I must be the last blogger in Blogland to make a DIY roman shade from a mini-blind. There are so many tutorials out there on how to make this frugal alternative to a pricey roman shade, like this one, which I think might be one of the earliest ones (or maybe the original?). But perhaps you DIY-ers out there will benefit from seeing how I did it and what issues I ran into. I’m ultimately pretty happy with the result. I know my DIY shade won’t last forever but I’m happy with it for now, and realistically, by the time it’s ready to be retired, I’ll probably be ready to change the look anyway.
This is, by the way, the reason I still shop at Forever21.
After we removed the mini-blinds from the window in order to paint the wood trim and wainscoting, we were constantly being blinded (heh heh) by the sun shining right into our eyes at dinner time. So something needed to be done.
I picked up a 70″ mini-blind at Home Depot for about $30. I cut off the ladder cords, being very careful not to cut the pull cords. I then cut the pull cords right at the bottom, removed the slats and put 6 slats back on, along with the thicker bottom slat. I knotted the pull cords at the bottom to secure the slats back on.
NOTE: When I put the slats back on, I reversed them so the concave side was oriented towards the top of the blinds. This makes it easier to glue the convex (domed) side down later, as you’ll see.
I laid the mini-blinds out on my fabric (back side up). This fabric is actually a cotton shower curtain I picked up at HomeGoods. I loved the color and the pattern, and that it was just exactly the width of my window so I wouldn’t have to sew any seams up the middle or worry about matching up the pattern.
The hardest part here was squaring off the fabric. The shower curtain wasn’t perfectly straight long the edges, and it was slightly larger than my mini-blinds. So I used fabric glue to hem the edges and even them out.
I wanted the roman shades to fold up small. They will be inside-mounted so I didn’t want them to block too much of the window when folded up. I spaced the slats 7 inches apart.
Then I carefully glued the slats to the back of the fabric, domed-side down, using a bead of fabric glue. I made sure to leave a gap around the area where the pull cord was! At the bottom, I wrapped the fabric around the thick bottom slat and glued it down (no picture of that, sorry).
This was my first time using fabric glue and I was really impressed at how well it stuck! It definitely works better fabric-to-fabric than fabric-to-plastic though. I had to touch up a few loose areas after I hung up the mini blind.
You can see the slats through the fabric, but I don’t mind. In fact it makes it look more tailored. I can always add a liner later if I feel like I’d like to hide the slats and block more sun, but for now, I like how it filters the sun while allowing plenty of light through.
And as you can see, it folds up nice and small to maximize our window space.
The only downside is that the cord hangs behind the shade, which makes it a little more difficult to pull up or down, but it’s not that hard. I guess what I could do is to bring the cord through to the front through a little buttonhole in the fabric, and then add a flap of fabric (like a mini valance) over the top of the shade to hide it. I might do that later if the pull being at the back ends up bothering me.
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