DIY roman shade (no sewing!)

Ever since we remodeled our kitchen, I knew I wanted a roman shade for the new back door.

I may or may not have bought 6 yards of my beloved navy toile last summer at a Joann's sale, and have yet to use any of it. I knew this would be the perfect place for it. I got a quote for a custom shade, and even though I already had the fabric, it was going to be over $100. What?!? My window is only 24x38 inches!

So I searched high and low for directions on how to make one on my own. Apparently not many people DIY on the roman shades, because I couldn't find many-just kits to order.

I did find a tutorial that looked doable here. I'll admit, though, sewing the rings and the bar for the bottom looks a little daunting. Martha's was even confusing. This one, though, was perfect. Jenny is an absolute genius!

I'll share my take on her brilliant tutorial.

This is how the window has been looking lately. If newspaper and painter's tape ever becomes a style, I'm covered. Who knows what kind of scary bad guys are lurking out there, looking at me through the kitchen window?

What you'll need for this project:

vinyl mini-blinds cut to size for your window
fabric (I would reccomend home decorator fabric for its extra heft, but I bet linen would be really pretty)
Heat n Bond iron-on adhesive, less than 1 inch thick
fabric glue

And here's what I did...

My window is 24x38, so I cut my fabric 26x40 to be safe and to allow for 1 inch hems.

I folded all the edges over 1 inch and ironed them.

I then ironed in Heat n Bond to make a hem. I love this stuff! Whenever I can, I use the iron-on adhesive instead of fabric glue. It's easier, there's no mess, and I don't have to wait for it to dry.

I folded in the corners to make a smooth finished edge, so I wouldn't have an excess folded fabric overlapping the edges.

I folded the corner down...

Tucked it in...

And ironed it again.

After my edges were finished, I marked the back side of the fabric every 9.25" or so. This is where the slats will be glued. If you have to fudge it by fractions of an inch because your window size doesn't divide easily, no one will ever know.

Depending on how many folds you want and the size of your shade, you may have more or less.

Then I needed to prepare the mini-blinds.

I (obviously) didn't already have any for my window, so I bought mine at Menard's for $10.99, and they cut them (widthwise) to size right in the store for me for free. I had to adjust the length myself, which was surprisingly easy. If you are just revamping a set of blinds already hanging in your window, forget about this.

First, pop out the circular stops on the bottom bar.

Snip the cord above the stops. Snip enough of the cord so when it is fully extended, it's the length of the window plus a few inches to knot it again. (If you buy a new set of mini-blinds to do this project, there are much clearer directions in the box.)

Save the stops to reattach later.

Then snip the ladder cord out of the slats. Be careful not to cut the pull cord that you just trimmed off the bottom.

Unlace the unnecessary slats and the bottom bar. Save the bottom bar and enough of the slats for each fold you marked (I needed 4). Reattach the bottom bar.

After the blinds are ready, start gluing the fabric. The tutorials say to use fabric glue and not hot glue. I think it's because the hot glue will start to disintegrate after sitting in the sun for so long.

I started with the top bar...

And then went on to the slats. Be careful not to glue the cord, or the shade won't work.

My kitchen door is metal, so rather than wait for Hubby to mount the brackets for me, I found these super strong magnets at the hardware store and used them instead.

I attached them with epoxy glue.

And let them dry overnight before hanging them. (Actually I waited about 20 minutes, tried hanging the shade, the glue let loose, the shade fell, and then I let them dry overnight.)

And here's the finished product.

I'm really happy with it.

The one layer of fabric is just enough to filter the light and keep the bad guys from looking in my window at night. I think I may add a layer of blackout fabric for a liner later on. If I were to put a shade like this in a bedroom, I would definitely add the extra layer right away.

And the mom in me will remind anyone hanging a shade to make sure the pull cords are up and out of reach of little hands.


  1. I love no sew projects! Thanks for sharing.

  2. That is a pretty fabulous no sew diy roman shade!

  3. that's awesome! when I saw "no sew" I was checking to see if maybe you used a stapler ;) that is how I "no sew" my pants hem sometimes!

  4. Your patience to photograph each step and share, is unbelieveable.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great DIY project...I'm all about the no sew part! Your roman shade looks really great!

  6. You did a great job. I have never seen that tute before...sounds easy enough.. Thanks for the birthday wishes by the way.

  7. Seriously AMAZZZZING! I have windows that have just blinds on them - ugh, apartment living. Anyhow, I've been looking to do something with them. LOVE this idea for our bed and my son's room. Thanks mucho <3!

  8. Visiting from SITS. LOVE that fabric. Beautiful work!

  9. That was amazing. I wouldn't have thought it could be done without sewing!

  10. Great tutorial...thank you SO MUCH for sharing it! I've got several windows I need to change :)

    Happy Sunday!
    ~Michelle :)

  11. Great idea and great job! I love that fabric.

  12. Great tutorial - I love the fabric you chose.

  13. Looks great, I'm going to have to try this since it doesn't involve sewing!

  14. I, too, was looking for an easier way to make these for my living room windows! I'm wondering how I would add the liner and I'm not sure I would want the mini-blinds to be seen from the back...this will take a little thought. I will definitely use this excellent tutorial! Great job!


