I’m taking you through a step-by-step guide to making Roman blinds with or without a kit. Roman blinds transform your windows, are surprisingly quick to make and use very little fabric compared to curtains so you can really splurge on the quality or the fabric design or work to a tight budget. They can be used on the own or with curtains for a decadent layered effect. Roman blinds can be lined or sheer, thermal or blackout. Either way they are energy efficient even with double glazing and give you instant privacy.
A pleated or Roman blind folds into soft accordion pleats when it is drawn up and hangs straight when down. Roman blinds give your window a simple classic elegance and also make the most of subtle fabric designs.
Without a kit the blind is held in an up position by securing the cord to a cleat. Using a kit the blind pulls up using a chain loop, which is good for heavy and wide blinds. A kit can also be safer with children as there is not a long cord hanging down when the blind is pulled up. With a kit the blind will sit in any position you pull it to and the metal headrail will only need cutting to size and adjusting.
Making a Roman Blind without a Kit.
This is the most diy and the cheapest option. Making your Roman blind the old fashioned way.
Materials for a Roman Blind without a kit:
- Wooden batten depth 25mm and width 50mm measured to the width of your window recess (A)
- Velcro tape 25mm wide the same length as the batten
- A staple gun
- 4 screw-in eyelet hooks or pulleys
- Cord. Calculate 3 x 4 times the drop of the blind, at least
- A cleat
- A breakaway cord connector
- One length of narrow a flat bottom bar: a batten about 0.5 x 1.27cm for the bottom of the blind or a flat aluminium or plastic bar 2.5cm wide from Merrick Day
- Narrow tape with pockets for rods – Roman blind tape
- Roman blind rods or dowelling to fit into Roman blind tape
- 12mm split brass or plastic rings for cording available from www.merrick-day.com
- Matching sewing thread
- Tailor’s chalk
- Sewing kit including big sharp scissors and long pins
- Steam iron and ironing board
- Sewing machine
Measuring up Roman Blinds
- Attach the wooden baton to the top of the window recess and measure up the inside of the window. Staple the furry half of the 25mm Velcro tape to the front face of the batten.
2. Measure the inside of the window for the width and the drop.
Use this measurement for the lining, if you plan on using one.
Add 2.5cm on each side of width for side hems. Add 1cm for top hem and 5cm at the bottom hem. Cut your fabric to size on the straight grain. Lay the lining on to the back of the curtain fabric covering the window area using this photo as a placement guide. Pin in place.
3. Cut your fabric looking out for pattern repeats, its nice to get a shape to be centred. Press the side seams in to place. The side seams are double so turn in on each side 0.5cm, press in place, then turn in 2.5cm. Press, pin in place then stitch. Now turn down the top edge and press.
4. Press the side seams in to place. The side seams are double so turn in on each side 0.5cm, press in place then turn in 2cm. Press then stitch. Now turn down the top edge 1cm and press.
5. Sew the Velcro tape to the back of the blind, 0.5cm from the top edge covering the raw edge. Sew both edges of the Velcro tape. This is going to attach to the Velcro stapled onto the batten.
For lined blinds make sure the lining is flat and all edges are all covered into these seams and attached behind the Velcro.
6. Make the bottom hem, turn over 1cm and press, turn it up again to make a 4cm pocket to fit your dowelling or batten.
For lined blinds make sure that your lining is lying flat, tucked in neatly and covered by this seam.
7. Work out the width of your pleats so that they are even across the blind, 10cm is an average width or divide by 6. Mark each pleat with tailors chalk. Sew Roman Blind tape across the back of each pleat, one by one. Insert the rod or dowelling in each tape pocket.
This tape has a guide for the split rings, push a split brass curtain between the tape and the guide. Line up the rings to the top of the blind.
8. Trim the rods 2cm shorter than the width of the blind. Insert the rods and the bottom batten, slip stitch by hand the ends of these “pockets”.
9. On each rod pocket mark the centre point of the blind and slip a brass ring in place through the guide in the tape. Repeat 5cm in from each side edge of the blind on each pocket.
12. For the cording stage I found this drawing – it explains it all really well.
Starting at the bottom ring with a knot, thread the cord up vertically to match the corresponding eyelet on the batten and over to the eyelet on the side of the frame, down to the cleat. Repeat this with each row.
The cleat should be positioned as high as possible so its well out of the way of children. Consider attaching a breakaway cord connector at the end of the cords and for safety don’t knot all three cords together to form a loop.
If you buy a Roman Blind Kit choose one that is fully child safe and that the control chains are adjustable length, not a continuous loop. Breakaway string controls and Parts can be purchased from www.merrick-day.com
It’s important that you do visit my Youtube channel to watch the safety film about Roman Blinds, especially if you have children or if kids visit your home.
Roman Blind supplies can be found at www.merrick-day.com
Roman Blind Kits can be bought at Merrick Day
Or from Terry’s Fabric’s https://www.terrysfabrics.co.uk/
So now you have been introduced to Roman blinds and how to make them, go over to Buildmumahouse Pinterest for lots of inspirational fabrics and looks. If you would like to consider other window decor ideas visit Buildmumahouse guides to making curtains or my blog post about automated roller blinds.
If you have any tips, questions and would like to share your Roman blind projects leave me a message on my comments board. Love to hear from you.