Guest post/tutorial! DIY beautiful roman blinds

Welcoming a guest post today, and a super creative tutorial!

I ran across Megan's fun blog, Homemade Ginger, not long ago and just loved her style and DIYs!  Some really fun, simple projects that make for a beautiful, bright and happy home.  See some pics...

Super cute little girl's room, all homemade/made over:

Healthy, clean, naturally anti-bacterial homemade reusable wipes:

These flowers are just like the ones at Anthro:

Love the bright DIY headboard:

Cute jewelry storage!

And check out this before/after:

Lots of great DIY decor going on over at Megan's place, huh!?

Here's a little bit about Megan:
As a former elementary art teacher, I've always had a creative side. Now that I stay home with my two young girls, I am always finding ways to make our home and lives beautiful not only for our family, but also to be a blessing to others. In addition to loving design and creativity, I strive to be as frugal and simple as possible in life. I love finding ways to do things myself to cut down costs and waste. I love blogging about my adventures and learning about what kinds of things other creative minds are doing in the blogging world as well!

Megan has a great tutorial to share with you all today!  Here goes:

I have finally made some roman shades for our bedroom.  

It has taken me forever to start the project, but once I did it was so fast and easy! 

I found a few different tutorials online (here and here) on how to make roman shades out of mini blinds.  I adapted them and this is the method I came up with. 

Here's what you will need to make 2 shades:

2 cheapy mini blinds
2 yards of fabric (more or less depending on the size of your windows)
hot glue gun
fabric glue
scissors
sewing machine



All the tutorials I found were "no sew" which required gluing the fabric.  I prefer sewing to make things look a little more professional, so I cut my fabric to size and turned under the edges twice, then edge stitched all around.  I ended up with a large panel of fabric.




Now you need to take apart your mini blinds.   Open it up and fully extend it.  Clip all of the "ladder" like strings that hold the slats together.  Do NOT clip the larger inner string that goes through the center.




Now pop off the white circles at the bottom.



Now you can clip the larger attaching strings.  This will allow you to take off all the slats.



Your blind should now look something like this.




Next, you want to measure out where you want the slats to go on your roman shade...aka how many folds you want.  My fabric was 42 inches long, so I just made a slat every 7 inches.  Using a ruler, draw lines on the back of the fabric with a pencil.




Now you are going to glue the slats on the lines you made.  Using fabric glue on the convex side of the slat, smear it on.  I tried to smear the glue a little so that when it dried, it wouldn't look like a distinct hardened line of glue from the outside if that makes sense.




Glue them all on as straight as possible.  Make sure your fabric is really smoothed out so that there won't be any wrinkles on the outside.




Now place your mini blind skeleton on the fabric, and weave those strings back through the holes in the slats.  You may have to pull the fabric away from the glue a bit to get it through, but it shouldn't make anything fall apart.




This is the part I couldn't figure out.  You need to attach the top bar of the mini blind.  All of the tutorials I saw attached it like this...but as you will see, the pulley strings (which you need to raise and lower your shades) would be  covered up if you did it this way.  I don't know if my blinds are just different or if I was doing something wrong, but I knew this would not work for me.




So, instead I flipped the top bar on its side and glued the fabric on the underneath side. (it will make more sense in the next few pictures) For this part, I used hot glue.  The other tutorials say to use fabric glue because hot glue might disintegrate over time.  I felt like fabric glue wasn't strong enough to hold this heavier piece. So, I guess we will see if my shades hold up.  I figure the worst that could happen is it starts to fall off and I just re-glue it.




Now you need to glue back on the bottom bar. First, pull the strings through the holes and make knots.




Pop those little white circles back on and hot glue the bar flat against the bottom of the fabric.




You are not quite done!  See how I glued the top of the fabric to the top bar? It's hanging from the under side.  The only problem is now that tacky white bar is exposed.




Notice my solution? Much better.  I just took an extra strip of fabric, turned under and sewed up the ends and hot glued it onto the white bar.  It's not even noticeable now.



And you are done!! It's so easy!! Now, I was prepared to add another layer of room darkening fabric, but I actually think mine are fine the way they are.  If you like your room super dark, you could add this step.  




They look nice up or down.  (Pardon the paint on the windows, they still need to be scraped!) 




The fabric folds pretty nicely when pulled up.  Sometimes you may need to help the folds a bit with your fingers to make it look nicer. 




And in case anyone is worried, right after I took these photos, I attached some little thingies to the window panes up at the very top to wrap the strings around to keep them out of reach of the kiddos.  I don't know what the technical terms are, but you know what I'm talking about. I was stressed out about doing this as soon as they were installed for safety reasons!




I really am pleased with how they turned out! And it was so much cheaper than buying them!  Here's the cost break down for me:

2 yards of Joel Dewberry fabric in Napsack @ $9/yard = $22 (tax + shipping)

2 sets of mini blinds off of Amazon @ 5 each = FREE (because I had giftcards earned with swagbucks!!)

TOTAL:  $22

Store bought roman shades start around $35 each...so making them yourself will save you a ton...plus you can totally customize them to be exactly what you want!!

I'm planning on making another one for the living room. Now to figure out what fabric to use...



Thanks so much for the tutorial, Megan!!  I honestly would never have thought of using actual slat blinds, but it seems like these work a lot better than sewing the roman shade tape on from the craft store.

Readers, check out Megan's blog for more ideas!

48 comments

  1. Wow, thanks so much for hosting this post! Those are some pretty amazing projects and I'm totally digging them all. Definitely will be checking Megan's blog out. Hope you have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great guest post, you're projects look like so much fun

    ReplyDelete
  3. Those turned out so pretty. And they look like something I could actually do:)

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  4. thanks for sharing! they look great!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You make it look so simple, that even I could do, and its cute too.. Thank you for all your wonderful ideas and instructions.

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  6. These look great! I can't wait to try this. (I think those thingies to wrap the cord around are called "cleats," by the way.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I cant wait to try this! I think I'll use a bit of velcro to attach the fabric to the blinds instead of gluing it though, that way I can remove and wash the fabric.

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  8. Anonymous2/26/2012

    For a creative alternative to standard cleats, you could attach/screw in to the window frame two very small drawer knobs/pulls, lined up vertically, about an inch apart, one on top of the other. I've seen this done with some really sweet floral-shaped knobs.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have been searching high and low for a DIY Roman shade-and now I've found it!! Thank you so much for posting this! This very well may be the cheapest and cutest way to go!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, so glad you found it and it was helpful!

      Delete
  10. So, what do the shades look like from outside the window? Do you just see the back of the fabric and the mini blinds? Is there a way to put another piece of fabric on the back so that it looks nice from outside as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question! You maaaybe could do the exact same thing on the back with white but I really don't think it'd be necessary if you like the front fabric with solid white and use white drawstrings. It'd look pretty good from outside!

      Delete
  11. The fabric or material used as the face fabric is available in a huge range of plain colours, patterns, stripes and checks offering a huge array of options to compliment your decor. Once you have chosen your face fabric one of the most important decisions you need to consider is the lining.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A few things I learned while doing this project. If you are using dark fabric (like I did), you'll want to double it up. The mini blinds showing through the dark fabric looks terrible. Also, if you use a different fabric to go on the back (like I did), and do not glue it to the blinds like the front, then you get a neat affect when you roll up the shade; the shade folds up, while the back fabric stays beneath it, rolling up underneath. So you end up having your roman shade above and then a different fabric below. Not what I intended to happen, but I like it a lot.

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  13. I am definitely going to make these!

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