Our kitchen windows desperately needed a makeover. I shopped around for the best deals on roman shades and they were averaging $200 or more just for one shade! We needed three shades for the kitchen and one for the hallway. That totals $800 not including tax or shipping! I can think of a lot better ways to spend that money so I decided to make the roman shades myself. I found the damask fabric, bleached muslin, and fabri-tac glue online at Joann's. And the white mini blinds were from Home Depot. My total for all of the material, glue and blinds to make all four roman shades was only $86!!! That is less than half the price of purchasing one custom roman shade. They did take me about one hour each to make, but it was so worth it spending only $21.50 per shade! This was a nice Sunday project and so rewarding to see the four roman shades hanging in our home.
What I used to make four roman shades:
- 4 white 1" Vinyl Mini Blinds with pull cord (light filtering) = $23.88
- 6 yards of Damask Fabric = $28.74
- 4 yards of 36" Bleached white muslin for liner/backing = $3.96
- 4 yards of 44" Bleached white muslin for wider windows = $11.96
- 2 bottles of Permanent fabric adhesive Fabri-Tac = $17.98
- Iron with steam setting / Ironing board
- Sharp scissors / Pins / Pencil
- Ruler / Tape Measurer
- Large table that will fit blinds fully extended (my husband set up a folding table with a 4 x 8 foot piece of plywood on top. We covered it with a sheet to make sure it was clean and wouldn't snag on the material. This was a lifesaver and made the whole process so much easier!
My Mistakes Corrected:
My first attempt at making these shades after watching the video below was literally painful! She made it look so easy so I just dove in and started. I fumbled through the process for three hours and finally got the first shade hung up. Three major things that I changed when making my next three shades was #1) To set up a table large enough to work on. I was working on a table that was too small and doing half of the work on the floor which was torture! #2) Measure the inside of the window frame instead of measuring the size of the blind. The first set of blinds was slightly too small for the window and would have looked much better if I had made them fit the entire inside of the window frame. #3) Make the top of the material align with the top of the blind instead of having it fold over. I had to tuck in the material above the blind and cut the sides to make it fit. In this video she made an outside mount on the window frame. I prefer an inside mount.
How I Made Lined Roman Shades Using Mini Blinds:
#1- Lay the main design fabric flat on a large table (back side facing up). Use your hands to wipe out any puckers or wrinkles. Write down the measurement of the inside of your window frame.
#2- Using pencil marks, measure approximately 4" in from the edge of material. Then measure and mark the width of your window frame. Then measure and mark another 4" on the other side. (Example: 4"mark, 28 3/4" mark, 4" mark). The extra 4" will be to fold over and hem the edges.
#3- Now measure the full length of your blind adding 4" to both ends leaving extra material for the hem.
#4- Draw a pencil line using your ruler to connect the pencil marks. Then cut the piece of fabric to size following your pencil marks.
#5- Lay the backing material (white muslin) over the main fabric and line it up with the 4" hem marks.
#6- Cut white muslin material to size.
#7- Iron both pieces of material to remove all wrinkles. Then iron the hems of the main fabric on three sides (leave the bottom hem as is for now). Pin hems into place.
#8- Lay your fabric back on the table (back side facing up) and remove the pins. Lign up the white muslin on the main piece of fabric and tuck under the ironed hems. Smooth muslin with your hands until it lays flat. Run a thin line of fabric glue to secure the corners of the muslin to the main fabric.
#9- Continue gluing all of the hems one layer at a time (still leaving the bottom unhemmed).
#10- Extend the blinds as far as they will go then lay the blinds on top of the material. Make sure the pull cord is on the left side The pull cord will be against the material facing down. If you want, you can snap off the right-hand tab that held the blind handle by using plyers.
#11 Remove the caps from the bottom of the blind using scissors (save the caps for later). Use tweezers to pull out the large pull cords and untie the knots (don't cut the knot). I tried this and it makes it extremely hard to get the cords back in the holes. If you have three cords do this with all three. It makes the roman shade work much better than just using two pull cords.
#12- Slide the large pull cords out of the holes until you reach the top of the blind.
#13- Cut the remaining (small cords) at the top and bottom and slide them off to throw away.
#14- To determine where the blind slats will be placed on the material, I started measuring every nine inches from the bottom of the muslin to the top. The distance between the slats will most likely be anywhere from 7-10 inches depending on the length of your shade and what looks best. (If you measure from the top of your material to the bottom of the muslin, this should be the final length of your roman shade).
#15- Measuring every nine inches on my 55 1/2" material, I will be attaching five blind slats with the fabric glue. Measure on both sides of the material so they will be even.
#16- Line up the blind slats with the marks you just made (flat side down) and thread the pull cord through the holes until you get to the bottom.
#17- Glue the top of the blinds to the top of the material. Make sure the material is even and completely covering the top of the blinds. Do Not Glue the outside corners that will slide into the track when you hang the blinds.
#18- Glue the blind slats into place following the 9" marks on each side of the material. Do not glue the pull cords.
#19- Make sure the top left pull cord is hanging out at least half way down the length of your shade. Then gently pull the cords from the bottom to make sure they are straight with no slack.
#20- Thread the pull cord through the bottom of the blinds and tie a knot. I glued the knot so it wouldn't come undone. Cut the excess cord and put the plugs back in. You can make the cords even by adjusting them at the top of the blind.
#21- Fold the bottom hem so it lines up with the white muslin then glue into place. Next fold the hem one more time and glue it to the bottom of the blind.
#22- Make sure the glue is pressed firmly against the blind and the material. The glue dries quickly so after a few minutes you can hang your new roman shades! PS. You will definitely need a manicure after this project LOL :-)
#23- To hang your new roman shades, just slide them into the tracks on your window and insert the plastic covers to hold the top of the blind.