Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easy no sew Roman Shades

I'm so happy today! I just finished hanging my new Roman Shades in my kitchen! The windows in there had been bare for years and honestly, my neighbors were starting to complain.

You see, when you look out of my kitchen windows you see my neighbor's house and driveway. There's no buffer zone between our homes. My house is literally on the boarder of their property, so there's no privacy, but I grew up in the middle of no where, where trees hid our windows and allowed us to walk around in our underwear anytime we wanted....ah those were the days! Well sometimes I forget that I don't live in the woods anymore and sometimes I might walk through the kitchen past the windows to my laundry room in nothing but a towel...hence my neighbors complaints...oops!

Time to cover them up! To remedy this, I bought fabric a few weeks back to make window treatments and only now have gotten around to making them. I don't know about you, but when I make a fabric purchase like that (anything over 3 yards) I get "project cold feet." I think its especially bad when I have to sew. I like sewing, but I hate sewing machines. Each and every one has the devil in them and they will without fail cause a lot of problems.

Finally, I got up the courage to begin the project. I always like to do a little research before I begin a project, so before digging in, I looked up a variety of ways to make Roman Shades. Through the website Apartment therapy I found a great little tutorial on the home decorating and DIY Blog The Little Green Notebook. In this tutorial, the Blogger used mini blinds as the bones of the shade. GENIUS!!

In this post I'm going to show you how I did it, because I did tweak it a bit to make it easier for me.

First I started with cheap mini blinds from Walmart.

Go to your window and measure the height and width. Decide how long and how wide you want you treatment to be. I wanted mine to fit inside the window moulding. The window measured 53 inches long, so I made the shade extend 54 inches long. For the width I measured 23 inches wide and wanted the shade to extend to 25 inches.


With the measurements taken, begin preparing the mini blind. Extend the blind to their full length on a flat surface (I chose my dirty floor!)
Mini blinds have a series of cords that hold the plastic strips in place and help lift the shade. The lift cord is thick and the ladder shaped cord holds the plastic strips. Cut the ladder cord out of the blind, but be very careful not to cut the lift cord!

With the ladder cord removed, the plastic strips will slide freely up and down the lift cord. With the measurements you took of the window, decide how wide you want your pleats to be in Roman Shade. Since I measured 54 inches long, and I know that 6 is a multiple of 54, I decided my pleats would be 6 inches long. There's no formula here, just try to give yourself easy numbers that can be easily divided in whole numbers. Also,  a 6-9 inch pleat look best with a small window, so keep that in mind when measuring,
Okay, so I know that my shade is 54 inches long and that every 6 inches will be a pleat. The pleats are made by gluing the fabric to a plastic strip. A pleat every six inches means I need 8 plastic strips and the bottom Slat to glue onto for a total of 9 plastic strips and slat. See that: 9 x 6 = 54.
First I need to remove the thick bottom slat to take out the plastic strips I don't need. Do this by prying off the two plugs on the thick slat.

You'll see inside the end knot of the lift cord. You can untie or cut this knot off. Then slide the thick slat and all of the plastic strips you don't need off. Measure the lift string to the desired length (mine was 54 inches.) Reattach the thick slat and tie off at the measured mark.
Cut excess string and push the tail into the hole. Replug the holes with the plastic caps.
For my shade I have 8 plastic strips and a thick slat. The whole thing measures 54 inches long. Now I want to place the altered mini blind on top of the fabric I'm going to use.
I was lucky in that my fabric from top to bottom was the same length as my altered shade, so I didn't have to cut and hem the top and bottom. The sides were rough and did need a hem, so I measured and cut the fabric so that from side to side the fabric went past the plastic strip about 2 1/2 inches on each side.

To make the no sew hem I used heat and bond. Heat n' bond is just paper with an adhesive back, that when ironed onto fabric transfers the glue to your surface. Just remove the paper and you have a clean flat strip of adhesive that when ironed again makes a nice little hem.

With heat n' bond on the edges of the fabric, I found the middle of the fabric panel. I folded the panel in half and ironed a crease so that I could use my quilting ruler to make a nice uniform hem. Fold over and press. Also if you had put a crease in the middle of the panel, now is a good time to press that out.
The finished product should look like this, however depending on what your fabric is like you may have to do the same to the top and bottom.
Now place your mini blinds on top of the back side of your fabric. Find the center and with fabric glue, attach the thick mechanical top to the top of the fabric.
note: the pull should be flush with the fabric.
 Then carefully measure from the top mechanical slat to the desired length of the next plastic slat. Mine was 6 inches, so I measured 6 inches down and marked with pen.
 When all my marks were made down both sides of the shade, I put glue on the round side of the plastic strip and adhered them to the fabric. While I was gluing, I made sure that I had the plastic strips on dead center, lining from top to bottom with the top slat. I used my ruler to measure in 1  1/4 inch (this is half of 2 1/2 inches) I glue and measure, glue and measure all the way down to the bottom slat. BE SURE NOT TO GLUE THE LIFT CORD TO THE FABRIC! The lift cord must be free of glue so the shade can go up and down.

