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What You Need To Know

Each specialty window product requires a template. A template must be cut to the exact size and shape of your window; it is the manufacturer’s pattern for your specialty window product. The quality of the finished product is only as good as the quality of the template.


Acceptable Materials for Making Templates:*

  • Butcher Paper
  • Construction Paper
  • Craft Paper
*Please note the material used must lay flat and be clean. It must not be stretched, tear easily, or be taped.

Unacceptable Materials for Making Templates:

  • Newspaper
  • Plastic
  • Fabric
  • Tissue Paper
  • Wrapping Paper
It is very important you do not fold your template. Your template must be mailed to ABWM in a mailing tube.

On the template in permanent marker, please indicate the following:
  • Your Name
  • Measurements of each side/width/height (to the nearest 1/8")
  • Measure window and measure template – these measurements should be equal
  • Inside Mount (deductions will be taken by the manufacturer)
  • Mark which side faces the room (interior view; exterior view)
  • Indicate what type of blind, manufacturer, color, and style of blind you are ordering
  • Include the reference number you received with pricing

How To Make Your Own Template:

  • Step 1: Measure the size of the window from top to bottom of the window opening. Take all measurements to the nearest 1/8”.
  • Step 2: Lay the brown shipping paper or craft paper flat against the window opening. Cut the paper approximately 10” larger than the window opening on each side. Attach the paper over the window opening using non-abrasive stickers or tape. Double check to make sure the paper is flat.
  • Step 3: Place the paper on the window and trace the pattern with a pencil.
  • Step 4: Before removing the paper from the window, check the measurements by measuring the width and height of the template drawing and compare the measurements taken in Step 1. If the two sets of measurements do not match exactly, check to make sure you drew the shape of the window opening correctly.
  • Step 5: Remove the template from the wall and fold over the stickers or tape to the back of the template. Lay the template on a flat surface and cut out the shape exactly as it was drawn. When you are finished cutting out the template, place the template over the window opening to double check the dimensions.
  • Step 6: On your template write your name, phone number, template measurements – width and height, color name and number, and manufacturer. Label the top and bottom of the template, and which side faces the room. Note all measurements directly on the template.
  • Step 7: Mail the template in a mailing tube. Two tubes can be taped together for large templates. Seal the ends.
  • Step 8: Mail the template to the following address:

            American Blinds Wallpaper and More
            ATTN: Specialty Dept.
            1302 Waugh Drive #943
            Houston, TX 77019-3908

Measuring Guidelines For All Specialty Shapes

  • Always measure the window intended for the treatment.
  • Use a ¾" or 1" steel tape measure.
  • Measure the width and write it down; then measure the height and write it down.
  • Measure to the nearest 1/8”.
  • Do not transpose your measurements.
  • Do not assume a window is square.
  • Do not take any deductions in your measurements. Factory deductions will vary based on product and mounting selections. The manufacturer will make the necessary deductions for inside mounts.
  • Measuring Inside Mounts: The diagram or template should be made from the opening of the specialty shaped window. The manufacturer will make adjustments for a proper fit. Measure the depth inside the window opening. Measure the window rounding down to the nearest eighth of an inch. Arches mount from the bottom. Side mounts may be available for some products.
  • Measuring Outside Mounts: The diagram or template should be made large enough to completely cover the window. Outside mounts are made exactly to the measurements specified.
  • Measuring Angles and Triangles: Measure all sides to ensure accuracy. Slope angles must be measured in degrees using a protractor. A template is required.
  • Measuring Arches, Circles, and Quarter Circles: Measure the height at its tallest point, and then measure the width. A template is required for all imperfect arches and quarter circles.
  • Measuring Hexagons and Octagons: Measure the window height and width appropriately for an inside or outside mount. Measure the width at the shade’s widest point. Measure and indicate top rail and bottom rail width. A template is required for all hexagons and octagons.
  • Measuring Trapezoids: Measure the window height, the top and bottom widths, and the length of the sloped side(s). Measure what the width reduction of the shorter rail will be on each side. The maximum differential is 9” per side. A template is required for all trapezoids.


  • Perfect Arch: A perfect arch is twice as wide as it is high. Perfect arches are available in movable and stationary styles. Arches can pivot to the left or right or up and down.
  • Imperfect Arch: An imperfect arch has a width which does not equal two times the height. Even the smallest fraction of a difference will qualify an arch as imperfect. Imperfect arches are available in movable and stationary styles.
  • Stationary Arch: A stationary arch is a fixed, non-movable arch which has a stationary rail at the bottom of the material to provide a complete look. A stationary arch is available with perfect or imperfect arches and can be made in a variety of styles and colors.
  • Moveable Arch: A moveable arch must be mounted inside the window frame. A depth of at least 2” is required to mount properly.
  • Sunset Arch: A sunset arch is a top down style moveable arch and has horizontal pleats which stack at the bottom on a stationary rail. The blind is operated up and down by a continuous cord that runs through the blind.
  • Starburst Arch: A starburst arch is a fan fold style moveable arch. A starburst movable arch is mounted on a bottom rail which provides the stability for the arch to move open from side to side.
  • Quarter Arch: A quarter arch is shaped like a ¼ of a circle, or 90 degrees. It is straight on two sides (the bottom and either the left or right side) and completely rounded on the third side.
  • Elliptical Arch: An elliptical arch is two quarter circles joined to each end of a false ellipse.
  • Eyebrow Arch: An eyebrow arch is named after its resemblance to the narrowness of an eyebrow.
  • Palladium Arch: A palladium arch is one of the most common shapes for imperfect arches. The shape is similar to that of an eyebrow arch, but the bottom is slightly more elongated.
  • Bullet Shaped Arch: A bullet shaped arch is named after its resemblance to a bullet. The shape is similar to a palladium arch, but even more elongated at the bottom.
  • Arch over Standard: Arch over Standard combines a fixed arch top with an operable standard shade below. The arch is attached directly to the top of the standard’s headrail, eliminating any possible light gaps between the two shades.
  • Trapezoid: A trapezoid is a four-sided window where at least two of the angles are not right angles. Trapezoid blinds must open toward the longer rail. With top down trapezoids, mounting brackets are required for the bottom rail as well as the headrail.
  • Hexagon: A hexagon has six equal sides. Hexagon blinds open at the widest part of the shade.
  • Octagon: An octagon has eight equal sides. Octagon blinds open up to the widest part of the shade.