How to Build Roman Blinds

By Michelle Powell-Smith

  • Overview

    Roman blinds work well in both traditional and more modern spaces. They can allow you control of both light and privacy. You can make your own Roman shades quite easily, creating custom window treatments that match your furniture and accessories. These will work in any room, but are especially ideal in kitchens, breakfast nooks, and casual dining areas where a lot of fabric can be a mess or fire hazard. While purchasing Roman blinds can be costly and may require custom work, making your own is a great project as long as you have basic sewing skills.
    • Step 1

      Measure your windows and constructing mounting boards. Most of the time, Roman blinds fit within the window frame, creating a clean overall appearance. Blinds may also be mounted outside the window frame if you prefer. Cut a 1-by-2 inch board to the length required for your window, either in or outside the frame. Install small metal screw eyes on the mounting board every 10 to 12 inches. Mounting boards can be painted, stained or covered in the shade fabric.
    • Step 2

      Purchase both exterior fabric and lining fabric 1 1/4 inches wider than the mounting board and 6 to 10 inches longer than the length from the mounting board to the windowsill. Add 6 inches to the total length of the shade, and multiply this by the number of screw eyes in the mounting board when purchasing Roman blind tape. Cord will be threaded through the tape and into the screw eyes. Allow for two and a half to three times the total measurement of the Roman shade tape when buying thin drapery cord.


    • Step 3

      Stitch lining and outer fabric together, right sides together. Allow for a 5/8-inch seam, and leave an opening for turning. Turn your Roman blind right side out, and press well. Slipstitch the opening closed by hand. Press a 2-inch hem into place at the bottom of the shade, hiding the slipstitched opening. Pin Roman blind tape into place, allowing space for the ends to be hidden in the hem allowance and carefully lining the tape up with the metal screw eyes in the mounting board. Use a zipper foot to secure the tape, being sure that your thread is a close match to the fabric and keeping your seams straight.
    • Step 4

      Be certain that your tape is properly aligned for good Roman shade function. Stitch decorative trim in place if desired. Sew the hem in place. Thread the opening with a dowel or narrow slat of wood. Slipstitch the casing ends closed.
    • Step 5

      Mount your Roman blind to the top of the mounting board using a staple gun and staples. The shade will hang down from the top, covering the mounting board and hardware. Use L brackets to mount your shade on your window as desired, either within the window frame or outside of it. Thread your drapery cord through the rings, securing it to the bottom ring of the Roman shade tape. String through the metal screw eyes and then through the last screw eye on one end of the blind. Secure all cords together with a knot, and pass through a toggle on one side of the Roman blind. Adjust by pulling the toggle and wrapping the cords around a hook on your wall or window frame.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Outer fabric
    • Lining fabric
    • Thin drapery cord
    • Toggle
    • Decorative ribbon or trim (optional)
    • Roman blind tape
    • Mounting board
    • Metal screw eyes
    • L brackets
    • Dowel rod
    • Sewing machine and thread
    • Zipper foot
    • Staple gun and staples
    • Tip: Roman shade tape is not essential, but will save sewing on rings. Small drapery rings can be used if Roman blind tape is not available.
    • Tip: Interline your shade with light blocking fabric, if desired.
    • Warning:
    • Measure twice to be certain that your fabric is the right size for your Roman shade.

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