, so come check it out if you have a minute!

  10. Gilmer Gal says

    I am so happy to see this blog. It couldn’t be more timely for me, as I am addressing my kitchen windows and this is perfect! God works in mysterious ways 🙂