DIY Roman Shade

This is the story of a homemade roman shade gone wrong (and then made right!)

I’ve learned some valuable lessons from my Pinterest craze, including this: just because it’s on the internet does not mean that it is quality–or will even work!

Earlier this year, my mom and I made a roman shade from a tutorial that I saw on Pinterest. The idea was to take cheap, vinyl blinds and cut them to use as a roman shade. The concept: cut off the “ladder” part of the blinds that holds each slat in place, keeping only enough slats for the number of gatherings you want on your shade. Then, measure the length of the window and cut the cords to length. Next, cut the chosen fabric to the width and height of the window/blinds. Use fabric glue to glue the blinds (remaining slats and top and bottom) to the fabric, and you’re done!

(Side note: if you’re actually interested in doing this project, I can give you more explicit detail than given in this post.)

My mom (who has completed a project or two of her own over the years) advised me to use a thicker material than what the tutorial used (so that they would still look nice when light shines through the window. She also suggested that we back it with a neutral fabric so that it would be even thicker and leave a nicer-looking finish.

Though she was right about those things, it was all for naught. I barely mis-measured the string on one side of the blinds. I tried to fix it by supergluing and taping another little piece of string so that the shade would be able to extend all of the way. (See it on the right side of the picture?)

But, then, the “knot” would get caught on the slats every time I tried to raise or lower the shade. Eventually, it led to this:


It ripped off the end of the vinyl slats. Meaning, the shade would never raise or lower like it was supposed to.

Alrighhhht, here’s how we fixed it.

I ripped off all the remaining vinyl slats, along with the top and bottom of the blinds.


The next step was to sew some plastic rings in place of the slats.


Also, we bought a new blinds set. I repeated the process from the first time, making sure to cut the strings to exactly the right length. πŸ™‚

I re-glued everything in place, and guess what? I think it’s really gonna work this time!


It’s hanging rather well from our kitchen window as we speak:

It even draws up without a problem!

Even with all the time, energy, and few extra bucks we had to spend to get this thing working, I still feel this was a great option for my kitchen window. I didn’t have room for regular drapes because of the cabinets on either side and I wanted something that looked more appealing than simple blinds. I also priced roman shade kits at the beginning of this whole saga, and they run between $30-$50 dollars (fabric not included)!

So, my hope is that after reading about my errors and woes, you could make your very own roman shade for little money and little headache…seeing as how I worked out all the kinks for you. πŸ˜‰




Filed under DIY projects, home improvements

6 responses to “DIY Roman Shade

  1. well done! I had wanted to do something similar a couple of years ago, but then lucked out on clearance energy efficient roman shades at bed bath and beyond! ($5 each). but I could still use a few more for the children’s bedrooms

  2. you wanna help me make one for our kitchen window?? – Jena

  3. Lori

    Do you have a link where I can find the detailed instructions for how you completed your diy shade? I too read a pinterest diy project only using the shade/glue method and would like to do one instead with the material back and the rings vice leaving the slat in place. Would super appreciate it!! Thanks πŸ™‚


      Hi! Thanks for your interest! Above is the link to the tutorial I followed (the first time around). I don’t have a tutorial for the second version (just the steps I put on this post). The backing was measured to fit the window, sewn with my original fabric inside out, and then turned right side in and ironed. The plastic rings were hand stitched to each spot (I used the spot where the glue was from the previous attempt with vinyl slats as my guide). Also, remember to thread your rings with the string from the blinds before you sew. Not sure if that helped at all, but I don’t have any more visual aids from when I made it. Let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck!

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