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DIY Roman Blind

A DIY kitchen roman blind with fabric cut from the backs of 3 men's shirts.

The necessary hardware for this project — rings, cords, cleats and brackets — can be bought at most fabric stores. Since the fabric is lightweight, we recommend this project for windows that are 24” wide or less so the blinds don’t sag.

Materials and Tools

  • Tape measure
  • 3 men’s striped Oxford shirts
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Clothing iron
  • Roman blind accessories (24 plastic rings, 8 yd. 1/2”-wide Velcro, track, 1 cleat)
  • 1-1/2” x 48” dowel
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver

Step 1

Using the tape measure, measure the window. Then add 2” to the width and 24” to the length.

Step 2

With the scissors, cut panels of fabric from the different shirts of the same width measured in Step 1, each 7” high, plus one measuring 9” high (this will be the bottom panel.) We cut 6 panels at 7” high, plus one at 9” high. You may need more or fewer, or may need to alter their sizes, depending on the size of your window.

Step 3

Using the sewing machine, stitch the panels together, top to bottom, with a 1/2” seam allowance. Then serge or zigzag to finish the seams. Press the seams.

Step 4

Fold both long sides under 1” and press. Fold under another 1”, press and hem.

Step 5

Fold the bottom side under 2” and press. Fold under another 2” press and hem. Stitch across the bottom hem, 1” up from the bottom, to create a channel for the dowel.

Step 6

Insert the dowel into the channel created in Step 5, and stitch the channel ends closed.

Step 7

Place the soft side of the Velcro strip across the top edge of the blind, on the right side of the fabric. Stitch along the bottom edge of the Velcro.

Step 8

To attach the rings, on the back of the blind, position two rings on each seam, 2” in from either side. Sew the rings in place by hand, or, using the sewing machine, drop the feed dogs and set the zigzag at its widest setting.

Step 9

Attach the blind to the track by pressing the Velcro strip stitched to the blind against the Velcro that comes attached to the track. The back of the blind should face the window so you’ll have to fold the top over to attach the Velcro.

Step 10

String the blind with the blind cord, starting at the bottom. Run the cord through the rings and across the top of the blind, leaving enough cord to fall about halfway down the length of the blind when closed.

Step 11

Hold the finished blind up inside the window frame to determine where the brackets will be placed. Mark the position and drill pilot holes into the window frame. Using the screwdriver, screw the brackets into the holes in the window frame. Attach the track.

Photographer: 

Ted Yarwood

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