Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DIY Roman Shades

If you love hot glue, saving money, and sleeping in you will love this post! Here is how you make some black out roman shades using your regular $4 mini blinds! Lots of pictures and very easy steps- sew, disassemble, measure, glue, hang!
Let me also say that these are great because they function as an attractive window treatment as well as a privacy blind!
1. Buy black out liner and top fabric. Liner always on sale for about $2.50 a yard at your favorite fabric store. You will want about 1/4 inch wider than blind size, and actual length of your window.
And for your top fabric of choice about 2 inches wider on all sides.
FYI when buying blinds they always run a half inch shorter than size stated on package.

2. Cut the liner about 1/4 inch wider than the actual size of the blinds. Then lay the top fabric under the liner. Fold top fabric over twice so no raw edge is showing and press, pin, and sew- so it looks like this, but better. It's easy I promise :) I have also seen no sew ones where the ladies fold and glue directly over the back of the blind.

OK you will have a nice sewn rectangle that should measure slightly smaller than the inside of your window, and slightly larger than your mini blinds. If you want to get fancy like I tried, you could make a smaller rectangle and sew it to the top- for a more finished look.
OK all sewing complete!

3. Fun part! Start with your regular mini blind and disassemble as follows. Pop off the caps on the bottom of blinds using screwdriver.
Locate the ladder cords that separate all the blinds vertically.My blind had 3 ladder cords and 2 main cords on the sides. DO NOT CUT the Main Cords. So cut and remove all ladder cords. See picture.

4. Next remove most of your mini blinds off the remaining 2 cords. You didn't cut those right ? ;) This is what it should look like.

5. Measure how many separations/folds you want and space your mini blinds evenly. Remember that this measurement will be divided in half visually -because when the blinds are pulled the separations will be folded in half.

6. Glue 2 blinds on top of each other for more stability and weight. Be careful the glue can burn you through the blinds. :(
7. Glue blinds to your measurements on your fabric. Do not glue the cords or the openings down. Because we are using blackout liner the hot glue doesn't show through. If you use a different liner I suggest a strong fabric glue.

8. Making sure the cords are fully extended tie a knot at the bottom and cut off excess. You can choose to make your last fold before the bottom, so it had a "skirt", or go completely to the bottom and it will fold.

9. Next cut a hole for your pull strings, make sure it is wide enough.
(I had to cut mine a bit wider than this) No the raw edge doesn't bother me-but you could sew a button hole here instead- I'm just too lazy. :)
This is what you have, beautiful!

Even though I didn't(please learn form me) I suggest gluing some blinds at the bottom for added weight so they go down easier.
10. To hang them you will have to pull back the glued fabric on the top for them to fit in the brackets.
Enjoy sleeping in with your new black out roman shades! Really they are easy to do once you get going.


  1. Hi..I’m Barb….I am from Wed. Spotlight.. I am your newest follower. I hope you will get a chance to visit my blog @
    & get inspired by something for your family/home. I hope you will follow me as well. Nice to meet ya new friend!!!

  2. What a great tutorial....I think I might have to try it! Thanks

  3. Great project! I love that you did that. Good job!


  4. HallelujaH! I have to do this. Came very close to throwing out those blinds I don't like. This will do it! Thanks soooo much!

  5. I love this! I was just talking about needing something like this last nite! Roman shades can be so expensive, thanks for sharing this great alternative.

  6. Hi! My kids are ALWAYS ruining the blinds...and since we rent...I don't wanna stick alot of money into the blinds...this may be the ANSWER!!! THANKS!!!! If you get a chance...come on over and check out my blog...
    Thanks again!!!!

  7. Where was this post 3 weeks ago when I went out and bought an over priced roman shade for my back door?! I am totally going to find a place to use this idea!

  8. Great - I have loads of old blinds that could be replaced with this. Glad to have discovered another found frugalista. Found you from TGC's New Friend Friday & am now following:)

  9. ooohh!!! Nice!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  10. Very nice, I've struggled several times making roman shades - this is a great idea.

  11. Such a clever and creative girl. My heart is going pitty pat.

  12. I'm a new Monday Follower! Your site is so cute! To find some great deals and Freebies visit me at and sign up for my newest giveaways!

  13. Fantastic tute, I like you reused the blind slats as well. :)
    I've totally done this before and it's awesome because buying all the materials (or heaven forbid, one of those incredibly expensive kits) is so time consuming and awkward when most of us have all the materials we need already.

    You could add some metal washers in the hem for weights, or get some curtain weights at the fabric store, if you are having trouble with pulling the shade down.

  14. A year ago I heard about this idea on a forum but was not sure how I could do it. I did not want to have to do trial and error. Thanks for showing the steps!

  15. So, I'm sure if you saw me you would remember me, I'm Amy Hanson, I'm pretty sure you bought the cricket from me and we did some quilt work together and susan's house. So I think it's so funny that I don't find out about all your talent until after I leave KY. I'm in MO now and B. Cotton told me about your easy roman shades. I start my shades tomorrow! Thanks for sharing!


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