How to make roman blinds

Times ago, I made blinds for the kids bedroom, and now I just hanged the
kitchen ones. I like roman shades, they look modern and add a nice
finished touch to any room. Today I will explain how you can sew your
own ones. They are removable, which mean you can easily take them off to
wash them. 
It a quite long tutorial, I hope to provide clear explanations. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any doubt.

Material: Nice fabric and matching thread, plastic rings,  1/2 wooden dowels, a 1 x 2 wood plank, velcro, some rope, blind hooks.

First step, take the measurements. Definite the finish blind dimension (red square), think to leave more fabric on the top part, you need some space to fold the blind above the window. You need to add 1 inch on each side for the seams, and you need to add extra high for each dowel you will use in your blind (green lines).
Example: the finished blind need to be 50 inches width x 40 inches high. Adding the seams, the fabric dimensions must be 52 inches x 42 inches. You need to add 2 inches for each dowel, in this case 6 dowels, 2 inches x 6 = 12 inches to add on the height. So the fabric piece to cut is 52 inches x 54 inches.

The number of dowels you will need will depend of the window dimension. I suggest to place one every 6-10 inches. Calculate to place them in a uniform manner along the entire height.
 

Take the fabric, fold the vertical edges and sew them.
Fold the top edge and sew a piece of velcro all along. This will allow
you to take off the blind if you want to wash it.

Take a ruler and trace the lines to make the fold where the dowels are gonna be slide in. For this blind, we place a dowel every 6 inches ( = your measure on the pic). Starting from the top (just under the velcro), take the measure + 3 inches. It this case 6 in. + 3in.= 9 inches. Trace a line at 9 inches, and a second one, parallel,  at 2 inches distance.  Leave 6 in. (= your measure) and trace a line, and a second one at 2 in. And so on until the bottom edge.
The measures must fall just on the edge, if it is not, start again by modifying the distance between each dowel fold (= your measure)

Fold the blind through the inside following the lines, both lines must be on top of each other. Pin and sew on the line.

Repeat to make all the folds. To make the bottom fold, you just need to fold the edge. When all the fold are made, iron your blind.

Hand stitch a ring on each fold, at more or less 1 inch from the edge. Do it on both sides.

Time to hang the blind on the wall. Screw the 1×2 plank on top of the window. I place it at 7 inches above the window, but it will depend of your folds dimensions. Screw 2 eye screw (hook) on the lower part of the board. I make 2 blinds, so in this case, I will need 4 eye screws (2 for each blind).

If you like too, you can paint the wood. Glue velcro on the upper part of the plank. You can use adhesive velcro, or a glue gun to fix it.

Attach you blinds on the wall, just put both velcro sides ( the blind one and the plank one) on top of each other and press. Ensures that the shades are straight, the good think is you can easily remove them if needed. Cut the 1/2 wooden dowels, 1inch smaller than the blind width, and slide them into each fold.

Almost done, to open and close the blinds, you have to pass 2 pieces of rope into the rings and eye screws. First rope: start with a knot, pass the rope into each ring and both eye screws (green line on the pic). Second rope: make a knot with the lower ring, pass into each ring and one eye screw (red line). Joint both rope, adjust the lenght. Both rope should be slightly tense so that the blind opens and closes right, finish with a knot.

To attach the rope, and leave the blind open, fix a blind hook on the window side. For some reason I couldn’t find them at my hardware store, so I made one in wood and paint it white.

And done! I hope it will help you to sew your own blind. For my kids bedroom I made a lining with blackout fabric. You can see some pics of the blinds in my son bedroom HERE.

The key holder box on the right is also a DIY and if you want to make a fabric planter who match your shades, have a look HERE.

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23 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    March 5, 2016 / 12:17 am

    Jolis, les stores ! N'oublies pas de laisser une petite "craille" pour voir ce qui se passe dans la rue 😉
    Bizz

    • March 5, 2016 / 12:31 am

      Merci! Dis tout de suite que je suis la concierge de service 😉

  2. March 8, 2016 / 10:51 am

    DIY Blindhook? You are all kinds of Genius! I couldn't find any and gave up after I made my rolled blinds. And they are difficult to wash too, next time I'll make them with Velcro for sure.