I then allowed the shade to dry completely over night. I used a beer bottle, yes a beer bottle to hold the bottom slat in place to dry correctly over night.

The next day, I hot glued the excess fabric on the top and bottom, folding them over the thick slats.


Leave the side of the top open and free of fabric so it can slide into the bracket at installation.




 With the brackets in place in window, the top of your shade should slide right in place.

When finished the shade is installed it will be able to lift up and down.


Guess who's going to be able to run to the laundry room in her underwear now? Yeah me!!





A lot of you have asked what color of paint I used on my walls in the kitchen. Because I am cheap I can't give you a clear cut answer. I went to Walmart and found an expensive paint color I liked and then ask them to clone it with their store brand Color Place. Here's a photo of the label if that helps!


692 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness. seriously amazing. I don't have big enough words to express how in awe I am of you at the moment! I love the fabric too! Way to go!

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  2. Thanks! I love them! I can't stop looking at the kitchen and that's a big step for me because you remember how ugly that room used to be!!!

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    1. how thick was your fabric? do you think i can use curtains i have that are lightblocking? theyre real thick.

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  3. Love these! Love that fabric, too!!!

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  4. Love them! I've been thinking about doing some roman shades...but decided it was waaaay to daunting. I still think so, which makes me even more impressed with you!

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  5. Oh. My. Gosh. I just found you, but I think I may actually love you. I have sewaphobia, but I have always wanted romans for my huge living room windows in my garden level (err, basement) apartment. Guess what I'm buying tomorrow?! Time for a JoAnn's run!

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  6. Turned out super cute. Love the fabric you used!

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  7. Brilliant idea! They turned out lovely! I would love it if you would link this up to my link party~ Inspire-Me Monday @ Homemaker in Heels! :)
    Blessings~
    Crysta
    http://www.homemakerinheels.com/2011/04/inspire-me-monday-week-1-is-here-come.html

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  8. Thanks Crystal. I'll be there Monday!:)

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  9. These turned out so wonderful. Love the fabric you chose, too! I've had an itch for roman shades for quite some time. And I don't sew, so these would be wonderful. I saw the same tutorial on the Little Green Notebook site and wondered if I could hack it. Your super detailed instructions are giving me some confidence. This may be a summer project for me!! THANK YOU!! I'm your newest follower!

    {HUGS},
    kristi
    http://ishouldbemoppingthefloor.blogspot.com/

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  10. These turned out great! I am in the process of moving right now and will for sure have to keep these in mind! Thanks for sharing!!!! p.s. I am your newest follower!
    Jaime

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  11. Oh-EM-GEE!! I love this! what a great idea! Ok buh-bye expensive shade hello no sew roman shade! Thanks for sharing!

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  12. Great idea! I am saving this one!

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  13. OH Beautiful!! I have this fabric and used a similar one to re cover a chair....These are all the colors in my master bedroom:-)

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  14. Thanks for the tutorial! What kind of glue did you use? I have my blinds altered and got stuck on that part LOL. Thanks!

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  15. I featured this today on Blissful and Domestic. hop on over and grab a feature button:> Have a fabulous day!

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  16. I found you via Pinterest and I can't wait to make my very own blinds for my kitchen too! THANK YOU! so much!

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  17. I love the fabric!

    I've done a few of these myself and thought I would share this little tip. You don't have to take the bottom slat off at all, the slats are easy to tear apart, in fact you can probably tear a few at a time. Saves even more time and makes these super easy.

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  18. LOVE the fabric! Where did you get it?

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  19. Thanks! I've been getting a lot of compliments on the fabric. Believe it or not, I got it at my local Walmart!

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  20. I found you via Pinterest... thanks for posting this! Love everything about this project!

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  21. I found you via pinterest, I LOVE these. The fabric is fabulous. Our Walmart doesnt carry fabric anymore :-( do you know that maker/ name of the fabric, i want to see if I can find it online.
    lifeofperks.blogspot.com

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  22. Brandy, I checked the fabric for a designer name. It said Home Collections by MM Designs.soil release finish- Exactly like I typed it. Hope you can find it!! Thanks for checking out my blog!!

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  23. I actually made one of these after seeing LGN's tutorial and I've been procrastinating on the final two. Your added pics and modifications are helpful. I'm re-energized to finish the project!

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  24. YAY Leigh! Finish it! You'll be so happy you did!!

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  25. Amazing! Obviously I love the fabric, since I used the same one, but your roman shades are beautiful! What a great addition to your room!

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  26. How does it look from the outside? Love this project!!

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  27. Because the sides are "Hemmed" it looks polished, but the back side is the rough side of the fabric. fortunately the fabric is light, so it doesn't look bad. In fact, my neighbors only noticed there were flowers on the other side when they saw them lit up at night. You know what, I'll try to get a picture of this from the outside, so everyone can see.

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  28. I was just wondering about the back. The window I want to do backs up to my front porch. Do you think you could glue fabric to the back as well and still have it work?

