How to Make Your Own Bamboo Shades

What You'll Need
Sulfur (powder form)
Pneumatic Press
Hole Punch
Wood Coat
Pull Cords

If you are looking for an inexpensive, unique, and stylish way to decorate the windows around your house, bamboo shades may be the answer. Bamboo blinds can provide a very different look rather than generic plastic blinds most commonly used. One benefit of bamboo for shades is that it can block out the sunlight completely when closed and when opened can reflect the light to provide a very natural light. Here are the basic steps for creating your own bamboo shades to transform your typical home into an island vacation resort.

Step 1 – Cut the Bamboo

This step is only necessary if you are working with raw bamboo. If you purchased the shades already cut into shape and treated, you can skip to step 5. If you are using raw bamboo, you will need to cut the pieces into basic poles that you will form later. Be sure to measure the window you are going to cover to make sure the bamboo shades are the right size when you get to that step.

Step 2 – Clean the Bamboo

Once you have the basic shapes in place for your bamboo shades you will need to peel and skin the bamboo down. You will then mix the sulfur powder into a solution (with water) to soak the bamboo pieces in to disinfect them completely. The disinfection stage should last around 12 hours.

Step 3 – Dry the Bamboo

The next step in the process is completely dependent on the weather. You will need a large amount of natural sunlight to be able to dry the blinds completely. If possible stand the bamboo up to allow it to dry quicker. If you cannot stand it up, lay the blinds out on a flat surface where they are in complete sunlight. The amount of time they will need to remain in the sun is dependent on the type of bamboo you use. It will be a couple of hours at the very least.

Step 4 – Press the Bamboo

After the bamboo has dried you will need to apply the adhesive to join the pieces together so you can put them into the pneumatic press. This will create one large rectangular plate that you can cut the actual shades out of. These shades should all be very close to one another in width and height. The shades can be very rough at this point. If necessary you can sand the shades down to a smooth surface before applying the coating to protect them.

Step 5 – Assemble the Blinds

The last step is to use the hole punch to put identical holes into each individual shade that you will run the cord through. Run the cord through the holes on each side to hold the shades in place. Once they are in position correctly you can pull the cord to raise and lower the blinds as needed.