Introduction: Easy Roman Blinds
Being able to make your own Roman blinds allows you to dress up windows with fabrics that complement your home décor. You can choose the fabric and you can make custom blinds to sit inside the frame, or sit on top of the frame.
We are fitting Roman blinds on kitchen windows that are fitted with burglar bars, so we need a blind that can be mounted onto the surrounding frame. While the blinds will add a decorative touch to this red and white kitchen, they will also block out sunlight that streams through the window in the late afternoon. For this reason the blinds can be raised and lowered easily as and when required.
The design for the blind also allows for the fabric section to be removed for easy cleaning, because kitchen window treatments can get grimy with grease and need to be washed regularly.
YOU WILL NEED:
Fabric for your blind (see below to measure up)
6mm dowels (8mm max diameter) – cut to length with a saw
Battens (10 x 44mm) to fit the width of the window
Couple of ‘L’ hooks for the cord
Sewing machine and accessories (incl matching thread)
Scissors or fabric cutter
Drill / Driver plus assorted bits
Iron and ironing board
Hot glue gun
Tape measure and pencil
OPTIONAL: Bosch Tacker or staple gun
Step 1: Measure Up
•Measure the width and length of the window.
•For a blind inside the window frame add 24mm all round for a hem, plus 50mm at the top and bottom to fold over, plus 20mm per pocket.
•For a blind that sits over the top of a window opening add 24mm all round for a hem, plus 50mm extra for the sides, plus 50mm at the top and bottom to fold over, plus 20mm per pocket.
•The number of pockets will depend on the length of the blind, but allow for a pocket every 200mm to 250mm.
1. Cut all your fabric to size according to whether the blind will sit inside a window recess or on top.
Step 2: Prepare the Fabric
2. Use an iron to press the fold over for the double 12mm hem at the sides and top. The bottom is only done once the blind is almost complete. If you are using a fabric that will not fray you can fold over once for the hem.
3. Measure where the pockets will be placed and use an iron to press flat. Make sure that the fabric is pattern sides together.
GOOD TO KNOW
It is far easier to use an iron to press everything for sewing rather than sewing and then having to undo your stitches if you make a mistake. By ironing you can also check that your blind will be straight and square, or adjust if necessary.
4. Place a dowel where the dowel pocket will be mounted and mark this with a pin. Remove the dowel. This will give you a guideline for pinning the width for all the pockets for your dowels.
Step 3: Sew the Blind
5. Start at the bottom and sew a running stitch up the side, fold over and across the top, and back down the other side. You may need to remove the last pin for the pockets to sew around the sides.
6. Sew a running stitch along each individual pocket.
7. Now you can measure the required length and fold under the hem.
8. While the iron is hot, press the dowel pockets nice and flat.
Step 4: Assemble the Blind
9. Cut the dowels slightly shorter than the width of the blind so that they won’t be visible.
10. Paint your battens to match the frame or wall surround. We used Rust-Oleum gloss white spray paint.
11. While waiting for paint to dry (!) sew the plastic rings onto the back of the blind. For our blind we used 3 rings per pocket, mounted at the sides and centre, but you will need more rings for a wider blind.
12. Cut the Velcro about 2 centimetres shorter than the batten and use a Bosch Tacker or staple gun to secure one side. If you don’t have either you can use a hot glue gun.
13. Secure eye hooks to the bottom edge of the batten. These should correspond with where you placed the plastic rings. You will need 4 eye hooks (or more for a longer blind). 3 hooks are for the nylon cords and the last hook is where all three cords are threaded together and tied off with a knot.
14. Work from the outside and thread the nylon line through the hooks and rings for each row. The nylon cord is knotted at the last ring in each row. So you will have three rows of nylon line, each knotted at the bottom ring and threaded through the corresponding top eye hook and all being threaded through the last eye hook.
Step 5: Mount the Roman Blind
15. Use a couple of ‘L’ hooks at the side for wrapping the cord, or use stick-on kitchen hooks. We plaited our hanging cord for a nice finish.
16. Secure the batten to the top of the window frame or on the outside of the window. Ours was easy to mount onto a wood frame surrounding the window. On a plaster and brick wall you will need to use nylon plugs and screws to attach.
Now you can attach the fabric panel by aligning the velcro at the top of the blind with the batten. This method allows for easy removal of the blind for cleaning.