DIY Roman Shades

It always feels great when you have your mind set on how you want something to look and then it all comes together.  This is exactly what has happened with my entry way/porch area.  I knew I wanted to put stripes on the wall but it was a matter of finally getting around to it.  Once that was done and the porch was all cleared out I knew I had to make it something that was worth having.  That’s when I ordered my desk and watched the space slowly turn into what I had envisioned.  I had my cream and tan stripes, I had my white lacquered desk, now it was time for some color. With all those windows in that space it was the perfect opportunity to add a fun hue! For the most part, I love calming colors in my space like soft muted blues, greens and gray and dare I say beige! Well, not this time! I was looking for a straight up girly space and what is more glamorous and girly than PINK! I decided to use my existing blinds to create some roman shades with some awesome pink fabric! I had to first find the right fabric and I forced myself not to over think it because oh lord I could spend months trying to pick the right fabric. Just ask the pillows on my couch that I have been trying to replace forever now! Here were some of the options I gave myself.

Waverly Chippendale Fretw Quartz

Premier Prints Gotcha White/Candy Pink

Waverly Cross Section Raspberry

I knew I wanted a geometric pattern so that almost immediately eliminated the second fabric (Waverly Chippendale) and I wasn’t too sure about that first print because of the whole papaya part.  Didn’t sound so pink to me.  So that left me with the cross section print and the third link print.  I’ve seen the cross section print used many times for curtains and upholstered pieces and while it is nice, the cross section print is a little too small for me. That left me with the link print and how can you say no to a print that is called Gotcha White/Candy Pink! Did I forget to mention that it was only $7.48/yd. As the Kardashians say “oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah!” I measured out my blinds, 2 @ 22 1/2″x 52″ and 2 @ 26 1/2″ x 52″ and ordered 4 yards. Once it arrived it was time to get started on making the blinds.  Only 5 materials are needed for this project:

Fabric, Measuring Tape, Scissors, Fabric Glue, Mini Blinds.

1. Cut your fabric 2″ longer than your blinds, width and length. Since one of my blinds was 22 1/2″x 52″ I cut my fabric to 24 1/2″ x 54″. The reason for this is so you can fold all the edges over.  You may want to iron a crease on the edges to make it easier.

2. Use fabric glue to create your hems all around. You can also sew this if you want a more tailored look. You may also use Heat and Bond but trust me it’s more work and you can’t tell the difference between that and fabric glue.

Should look like this when it’s all done. If it does than you’re ready to prepare your blinds!

3. Open your blinds fully and cut the ladder part that holds all the blind slats in place. DO NOT cut the cord that runs straight through each slat.

4. Pop the button on the bottom that holds the thick cord that runs through the blinds and pull that cord out.

5. Remove all the slats and the cut-up ladder pieces to reveal nothing but the top bar and the thick cord.

6. Lay your fabric down (print side down) and place the skeleton of the blind on top. Measure where you want your folds to be when you hang your blinds. I believe I did every 8″. Make sure you run that cord through the hols in the slats.

7. Using your fabric glue, glue down the slats the to fabric, curve side down. After applying the glue I brushed it down so that it would dry nice and smooth. DO NOT glue the cord to the fabric you need that to be able to move.

8. After all the slats (along with top bar and bottom piece) are glued down take the end of the cord and put it back into that bottom hole, tie a little knot and pop the button back on.

9. Hang your gorgeous custom-made Roman Shades!

LOVE LOVE LOVE!

I know it seemed like a lot of steps but trust me it is so simple and quick! Just need to hang some frames, find a table lamp and a chair and I am all set!

DIY Roman Shades @ Made2Style

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121 thoughts on “DIY Roman Shades

    • Thanks! Isn’t it amazing how long it takes to choose a fabric! The problem is too many choices if someone narrowed it down to 10 patterns I’d have so many projects done lol

  1. I love this! they look awesome! Question: could you do this with lining the panel? I need something that is a little more light blocking – I guess you would just sew the liner to the panel before attaching everything?
    Great job!!!

    • Thank you! You can absolutely use a blackout liner. You can just sew it to your existing fabric or what I might do is after finishing the shades add it to the back by using the fabric glue. This way when you look at the window from outside you wont see those pesky blinds!

  2. I LOVE these!! I’m intending to do the same thing in our master bathroom, where some of the shades have gotten wonky. Great job, and thanks for linking up with the Winter Pinterest Challenge!

    Erin

    P.S. I love the fabric you chose!

  3. Absolutely lovely. I’m finishing up a pair for the bedroom now, and will be posting the details on Monday. I’d love to link to your post as my source of inspiration! Very well done! xoxo

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  5. Love this!! Definitely something I need to do. I have been wanting to have Roman shades for a while but the pre-made ones seem so boring. The fabrics just aren’t right. Can’t wait to try this!