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  29. WOW!!! Thanks so much for the great tutorial! I also found you through pinterest. I just finished my first, and plan to do several more :)

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  30. Awesome! Such a great idea and great tutorial : ) I clicked on this because I used the same fabric for my mom's Mother's Day bag. You have great taste ; )

    http://whiletheysnooze.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-made-it-for-my-mama.html

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  31. What an amazing idea and a great way to reuse old blinds! I will definitely be doing this in my kitchen!

    I am your newest follower, and would love it if you would follow me back if you love our blog as well! :)

    Stop by an add your latest & greatest to our What I Made Wednesday Linky Party...today is the last day!

    Also, enter for a chance to win a homemade hair bow!!!

    Briana @ Sweet Peas and Bumblebees
    sweetpeasandbb.blogspot.com

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  32. Wow, I love it! I hop to try this sometime.

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  33. Love this, and love the fabric. Putting it on my to do list right now.

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  34. What an awesome idea!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  35. This is awesome, i have 6 narrow tall windows in our house and we were quoted $550 NZD a window so of course they are bare, i may have to try this my self thank so much . oh and i found you on pin intrest

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  36. I absolutely love this project...so much I am in the middle of it right now. Can you tell me what kind of glue you used for the top mechanical slat and the thin slats.? I used a fabric and leather glue but it's not really sticking. Should I just super glue the top like the bottom? What do you suggest for the regular slats? Thanks a bunch for sharing!!! If this shows multiple posts, my apologies...my computer is being difficult!

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  37. I also found you from Pinterest, and I'm SO excited that I did! I can't wait to try this. It's the perfect solution for my home! I want them to be somewhat room darkening...would you recommend choosing a heavier fabric, or maybe doubling up with a plain fabric in back?

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  38. Yes, totally a heavier fabric!! The one I used was almost a canvas.

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  39. OMG these are awesome - wow how amazing.
    A xx

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  40. Wow. I was just thinking about how the heck I was going to do this in my bathroom for reasons similar to yours ...

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  41. Great tutorial! I am pinning this on Pinterest right away!!

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  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  43. This is an awesome tutorial. I made one of these from another post I had stumbled across and it was cute but not very finished looking. I think its time for a redo!

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  44. Flippin' AWESOME is what you are!!!!

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  45. I cannot wait to try this! Stumbled on the instructions on Pinterest! Thank you.

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  46. Awesome!!! Found you on pinterest. Question, does the blind need to be the exact size of the window? I want it to fit inside like yours, but I think I have an odd shaped window.... Can the mini blinds be cut?

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  47. Hey Myriah! Because my house is very old, my windows are a very strange shape too. Two of the mini blinds fit snuggly, but the last had a good half inch over-hang. I used a file to trim the top of the blinds down. It didn't really effect the plastic slats that much, as they are a bit smaller than the top mechanical part. I imagine though you could easily trim those with scissors, as long as you don't cut too far and mess up the pull cord. Good luck!!

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  48. LOVE this and love your fabric choice. They look fantastic! At first I thought this was a lot of work for something you could buy for pretty cheap, but then I remembered you can only get white (and probably a few other blah colors) at BB&B (or wherever) and here you have used custom fabric! These would be a fortune to purchase. I'm inspired! Great post.

    www.preparingforpeanut.com

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  49. I just purchased fabric for this project. Can't wait to get started!!

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  50. Thanks so much. Just went and got all my supplies today!!!! :) And the blinds ended up being a half inch smaller than the package said, so they fit perfectly!!!!!

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  51. awesome! thanks for sharing :)

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  52. Have you ever seen this done with cordless blinds? I want to do a window right by my 6 month old's crib but don't want the cords hanging down. I'm thinking about just giving it a try! Any suggestions?

    www.preparingforpeanut.com

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  53. WOWZERS girl,

    This is toooooo cool. I mean REALLY cool. You gave the most awesome tutorial, and I can't wait to try this, YAY!!!

    P.s. Your fabric is really pretty too. Oh, and I found you on pinterest, so awesome, glad I came by to say hi.

    I'd also LOVE to invite you to check out my weekly parties. I would be so happy if you linked up, this and any other fabulous project you are working on.
    Stop by anytime to say hello!!!
    Hugs, Bella :)
    **AMAZE ME AUGUST** @ Bella Before and After Any projects, recipes, diy welcome.
    **PARTY PLANNING TUESDAYS** @ Euro Style Cakes. All your party planning tips, decorations, invitations, and recipes welcome at my NEW party.

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  54. Adorable and easy to follow! Thanks!
    (But think how disappointed your neighbors must be now that you "closed the curtains" on the show! ;-)

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  55. OK...you are now the smartest domestic diva I know...no, you are the smartest human being I know. This is adorable and even possible to accomplish. Fan for life. That's me.

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  56. Awesome! Look so GREAT!!! Thanks for sharing ^^

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  57. These look great, and a great tutorial - I am really anxious to try it!! I do however have one concern - and that is - what about the view of the roman shade from outside of the house? Have you thought of a way to finish the other side of the shade as well? Any suggestions? Thanks!!

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  58. Love this idea! This is just what I need to do to update my bedroom. I've been wanting to make a quick and inexpensive change for a while, so thanks!

