Introduction: Folded Cardboard Window Blind

Picture of Folded Cardboard Window Blind

I live in northern Sweden, and in summer - there's no sunset it never gets dark.

Our house has many big windows and I'm simply too cheap to buy that much window blinds :P

I came up with this inexpensive, easy and yet decorative window blind.
It takes about 30 minutes to make one.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You'll need:
a big sheet of cardboard (the one i used was kind of sloppy and had a lot of holes in it - you may choose a nicer one)
some twine
a long straight piece of lumber or anything else - it has to be straight thats all, you'll only need it as help for cutting)
a knive or cutter
2 hairclips or clothespins

2 hooks or heavy stones

1 big needle for the twine (works without but it'll much easier with the needle)

Step 2: Measure Your Window

Picture of Measure Your Window

measure your window, and add about 20inches to the height.
cut your cardboard the same size.

you'll need to know the depth as well.

Step 3: Impress the Cardboard :)

Picture of Impress the Cardboard :)

you measured the depth of your window - right?
let' say it is 5 inches deep, than you'll make your foldes about 2,5 inches.

mark lines with for example 2,5 inches distance,
take the straight piece of lumber (or whatever you use) and place it on the cardboard.
now takte the BACK of your knife or cutter and impress every second line,
DON'T CUT THROUGH the card board, the lines are only a help for folding the blind. you won't need much pressure.

See the pictures.

Step 4: Folding

Picture of Folding

no fold the cardboard in every line - all in the same direction!
press the fold hard with your hand.

see the pictures

Now turn the sheet around.

Step 5: Impress Other Side

Picture of Impress Other Side

now impress the remaining lines on the other side, and fold them too.

you'll end up with a zig-zag folded cardboard.

Step 6: Drill a Hole and Thread It

Picture of Drill a Hole and Thread It

now take your drill and drill a hole through  the folded blind.

take the twine and thread it through the holes.

if you have a big needle, life will be much easier ;)

make a knot on one end, (see the pictures)

Now repeat this on the other side.

Step 7: Mount the Blind

Picture of Mount the Blind

mount the side with the knot, on the upside of your window.

i chose too clamp it between the window an the frame, for a more permanent solution, you may use skrews.

tense the both twines on the bottom of the window, i used two heavy stones, for a more permanent solution use hooks.

Step 8: Adjust Length

Picture of Adjust Length

to adjust the lenght of the window blind, use the hairclips or clothingpins as shown in the pictures.

Step 9: Admire Your Work :)

Picture of Admire Your Work :)


Grand MasterP (author)2017-04-13

do fluorescent paperboard catch fire from sun heat?

need expert help.

Uncle Kudzu (author)2011-07-14

Good Stuff, Mimikry! Thanks so much for sharing!

I have a street/security light problem that this fine instructable could help with. I like the cardboard look, but others are already coming up with ideas to modify the look. One can imagine a block print or stencil scheme before scoring the folds...

FreyaSykes (author)Uncle Kudzu2016-02-02

Same here and it is setting off my son's epilepsy as his trigger is sleep deprivation so I'm going to give this a try to see if it solves the problem! Thank you for this!

BtheBike (author)Uncle Kudzu2011-07-18

how about $1 mylar emergency blanket glue or stapled on the sunny side?
Also a reuse jacket Cord Stopper to hold it in place.
Great Ible !

aristide202 (author)BtheBike2012-10-04

I was thinking on using aluminium oven foil using water diluited vinilic white glue as I did in another project of cardboard sun furnace It's completely UV resistant

jacq01uk (author)BtheBike2011-07-19

I was thinking along those lines too, if you thread from the bottom up into an eyelet or closed hook on each side, using enough cord on one side to go across the width and back down one side and the other length of cord just to go back down, secured nicely in a recycled cord lock from


Mimikry (author)Uncle Kudzu2011-07-15

I also thought about painting the next ones, i've got large windows (southside it gets really hot) in my livingroom, that need blinds.
I'm trying to improve the look and function.

