Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No Sew Roman Shades

As I was doing my daily shopping on blogs for the next best idea - I found it!  I almost fell out of my chair... really.  I have always loved the look of roman shades, but the affordable kind you can buy at Target never seem to fit my windows.  I am no seamstress.  I own a sewing machine, and much to my mother in laws dismay, I have never even turned it on. 

I was scared to use hem tape until a few weeks ago!

I'm over it.  Hem tape is a breeze.

So anyway, back to shopping.  I found on a few different blogs some brilliant ladies (I think Little Green Notebook was the original genius) made roman shades out of their blinds.

I will take credit for (on my very own) coming up with spray painting my blinds - but I can't take credit for this complete stroke of genius.

Here's what you do:
First, you take down the nasty ugly blinds you currently have which are a nice sturdy faux wood that someone either made into a really light natural wood color, or that used to be white and had yellowed over time.  Make sure you let your blinds all the way out before taking them off

Next, I marked which slats would stay.  I kept every sixth slat.

Then you'll want to cut the horizontal strings (the vertical strings are the lift strings).  Don't cut the horizontal strings on the slats you are keeping.

Next you will take your bottom piece off (remove the plastic plug) and slide off all the slats.

I need to find some creative way to make something fabulous out of these left over slats.  They are pretty sturdy.  Let me know if you have any great ideas.

For my fabric, I used blackout liner (to keep that baby good and asleep during nap time) and then just a plain white sheet.

Measure your window and cut your liner to the exact size of the window (with some room at the bottom just in case).

Then if you're fancy and know how to use a sewing maching, I guess you could attach your fabric to the liner - however I used my fabric glue :-)

Then with my hem tape, I attached ribbon five inches in from each side:

Then turn your fabric upside down and place your blinds on top

Then glue your slats down on your fabric (being careful to not get any glue on the strings so that it will still operate).  I did not glue the fabric down to the bottom piece, I just let it hang because when I reattached the plugs I had to put new knots in the cords, which then made the bottom piece a bit short for the window, oops!

Flip the slat over and glue it, then flip it back.

Then hang!

I ended up painting the decorative piece at the top of the blinds then reattaching it, but you could leave it off.  This window would look a TRILLION (yes, a TRILLION) times better with a casing around the window, but there is no room!  I should have planned for that when I made the shelves to the right of the window.  (which are not done being "merchandised" yet)
Dang it!

I couldn't believe I could actually do this without cutting something I wasn't suppsed to, or gluing something I wasn't supposed to.  I was sure that they wouldn't be operational.  But I was okay with that because we have a nice view of the house next door but...

They are fully functional!

I am a few steps closer to my vision.  Now I just need to put together some home made bookshelves, get a toy box, and put up a mirror for him to play in!

Here are some tutorials that are probably WAY better than mine:

The Shabby Chic Cottage


  1. Actually..I have seen this done a few times before too..but never did it look so easy! You did a fnataastic tutorial and it all looks perfect!

  2. Great tutorial.

    I have an idea for the left over slats. I did this with a group of girls from age 6 to 12 when I was the crafts counsellor at a bible study group.

    Paint the slats, or use them as is, but gussy them up with foam cutouts or whatever you have on hand. Using really strong glue, attach four wooden clothespins to the front going down the length of the peice. Attach pre-glued magnetic strip down the back and you have a place to put memos, notes etc. on the fridge, or you can use the top hole to place on a nail for kids to hang up wet mittens.

    The possibilities are endless on how you wish to decorate it. Paint it in a colour to match your deccor (don't forget to paint the clothespins too).

  3. Love these! Very frugal and thrifty! I have bookmarked this as a project to do later! :)

  4. Doing this! I have see the other's tutes, but yours totally rocks! I"m bookmarking it. :O)

  5. What a fantastic idea!! Wow! A couple of questions though...
    What is blackout liner? (Just those curtains that don't let in light?)

    Second...what does it mean to case a window?