    • March 8, 2016 / 2:39 pm

      Hi Dalia, I'm glad the DIY blind hook will be useful! It was the same for me. I couldn't find anything to attach the blinds…Finally this simple piece of wood was the solution! Easy and cheap to make, plus you can paint it the same color as your wall.

  3. April 12, 2016 / 4:41 pm

    I love this. I have one room that needs blinds and will be doing this.

    • April 12, 2016 / 8:24 pm

      Great! If you want to share, I will love to see your finished blinds!

  4. July 8, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    I have been looking for this type of shade for many years. I am sure I will be making these in the very near future. Thank you for letting us see and learn how to make these.

    • July 8, 2016 / 11:09 pm

      Hello Judy, I'm glad it helps. Let me know how how your shades turns!

  5. July 13, 2016 / 8:44 am

    Fantastic tutorial. This has to be the best I have seen so far. Thank you very much.

  6. July 16, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    I want to make a couple of roman-type shades, but I don't have mini blinds to upcycle as some tutorials require. Your method is great and will look nicer from the outside view as well. Thanks so much for your well-thought-out method and excellent directions.

    • July 19, 2016 / 8:31 pm

      Hello Dinah, thanks for your nice comment! You are right, it does look clean from the outside when the blinds are closed, which is also important to me. I will have to take a pic and share it!! Have fun sewing and let me know who your blinds turns out!

  7. August 28, 2016 / 3:22 pm

    When you open the blinds do your folds ever go inward? I made a Roman shade for my kitchen from a different tutorial and it looks nice but when I open it I have to pull the folds to the front (I hope that makes sense). I wasn't too make some for my boys' room but they'll need blackout so my 4 year old doesn't complain so much about it still being light outside.

    • October 14, 2016 / 9:36 pm

      The folds goes to the front, but some times I have to arrange them to have them flat. I made the same kind of blinds with blackout for my kid's bedroom. It works great, even if sometime the fabric crumples a little.

  8. Anonymous
    September 22, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    This is great! I made some by adapting old roller blinds. Two things I learned: 1. Never get the adhesive velcro, it isn't strong enough, get the sew on one. And you can get little metal washers for the back instead of plastic, they don't get brittle in the sun and break like plastic.

    • October 14, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      I would had prefer metallic rings, but they only have plastic ones at the store. I did use washer in a previous blind, but they are to sharp. It chafe the rope and after a time it breaks it.

  9. Anonymous
    November 5, 2016 / 11:44 pm

    Oi, Amarillys! Quero te dizer que, de todos os sites em que procurei o tutorial da cortina romana, o teu é o mais completo! Não leio/escrevo em inglês e entendi completamente! Obrigada! Beijo, Camélia Paiva.

  10. November 6, 2016 / 5:20 am

    When adding a blackout backing is necessary, how would you go about doing this?

    • November 16, 2016 / 3:17 am

      Hello Megan, I made the same kind of blinds using blackout for my kids bedrooms. I first made a blind, following this tutorial, with the blackout fabric. This mean that the folds and the dowels are into the blackout. Then I cut a rectangle in the regular fabric, I folded the edges to have a nice finish and sew it on top of the "blackout blind". Obviously you have to sew it on the flat front side. I hope this will help you!

  11. ClaireBlue
    September 20, 2017 / 6:03 am

    Nice tutorial! Thank you for using fabric that shows up clearly. When using a blackout lining as someone else asked, how does the lining fold with the backing as you pull open the shade? It sounds as if you stitched the front fabric to the lining after all the folds for the dowels were made so that the front fabric is only attached around the edges. How does that work for the folds?

    • amaryllis
      September 20, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      If you want to make a blind lining with blackout fabric, you first make the blind using the lining fabric (following this tutorial). Then you apply the nice fabric on the front (the flat side) of the lining blind. You sew the edges together AND you make a seam above each fold of the lining blind. Try to make the seam as close as possible of the seam you made to create the fold in the lining. That way both fabrics are stitch together and the nice fabric will open and close perfectly with the lining. I hope my explanations help you!

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