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How to make roman blinds

Learning how to make roman blinds is a little more complex than other types of blinds. However, these popular window dressings make such a great addition to your home that it is worth taking the time to learn how to make them. There are various steps to learning how to make roman blinds, but you should start by gathering your tools and measuring your window space, before moving on to prepping and hemming your fabric. For full detailed instructions, keep reading this guide.

Pleated roman blinds are the perfect window addition to just about any room in, giving a modern, clean cut and clutter free look without any fuss at all. We’re a big fan of roman blinds for a good reason, you can find out everything you need to know about them by reading our guide to roman blinds. If you are wanting to turn your hand to a bit of a project, here is the perfect step by step easy guide on how to make roman blinds for your home.

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Alternatively keep reading and we'll cover all the steps required when making a roman blind.

What you will need:

  • Base fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Wooden dowel pieces
  • Wooden top border piece
  • Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
  • Fabric pencil
  • Fabric ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Blind cord
  • Blind rings
  • Blind handle / acorn
  • Dressmaker pins
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine & thread
  • Velcro tape (adhesive)
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Screw driver
  • Screw eyes
  • Wall cleat
  • Large cutting craft mat (optional)

Step 1: Measuring your window space

The first step in learning how to make roman blinds is to measure the overall length of the window space where you would like to fit your handmade roman blinds. By doing this it will give you the accurate measurements to use when cutting both your base fabric and lining fabric that will make the blind itself. This should also help prevent any inaccurate cuts or potential waste of your fabric.

So starting off with a measuring tape you need to measure the height of the single window panel from top to bottom, as well as the width of the panel from left to right. After doing this, take half an inch off the width and height, then write down each measurement accordingly, which will help you in the following step.

One thing to consider, however, is that roman blinds can be fitted either outside or inside of the window frame’s recess depending on your personal preference. Another way it can be fitted is depending on whether the depth of the frame allows you enough space (2-3 inches in depth) to fit the frame itself. Should you wish to fit your blinds outside of the frame simply measure the outside area’s height and width rather than the window panel itself.

Step 2: Preparing your fabric

To begin the fabric cutting process you need to have your fabric ruler, pencil, scissors or rotary cutter to hand. You will also need the precise measurements you collected in step one to prepare your fabric and begin turning them into blind panels.

After making sure your work area is clean and clear, lay your fabric out onto a flat even surface, then use the ruler and fabric pencil to accurately mark out the width and drop for your roman blind. Be sure to add an extra 5cm around each of the four edges of your fabric for hemming. Carefully draw a straight line with your fabric pencil and using your scissors (or rotary cutter with a fabric ruler and large cutting mat) slowly cut along your marked lines. Repeat this step for your chosen lining fabric as well.

Note: Once you know how to make roman blinds you may decide to make them again! Here is an important thing to consider if you want to create several roman blinds in the same room. If you are using the same pattern base fabric, you need to ensure that the print is cut accurately so that the pattern is identical to your co-ordinating sets of blinds you intend to make.

Step 3: Preparing the hem’s of your fabric

To be sure you have perfectly straight seams for your blinds, using an electric iron, start ironing carefully both the base and lining fabric along the hem line. Then fold the edge in and iron over it again. Place the right sides of the fabric facing each other and match each raw edge. Finally, use dressmaker pins to accurately pin the seams in place along each edge of your fabric.

Once this is done use your sewing machine to sew a 2.5cm seam along the three edges of your fabric. Then simply fold the right side out, and using your iron with a bit of steam, press your hemmed edge.

Step 4: Position & marking out for dowelling

Laying your fabric out flat, we’re now moving onto marking out where the doweling will be placed in the sections of the blind. This will help create the pleated effect when the blinds are drawn. Using your fabric ruler, firstly measure 5cm down from the top of the fabric and place a small marking of this section’s measurement on your fabric.

It’s from this point that you’ll now begin to section out your blind fabric into individual intervals measuring between 20 to 30 cm’s in length. These markings are where your dowels will later be placed. Once these portions are marked out, the bottom section should measure around half the size of an original interval panel.

Step 5: Creating dowel pockets

In this step, you will need to start by creating a series of cut lining pieces with the extra lining fabric to ensure your pieces of dowel stay securely in place. These will cover the dowel on the back of your handmade roman blind. Each individual piece for each dowel section should be around 8 cm in height and the original length in width as you previously cut for the base and lining fabric.

Take one section at a time and fold the cut lining piece in half. At about 1cm in, create a stitched seam all the way along. In the end, it should be a pipe-like fabric piece with two edge sections one for either side.

Step 6: Attaching your dowel pockets

Once all the dowel pockets have been put together, using your electric iron just press along the seam to ensure that both edge sections are perfectly flat. Then using dressmaker pins attach each dowel pocket to the individual dowel sections you marked out earlier in step four.

With your sewing machine threaded up carefully, sew down each of the folded edges of your dowel pockets to attach them to your indicated areas on the blind. You will need to sew through all layers of the fabric. If you are worried about it coming undone, you might find it more helpful using a zigzag stitch.

Step 7: Attaching your blind rings

Now that your dowel pockets are stitched securely in place, measure 2 cm’s from the edge of the fabric and attach a blind ring with needle and thread to each pocket section. Then measure 20 – 40cm’s inwards and continue to attach the blind rings across the width of the blind. You should end up with two rings on either end of each dowel interval. For each 20-40cm measurement, add 2-3 rings on the inside of the dowel pocket depending on the size of your blinds.

Step 8: Fitting the roman blinds wooden border

You’re now very close to completing your roman blinds. The next step is fitting the wooden border piece to your window space. Regardless of whether you’re placing the piece on the inside or outside recess, use a drill and screws to place your border piece and secure it accurately in place. Now using a piece of Velcro (adhesive), cut to the length of your wooden border and attach one side of the Velcro to the front of the board. This is where your blind will be attached once finished.

Step 9: Fitting screws eyes to your wooden border

On the underside of your attached wooden border, mark the measurements that indicate where each “blind ring” interval is placed. This will mean you’ll have markings for both the end and the centre rings. Once you’ve done this, simply place each screw eye (as well as an additional screw eye) to the chosen side you want to place your blind cord.

Step 10: Securing your dowels in place

Going back to your blind, turn down the 2.5cm hem located at the top of the blind and stitch the hem along the line. Then taking your remaining half of velcro you used earlier, place and stitch this piece to the top inside section of the blind.

Take your dowel piece and cut 3 cm’s less than the blind width. Now, place them into the lining pockets made earlier and hand stitch the openings on either side shut with a needle and thread. Take your finished blind and connect the two pieces of velcro to ensure that it’s the correct length and that it hangs right in your window space.

Step 11: Attaching your blind cording

Lastly, remove your handmade blind and laying it onto a flat surface. You can now take your blind cord and begin to thread the cording through each ring on the underside of the blind. Starting from the bottom, secure the threads into place with a knot and work your way upwards through the rings. Once you reach the top, the cording ne