    Samantha
    Mus(eum)ings
    http://museuminternmusings.blogspot.com

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  59. That is fantastic! I will be using these instructions to make kitchen blinds for my new place.

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  60. Fantastic! I found this via Pinterest. These are going to be great in my living room to show off my fancy century old wood trim! Traditional drapes just hide them.

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  61. What a fantastic idea!!! We are redoing our sunroom, and were looking into purchasing roman shades but they're so darn expensive and we have 13 windows in the sunroom. YEP. 13!! This will give me the opportunity to create a great look for much less! Thanks so much.
    BTW i too found you on pinterest.

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  62. Thank you. This is a great tutorial. Can't wait to try this. I have old Levolors in the basement I couldn't bear to throw out cuz they were so expensive. The blind slats you don't need can be cut down to make labels for passalong plants.

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  63. THANKS SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS!!! Wonderful tutorial, can't wait to try this for my bathroom. :o)

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  64. OMG! I've just found you. I've just moved into an old home. I'm having a luncheon for my girl friends, and need quick ideas to spruce up my home. What a fabulous idea. I cant wait to get more ideas.

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  65. Great tutorial. I made them using just Tacky Glue and it seems to be holding okay. My custom-looking blinds cost me $12/window! Thanks for posting.

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  66. This is an amazing tutorial. I have been looking for an alternative to my icky roman shades!

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  67. I did this last night and I LOVE it! You can see the result on my blog: http://firsthomedreams.blogspot.com/2011/08/diy-no-sew-roman-shades.html

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  68. Thanks so much for the excellent tutorial -- I know I can make these!
    dawnedesign.net

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  69. what a FABULOUS idea LOVE it and love the pattern you picked. Great decorating style!!

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  70. I must try this! Fantastic project!!!!

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  71. Great project. If I ever have a moment I will try it! As with others found you via pinterest. You made me laugh I do laundry in my undies too. :oD Gotta get as many clean clothes as possible!

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  72. Great idea. I will put this in the things I like to do.

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  73. Wow! Am really impress in that. Now I was thinking if this step will fit a simple wood to make that cool window blinds. Well, I guess am gonna try it and, and am gonna share it too...

    Thanks for the wonderful idea...

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  74. beautiful blinds! quick question: do you think it would be simple/possible to put a liner on the back with the same technique as long as i make sure not to glue the lift cord? has anyone else asked you that or said that they tried it? i would just want a nice liner on the back. brilliant diy! thank you for sharing your tutorial :)

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  75. Seriously fabulous idea! Bookmarking for later :)

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

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  76. Holy Smokes!! This is awesome! I am so doing this!! Man! I love your fabric choice too!

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  77. I love-love-love this!! I can't wait to try it out!! Do you mind if I ask what your wall color is?

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  78. Just wanted to stop by and say hello! I've seen these several times on Pinterest! :)
    Jen
    Scissors & Spatulas

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  79. This is amazing. You have won me over. I am now a new follower :)

    Becky @ BallisticGypsy

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  80. This is fabulous! Starting on my project in 2 weeks and I CAN'T WAIT!!!

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  81. Hey, for all of you looking for this fabric, I found it offered at some Walmart stores under the name, "Cotton Duck Mod Floral.

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  82. This is a great idea (and a way to do a set for my mom's house), thanks for sharing.

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  83. Oh my goodness, you just made my life a little better! Making blinds without sewing? That's perfect for me!!!

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  84. Love this DIY! I'm going to try to use wonder under and iron a light weight fabric to the back side before gluing to blades to give a more uniform look from outside! Thanks for the idea!

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  85. Love it! I love your wall color too, what is it?

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  86. Did you glue a liner fabric on the back side? I am trying to figure out if I need to do that, or if it is fine without it. Can you tell from the outside that you glued the fabric to the miniblinds? I have HUGE windows and this may be the perfect solution!!! thanks for sharing!!! I love your fabric!

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  87. Do you think it would be okay to use a hot glue gun to secure the slates to the fabric?

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  88. I just want to say that I LOVE THIS IDEA! I have cats and they have damaged my blinds by going through them to get to the window. I don't want to replace the blinds because the cats will just do it again. I was thinking of curtains, but I didn't like the traditional look. This is the perfect answer. I can choose the fabric I like best, I can used my damaged blinds that I already have in place and I am going to love the look! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

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  89. Love, love, love...found you on Pinterest:) BUT any thoughts on how it might work with child-safe blinds that have a button instead of a pull string? I'm hoping to put shades in my two kiddos rooms (affordable pre-made boy bedroom decor is just not attractive.)

    If anyone has ideas, I'll be checking back.

    Thank you!

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  90. I gave up on Roman blinds after feeling totally overwhelmed by Martha Stewarts instructions. I was going to put boring would blinds in my living room tomorrow to just have something up since my R.B. dreams were shattered....but I think I can do this! Thanks for sharing.

    My only question is: how long did this take on day 1? I don't care about the overnight and hot gluing the next day, but would like to know what I'm getting in to.

