Make It: Fake a Roman Shade

After we got the new window last month, I wanted to get a proper window covering, rather than the cheap blinds we’d slapped up to cover the old window’s hideousness. I was a bit stuck for exactly what would work though. This window is in a tricky spot and comes with some crazy dimensions. The window is wide (58 inches) and short (45 inches) and at the top of our entry stairs. The wall it’s on is a different depth than the dining room wall, which starts just one inch away. And I have a shoe cabinet directly beneath it. The final trick –  it’s very close to the dining room window, so the window coverings I chose needed to relate to those, preferably even match. Because of the window’s awkward location though, standard drapes weren’t an option. And ordering a custom shade for a window that wide was more money than I wanted to invest. So I decided I’d try to make something. The dining room curtains are just from Ikea and I like how they blend into the walls. I’d seen several tutorials on faking roman blinds and decided I’d try my hand at that. All those tutorials used much narrower blinds than I needed, but the process should be the same, right?  Well, yes and no.

lay out blind

I started with a cut-to-width blind from home depot. They were the cheapest I could find in the width I needed, this one was $28. We laid it out in the basement. Note: if you’re going to do this, don’t lay it out on a rug. The fiber stuck to the glue in the few places it bled through, we ended up shaving our finished blind with a razor. Which worked fairly well. Really about as well as you think shaving a blind with a razor would work.

cut away extra slats

Decide how long you want your folds. I thought 6″ folds would be good, as my window is not that long. I should have gone bigger, perhaps 9 or 10 inches.  6 inches is fine, just a little more bunchy when up than I wanted. Learning curve.  Mark the slats you want to keep with a sharpie and then cut away the ones you won’t need, being careful not to cut the center cords.

fix accidents with duct tape

And when you accidentally cut one of the slats you want to keep, duct tape works well to fix it.

remove stopper at base

After you’ve cut away your slats, remove the bottom stopper and adjust the length as needed. This blind came 72″ long and we only needed a 48″ blind, so we shortened the cords quite a bit. This was oddly complicated and I think would be different for each type of blind, so just be prepared for a little fiddling during this step to get the cord threaded properly.

lay fabric under blind

Once your blind is the right size, lay your fabric underneath it and cut it to size, leaving 3 inches on all sides. Glue the fabric to the slats and let it dry (we let ours dry overnight, mostly because we started this at 9 pm).  Don’t glue down the cords or the blind won’t work. I put books on top as the slats were slightly curved and I wanted to make sure everything had enough surface contact to work.

use books till glue dries

Once that is dry, fold your fabric over the slats and glue around, being careful not to catch the cords. When you fold it around the top, make sure you leave space for attaching the blind to the wall. Each blind will attach differently, so you’ll have to see if you need to leave a channel (as all the other tutorials said) or wait till it’s on the wall before gluing the top (as we did, because ours didn’t just slide on). Some directions recommended ironing the sides, I did not. I don’ t think it would have made much difference.

Once your glue has dried, it’s time to hang your blind. Finn put ours up and then we had to figure out how to glue the fabric to the top to finish it. It didn’t really work and bugged me the first couple days, now I think it’s not as bad as I first thought. I need to break out our taller ladder and see if I can make it work any better (see the top left corner).

blind

So there you go. A fake roman blind. This one came in at $50 (and I have a whole curtain panel left), much cheaper than the $300 base price I found anywhere else. It’s got some issues and I don’t really like how it looks when closed, but it’s fine for a while. Till I figure out something better. And see how clean that new window is still. At this rate I might have to frost it just so I don’t have to see my neighbors trash cans.

 

I used tutorials from Scoutie Girl and Little Green Notebook for this project.

 

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