DIY Roman Shade from Mini Blinds

I’ve always love the look of roman shades. Many times I’ve considered making my own, but every time I look at the directions, I felt too intimidated to try. However, recently I’ve noticed a bunch of great bloggers showing you how to create a roman shade out of a mini blind. Here’s my take on this awesome DIY Roman Shade project.

DIY Roman Shade from Mini Blinds

Learn how to make this easy and affordable roman shade from inexpensive mini-blinds in this step by step tutorial.

The Materials

Mid-weight fabric – Measure your window. Add four inches to the width and 6 inches to the length. I bought duck fabric from Hobby Lobby and it worked great.
Cheap mini-blinds  – to fit the window of the window. I purchases my at home depot for around $3.50. That’s it! They were a little wider than I wanted so my husband cut them to size using his table saw, but many stores will cut them for you.
Fabric Glue

The Process

Find a nice large surface to work. I used our dining room table.

Cut your fabric to size adding 4 inches to the width and 6 inches to the length for hems. Lay flat and fold over 2 inches on each side and press. Then fold over 2 inches on the top and bottom and press. Set aside.

Learn how to make this easy and affordable roman shade from inexpensive mini-blinds in this step by step tutorial.

Next lay the mini blind fully open on the surface.

Learn how to make this easy and affordable roman shade from inexpensive mini-blinds in this step by step tutorial.

Carefully cut the ladder strings. These are on top and thinner than the pull cords. Do not cut the pull cords which are a little thicker than the ladder strings. You will need them to raise and lower the shade.

Learn how to make this easy and affordable roman shade from inexpensive mini-blinds in this step by step tutorial.

Next pop off the plugs located on the bottom rod and set aside.

Learn how to make this easy and affordable roman shade from inexpensive mini-blinds in this step by step tutorial.

Pull out the pull cord and cut off or untie the knot.

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About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. This looks super simple and it’s beautiful. I’m curious how long it’s been in use as I have concerns about the durability of the glue holding the slat to the fabric. It seems like the cord would put a lot of stress on it when pulling it open. What do you think?

    • Hi Sheila,
      I have had them up for a few weeks and they are fine. However, I will say that I don’t really use them as blinds, more for decor. I have them in the office which is a 2nd floor bedroom. There are large trees outside protecting the view. On a rare occasion the room doubles as a guest room so I did want something that works but I can’t tell if frequent use will be a problem. As I mentioned there are a ton of other bloggers who have made these. Perhaps you can ask another who posted a while ago how theirs is holding up.

  2. Wadna Jackson says:

    I did something similar when I was working overnights and needed to darken my room for daytime sleeping. I made basically a pillowcase to fit the blinds and hand stitched the top closed so that the pull cord and rod remained useable. I then tacked the bottom above the bottom rail so that the cloth moved with the blind. They are completely functional and by adjusting the blinds I can control the amount of light that comes through down to completely dark for sleeping.

  3. NINA BELTRAN says:

    There is another possible option other than just the glue. If you added another layer of fabric to the back of the decorative layer you could pierce a few tiny holes throughout the length of the pieces blind themselves and sew through just the first layer of fabric on top of using the glue which sold make for a stronger hold. I have done this and it works pretty well. You need to do 2 holes side by side to sew through, I suggest spacing the support holes 5-6 inches apart so doing 4 sets of 2 throughout the blind. This is just my recommendation

    • That a great idea Nina. Thanks for sharing. This would also give people the option of covering the back which many are concerned about. My windows in this room face large trees but they may not be durable. Only time will tell and if I decided to do other rooms I will certainly give your method a try.
      Thanks again for stopping by and leaving such a helpful comment.

  4. WOW, what a great idea! I recently purchased some fabric shower curtains for 75% off from our local Dollar General. I couldn’t find any fabric that was inexpensive and the patterns match my daughters room decor. You’ve just given me a great project to use these curtains in her room…love it, thanks a bunch for the idea!

  5. Your shade is beautiful. Where can I find that fabric? Can you tell us the brand and design? Thank you

  6. Did I miss you explaining/showing how the top of the fabric is attached to the very top of the shade unit?

    • Hi Jean,

      I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear. All I did was glue the top of the hemmed fabric to the face of the top blind rod. The cord side should be underneath, so when you hang them they just slid into the casing. Hope that helps.

