One of the major things I needed to do in here besides paint was figure out a solution for shades. We have a dedicated home office because Will and I both use it for work regularly. The room sits off the back of our house and gets tons of morning light which shines right on the computer screen. As I mentioned in my post last week our windows are an odd size so custom shades/blinds are the only option but I also wanted color so I got creative. I searched around on Pinterest for a solution and found a way to make roman shades using cheap mini blinds!
We bought cheap mini blinds from Lowes for less than $5 bucks each in 27” and trimmed them down with the dremmel to 26”. Once I found my fabric I got to work. The tutorial I used HERE is excellent! Simply Mrs. Edwards did a fantastic job and I am grateful I found the “pin”. Please check it out HERE to see her shades. Here are the steps from my point of view.
- Fabric (I needed 2 yards per window)
- Muslin fabric
- Fabri-tac glue
- Heat n Bond no sew tape (iron on)
- Tape measure
- Cheap mini blinds
- Iron/Ironing board
Cut fabric 2” wider than window in width and 6” longer. Cut muslin to exact window size.
**If using a fabric with no repeat, this is much easier. I had to lay my fabric out and really concentrate on where I cut top/bottom and side to side so that all shades matched. This step took the most time and I wasted more fabric.
Lay muslin over fabric leaving 3” on top/bottom and 1” on each side. Then use the iron on tape to iron the edges, I secured the bottom as well.
Roll out the mini blinds and start to disassemble leaving only the parts needed.
You want to cut the cord that holds the slats, the one that looks like a ladder. Do not cut the cord that controls the blind.
Take the weighted bar at the bottom off temporarily. You simple pop out the little circular plugs at the bottom and untie the cord. Slide the bar off.
This allows you to remove the slats. You want to leave enough slats for the folds in the shade. I left 7, the weighted bar acts as a fold as well.
Adhere the fabric to the mini blind. Here you want to lay out your fabric and mark the sides where you want the slats to go. I measured for a slat every 7.5” inches.
Next you lay the mini blind over the fabric and arrange each slate in the center of the marking (I marked both sides of fabric)
I had to make sure I set my top bar the same for each one because of the fabric pattern. You want to glue the top on first. This is where the Fabri-Tac glue comes in to secure the fabric. You add the glue to the front of the mini blind and flip over and press into fabric. Through this make sure not to get glue on your cord.
Arrange the slats in the center of the mark and glue the front of each one and press down to secure. (dog hair and all)
Then you work on the bottom slate, gluing to the front first, flip over to secure.
Tie the string back and slide into bottom and put the plugs back in the weighted bar. Leave just a little slack in the cord, not to tight, not really loose. The add glue to the bottom and sides to secure. Cut a small slit in fabric to go around the cord. Trim excess fabric.
At this point you should let them sit for a while to dry and set up. I waited about 2 hours and then you just hang them up like you would a regular mini blind. Mine had the brackets secured to inside of window so I just slid these in. It took a minute to pull them up and get the folds to cooperate the first time but they are pretty easy to operate and they look great!! I am really happy with the way they have turned out.
Here is a look at the back with them hanging.
This project took me about 6-7 hours to complete for 3 shades. Right now I have more time than money so it was worth it. Plus I am pretty proud of them. As for the cost here is the breakdown.
- Fabric $76.86
- Muslin $19.80
- Mini Blinds $12.43 (for 3)
- No Sew Tape $4.98 (2 rolls)
- Total cost: $114.07