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  91. Do you think this project would work with 2 inch blinds? I love this look. I already have 2 inch blinds in place. Not a big deal (1 inch are cheap) but I just won't have any other use for the blinds I have up. Love this!

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  92. Looks like a great alternative to purchasing plastic batons for the ribs, not to mention all the other hardware needed to make Roman Shades. I think lining the blinds could work only if you used a product like Heat and Bond to fuse the fashion fabric to the lining fabric and then applying the back, but I am not sure. Would require some experimentation. Thank you very much for this tutorial! I'm all for saving money on materials!

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  93. Correction: "applying the SLATS to the back"

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  94. Do your shades have to be the same length has the window? My windows measure 39 inches and I can't find the cheap blinds that long. Can I use the 37 inch blinds? Just wondering if the $11 blinds are cheapter than doing it myself with other hardware?

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  95. I made the same shades using a plain white shade from walmart. This gave a uniform lined appearance from the outside. I used spray adhesive to adhere the fabric to the shade and hem tape to hem the rough edges. I had tons of compliments on them!!

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  96. Question....I'm working on these as I type...the 1 1/4" hemmed over hang on each side...does it stay over hanging or do you fold it one more time onto the slat? Also....I to am curious about the view from outside...I really don't want to see the white slat when they are down..can I put a liner over the whole backside? Will it still raise up and down? I think so!! Thanks in advance!!

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  97. Love it, they came out great!

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  98. Love this idea! I have french doors that have the 2 inch faux wood blinds that the previous owners' dog chewed! Do you think that I can cover these? or would the 2 in blind be too big for this project? Thanks for input!

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  99. Came across a photo of this on pinterest... I love how they turned out and can't wait to make my own!!! Thanks!

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  100. I just knew there was a better mousetrap...er...I mean...way to make a roman blind. Love these and the material is so wonderful. We have a new fabric store in our area called $2$4$6$8Fabric (or something like that). It has really nice fabric on the huge bolts and they stand in bins with one of these prices on it. Nothing over $8. I think I have talked myself into it. Thanks for sharing.

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  101. Just found you and your DIY roman shades on Pintrest. Love them!

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  102. This is awesome! My cats have destroyed so many of our blinds and I was prepared to by new ones, but I think I can use this tutorial and just fix them up! Thanks

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  103. Hi Angela, I finally did it! I absolutely loved this Roman Shade tutorial. Thought I'd share what I made after seeing yours, and I linked back to you. Thanks so much. Enjoy reading your blog!

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  104. Can you tell me the name of this fabric? Love it!

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  105. Love, love, love! I'm wondering whether (if it is possible to glue a backing fabric on) you can buy some kind of black-out fabric to use as a backing. Would that be too heavy? Too expensive? I desperately need to lose the ghetto curtains in my bedroom (3 mismatched blankets thumbtacked over the windows) but I really don't want light to come through. I am also chronically short on both time and money.

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  106. I found this fabric at Walmart, $6.97 a yard.. Excited to try this, and yes I am using the same fabric, i just love it:)

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  107. How have these held up over time, as far as raising & lowering? Any problems with the glue coming off?

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  108. Angela, Love these! Just priced plain white roman shades for 3 windows $1000.00 Can you please answer for myself and others about the idea of lining the back for blackout shades and can you make them cordless or if not Do you have to have the cord hanging down from the bottom. It looks like on your window you see strings out of the bottom. Do you raise and lower them like regular blinds with cords on the side.

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  109. Thank you so much for posting these shades. I just made a set of them for my baby's nursery. I love that they were so inexpensive and easy to make. Check out my blog post: http://becomingmomanddad.blogspot.com/2011/11/babys-roman-shades.html

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  110. Thanks so much for the instructions! They were very easy to follow and I love my new roman shades! Thanks!

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  111. Thank you so much for this tutorial!! You did a fantastic job documenting the steps one at a time and in very lame man's terms (right up my alley!!) Thanks again!! I will definitely be trying this in my house soon! :)

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  112. Made my first one today! Will start on the 2nd one tomorrow! What an awesome DIY project! Thanks for the idea!

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  113. This sounds like a great idea. I was wondering what they look like from the outside of the house and if you have any ideas on how to make them pretty from both views.

    Kira

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  114. Just started to do these. Just an FYI, Angela's directions doesn't tell you what to do with the wand used to open the blinds. I just used a serrated knife and sawed it off level with the mechanical top. I'm a little confused with the gluing of the fabric to the mechanical top and the very bottom thick slat. Do you wrap the fabric around? I am also trying to figure out a way to line them, I'll post back when I do.

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  115. Karen - I didn't know what to do with the wand either...funny - I did the same thing that you did. But I am having problems with mine. I followed all the directions and left the lift cord free to go up and down. but my blinds want to go up on one side and not the other. I have tried tieing a knot in the lift cord, but when I do that then the bottom of the blinds stick out of my fabric (I didn't glue the very bottom on the slat; I thought it should be free to move)
    Michele

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  116. I totally did a double-take when I saw this today....! Great idea! Let me show you why I was surprised....check out my blog awhile back :) http://ergaogardner.blogspot.com/2011_10_16_archive.html

    Crazy huh??!