I thought about very strong Velcro to mount the blinds to the frame, without drilling holes.

jjhafford (author)2013-07-27

This is super awesome!!! The beat up cardboard almost looks like a thick linen fabric from far away. I couldn't see the pics very well on my phone so please excuse me if you have done this already, perhaps you could do a faux finish on the cardboard to make it look almost like a nice burlapy material. I would paint the board lightest brown or a darken off white then take a screen with large holed mesh and use it as a stencil to paint an off white color on top of the darker color. I'm thinking it would give it an old rough linen look. If that's your thing..... Thanks for the idea, I've got some bay windows and wardrobe boxes calling my name!!!!

aristide202 (author)2012-10-04

Great instructable, thank you for the idea. I was thinking of some kind of new project on discarted free, dry, clean, cardboard waiting in the basement for weekly junk collecting .  I like this  kind of extremely low price or free recycling. I think your blinds may be more cold insulating than a common weight fabric courtain. Well done.!

Mimikry (author)aristide2022012-10-05

Thank you!
I think the "airpockets" in cardboard should be helpful for insulation, but I'm not sure how much effect it really has :)

thewmas (author)2011-07-17

Two thumbs up. there is so much carboard out there, and this is a very useful idea, with recycling in mind.

aristide202 (author)thewmas2012-10-04

Is that smiling doggy an english bull terrier? I think it is. A great mice hunter and great chair destroyer !

SIRJAMES09 (author)thewmas2011-07-19

that poor dog!!! :( but he looks so cute!!!!!! 8D

Mimikry (author)thewmas2011-07-19

ha nice picture :)

aie_i (author)2012-08-28

great!!.. i like it.. thanks for sharing..

danlynne07 (author)2012-06-28


mahvin (author)2011-07-27

To avoid using clips or clothespins, I just cut two small pieces of 3/16" luan, and drilled two holes in each piece, threading the string through it much like a belt buckle, and the weight and gravity tightens the strip on the string, holding the shades up. It's easy to slip up and down the string, too.

SIRJAMES09 (author)2011-07-17

this is a cool idea!! TY for sharing.

You can use most any kind of material, just make sure it's stiff...or starch it untill it is stiff.
I used wallpaper to make mine. If you use wallpaper, make sure that it does not have glue on it or that it is NOT pre-pasted(comes with glue already on it) or it just might end up sticking to your windows or walls.

That was my first mistake using wall paper. LOL

TY again for sharing.

Mimikry (author)SIRJAMES092011-07-19

good idea with the wallpaper - the blinds could match the rest of the room.

i've never seen pre-pasted ones in Sweden but i'll think on it when i buy some :)

jacq01uk (author)Mimikry2011-07-19

if wall paper is pre-pasted, glue it to the cardboard for a sturdier blind, endless choice of colour/pattern too!

Great recycling ;o)

SIRJAMES09 (author)jacq01uk2011-07-26

good idea! :)

SIRJAMES09 (author)Mimikry2011-07-19

NO!!! I'm saying DO NOT get prepasted ones for the window!!!
the condensation that builds up on the windows could cause them to stick to the window....that's why I say get wall paper WITHOUT PASTE on it.

it does not take a lot of water to make prepasted wall paper stick to anything...

and if you get plain white, you can decorate the blinds as you see fit!! :)

maybe put your artistic abilities to would get blinds for the windows & show off your artwork too!! Just a thought..

JAGGIE (author)SIRJAMES092011-07-26

Paste the wallpaper together back to back. It won't stick, it will be thicker and block more light and it offers opportunity to use 2 different patterns for endless possibility!

jr98664 (author)2011-07-17

These would be awesome for my college dorm. I bet it wouldn't be that hard to make them able to open from the top down either.

Additionally, how much light do they block when fully closed? Think you could take a picture of that?

Mimikry (author)jr986642011-07-19

they block almost every light, when you make them almost the same size of the windowframe,
only the small drilled holes will shine through.

jr98664 (author)Mimikry2011-07-19

Fantastic. That's what I was hoping. I'll definitely have to make these for my dorm. Way cheaper than custom blackout shades.

vincent7520 (author)2011-07-18

Great !
That's the Inst' I needed right now !…
Tank you so much.

