Do-It-Yourself No-Sew Roman Shades
Doesn’t that seem like an impossible statement? No-Sew Roman Shades? I thought so too…but my friend Kristi decided to give them a try for her new house. And her results turned out so beautifully. I am always blown away by how much window treatments cost. But…no home is really complete without window coverings…and a lot of times you don’t want heavy curtains or drapery. So this is a great, fairly simple, project that will save you some serious bank. And Kristi did an amazing job!
First, measure your window – make sure to take into account if you want the shades to be inside the molding or not (I would assume most people would want them inside…but whatever floats your boat). Next grab a set of mini-blinds that are the correct width – don’t worry about the length. We’ll be messing with that. Lay the mini-blinds all the way out on a flat surface and cut the ladder type cord away from the blinds on either side – but don’t cut the cord that allows you to lift and lower the blinds. That is an important part that you’ll need to keep.
Once you remove the ladder cord, the blinds will slide freely up and down the lift cord. Then, decide how long you want your pleats to be – this tutorial recommends 6”-9”. Then divide your total length by how long you want the pleats to be (in Kristi’s example she used 54” long divided by 6” pleats to get 8 blinds plus 1 bottom slat) and you’ll get the number of how many blinds you’ll need including the bottom slat.
Take off the bottom slat by removing the plugs on the thick bottom piece and remove all the extra blinds so you just have the 8 (or whatever your number is) that you need. Measure the lift string to be your required length, cut to that length and re-attach the bottom thick slat and then knot at the end. Push the rest of the cord back into the hole and re-insert the plugs. This sounds difficult…but anyone who’s removed blinds from a mini-blind so you don’t have a bunch of extra blinds hanging below your window knows it’s not that tough.
Now on to your fabric piece! Make sure your fabric is the correct length & width hemmed (You can use heat and bond to hem all 4 sides…to continue your no-sew ways) After this, lay the fabric the wrong side up and use fabric glue to attach the top mechanical slat to the top of the fabric. Then measure in 6” and mark where to glue the next slat. Keep that slat in place and measure another 6” from the bottom of that slat and mark where the next slat should go. Continue until you’ve marked where all the slats should be glued.
Then go back and use fabric glue to glue the rounded side of the mini-blinds to where you marked each slat should go. Make sure each slat is straight and in the exact middle of the width of the fabric.
Allow them to dry overnight in place – use something to hold them down if necessary. Oh – and whatever you do – do not glue the lift cord! This has to be left free to pull the roman shades up and down!
The next day, use a hot glue gun to glue extra fabric to the bottom and sides and to make everything pretty and finished looking – but leave the top uncovered so it can slide into the bracket at the top when you install in the window.
Install the bracket from the mini blinds on your window and slip the finished shade into the bracket and you’re ready to go!!
Doesn’t this look so unbelievably professional? You would have sworn that Kristi spent a lot of money on these shades…but her only real costs were the fabric (she did buy home décor fabric that was a little more expensive, but she wanted them to look really nice and hold up to lots of use), mini-blinds, heat and bond, and some fabric glue. Which is pretty amazing considering they look like she had them custom-made!
I love this project – this is what DIY is all about! Has anyone else tried this project? I’d love to see what a patterned version looks like!