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  117. I just did this project, and it turned out great! It was really not that difficult either. I am wondering about the view from outside though. Any ideas about this yet?

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  118. Thanks so much for the instructions! I finished too! I love them :) How can I send you the pics???

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  119. This is a great roman shade design for the DIYer -- and the instructions and photos are excellent. One suggestion: If you want to have the same fabric view from the outside of the house, you could double up the fabric (back-to-back) and glue together with spray-on glue. It would add a little more weight, but the mechanism and cords you specify should be able to handle it. Nice going!

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  120. I just made one the other day and I love it! it was so easy and took only like an hour! My only question is, how do you keep yours in place? When I placed mine back into the mini blinds brackets that were already installed in my window, I wasn't able to put in the little sliders that would keep the mini blinds from falling out. So, whenever I go to put the shade up or down, I have to hold it in place with my hand to make sure it doesn't fall out.

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  121. Genius! Thank you for the tutorial! Now to convince my hubby we NEED shades NOW! haha

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  122. Angela, how are they holding up? I'm curious with your heavier fabric how the mechanism is handling the extra weight.

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  123. An information about various DIY methodology on setting off Blinds.

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  124. Question... do you think it would be possible to do this without removing the unnecessary slats? I ask b/c I would LOVE this look for the inside of my house, but I like the way the blinds (we have the wide-slat ones) look from the outside. Couldn't you just leave them as the are, and glue every 6th one?

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  125. Found this on Pinterst. Love this idea!

    I am your newest follower!

    Sarah:)

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  126. I have this fabric! I changed my mind on my theme! I'm selling it on eBay. If interested, just search 'crafts>sewing&fabric>fabric>Mod Floral Home Collections by MM Designs Soil Release Finish'

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  127. I love this! Great fabric and great idea!

    Patty at http://momsponge.blogspot.com/

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  128. This is awesome! I have been trying to figure out what to do with my baby's window since the bottom half of the wall below the window sticks out creating a shelf (sorry don't know the technical term). My only question is how did you get the extra fabric at the top and bottom? I thought the mechanical top was lined with the top edge of the fabric?

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  129. I love these! But what does it look like from the outside? DO you have a picture.

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  130. Amazing! I am so excited to try this and with your words of encouragement. . . "There's no formula here, just try to give yourself easy numbers that can be easily divided in whole numbers". . . I have confidence I will succeed!! Thanks for posting.

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  131. Angela, thanks so much for putting together this tutorial--VERY helpful. My wife and I are planning to try this but I'm wondering something: we're wanting good light blockage, and I don't think the fabric we're thinking of will be as dark as the mini blinds we're currently using. I was wondering if you didn't take apart the mini blinds, but just glued your fabric to a slat every 6" and then didn't hem the curtains around the control slats if you think it would still work? Thanks so much!

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    1. For blocking light put a backing on back side of fabric.

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  132. Any suggestions as to how one would go about cleaning these, when needed?

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  133. @Anonymous Hum... I haven't had to do this yet. I imagine if the cloth is canvas or duck, you could whip it with a wash cloth. If dust is a problem, a Pledge Pet Hair remover works wonders on dust and fuzz!

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  134. @Abby
    Great question! Typically the thicker the fabric the better, but if that still doesn't cut it, try gluing blackout fabric to the back of the fabric. Blackout lining can be found at fabric stores like Joanne's. As for not taking apart the mini blind, I'm not sure how well that would work or if it would interfere with the pleating that happens as you pull the shade up. If you do try it, please let me know. Good luck!

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  135. @Pepper No I don't yet, but will soon. (I'm a little embarrassed but the missing siding outside these windows...I know, I'm so superficial!!)

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  136. @SarahinSC Sorry so long in getting back to you, I'm really not sure how well this would work. If you do try it, let me know!!

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  137. @Hayley Hum...I was able to get the little mini blind slider holders back in place and they keep the mechanical bar from sliding out. Maybe try to loosen the glue so they can slide back in? Or you could always jimmy rig it with duct tape! Hey it worked for MacGyver!

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  138. @Anonymous Yay! Send them to 365days2simplicity@gmail.com. Thank you!!!

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  139. @Green and Beautiful That's too funny! Walmart right? That's where I bought mine. It was like my only ever awesome Walmart fabric score!!!

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  140. Thank you for this very clear step by step tutorial. I'll put this on my list todo this coming weekend. Again, thank you for sharing this!

