I first came across this project last year on Little Green Notebook, and I finally tried this out myself! It’s an inexpensive way to make a custom roman shade for any window out of any fabric you want. All you need are some inexpensive mini-blinds, your fabric of choice (enough to cover the blinds when fully let out), fabric craft glue like Fabri-tac (not hot-glue), scissors, a tape measure, and any trim you’d like to add.
You’ll want to do this on a flat surface, where you can lay the blinds out easily (for me, this was our floor in the dining room).
First, measure your window length and figure out how many folds you’d like in your blind. Because of my window length, I put mine at every 9 and a half inches (make sure the number you choose divides equally into the length of your window). That meant that I would only need 3 slats plus the bottom rail (four total including the rail).
Next, after you let your blinds out fully and lay them flat, you’re going to cut away the tilt-cords. These are generally the outside cords connected to the ladder-like cords that support the slats. Make sure you do NOT cut the lift cord, which is generally in the center. I just cut down one side, snipping away as I went down the blind. After you are finished, your blind slats will not be supported from underneath any longer. Trim away the cords at the top of the blind and the bottom so that all you’re left with is the center lift-cord.
Now you’ll need to take off the bottom rail. This was kind of difficult on mine because the lift cord was knotted into the plastic plugs in the rail. I had to pop out the plugs, dig out the knots, cut them, and then I could fully remove the plugs from the rail. Set the rail and plugs aside. Remove all the mini-blind slats that you don’t need – for me, it was all but 3. Re-attach the rail to the shade and lift-cords so that it is about an inch longer than your window. Re-knot the lift cords into the plugs if necessary. Trim away any extra length left from the lift cords.
Now you have the skeleton for your shade! Trim your fabric to the size you need for the blind, plus 2 to 4 inches to fold over as a hem on all sides. Lay this fabric face down on your work surface, and then lay the blinds face down on top of them. Fold over and glue a hem with the couple inches on top. Glue this hem to the top rail of the blinds making sure to not cover any areas that you may need clear to hang the blinds up. On each side, fold over the fabric the inch or two you’ve alloted to cover the edges. I glued my side seams down until I got to the position of my first slat.
Making sure to measure carefully from each side so that it’s straight and even, position your slat convex side down on the fabric. Glue into place without getting glue onto the lift cords. If you glue the lift cords and they do not move, you will not be able to raise your shade up and down.
Continue this process down the shade until you get to the bottom. Fold up and glue the hem, then glue to the edge of the bottom rail.
After letting it fully dry, you’re ready to add any trim that you want to the front and hang!
I wish I had been more careful when laying out my slats and glueing into place. It was only afterwards that I realized that they were not all in line going down (they were straight going across, but the edges of the slats didn’t line up perfectly when going down). I will be honest and say that this wasn’t quite as easy as I had thought it would be. And it definitely helped to have an extra set of hands!
Now that it’s hanging up, I really like how it turned out! It looks great, raises and lowers easily, and brings some color and pattern into our little kitchen!
Has anyone else tried this? If you have, or if you do, send me your pictures! I’d love to see them!