  6. Awesome! FYI - you've been bookmarked!

  7. Those came out amazing, please post to my Monday party Its So Very Creative


  8. I have also saw this before, but you did make it look easier. I will have to try to make one.
    Great ideal. Thanks for sharing. Come by and visit sometime.

  9. The way you did it looks great! I really want to try this at some point.

  10. Love this! My youngest daughter just bought a home with mini blinds. Wonderful! Thanks!

  11. You make it look so easy!! Great work!
    Mama Holli

  12. that's a genius idea!

    and LOL about using a sewing machine --- it's really not that hard -- i come from zero experience to just doing it...try out that machine of yours!

    (btw, martha steward has a really easy tutorial on custom (sewed) roman shades. it's easy to make -- i did for my kitchen windows)

  13. You mentioned what can you use the bottom slat on vinyl blinds for - they make great latices for outdoors - growing plants, roses, etc. on. Vinyl like a fence - they'll last forever.

  14. i love this project! i have been making these for over a year now (saw them on LGN also), but what i was wondering is what animated program that is you used to help organize/design your baby room. i've been looking for something like that! if u wouldn't mind emailing me:

  15. LOVE this project. It looks amazing. I need to make some of my own for my 9 month old daughter's room. We're about to put our house on the market, and I currently have a brown sheet over her window---something MUST be done before we have buyers in this house. Where can I buy blackout liner?

  16. Thanks for the great tutorial. I'm working up my courage to give it a try!

  17. That is so great! I have been wondering if something like this would work but I've been afraid to try. You have given me confidence! Thank you!

  18. Thank you so much for this idea!!! I made one last night for my kids' room and it is beautiful! Do you know if there's a way to make the back look better? Could i glue a piece of fabic to the back or will that make it unfunctional?? The front though it so nice and looks like a bought it from a pro! Thanks again!!

  19. Now I'm sad I got rid of all the blinds we had in this house when we bought it.....what a terrific idea :)

  20. LOVE this idea! I will definitely be making one for my kitchen window. However, I am also wondering how to make the back of the shade look better. Has anyone experimented with this and added fabric to the back? I hope to try this project this summer!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  21. What do you mean by flipping it back in "Flip the slat over and glue it, then flip it back."?

    Is there a way to hide the slats from the view outside the window?

    Thanks for your help... I can't wait to get this project started!

  22. Well, I'm about a year late, but wanted to tell you that I am sure impressed with your roman shades, and am going to bookmark them. I have just the spot for them!

  23. The plastic slats make great plant markers for your garden. You can cut them to any length and write all over them.

  24. That is total genius. I actually think I could do this! Thank you!

  25. you make it look so easy......I am afraid to try this.
    Roman shades concord, ca

  26. How do you slide off all the slats when the slats you are keeping still have the horizontal strings? I'm stuck in the middle of trying to do them. :) Could you email me what you did to get them off?


  27. Great idea - but please do be very very careful with using any blinds with cords at all in a child's room. They can be made safer with cord tension fittings or wall stays - but I would never use them in my house - better safe than sorry (in this case a child could also climb on the toy box and get their head through the cords between the slats at the back!)

  28. Wow, this doesn't look complicated at all. Your shades perfectly match the theme in your vision. It's so nice to see something you've been wanting for so long unfold right before your eyes. Cheers!

  29. I love this idea and just need to get up the nerve to choose some fabric I know I'll like before I attack the blinds.

    I have the same question as Christy did on Sept. 16: How do you slide off all the slats when the slats you are keeping still have the horizontal strings? Also, if you want the window casement to show, do you have to cut the blinds shorter (horizontally)?

    Could you post an answer to both of these, please?

    Also, in response to Anonymous, above--I agree about not putting the toy box under the window, but more for window safety, rather than blind safety. Just FYI: when our kids were small, we bought little plastic or metal anchors--they're near the rope/string in Home Depot. You screw them in next to your window and wrap the loose cord around them. Voila! No strangulation!

    1. Now sew Roman shades are described here. Get details from here. The article has shared relevant information about it

  30. Really awesome tutorial. Thanks for sharing!


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