DIY Roman Shade
DIY Roman Shade
I had a vision here for this window covering of something cool, modern and bold. I also wanted to switch to a roman shade type covering because I could use the few inches I’d gain by eliminating the curtains since opening my “in bedroom gym” ;P… and it feels more open. Now, Roman shades and drapes don’t have to be either/or, they look gorgeous together and I often recommend it, but here it was more about the added space.
While I love helping clients find beautiful custom treatments for their windows- and am happy to show you your options given your desired investment range… this was a fun project to take on- I love an opp to try a diy! And given that I’m in a rental and unsure how long I’ll stay, I was looking for a cost effective solution. (And a quick one since I'm an instant gratification kinda diy-er)
*This was technically the 4th time I tried this DIY, I have 3 others on my large Living Room window.
I’ve had my eye on this material from Ikea for a couple of years now and it fit perfectly into my moodboard for my bedroom update… more on that later. WINK.
This was a barely there budget project because the fabric only cost me $12 and I already had the blinds. (For reference, when I did the smaller sets of shades they were about $8 a piece) It was my first time using corded blinds for this diy, but they worked just as easily as the cordless ones. This was also the largest at 64” wide!
To start, decide how many folds you want on your shade. Here, I I opted for 6 folds.
Tip on choosing your folds: With less folds I find that when they are drawn up the top feels more full- because essentially, your folds will be larger since there's more fabric between them. Also take into consideration the weight of your fabric. If it's a heavier fabric, you may want more folds so that the weight is supported since it will be adhered to more slats.
Then decide where those folds will be in order to be evenly spaced and mark these slats. Here, I had 62 slats, so I marked every 10th slat as this would be where the fold will lay.
- If you’re wondering about the math on this one, the bottom fold was slightly off, but unnoticeable
- Keep in mind how you’re marking these and if you’ll see through your fabric when you glue it to the slats (you can mark one above or below the one you want to keep to be sure there are no marks to see)
- This is the first time I did this while they were hanging (you can spread the blinds out and do it on the floor also)
Now, cut the slats that you won’t be keeping.
- Again, this is the first time I did this while they were hanging, you can spread the blinds out and do it on the floor also
- Be careful not to cut any of the strings… you’ll need these to guide the slats up and down (If you happen to cut them though, you can do surgery! You should be able to tie or sew them in a way that will support the slat)
- I find it easier to snip the hole that the strings go through to open it up and then tear the blind or if your scissor skills are on point- keep the strings to the side with one hand and cut along the hole on the other to free the strings (the second option I've seen diy greats do, but it gives me heart palpitations)
- Are you following?? My DIY Roman Shade highlights here show a closer view and video
Determine the size of fabric you’ll need for your window
- Using the blinds as a guide, mark the width all the way down the length of your fabric. By using the header of the blinds (the widest part) you'll ensure that each slat is fully covered. You can double check this measurement against the width of your window to make sure you don't go too wide
- The length is found by measuring the height of your window. As always measure twice, cut once, but for sure on the length! If you plan on using these to close, you don't want them looking like flood pants and being too short
Prep the fabric
- Sew or heat bond the edges of your fabric to create a nice crisp edge. I can’t sew a button (yet!), so for me THIS is my go to
- Also, I cheated here since the width of this fabric happened to match the length on my window. I left the "side" edges (not the cut edge) as is- they were adhered to the top header bar and bottom bar, and because those are wrapped around- you don't even see them! I always make sure to have a crisp edge on the sides because those make it feel very tailored and fancy
Attach your fabric
- Start with the fabric print side (or the side that will face you when hung) down
- Lay the opened blinds down on top of the fabric- make sure the blinds are facing the same way (the side that will face you when hung should be down)
- Gently pull down the open blinds so that they are stretched out completely **use a weight on the bottom bar for cordless, they'll try and close up on you
- Ensure that your strings are all lined up straight (this is where one of mine went wonky... I'll show in my highlights) They should be parallel to the sides of your shade all the way down
- Starting with the top bar, add fabric glue (I find this one works best), smear it with your finger so that there are no visible glue marks, and then adhere the fabric
- Wrap the fabric up over the top by about a ¼” to hide the seam or edge
- Work your way down adding fabric glue to the rounded side of each slat, smear it and flip it down to the fabric **Be sure to leave the strings free from glue!! This will allow the shade to go up and down
- Do the same for the bottom bar, making sure to wrap extra fabric to cover the bottom of the bar so there’s no visible “seam” when the shade is up
- Let this dry (I wait for at least a couple hours)
Hang your shade
- Use the hardware that comes with the blind to pop it up in the window as instructed
A Few Tips:
- For a corded shade I doubled up the fabric with heat bond in a small (1.5” x 1.5”) square right in front of the spot where the cord came out and made a small cut in it so that the cord could be pulled through- I’ll then wrap this and add a tassel to make it pretty
- Make sure you don’t cut your strings! If you do, you can sew them, but really try not to…
- Make sure that your strings are lined up straight before you glue the fabric down… I didn’t do this on one shade and you can see the cords going a bit diagonal when the light shines through
- Leave the strings free from the glue! I left about a 1" gap for them to pass
- I broke this down in bite sized pieces which makes it seem a little long, but I’d say this DIY is a 5.5/10 for involvement. It’s particular, but you don’t need a lot of tools and it doesn’t take a ton of time for the level of wow factor
What about the backside??
This is such a good question I've been getting! I did think about it, but honestly for me, it wasn't a big concern. However, I totally understand wanting to make sure the windows don't look crazy from the outside lol (I'll update with a photo!)
The linen set that I have, I specifically wanted to keep as light filtering so that my plants stay happy without having to keep them open all day- which they have! I think because they are so light in color (plus the blinds are white), and I'm on the second floor it's not very noticeable from the outside. I have seen these made with a liner behind, so I'm going to try that next and I'll do a follow up post. Then, there would be fabric on both sides of the blinds. The main thought here is to make sure that the weight of both pieces of fabric doesn't become too heavy for the blinds- so I'm thinking maybe more folds if you line it... experiment on the way!
And there you have it! I’ve had 3 on my living room windows for about 10 months (with daily use) and they’ve held up exactly as they were when I put them up. It’s a fun option for working a budget with a super custom look or perfect for someone who likes to switch things up!
What do you think? Is this something you’d try? Thank you so much for reading!! If you decide to give it a go, I'm happy to offer any tips I have... reach out on IG or shoot me an email.
Happy Home-ing xx,