  7. Hey Patti!
    This is such a neat idea! I have some old drabby looking mini blinds that need some restoration! Thank you for linking up at the Tips & Tricks Link Party! 😉

  8. Thanks so much for this submission. I was about to go by blinds for three rooms and at 23.00 dollars a peice for a rent house I opted for theSe . I HAD the fabric a shiny brown silk that is great cause it gives color to both sides. However I did spray paint the cords and slates along with top and bottom to disappear from site. Again I had some black spray paint and just lightly coated them and bazinga! $70 bucks saved , looks great inside and out and landlord loved it so much I did hers for the holidays. …$200 discount on rent for 30 minutes of work…Again thank you, you saved me almost $300 this month. Your amazing.

    • Hi Bradley,

      That is fantastic news and how clever you are for painting the slats. Many people are concerned about the outside appearance. As I have large trees that block the view this is not a problem for me. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post. I certainly cannot take credit for the original concept. You will find many projects like this on the web and I used several as guides when I created mine. Thanks for letting my know that you liked the project and how you adjusted it to suit your needs. I’m sure it will be of help to someone else. Have a great weekend, Patti

  9. What do you do with the wand mechanism that kind of protrudes?

  10. I was so happy to try this project for 2 windows in my room. I found all of the supplies, with a really pretty cream fabric. I did fold my edges on all four sides, doubling each fold. The edges glued nicely and I had a very professional edge. I followed your directions for measuring, and that was right on.
    I was really excited to finish and hang my new shade. I glued the fabric to the blind slats and waited for it to dry…The result was not what I hoped for. The glue line shows through to the front fabric.
    I am very disappointed and it looks terrible. I now have to find another option. Have you had anyone else tell you this?

    • Hi Linda,

      I’m sorry they did not turn out they way you wanted. I can only guess that the fabric was not as heavy as the one I used. I have not had anyone mention this as an issue, but if it was a thin or see through fabric I can see how it would show the glue and the slats. That is disappointing.

    • Elen Ribolla says:

      Hi Linda,
      Perhaps if you find a complimentary trim, like grosgrain ribbon or a lace, you could cover the glue stains, and further customize your blind?
      Good luck!

    • Maybe add some lace or some kind of trim with the beads that hang down across the glue line.

  11. I have a question about the end of the blinds. If you want to shorten the blinds since I plan to make shorter roman shades, do you remove the end piece or is it necessary that it stay in tact? That is a lot of fabric!. I have 12 sunroom windows that currently have old Venetian blinds. Any ideas?

    • Hi Debbi,

      I would say do not remove the end but you can make the shorter and remove as many of the middle pieces as necessary. 12 windows is quite a lot. I’m sure it will be gorgeous. One suggestion I have is if you buy from one bolt of fabric many of the stores have an ongoing coupon for 40% off which will save you a lot on fabric. Try making one first so you know what you will need and good luck! I bet your sunroom will look fabulous when it’s done!!


  12. I have wide blinds (2″). Would this work with them? Also, how can I print out the instructions?

    • Hi Gerri,

      I don’t know if it would work with 2 inch blinds but it might? On my computer I can right click and print it.
      Good luck and thanks for stopping by,

  13. Patti,

    Love this idea! I’m not very creative or a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, so could you give me an idea of how many folds you would do for a 36″ long window? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Christine,

      Everything I read says you want between 7 and 10 inches. My window was 45 inches and I used 8 inch intervals so that meant 5 slats/folds. You may want to make yours slightly smaller at 7 inch intervals and still go with 5 slats. 35/7 = 5.
      Hope that helps,

  14. Such a fabulous idea – and your method and description show it the best.I looked at another project like this but it involved keeping the slats and enclosing the in the front and back fabric and hand stitch it all, etc., etc. Just too much for me – your technique is more my speed, esp if the results are the same. I live in a rental and I could take the old shades down, store them and buy matching cheap blinds that will fit the brackets already installed. Then I can switch them back, take all my pretty parts with me to my next place! My biggest challenge? To be sure to keep/save the brackets that come with the new blinds so I can hang up “my shades”, haha! I could even see switching out the fabric if one uses a glue that can be peeled off… See? you’ve got all my inspiration flowing!

    • Hi M.J.,

      I’m so glad you like the project. Mine are still up and I’ve had no problems with them.
      I love hearing about all your inspiring ideas!
      Thanks for stopping by,

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