  15. This is SA-WEET!! I think even I could do this and I have a door just like this off of our kitchen. Thanks for sharing, you did a lovely job!

  16. I soooo want to do this now! Thanks for an awesome tutorial. And I am loving the blue toile

  17. Awesome! I am soooo doing this next weekend with linen...thanks so much for the great idea and tutorial! Yours looks super!

  18. What a smart cookie you are! LOVE this!

  19. This is awesome!! I love how easy you make this look. I might have to try it! Eeek!

  20. I love love love this!! My husband was even impressed (and home decor doesn't do that for him ;) I have a perfect window for this.
    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment too :)

  21. What a great shade. So pretty, and practical. I love windows in a door, but I like to cover them up in the evening. Well done!!

  22. OMG Cheryl!! That is too cool for words. I have been wanting a roman shade on my back door for that EXACT same reason. This will definitely been on my list of "To Do's" for next weekend.

  23. OH WOW this is great!'s a pity I found this a day after we threw all the old blinds that were cut to the window size!

  24. I've been looking all over for EASY instructions on making a Roman Shade. I'd even seen a few posts using old mini-blinds. But yours is the first one I've seen that reallly makes sense to me... and the fact that it's no sew is an added bonus. I'm sold.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to provide the instructions and all of the pictures. They're a great help. I can't wait to make shades for most of the rooms in my new-to-me home that I'm buying!

  25. Hi Cheryl!

    I love this project! I've featured it in my Featuring You ~ Part 2 post today. :)

    Funky Junk Donna

  26. Wow! Your shade turned out beautiful. I love your magnet idea for hanging, too.

  27. That is so amazing! I was searching for a new solution for my metal kitchen door. I already have blinds that are headed to the trash and a fabric I've wanted to use for curtains!

  28. wow that's amazing!! i wanna do that.. thank you so much for sharing!! :D

  29. Your shade looks fantastic! I might have to try this for my door!

  30. super
    i need to try one for my kitchen door
    thank you your pictures are so helpful

  31. Wow, what a clever idea! Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial!!

  32. OK, I fully understand your directions on prepping the fabric by folding under the seams, but I am completely lost whe it comes to actually attaching it to your mini blinds.. I followed the link you included at the top of the page of the woman who sewed hers and used brass rings..I'm confused about how your no-sew with blinds marry her plans.. Can you clarify? Do do I attach the farbic to the blinds? Thanks so much!

    1. She started on the top bar, then began gluing the slats. Yes, she used the fabric glue and glued the fabric to the 4 slats she left in. It was a very short sentence in the directions.

  33. Om....goodness. Awesome job you are brillant. I too have a door in the family room that I've been wanting to put a fabric shade on. Everything is to expensive or to confusing and I sew. THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

  34. Creative project.....You turned it out so well....Roman shades look so fantastic.
    Roman shades concord, ca

  35. Thanks for the great detailed instructions! We recently moved into a loft-style townhouse and I wanted to make roman shades to adhere to the metal doors in our kitchen. Yours is the first that includes instructions for mounting to metal. I'll be trying this project next weekend....thanks so much!

  36. Wondering how everything has held up against the window and exterior elements since you first made this shade. I know it's not outside, but the has the sun cooked the glue?

  37. Fabulous! I'm going to try this for my bathroom after it is remodeled. Thanks!

  38. "(Actually I waited about 20 minutes, tried hanging the shade, the glue let loose, the shade fell, and then I let them dry overnight.)" lol this is so me! :D
    i love how it turned out. I am planning to make one for a friend and i think i'll bookmark your instructions. thanks! :)

  39. The diy roman shade mistreatment is given here know all about it'

  40. the instructions given here are a little difficult and also time consuming but they can make our place look great and fancy. we can add an attractive look to even our doors and windows. thus the interior becomes very catchy and impressive..
    Home theatre accessories

    curtain tracks

  41. Thanks for this! I'm considering this for my back door with a full-length window, but am afraid the magnets will fall off the door when the kids run in and out. How did yours hold up to use over time?

  42. Clever way to make Roman Shades! They are not hard to make, just extremely tedious. Getting ready to make eight of them for my Great room and Dining room, includes two sets of French doors. I know they look great when's getting there. You did a great job on yours and I really appreciate you taking the time to do a fantastic tutorial.
    Thank you!
    Dee B

  43. I just attached my top bar to the first shade and the fabric glue I bought shows up and is shiny on the fabric side.. as it bleeds through the fabric. I am going to stop right here and get a different brand. It says it is fabric adhesive that can be laundered.. but apparently some glues are better than others..

  44. I just attached my top bar to the first shade and the fabric glue I bought shows up and is shiny on the fabric side.. as it bleeds through the fabric. I am going to stop right here and get a different brand. It says it is fabric adhesive that can be laundered.. but apparently some glues are better than others..


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