How To Make Roman Blinds
Pleated roman blinds are the perfect window addition to just about any room in the home, giving a modern, clean cut and clutter free look to your room of choice without any fuss at all. So 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 create a set of handmade roman blinds for your own home.
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
• Sewing machine & thread
• Velcro tape ( adhesive )
• Screw driver
• Screw eyes
• Wall cleat
Large cutting craft mat
Step one: Measuring your window space
The first thing you need to do is 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 so that the blind sits nicely in the window recess take half an inch off the width and height, then write down each measurement accordingly for you to use in step two.
One thing to consider though is that roman blinds can be fitted either outside or inside of the window frame’s recess depending on your personal preference and whether the depth of the frame allows you enough space (2-3 inches in depth) to fit the frame itself. However should you wish to fit your blinds outside of the frame then proceed to measure the outside area’s height and width rather than the window panel itself.
Step two: Preparing your fabric
To begin the fabric cutting process you need to have your fabric ruler, pencil, scissors or rotary cutter to hand along with the precise measurements you collected in step one to prepare your fabric and begin turning them into blind panels.
Making sure your work area is clean and clear lay your fabric out onto a flat even surface , then using the ruler and fabric pencil 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: An important thing to consider if you are wanting to create a number of roman blinds in the same room is if you are using a pattern base fabric with a repeat, 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 three: Preparing the hem’s of your fabric
To be sure you have perfectly straight seams for your blinds, using an electric iron carefully iron both the base and lining fabric along the hem line and then fold the edge in and iron over it again. Then placing right sides of the fabric facing each other and matching each raw edge 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 it right side out and using your iron with a bit of steam press your hemmed edge.
Step four: Position and marking out for doweling
Laying your fabric out flat now we’re moving onto marking out where the doweling will be placed in sections of the blind to 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 sections 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 and these markings are where your dowels will later be placed. Once these sections are marked out your very bottom section should measure around 10 cm’s half the size of an original interval panel.
Step five: Creating dowel pockets
Now to ensure your pieces of dowel stay securely in place you’ll need to with extra lining fabric create a series of cut lining pieces that 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 you previously cut for the base and lining fabric.
Taking one section at a time you need to then fold the cut lining piece in half and at about 1cm in create a stitched seam all the way along which at the end should give you’re a pipe like fabric piece with two edge sections one for either side.
Step six: 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 your left with either side 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; sewing through all layers of the fabric (you can use a zigzag stitch if you are worried about it coming undone).
Step seven: Attaching your blind rings
Now that your dowel pockets are stitched securely in place, measuring 2 cm’s from the edge of the fabric and attach a blind ring with needle and thread to each pocket section. Then measuring 20 – 40cm’s inwards 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 and for each 20-40cm measurement 2-3 rings on the inside of the dowel pocket depending on the size of your blinds).
Step eight: Fitting the roman blinds wooden border
The next step now that you’re close to completing your roman blinds is fitting the wooden border piece to your window space. Whether you’ve decided to place the piece on the inside or outside recess of the window using a drill and screws 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, attach one side of the velcro to the front of the board as this is where your blind will be attached once finished.
Step nine: Fitting screws eyes to your wooden border
On the underside of your attached wooden border you need to with a pencil, mark the measurements that indicate where each “blind ring” interval is placed. This will mean you’ll have markings for both end blind rings, the centre rings and 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 ten: 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.
Then taking your dowel pieces (cut 3 cm’s less than the blind width) 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 it’s the correct length and hangs right in your window space.
Final step: 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. Start 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 needs to be placed through the screw eye inserts into your top wooden border.
Thread each cord through the eyelets towards the final eyelet which you added to the side as this is where you’ll adjust the blind once it’s fitted. All that’s left to do then is add a blind handle of choice, tie the cording together and trim off any excess cord. To effectively secure your blind when it’s drawn, simply screw a wall cleat to the inner window space next to your blind handle as this will allow you to secure the blind in place when drawn upwards.