Roman shades are the most common window treatment today because of its minimalist design. Curtains are more for Victorian homes, and coloured plastic blinds are too 90’s! So if you have some window blinds in there, you can give your home a more modern outfit if you want to by redesigning that old window treatment 🙂

DIY Roman Shades

Don’t have blinds? There are plenty of ways to source old, cheap (or free) blinds that are still in good condition or repairable. You can ask family and friends, visit local thrift shops, or search online!

Now here’s a little note: this project is best for small windows. Using plastic blinds for bigger windows might cause your DIY roman shades to sag or the plastic slats might not be able to carry the weight of a large fabric. If your windows are a bit bigger or longer, you will want to look for more a more sturdy material like wooden blinds.

Could your windows use this makeover?




DIY Roman Shades

First, take note of the measurements of your window. Always add an inch to determine the length and width of your window shades. For instance, if your window is 60 inches long and 53 inches wide, your window treatment should be 61 inches long and 55 inches wide.

Then decide how long you want the pleats to be. Six to nine inches is a nice length for small windows. Trust your judgement! 🙂

DIY Roman Shades

Once you have decided on the pleats, it’s now time to alter your window blinds. Blinds have two types of strings weaved in them. The thick string pulls the blinds up and down. The other, which looks like a ladder, holds the plastic strips in place for proper spacing. Cut the ladder string, removing it entirely. Be careful not to cut the thicker string!

DIY Roman Shades

Now you will have to remove some of the plastic strips, depending on the length of your pleats. Say you want 6-inch pleats and your window blinds is 54 inches long, you will only need 9 strips – 8 small strips and the last slat. Easy math! :)

DIY Roman Shades

To remove the strips, remove the small caps which you can see at the thick slat below. Inside them are the knots of the strings that hold the strips in place. Untie them then remove the excess strips.

DIY Roman Shades

Then put it back together – tie the end of the string, put it back inside the hole and replug the small caps. Make sure that the length of your window blinds extended is the right length for your window! In our example, it should still be 54 inches long.

Window Shades

Now with the fabric: Measure and cut the fabric according to the dimensions of your window blinds, giving each side an extra 2-inch margin for sewing the hem. If you don’t want to sew, you can use heat n’ bond :)


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