  6. This is really a great idea, I love the variety, one can have. Is there another way, though to do it, if you don’t originally have old venetian blinds up? Another, way to improvise? Your thoughts, are appreciated. Thanks, love your creativity….God bless you. Elena

    • I think if I were to do relaxed I would still use the mini blind just so that I could hang it but you wouldn’t need the slats. Just roll the bottom up to where you would like it and then sew it on the sides or use hem tape if you don’t sew! I hope that’s helpful. If I come across a good tutorial I will send it your way!

  7. Have you ever had any issue with seeing the fabric glue through the curtain material? I’m doing these in burlap.

    • No I haven’t but only because when I applied the glue I used a foam brush to spread it out. Burlap may or may not be different because there is more of a chance of it getting through the fabric. You should try a small piece on something to test it out. Let me know how it goes!

    • Thanks! They move great up and down…no different than when they were just the blinds. Sometime I have to help the folds when I pull them up but it’s no biggie at all.

  8. has anyone ever seen roman shades that pull up? They would be attached at the window sill and when pulled they would pull up so the shade could be pulled to not see out of the bottom but out of the top in the space of the upper part of the window.

  9. These are SO great! I think I could do it, even though I’m not terribly handy. QUESTION for ya though: how far up do they go? Can they gather all the way up to where the first slat is located (about 6″ from the top)? I’m interested in making blinds that can be mostly rolled up to let in the nice daylight.

    Thanks! And nice work, again.

    • Thanks so much Lauren! They definitely pull up all the way. If you make the slats 6″ like I did than I would say when you pull them all the way up there will be a few inches of the other folded slates under the top one. If you wanted it to be less then I would recommend making your slates less wide, maybe 4 inches? Hope that’s helpful, let me know how it turns out!

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  11. Love it!! Looks so easy to make, I need some new window treatments! Glad I found you on ‘stumble upon’! I’m a new Facebook fan!
    Barbara at Chase the Star
    chasethestar dot net

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  13. If I were you, I would use Pellon Wonderunder to iron the blackout liner fabric to the back of your chosen pretty fabric before you start the rest of the project. Then proceed as directed and it will look very professional and no sewing needed!

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  16. This seems like a stupid question but I’m confounded at the moment. I finished making my first DIY Roman Shade. Before mounting it to the window, I tested out the shade and it’s not folding up correctly. It’s bunching at the top first instead of from the bottom up. Obviously I’ve done something wrong but not sure what….Could it be b/c I didn’t tie the cords evenly? Any ideas?

    • You’ve got me stumped! I just took a look at mine to see how they might bunch at the top first and I’m at a loss. You kept the cord correct…made sure it tied back into the bottom piece of the old blinds? Maybe once you hang it you won’t have that problem? It’s kind of hard to pull up the shades if they aren’t mounted to something. I would also check to make sure the cord was even on both sides or else the blinds will be lopsided. I hope this was helpful!!

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  18. When I made the roman blinds, and installed them, they bunch up at the top, where the top bar is. What are the instructions for attaching the material to the top bar?

    • Hi Amanda,

      I simply just used the fabric glue the same way I did on the slats on the top. Since the back of the top bar just slide into the brackets it didn’t cause a problem. Not sure why they would bunch unless the way yours install is different. I hope that was helpful!

      • I think I know what Amanda is asking as I have the same question. If I glue the fabric all the way across the top bar then hang it in the bracket supplied by the blind mfg., there is a piece that slides in across the front of the bracket (the piece keeps the blind in the bracket) which causes the fabric to get caught and bunch. Is there an alternative method of mounting these? I can’t wait to try these…what a super idea!

      • I just left those pieces out because where my blinds are rarely put them down but when I have I’ve never had a problem with the blinds coming off. When you pull on the string just be gentle and you should be fine!

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  21. So excited to try this out!!! in our Familyroom we have 3 windows next to each other and i wanted to do Roman Shades but with some sort of blackout material to help keep out the extra sun on the hot sunny days to keep the room cooler. :) Since the windows already have the mini blinds on them – a crappy aluminum kind. Hoping they will work to attach the new roman shades to. My kids have managed to bend several of the slates so i can just use a few of the good ones. :)

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  23. Hi Cindy! I can’t wait to make these for my new home!! What do you exactly mean by,” Brush” the slats after glueing them….so they will dry flat? What do you brush it with? Do you brush only the curved slats? Thanks!!

    • Hi Elizabeth! So what I mean by brush the glue is just to spread it across the curved slat, this way you dont have a thick line of glue and your able to cover more surface of the slat. I just used a black foam brush but you could even use your fingers to spread it! Hope this is helpful!

  24. Hi, did you have to cut a hole in the fabric someone to put the cord that pulls the blinds up and down through? Does this make sense? Or do you just lift the blind away from the window and pull the cord that way?

    • I actually just pull the cord on the side the way you normally would and then I hide it behind the shade and usually let it sit on the ledge where the lock for the window is…I hope that made sense!!

  25. If I use a liner, do I have to glue it to the blind? I was thinking of putting it on after I finish the blind like you suggested to cover the slats. Will it fold like the top fabric? Thanks

    • The more I think about it I think I would attach the liner to the back of the fabric and then do all the steps…I’m not sure if the fabric would roll up if you glued it to the other side of the slats. It might but I have never tried!

