DIY roman shades for the kitchen

February 21, 2015: This is my very first home decor DIY. And, to my and Bruce’s amazement, I pulled it off and successfully completed it in no time.

Instead of buying new window treatments for the kitchen window, I re-used the old, dusty wood blinds and turned them into roman shades. Thank you Better Homes and Garden.

This is the “Before” on January 26.

Here are the completed shades on Februrary 19th. Took me a couple of short hours to complete. Still amazed.

And here is the after photo on February 21!

So why DIY shades?

The task fell to me to find window treatments for the kitchen window. Bruce found the roman shades for the bedroom when we had it redone in July. We got the shades from in July and absolutely love them. But after browsing their site (and a number of other blinds and windows treatment sites) I could not find the color and style I wanted for the kitchen.

While searching, I came across this BHG Roman Shades DIY video that shows you how turn any set of mini-blinds into roman shades using fabric and Mod Podge. Yes…Mod Podge! 

I’ve been using Mod Podge in a lot of canvas craft projects lately so I already had plenty in hand. After watching the video I thought, “Oh my god…this is great. This is so great!”

I sprang out of bed and immediately tip-toed my way into the kitchen construction area to grab the blinds. I called out to Bruce, “You don’t have any plans for the old blinds, do you?” And he replied, “Nope! Other than the dumpster.” Sweet!

Project List: What do you need to get this done?

OK, so instead of a canvas, I’ll be using blinds as my Mod Podge decorating project. OK. What’s first? The materials list. We always start with the list.

  • Mini-blinds (that fits the size of your window. Check).
  • Fabric cut 1 inch longer from each side of your blinds. (I’ll be taking a trip to JoAnn’s as soon as I prep the blinds.
  • Mod Podge. (Ha! Crazy.)
  • Clothespins (To hold the fabric in place with each blind, allowing the Mod Podge to dry. Yep, I’ve got plenty).
  • Scissors. (To cut the strings so that the blind slats can be removed. Done.)

And that’s the list. Shortest project list ever. Still amazed at how easy this will be and I’m actually doing this on the fly. I gather up my materials and go to work right in the middle of the kitchen reno site.

Project Time: How I made DIY magic happen.

The blinds are no longer on the window for obvious reasons. Unless I make this project work (or I find a retail option that offers very expensive express shipping), this is what our kitchen wall will look like when the kitchen is done next week.

I found the blinds rolled up in a corner. Per the BHG video, I laid them out on the floor, back side facing up.

I cut the strings on each side of the blinds that hold the slats together.

I snapped off the wood slats in the middle to remove them. The goal is to leave only the slats that have the inner drawstring attached.

Here are the discarded strings and wood blinds.

And here’s what’s left.

OK, now it’s time to measure the blinds for the fabric.

Measurements, in hand, I’m now at a stopping point. I need to get my fabric from JoAnns. I stuff my arms into my coat and call out to Bruce that I’m out on an errand and will be right back. He still has no idea what I’m up to.

Covering the mini-blind skeleton with Mod Podge

After extensive searching through bolts of fabric at JoAnns, I narrowed the choices down to two – a yellow pattern and a blue pattern. I figured these would complement the design of the kitchen well.

I went with the yellow fabric, had the amount I needed cut and immediately heading back home. No time for browsing today.

I laid the fabric on the floor so that it lies beneath the mini-blind skeleton.

I laid out the blind skeleton in the same direction as before – back side facing me (so that I can see and easily reach the pull cord).

With all the pull slats laid out, I reached for the Mod Podge and sponge brush. You apply some of the glue on each blind slat, then fold the fabric over the slat and clip in place with a clothespin.

While the Mod Podge application stage was in progress, Bruce finally stepped through the plastic curtain that blocks off the kitchen construction area. He gaped at the project featuring what was formerly our dusty wood blinds. “You’re not throwing them away?!!” I kept working without replying while Bruce stood and watched. I finally turned and looked up at him. He shook his head, held his hands up, muttering something about “Like whatever you’re doing is going to work”, and walked back out through the plastic curtains. Smirking, I went back to Mod Podging the blinds.

I left the blinds on the floor to dry overnight.

The next morning reveal

Since the kitchen window is not available for hanging the shade yet, I moved it while still expanded from the floor to a clothing rack in the living room.

I then took a deep breath, pulled on the pull cord and watched it draw up like magic.

I excitedly called Bruce to come and take I look. I released and drew up the shade again. In amazement he said, “Wow, that actually works! Good job, sweetie!”

Mounting the roman shades

So two days later, Bruce and I put the DIY shades up. Pretty easy…they snapped right into place, just like the wood blinds did.  And they look beautiful. The perfect addition to our gorgeous new kitchen. V-