Now I wanna ask you : what is the wall that shows through your window ?… 
It seems to be made of polished stones or big chunks of "glass" ????…
I think it's very nice.

Mimikry (author)vincent75202011-07-19

It's no wall, it's only a thin sheet to prevent people looking in my bathroom :)
but i like it very much - it has all colours of the rainbow when the sun shines on it.

vincent7520 (author)Mimikry2011-07-19

that's great

thanks for your answer.

however ,I didn't know that pirates needed to protect themselves from onlookers !… :)

Fretka (author)2011-07-17

if you had a really wide window, you could drill extra support holes for additional string, say in the middle or quarter it across and tie the string into the left and right respectively too ...right? ( I ask because I have a window that is 4 feet wide... and this would be great for that window...

Mimikry (author)Fretka2011-07-19

i think 2 strings more would be a good idea when the window is very big, but maybe it's fine with also with only 2

- you could also add them later, if it doesn't work with only 2 strings

Fretka (author)Mimikry2011-07-19

true true... I have some beautiful light weight fabric that I think would be great if I applied with sprayed adhesive on the cardboard, and it matches the bedding in the spare room... and I am just so impressed with the light blocking abilities of this idea !

I tip my hat to you and your creativity ! Thank you for sharing !

now I just need to find me some sturdy cardboard...wonder if anyone nearby bought a new major appliance lately? :)

lars1000 (author)2011-07-18

How Swedish... frugal, functional, and creative. Love it.


Lars, a fellow Swede.

Mimikry (author)lars10002011-07-19

Haha - yeah now we only need a IKEA-style name for it.
"MÖRKI" sounds nice :)

greetings from Jämtland

jacq01uk (author)Mimikry2011-07-19

they're prob already making a version as we ;o)

dangerine (author)2011-07-18

For as much time as it would take me to find a blind that fits my weird windows in a store, this just saved me around $120. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Mimikry (author)dangerine2011-07-19

you're very welcome!

TTAMREKRAP (author)2011-07-17

in this step you wrote "no fold the cardboard" i think that you should change the "no" to a "yes". other than that... This is AWESOME

calikoala (author)TTAMREKRAP2011-07-18

I am pretty sure the "no" was meant to be 'now"

TTAMREKRAP (author)calikoala2011-07-18

haha. thats embarrassing, thanks for that, would have never noticed

Mimikry (author)TTAMREKRAP2011-07-19

yap NOW was ment - i change that

davegriff (author)2011-07-18

Brilliant revival of the old Roman Blind. Haven't seen one for years.

davidecalu (author)2011-07-18

ahahah, I did the same 4 years ago, the year I lived in Stockholm! :)
Great idea! :)

Oscelot (author)2011-07-17

You may wish to spraypaint the outside white as well so it reflects the light rather than absorbing it and making it hotter inside. clever instructable!

jovino (author)2011-07-17

Fantastically nomadic!

maxman (author)2011-07-17

Excellent idea! Definitely have to keep this in mind.

chabias (author)2011-07-17

Very nice & thrifty idea! Great instructions!!

MsJaxFla (author)2011-07-17

Good job. It is a modified version of a Roman Shade only much thriftier. I think I will start looking for some discontinued (cheap) wall paper myself. Since my kitty kats immediately break the outer bottom ends of every new mini blind I put up..... it is so very frustrating you know. In fact if you find a good deal on wall paper, you could always back it with some plain one for the outside so it would be even more durable.

Bob_t_Monkey (author)2011-07-17

Brilliant cheap idea,
Made one for my daughters bedroom, covered it in the same wallpaper she has, and drilled 2 holes for string, one as a secure line as in this ible, and the other passes through a hook at the top and down to another hook so she can raise it when she wants by pulling on the string and tying it off on the hook and a small weight across the bottom of the blind allows it to fall when the string is released!

Chakazuluu (author)2011-07-17

Great project - seems to me you could glue some decorative fabric on the inside to compliment your decor..

About This Instructable




Bio: spiderpig, spiderpig, does whatever a spiderpig does!
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