Make Your Own Roman Blinds

Bed in front of window with Roman blind
  • 2-15 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-300
What You'll Need
Sewing machine
Clothes iron
Measuring tape
Sewing needle
Lining fabric
Tailor chalk
Sewing thread
Doweling rod
Blind rings
Velcro sew & stick
Wooden batten
Screw eyes
Blind cord
Blind acorn

Roman blinds are functional, neat and decorative, which makes them ideal for styling the windows of your home or office. Roman blinds are made of several fabric loops attached to a single fabric lining piece that covers the window. When the blinds are pulled up, they make an attractive gathered bunch at the top and have an elegant look when they are closed.

Making them yourself is an easy and inexpensive way to enhance the look of a room, and of course, provide some shade! It is not necessary to be a whiz with the sewing machine to create roman blinds. All you need is a little bit of savvy and you’re away!

Step 1 - Measure Up

Take your time when measuring your window to ensure the blind fits correctly. Measure the width of the window recess from wall to wall. Take width measurements from the top, center, and bottom of the window. If it is not regular, use the smallest width measurement.

Then measure the drop, from the top recess to the bottom sill. Take off one inch on the width measurement ONLY, to allow for the finished blind to move easily within the window recess. Then add ¼ inch on both the width and height measurements, to allow for seams. If in any doubt, double-check.

Step 2 - Choose Material

The weight of the material does not restrict choices. Roman blinds can be made from any material, so long as it complements the décor of your room. More popular choices of material include cotton, hemp, silk, and linen.

It is important to consider durability, as your blinds will be exposed to dust and sunlight. For this project, you will need to buy the same amount of lining fabric, plus an extra half yard to make the pockets for the dowel rods.

Step 3 - The Main Panel

Roman blind

Cut the blind fabric and the lining fabric to size. Match the right sides of the fabric together, then pin and sew the raw edges, at the sides and the bottom with a one-inch seam. Do not seam the top raw edge at this point. Then turn the material right side out, and press.

Step 4 - Mark the Dowel Sections

Measure ¼ inch from the top raw edge and mark with tailor chalk. From here, measure and mark with tailor chalk, where the dowel rods (section intervals) will be. There is no absolute rule, with regards to how many sections you create. Changing the distance between the dowels changes the look. Usually, the sections are around 12 to 15 inches apart. In the end, the final section should be half the width of the others. For instance, if you decide to create sections that are 15 inches apart, the last section should be 7.5 inches.

Step 5 - Create the Dowel Pockets

Cut the lining fabric, which must be the same width as that used for the main blind, into three inch wide strips: One for each section. If you have created a lot of sections, you may need to purchase more lining fabric. Allow for this in your calculations.
Fold the strips, right sides together, then pin and stitch a ½ inch seam, leaving one end open.

Turn right side out and press. Pin and sew the dowel pockets onto the main panel. The pockets should follow the marked lines centrally, and be sewn through all the layers. Pop in the dowel rods, turn in the raw edges and slip stitch with a needle and thread. The dowels should be cut 1 ¼ inch less than blind width.

Step 6 - Finish Up

roman shades on several large windows

Starting one inch in from the edge, sew blind rings at each end of the dowel pockets and at 12 to 15-inch intervals across the width. Turn a one-inch seam at the top of the blind, onto the lining side: Pin and stitch. Then, pin the loop side of the Velcro Sew & Stick to the top of the blind and stitch. Stick the hook side of the Velcro to the batten, which should be the same width of the blind. Attach screw eyes to the underneath edge of the batten, in line with all the blind rings.

Then, attach a single screw eye on the drawing side of the blind. This can be left or right, it’s an entirely personal preference. Attach the blind cord to each of the bottom blind rings, thread through to the top, then through the eyelets of the batten. Thread all the cords through the screw eye on the drawing side, then through the blind acorn. Knot and trim. Fit the cleat to the drawing side of the window and mount your new Roman blind. That’s it!