Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DIY: Roman Shades from Mini-Blinds

This no-sew project first appeared on the Little Green Notebook a couple of years ago. You can pop on over to her blog and read her step by step instructions and see all of her other amazing projects and inspiration.

I can't stand mini-blinds - they're get dusty and I just don't like the look of them. Also, the dogs enjoy chewing on them. However, roman and fabric shades can be quite expensive. Here's a way to make them for cheap (I mean...REALLY cheap) and without sewing!

Working with fabric is not my strong suit, so I chose to make the shades out of a thick, unbleached lined fabric I thought would look good in the kitchen once our walls are painted.  I also chose the fabric because of the price so if I screwed this up, it wouldn't be a big loss. If you're more confident, you can buy more expensive, prettier fabric. 

You'll need:
Fabric of your choice
Cheap mini-blinds
Fabritac or similar fabric glue
Measuring Tape
Optional Trim (I chose black satin ribbon)

1. Open your blinds all the way and lay them on a flat surface.
2. Remove the plastic plugs on the thick bottom slat and set the bottom, heavier slat aside - you will need it later.

3. Cut all the ladder-like strings holding the slats in place - be careful not to cut the thicker lift cord that runs through the holes in the slats.
4. Remove all the slats. Measure how long your window covering will be and decide how many folds you want your shade to have. I decided to have a fold every 10 inches, so added back a slat for every 10" of fabric, plus the heavier slat for the very bottom of the shade.

5. Measure out and cut your fabric, leaving about 2 - 2.5" on all sides. Make sure your fabric is centered and glue your side "hems" and slats to the fabric. TIP: use a paintbrush to spread the fabric glue. Be careful not to glue the lift cord to the fabric, or it won't work. On the top of the mini blinds (where the pull cord is) don't glue on the very ends (about 1-2") because you will need to slide this section into the mini-blind holders to mount the shade.
6. Add any additional trim and let all of the glue dry completely.

7. Mount the shade like you would regular mini blinds.  Be sure to test your pull cord.  The image on the left is the shade closed, and the right is open.  Here is the other, larger window I did on the other side of the kitchen:

You can see all of the lovely work being done by our construction guys. Our ceiling is sheet rocked and mudded but won't be painted for about another week.  I hope you found this project helpful. Let me know if you try it - I would love to see links to images if you do!


Pineapple said...

Hey! I am about to try this idea with the trim glued on, but I wondered if you ever have any issues with the trim coming up, especially as the curtain goes up and down? I am a big fan of sewing and generally don't trust glue, but that's what they suggested at Hancock's. Just wondered what you have thought of it! Thanks!



Amanda said...

I haven't had any issues with the glued-on trim, but I will admit, the shades don't get a lot of heavy use. I was pretty liberal with the glue and probably used a little too much. Good luck with your project!

Blinds said...

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