Sunday, April 15, 2012

DIY Roman Shades

This weekend I decided to add a little color to our mostly white bathroom by making a colorful roman shade to go over the window that was being covered by boring white blinds.

Supplies Needed:
Hot glue gun
Glue sticks
Vinyl Blinds
Sewing machine/Fabric glue/Heat and Bond

First I laid out my fabric on the floor and ironed it. When I have a giant piece of fabric like this I just iron it right on top of my rug, because nothing seems to happen to the rug (this is probably not true with all rugs so be careful!).

Next I placed my blinds on top of the fabric and straightened out all the slats. (Mistake I made: I should have placed it two inches lower, but forgot to allow for 2'' of seam allowance at the top).

Once the slats were nice and straight I traced all the way around the blinds 2'' from the edge.

Here's what my fabric looked like when I was finished.

I ironed a 1'' hem around the whole piece of fabric (fold the fabric over 1'' twice). Since I forgot to leave two inches at the top I had to do a 1/2'' hem at the top and bottom.

Here's how the back side of my fabric looked after ironing all the edges down.

I used the blind stitch setting on my sewing machine to sew down the hem, so that you couldn't see the stitching very clearly on the front side of the fabric. Here's how it should look on the back side of the fabric. If you're not comfortable using a sewing machine, or don't own one, you can use heat and bond or fabric glue.

And here is how it should look on the front. As you can see, there is much less thread showing than with a regular line of stitching. If you don't already know how to sew a blind hem stitch here is a video that shows you how. In the video she says you need to use a blind hem foot. This isn't necessary. I don't have one, but all I had to do was line up the fold with the middle line on my regular presser foot.

Now that my fabric was sewn and ready to go, it was time to cut my blinds. I cut the ladder like string on each side, being careful not to cut the thick string that goes through all the holes in the slats.

After I finished cutting the strings they were still attached at the bottom bar by these circular plastic inserts. I just pulled on the strings and they popped out.

I pulled out the thick string on the inside and untied the knot so that I could pull the bottom bar off.

My blinds were 64'' long and I wanted the folds to be about 8'' apart so I left 6 slats on the strings and pulled off the rest.

Using my ruler I spaced each slat 8'' apart.

I made a small and light mark with a pencil to keep track of where the slat should sit incase they moved while I spaced our the rest.

Here's how my shade looked after they were all evenly spaced out.

Next I glued down each slat (including the top and bottom bars) with my hot glue gun. I made sure not to glue down the space near the holes on the slats so that the string is able to move smoothly through the holes. I wasn't able to take a very good picture with the hot glue because it dried so quickly, but as you can see they are glued onto the fabric curved side down. I had to glue each slat one little section at a time to make sure the glue was still hot. I've read in other blogs that they used fabric glue, this might be easier because you wouldn't have to move so quickly. I didn't have fabric glue on hand so I just used my glue gun instead.

Next, I re-knotted the thick string so it wouldn't slide through the bottom bar anymore and cut off the excess string.

Finally it was time to hang them and see how they looked and worked!

To get the full effect, here's how the bathroom looked before.

 And here's how they look now (at night).

And here is how they look in the morning with sunlight shining through.

A view of the whole bathroom.

And this is how they look rolled up slightly.


  1. very nice! Thanks for the great instructions!

    1. I'm so glad it was helpful! I'm hoping to make some more soon.

  2. Wow, you did an awesome job! It makes the bathroom look so pulled together. TFS the great tutorial.

  3. Juanita, that is so sweet! Thank you so much!

  4. Great instructions and totally appreciate the step by step instructions. So much better than those posted on HG DYI. Question--can I use the wider slat blinds, which are also heavier than the miniblinds?

    1. Thank you! I'm glad they were helpful. I have never done it with wooden ones, but by looking at the pictures online it looks like they are made the same way, so you should be able to. They may end up being more sturdy too!

    2. I was just rereading your comment and realized you weren't even asking about wooden blinds. I don't know why I was thinking that. I think it should work with the wider slated blinds as well. The only thing I would worry about is if the glue wouldn't be strong enough to hold the fabric to the slats since they are heavier. You could always experiment with different glues and try to find something stronger. Maybe some kind of fabric glue? super glue? I hope it works! I'd love to see pictures of the final result!

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  6. Your instructions are the simplest I have seen. I feel like even I can do this! One thing I'm missing though, is how do you adhere the fabric to the top of the blind where it mounts on the wall? Hot glue? Forgive me if I missed's kind of a pattern with me!

  7. I have a question regarding how you hung the blinds. Yours appear to be the same type that I bought for this project, meaning the kind that have the brackets that you slide the top bar into. The problem I’m having is that I measured and hemmed my fabric to cover the entire width of the bar that you slide into the brackets, and it appears that you did the same thing. At this point, it appears that I’m going to have to remove the fabric from the blinds, hem it another inch on each side, so that it sits inside the width of the top bar, and reattach it to the blinds. How did you get your shade mounted into the brackets?

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