Roman (Shade) Holiday

Ahhh. The window treatments for the bedroom (while not completely finished) are up and actually covering the windows! Now we can prance around the room in various states of dishabille without the constant worry that our temporary window shades might peel off and fall to the floor. I guess now I’ll have to get my nightly dose of adrenaline some other way. Perhaps the flashing lights and “pew-pew” noises (as Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing put it) of the M16 lamp will provide that touch of secret agent excitement.

As for the roman shades, I was very much inspired by the lovely ones I saw over at Made2Style, and decided to put my own spin on them. Here’s all you need to make your very own:fabric glue, Ikea fabric, mini blinds, hemming tape

Fabric glue, fabric, mini blinds and hemming tape. You will also need scissors, an iron and a measuring tape.

1.  Measure your window and select blinds to fit. I wanted these to hang up and above the window frame because the window is so tiny and low that I wanted them to appear taller than they are. Otherwise you would measure inside your window. These mini blinds cost $3.95 at Target.

2.  Cut your fabric. I gave myself about four extra inches on all sides, so the fabric could be folded over on the edges and so I could cover the top and bottom of the blinds. Then press the fabric off with an iron. Oooh, the rush of trying to take a picture of an iron in “action.” It almost looks like the iron has come to life and is doing the ironing for me! In my fantasy, this little ironing bot has a British accent.

Ikea fabric, Rowente iron

A very good morning to you, mi’Lady.

3.  Lay your mini blinds out on the fabric and remove the slats. Be sure to have your measurements for your window (how long you want your finished product to be). Cut off the little ladder ropes that keep the slats in place. Be sure to NOT CUT the main cord that pulls the blinds up and down. You will have to remove the button on the bottom of the blinds that keeps the cord in place. Now, just slide all the slats off of the cord.

Reserve the number of slats that you want to use for your roman shade. You’ll be left with  something that looks like this:

5. Now just fold your edges inward on the sides and iron down. The slats provide the perfect template for exactly how wide your fabric should be. Just be sure to move them out of the way before your ironing robot you start to iron.
Rowente iron

6. Glue fabric around the top part of the mini blinds. Be sure not to cover the ends or get glue in the mechanism that raises and lowers the cord. Not like I did this. Twice.

7. Place your slats and glue them, and the sides of the fabric, in place. Run the two cords that will raise and lower your shade through the holes in the slats. Then slide them into place at whatever intervals you want. It helps to “play” with the fabric to see how it will drape. I put mine at about 10 inches apart. As you are glueing the slats, tuck them inside the fold at the side of the fabric. (Just be sure to keep the glue away from the main cords.) At this step, adhere the sides of the fabric down as you insert the slats. I used hemming tape and an iron, but fabric glue would work too.

8. Finish off the bottom of the shade. Run the cords through the holes at the thick bottom component of the shade, tie a knot and pop the buttons back on. A hammer would be useful for re-inserting the buttons. A corkscrew also works. Then just fold up the fabric and glue into place.

9. Allow to dry (with some heavy books on top of the slats) and then hang according to the instructions that came with the mini-blinds. When dry, I cut off the excess fabric at the bottom. Look the roman shade is learning through osmosis! Haha! <crickets> And I wonder why boys didn’t like me in high school.

10. Enjoy!
roman shade bedroom

When lowered, these come to just below the window frame. I’m going to tackle the cornice boards this weekend, but I wanted to get both shades done before I move on to that. This was a fun and fairly easy project, but here’s the best part: the total cost.

  • Fabric from Ikea (about $8.00 worth)
  • Vinyl mini-blind from Target ($3.95)
  • Fabric glue (had on hand)
  • Hemming Tape (had on hand)

That brings the grand total to less than 12 dollars a shade! I’m so excited about these, that I’ve already planned ones for the living room! I hope you like them! 


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About C.A.

I'm the daughter of a Marine and a "Bond Girl" type of mom who bestowed upon me a wealth of wisdom. I want to bring that courage, purpose, intelligence, resourcefulness, glamour and joie-de-vivre into every aspect of my life.
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23 Responses to Roman (Shade) Holiday

  1. keri says:

    GENIOUS!!!! I’m so inspired and can’t wait to tackle some for my house. Thanks for the step by step instructions.

  2. kelly catanese says:

    Awesome tutorial! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Karen says:

    Will definitely file away this tutorial! Awesome. I’ll email photos and tutorial I found for the cornice boards. Have a lovely day:)

  4. susan seagroves says:

    you are so smart and talented! your blinds look great, and what a price!!!

    i encourage you to pursue a “blog job” with hearst publishing company…
    you have an “in”, so go for it…your blog is fresh and fun, and contains so
    many great ideas and tips…especially for young home owners:)

    • C.A. says:

      Thank you! What a compliment!! I’m going to go for it – it’s definitely worth a shot. I really appreciate your words of encouragement! xoxo

  5. Cindy @Made2Style says:

    They came out great! Love the fabric!!

  6. Hatton says:

    So pretty! And love the photos of y’all running and the picnic. Miss you!

  7. Ashley says:

    I think I am going to try and tackle some of these for my living room today. But instead of leaving the back all blank and weird looking, you see my windows as you walk up to my house, I am going to try to put a lighter fabric on the back side so it looks pretty :D

    • C.A. says:

      Let me know how it goes! I’m interested in using a liner as well, but I worried that the shade wouldn’t fold up properly with one on. I guess you could always do the above steps with your liner fabric itself, and then attach your decorative fabric to the front. This means the slats would still show on the back though. Hmm. Definitely something to think about!

      I’m actually considering using wooden dowels (painted white) in the future just to make it a little more upscale.

  8. Nisha says:

    I found your blog through Reddit a while ago and fell in love. I especially love these tutorials you post. My husband and I are in the process of doing a complete makeover to our house and one of the things I absolutely hate are the blinds. This is an AWESOME idea and it saves us so much money! My husband’s still a bit sceptic about it but I’ll prove him wrong ;)

    • C.A. says:

      Thank you Nisha! That is so nice of you to say! :) I’m glad you like the tutorials, and I’ll keep them coming! I’m actually working on one now for a different kind of roman shade (that I hope looks even more upscale). I’m always trying to take inspiration from magazines and books and produce something lovely for our home that cost next to no money! Luckily I enjoy the process. There really is a certain pride that comes with making something yourself. :)


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  12. MamaBearVB says:

    GREAT idea! I had old, broken, wood blinds when we moved into our new home, and this was the perfect fix to redeem them since I got to cut out the broken slats. I am worried about how they will look like from the back, but for an afternoon’s work (including fabric shopping), this is a fantastic idea. Might just add on fabric on the back later. THANK YOU!!!

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