When I saw this project I got excited! Okay, not “you’ve just won a new car” excited, more like found a twenty-dollar bill in the pocket of an old coat excited, but excited nonetheless. This is an awesome project for those of us who like to recreate and recycle things we already have, like vinyl window blinds that we’re totally over, but haven’t really got the funds to part with. I have coveted Roman shades for years, but the retail price tag on them is seriously outrageous. Come to think of it, the price of most really attractive window treatments is pretty daunting, so a lot of us feel stuck with thin curtains, or the old standby, inexpensive blinds.
Well, when I ran across this project, I was thrilled to discover that I could make my own roman shades, and really disappointed that I was so obtuse that I hadn’t thought of this a long time ago. If you’re not familiar with roman shades, they’re sort of a hybrid between blinds and a pull-down shade. They block light very well, and since you can draw them up like blinds you can easily adjust the light in your room. Best of all, they neither tangle like blinds or depend on a spring that seems to have a mind of its own, like a roll up shade.
When you want to start on this project, you’ll need a few tools, and some basic materials:
• Pencil – to mark where your slats will go on the project
• Tape measure – to help you choose how many slats you need and to help place them.
• Clothespins – to hold things secure while the decoupage dries
• Household Iron – crisp folds will help you create a professional looking project
• Scissors – to cut your fabric to length and to make cuts required to fit it to the blinds
• Small bowl – disposable is probably best, this is for holding your decoupage
• Foam brush – for spreading your decoupage
• A set of standard sized blinds – vinyl mini-blinds won’t work well for this project
• Heavyweight fabric – cloth upholstery fabrics work well. This should be about four inches wider than your blinds. You will fold over both sides and iron them to give your project a clean finished edge.
• Decoupage – Modge Podge is a popular brand name. You will use this to glue your fabric to the blinds.
The version of this project you will see in the video below is “one-sided,” the side of the shade viewed from the outside will be unfinished. If that is a concern for you, you can simply add another panel of your chosen fabric to the other side. So long as you iron your folds and apply the fabric carefully, the project should work with two “finished” sides.
The basic steps of this project are fairly simple:
1. Measure your window first and trim your blind to the correct length.
2. Cut away the ladder strings of the blind.
3. Do the math, divide your length by 7 inches to find how many slats you will need and remove those you don’t need.
4. Lay out your fabric. Measure and mark where your slats need to go. Lay them out in the appropriate places.
5. Place the slats at the appropriate intervals on your fabric and glue them into the folded edged of your fabric. Use Clothespins to secure until your project is dry.
6. Attach your fabric to the top and bottom of your blinds as shown in the video.
7. Once your decoupage is dry your roman shade is ready to hang using the hardware from the shade you used in the project.
Watch the video and get ready to make your own Roman shades. I’m so excited about this one I’m going to do my whole house. With the savings over buying finished commercial shades I’m more like hundred dollar bills in my pockets excited!