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  141. Fantastic tutorial! I just found it yesterday on Pinterest, just in time, as I have been planning roman shades for my laundry room garden window. I am going to follow your tutorial and I have a couple of questions. The shade is going to be 70" wide and I could only find 2" faux wood blinds on Walmart.com in this width. Do you think they would work just as well as the mini blinds. How far did you extend your fabric on each side of the width of the blinds? (i.e. should I buy 66" or 68" wide blinds for a 70" wide shade?) Also, I plan to line the shades with a thermal liner since I lose a lot of heat through the window in winter. Do you think it will work to just glue the liner to the blinds once I have sewn the liner and shade fabric together and hemmed them? Unfortunately my project will require a lot of sewing since I have the liner and I am going to have to join fabric widths together but using the blinds will save a lot of trouble so I don't have to mess with screws and cords! Thanks, Julie

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  142. Fantastic tutorial! I just found it yesterday on Pinterest, just in time, as I have been planning roman shades for my laundry room garden window. I am going to follow your tutorial and I have a couple of questions. The shade is going to be 70" wide and I could only find 2" faux wood blinds on Walmart.com in this width. Do you think they would work just as well as the mini blinds. How far did you extend your fabric on each side of the width of the blinds? (i.e. should I buy 66" or 68" wide blinds for a 70" wide shade?) Also, I plan to line the shades with a thermal liner since I lose a lot of heat through the window in winter. Do you think it will work to just glue the liner to the blinds once I have sewn the liner and shade fabric together and hemmed them? Unfortunately my project will require a lot of sewing since I have the liner and I am going to have to join fabric widths together but using the blinds will save a lot of trouble so I don't have to mess with screws and cords! Thanks, Julie

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  143. You are simply amazing! You just saved me about $800. I love it!

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  144. Thanks for sharing this! I used it to make four shades for the windows in our play room.

    One tweak I made was to put a grommet up near the top so that the cord could be brought through to the front of the shade. It was kind of awkward reaching behind.

    here are pictures of my finished product:
    http://sugarsugarhouse.com/2012/01/09/diy-roman-shades/

    thanks again!
    Amber

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  145. i'm super excited about this! can i use normal fabric or does it have to be a thicker fabric like upholstery fabric? i really want to use a thin fabric that i found i wonder if i should glue it to a thicker fabric?

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  146. This is a great idea, so easy and so cheap!! I am an interior designer in Arlington, TX www.lelandswallpaper.com and for a custom one you can easily spend $500 or more depending on fabric used. We have mistake blinds in a $10 bin that would work great for our DIY ladies! Really cute!!

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  147. I followed your tutorial and blogged about it! Thanks for the great idea and instructions!

    http://www.nestcandy.com/2012/01/diy-roman-blinds.html

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  148. I was wondering if you knew the name of the paint color in the room with these curtains
    Thanks, Tiffany

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  149. Has anyone found this fabric anywhere besides Walmart (preferably somewhere online)? I made one shade and now my Walmart is out of the fabric. Help! I have one more shade to make!

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    1. Did you try Wal-Mart online?

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  150. I followed your tutorial and blogged about it. Thanks for the cool idea. http://deco-verde.blogspot.com/2012/01/snow-day-roman-shades.html

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  151. I can't wait to try this! I have a ton of those old shades and need a quick project for windows in my kitchen and great room that will last until I really figure out how I want to decorate!

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  152. you are a genius... i am blown away!!! can't wait to try it!!!

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  153. I definitely want to make these for our kitchen. Sewing is not my thing, so these are perfect. I shared your idea on our blog at http://Ten51Design.blogspot.com/ (hope that's okay) We're the new blog on the block. I'll send a link to our finished product when they're complete. Thank you so much for posting! - Friends from Ten51Design.blogspot.com

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  154. Very impressive. I'm going to try to make one for my small laundry room window this weekend. If it works out for me then I'm going to make three for my triple window in my breakfast area. If I can pull it off I will save HUNDREDS of dollars!!

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  155. Love the idea using a mini blind. I have been wanting to make a pair of roman shades for my dining room but too scared to try. Love the idea and hope I can make them now.
    Jan

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  156. I have always wondered how these curtains were made. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

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  157. Genius! I have some cheap-ish blackout curtains I got from Target a couple of years ago and I am going to try converting them to shades using this method . . . super cool!

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  158. A friend shared your Blog with me How amazing I absolutely love this. I want bamboo shades in the kitchen But Im going to try stained Burlap with twill tape!

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  159. I just made these this weekend using a shower curtain that was on sale. They look amazing!!! Thank you so so much! They were so easy. Now I have friends asking me to help them :)

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  160. Well I'm almost finished with my first one, BUT forgot to buy fabric glue, grrr!!!

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  161. I want to try this for my windows, but I'm a little concerned how they will look from the outside. For instance, I have a solid color fabric that isn't white on the back. I'm afraid the slats, being white, will stand out too much. Has anyone tried this using second piece of fabric glues on the back, with the slats sandwiched between?

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    1. That's a good idea, but how 'bout colored blinds to blend with your fabric? They always come in cream or white, but I've gotten cheap ones in dusty rose and black. Sorry, I don't remember where. Good luck!

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  162. Fabulous! I was going to try a similar project with a roller shade, but this looks so much nicer. Thanks!

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  163. Do you think this would work with a ready made pull up fabric shade from Target..I've wanted to change the fabric color? Like I am thinking I could just heat and iron on a new fabric right over the existing one...any thoughts?

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  164. Can you wash these or do you have to spot clean them? I've been wanting to make a shade for our bathroom but want something I can throw in the machine.