  26. I love them! Absolutely adorable!! But they seem to hard for me to make…I am so not good at following directions!…and I wonder where my kids get it from!!

  27. Peeking in from a thread of yours I saw at the new forums at Younghouselove.com. Fun idea! Pinning to a secret board of mine at Pinterest.

    Visiting from NW Illinois,
    Suzanne (maytagnmom at the forums)

  28. SO beautiful! I can’t wait to do this on our back porch! There is so much sun on our porch in the morning it would be great to filter it a bit. I’ve always had a soft spot for roman shades! Thanks for posting these directions!

  29. I love the roman shades that you made but I was wondering how you hang them when you are finished? When you slide them back into the bracket there is a small piece that you have to insert to keep them in place. Do you cover the pieces with fabric or just let them show?

    • Hi Patty,
      So I actually ran the glue all along the top bar but then stopped right before those two ends. Once you put the blinds back into there slots you can slide that piece in and then the fabric will just cover it even though it’s not glued. Hope that makes sense! I’ll try to add a picture to the post!

  30. Hi!!! Will these blinds open all the way to the top? I am looking for a less expensive option for our guest room and these would fit the bill if they did. They look great!!!

    • Yes, I just glue the fabric to the top and bottom. I don’t cover the ends of the top bar so that I can slide it back into the brackets! The pictures should show.

  31. I’m so excited to try these! Also your tutorial has been the easiest to follow! I’m wanting to do fabric on the back side as well so that the print can be seen from the outside of the windows…any suggestions on how to do so?

    • Thanks for the comment!! It has a lot of steps so it makes me happy to hear that it’s easy to follow!
      My only suggestions would be to use a light weight fabric since you’ll be doing it front and back and I would probably do the back side first and then the front. You also might want to glue the top of the backside fabric to the front of the top bar and then when you do the front fabric glue the top of it on top of the backside fabric…hope that made sense!! Good luck! I’d love to know how they turned out if you give it a shot!

      xo Cindy

      • Thanks Cindy! yes that majes sense! I’m midway into a whole living room face lift so once I get to the windows (which I hope will be soon!) I will let you know how it turns out :)

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    • Thank you Becky! My recommendation would be to maybe use a thicker fabric but the weight might not hold up. Roman shades aren’t usually used for insulate so it might be hard to figure out! I would try a thicker blackout fabric…you could check other comments for some advice I have for applying blackout. Hope this was helpful!

  33. Loved the concept and the tutorial was very helpful. I made two shades for my daughter’s bedroom. I needed them to be of the blackout variety and I found that backing them as a last step,as suggested, to be a complete disaster!!!! Wanted to enlighten anyone who might attempt this to ABSOLUTELY glue the backing, measured to the exact dimensions of the blinds, against the back of the facing fabric before gluing the “hem” in place. The slats should then be glued down over the back of all layers. The finished product is amazing; functions well and really blocks out the light. Just be sure and select a backing fabric of a tight weave and dark color…I used black. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  34. okay, you have convinced me. I was going to use up some flannel/felt? material for my daughter’s curtain but my hubby thinks that material is the perfect blanket. But I didn’t want to just go out and buy new fabric. But….now I will! I will probably line it because the whole reason for me making her curtain is to block out the sun so she sleeps longer (hence my idea of using the thicker fabric). But your blinds are too gorgeous to resist. Can’t wait to try this!!!

  35. I am wanting to make these but I need the fabric to be on both sides. Is this possible if I glued the second piece of fabric to the flat side of the blind??????

    • Thanks Heather! I attach the fabric to the mini blinds so when they go back on the window I just put them on the same way you would the mini blinds…into those little plastic squares! Hope that helps!

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  37. Hi! I love your tutorial and pinned it a while ago. Could I use wood blinds instead of the plastic mini blinds that you have? That’s what I have in my house so I was just wondering if it’s possible. Thank you so much for your response and a great tutorial. I’m going to try this out this weekend.

    • I have never tried it with wooden blinds but I will say the concerns I would have with that would be that the slats would be much heavier which shouldn’t cause too much of an issue but also that the wood is dark so you would need to make sure your fabric is thick enough that you won’t see the wood through it. Also make sure that the glue holds well on the wood. I’d love to know how they turn out!

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  39. Wonderful tutorial, and it looks easy enough too. I plan on making two for my kids’ bedroom. Can I do this with cordless mini-blinds? I’ve never really compared the construction of corded vs cordless blinds so I’m not sure how it would affect the outcome. I don’t see the pull cord in your final product but it must be in there somewhere, no?

    • I’m not really sure how that would work. From my understanding cordless blinds don’t have removable slats but if you have ones that do then it just might work! I’d love to know if it did!

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  41. Oh my word!! I got quoted $156 each today for each of my six tiny airstream camper windows for roman shades! Girl, you are saving my wallet! I am doing this!!!!! I cant thank you enough! Now i must go fabric shop online, because i am so excited to start!

    Tonya

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