August 17, 2015

diy roman blackout shades

DIY Roman Blackout Shades

It's August. It's the hottest month of the year. Temperatures are reaching all-time highs & sweat-stains are just part of the everyday routine. You know where it's cool though? In my dark, dark apartment. I've finally hung blackout curtains in every room, the kitchen being the last. Don't get me wrong, I love sunshine, but I can't take the heat. Once fall arrives I'll throw open all the shades & embrace the light, but for now I'm thoroughly enjoying my cool, cave-like abode. 

I made regular blackout curtains for each of the rooms, minus the kitchen. I had to brainstorm for ideas outside of regular curtains for this room. The problem with curtains was that it would present a fire hazard. There's a gas oven below the window, & it has a constant pilot light on the stovetop. Not wanting curtains to sway in the breeze & possibly ignite on the stovetop, roman shades were in order.  I'm so happy with how these shades turned out, & I only had to use fabric, glue, & a cheap set of mini-blinds. 

Make your own Roman Shades

Here's everything I needed for my roman shades:

  • Blackout fabric
  • Home decor fabric (Nate Berkus, duh)
  • Sewing machine (although fabric glue can be used in place of sewing)
  • Mini blinds*
  • Fabric glue (I used Aleene's Fabric Fusion)

*The window in the kitchen is super narrow, but fortunately the helpful people at Ace Hardware were able to cut down a longer set of blinds to fit the teeny space (& it was free!). 

Make your own Roman Shades

Step 1. Cut fabric // Lay out your blinds & measure the width of the blind slats (the parts in the middle, not the top & bottom). Then measure the length of the blinds as a whole. Cut your blackout fabric to this length & width. Cut your home decor the same, but add a 1/2" on all sides for the seams (the blackout fabric does not fray & won't need to be hemmed). 

Easy roman shades tutorial

Step 2. Attach blackout to home decor fabric // Lay your blackout fabric on top of your home decor fabric, right sides facing out. In the same way the seam is sewn for regular blackout curtains, fold the home decor fabric in 1/2" on all sides & pin to the blackout fabric. You can either sew along all the sides, or apply fabric glue to the inside of the seams. If you are using glue, let dry for 2-4 hours before handling. 

Make roman shades using mini blinds

Step 3. Remove the ladders // Here comes the fun/intimidating part! Running through the slats of the blinds are two ropes: the main cord, & a set of "ladders," which will be thinner & look like, well, a ladder. The main cord will always remain intact. DO NOT CUT THE CORD! The ladder, on the other hand, needs to go. Pull the ladder away from the main cord, & cut it off of the blinds. This will free the slats to move around. 

Make Roman Shades by using cheap mini blinds!

Step 4.  Dissecting! // On the bottom bar of your blinds you'll find a plug at the end of each of the main cords. Take the plugs off & you'll be able to fully remove the ladders. Untie (or cut the knot off) the main cords. Pull off the bottom bar.

Tutorial for making Roman Shades from mini blinds

Step 5. Remove slats // With the bottom bar removed, slide off all but 4-5 of the slats (depending on how large you want the folds of your fabric to be). Run the main cords back through the bottom bar, re-tie, & replace the plugs. 

DIY up some roman window shades!

Step 6. Attach fabric to blinds // Lay your fabric down with the blackout side facing up. Lay your blinds on top with the front of the blinds facing down. Space out the remaining 4-5 slats evenly along the fabric. Now to glue everything in place. 

 I'm not going to lie, I had little trust in my fabric glue. So little that I sewed the bottom & top of my blinds to my fabric with a kind of strap-system. My doubt was misplaced, because wow does this glue work. Rather than doing what I did which was unnecessarily complicated, simply glue the top & bottom of your blinds to the back of your fabric, leaving the pulley mechanism on the top glue-free. Now glue the slats in place (it was as I way gluing the slats that I became a believer in the power of fabric glue). DO NOT GLUE THE CORD! Apply the glue to the outward curve of the slats, press onto the fabric, & smooth out to eliminate any bumps. Let dry for 2-4 hours. 

Hang as you would regular mini blinds. Done! 

Tutorial for making Roman shades out of mini blinds!

I'm so excited to have all the window treatments done in the apartment. Plus these new shades add a pop of color to our teeny kitchen which I'm loving. 


P.S. More of my favorite Berkus fabric in action in this desk chair transformation tutorial.

Affiliate links are used in this post. 

1 comment:

  1. wow! I;m really excited to try this. I love how easy she explained & showed how to do this! Thanks!