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  165. Hello, love this idea. I have everything ready to go but I'm having glue issues. What type of fabric glue did you use to glue the slats? I'm making this for a 58 inch wide window and I'm scared my glue won't hold. Thanks

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  166. Can you tell me if your cord is in the back or the front I am in the process of making...thank you so much this had been a great saver from all the sewing....Love what you have done.

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    1. I made these last week and they turned out great. The cord was in the back, but I read in a comment that they put a grommet in so they could have the cord in front. I tried it and it works and looks really good.

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  167. Love, love, love this idea!!! I will trying this soon!

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  168. OMG I totally want to do this in every room of my house! I hate sewing and I have serious commitment issues with curtains because they are so expensive! I hate plain old mini blinds but I have been forced to use them until I can make a decision. Now I can actually go pick out some awesome fabric and put the blinds to good use! Can't wait to try this, thank you so much!

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  169. OMG!!! This is seriously the coolest idea I have ever seen. You're a awesome for coming up with this. I have to try it.

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  170. These are great! Thanks for the inspiration and tutorial. Check out our take on this! http://happeningtoo.blogspot.com/2012/01/fabric-fun.html

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  171. I love you for this!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

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  172. That is the most amazing thing I have ever seen! How did you come up with this? Now to see if I even remotely have the skills to copy this! I sure hope I do, this would be darling in my daughters room!!

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  173. What a great idea and a good job on your tutorial!! I have made Roman shades the old way, using ringtape and sewing and the whole nine yards. Didn't think I'd ever make more but now I can't wait to get started!! Kudos to you!!

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  174. I think maybe even I could do this!! Well I'm at least going to try! :) Really enjoying reading your blog and look forward to all your future posts! I am one of your new loyal followers! When you have a chance come on by and check out my blog (and make sure to say hi!). If you like my blog, I would love it if you would follow me back! Cath @ Home is Where my Heart is: http://cathhasablog.blogspot.com/

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  175. Love these! Just wanted to let you know I featured these on my blog today, in an article about the many different types and techniques of "no-sew" window treatments.

    -Erin
    diyonthecheap.blogspot.com

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  176. Hi Found you on Pinterest. I am working on this right now and wondering why your fabric is 1 1/4 wider than the slats on each side. Is that necessary? I also don't understand how you use the pull cord when you have the top glued onto the fabric with the pull cord part right up against the fabric? This doesn't make sense to me. I'm afraid to start gluing until I understand all of this! Thanks! It is a great project!!

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  177. I cling on to listening to the newscast lecture about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the most excellent site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?
    Timberland Women's Earthkeepers Mount Holly Tall Lace Duck Boot

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  178. How would you wash these when they get dusty? hand wash in the bathtub?

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  179. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I just finished two for our bedroom- I am NOT a sewer, and I love how these turned out- my husband is also impressed- I used the existing metal pleated blinds we had- God bless and thanks again!!

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  180. Wow I'm impressed. I've sewed for 40 years, but am getting lazy! I may just have window shades after all :-)

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  181. I did it. Super inexpensive solution! I actually used quilting fabric I already had on hand. I made shades for our bay windows in kitchen nook. Light weight, turned out great. Thank you so much for your excellent instructions. All your tips made the project go smoothly! Outstanding project, quick and fairly easy! God Bless! -Jen

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  182. This was the best line of your tutorial about sewing machines: "Each and every one has the devil in them and they will without fail cause a lot of problems." It made me laugh out loud and I agree!!

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  183. I'm re-posting my comment because you inspired me to begin a blog of my own- and I put the pictures of the Roman Shades on there if you want to see how some of your followers turned out!! I totally gave you the credit and a link to your page- BTW- this ended up costing me $0!! Because I used existing metal blinds, and fabric that I had and wanted to use, but couldn't figure out how before...I also used spray adhesive I had on hand and it worked great!!
    Again- THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! I just finished two for our bedroom- I am NOT a sewer, and I love how these turned out- my husband is also impressed- I used the existing metal pleated blinds we had- God bless and thanks again!!

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  184. Tried my own version of this but my miniblinds, though old and grungy, were slightly different, having come from a professional blind store. Not at all happy with finished product. Don't hang right, folds not nice and neat,side edges bunch up unattractively. Need two but will be trashing the first one and doing something different. Hope I can salvage my fabric.I am an experienced sewer so don't know how you diy'ers had such good results.I also put on a lining as I didn't like the exposed slats. Very unattractive from the outside. Too bad. I like quick and easy, but this didn't cut it.

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  185. Thanks for these great ideas ! I am definitely going to try this. I am thinking I will want a back to the fabric (that faces the outside) so i'll give it some thought; I can sew so could do a bit; but only for finishing purposes if necessary; we're redoing a beach house and window treatments are SO expensive; gonna give this a go ! thanks so much; I'll let you know how it turns out

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  186. how about you make and sell them

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  187. i found you via pinterest yesterday and had been looking for a tutorial similar to this only i was wanting to use an existing matchstick shade instead. thanks for sharing this!

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Please leave a comment! I love to hear from you, but please forgive me if I don't get back to you right away, It's most likely I have a child climbing up my butt.