This was our forlorn kitchen window.
We’ve had that too long sheer drape hanging there for I don’t know how long. I’ve always liked the idea of a roman shade for the kitchen window as opposed to the classic valance/curtain combination. Since our kitchen is mostly white with pops of bright green, it hasn’t been easy to find a ready made one in a fabric that would work.
Enter Pinterest. Two weeks ago, I pinned a no sew roman shade made from a mini blind. This was the perfect solution as I could choose my own fabric, not to mention it would end up being much cheaper than getting a ready made one. I adapted the directions slightly to work better for me, and we’re really happy with the result.
I ordered some samples of green and white patterned fabric from Tonic Living and ultimately decided on Good Life Gridwork in Celadon. It looks like they no longer have it available in that color, but they do have the same pattern in other colors.
Then I measured my kitchen window and set off to Lowe’s where I purchased this cheapo mini blind for less than $5. Can’t beat that! Luckily our 35″ wide window is a standard width for mini blinds, but if yours isn’t, Lowe’s and Home Depot can custom cut them to your desired width.
The first thing I did was lay out the blind on the floor and pull it down as far as it would go.
Next, I cut all three ladder cords off. These are the thinner cords that look like…well, a ladder.
Make sure you do NOT cut the thicker pull cord (one on each side) as you will need this to raise your shade up and down. I just started at the bottom and cut thru the centers of the ladder cord making my way up and pulled the two halves off.
Then I took the plastic caps off of the thick bottom slat of the blind.
These were a little difficult to pull off so I ended up wedging a flat head screw driver underneath to pop them off. Inside you’ll see the knotted end of the pull cord.
You can either unknot this or simply cut the knot off. I cut it off because if there’s a short cut, I will always take it :).
Pull the thick bottom slat off and set it aside. You’ll need this later.
Now you need to determine how many slats you need. Since my window is 40″ long, I decided to go a little longer with the shade at 42″. I think the average spacing for slats, depending on how wide you want your folds, is 7-9″. I opted for a 7″ space between each slat since it evenly divides into 42. (Shortcuts people!) So 7 inch “spaces” meant I needed 7 slats for my shade. Now, remember that the top part that holds the pull cord mechanism and the thick bottom slat you removed will count, so I needed to leave 5 slats in the middle. Remove all of the slats you don’t need.
Since I started with a 64″ shade (the shortest I could find at Lowe’s), I had a lot to remove. Anyone need some slats?
Now you need to put that thick bottom slat back on. Measure the two pull cords the length that your shade needs to be, which for me was 42″. Then put the bottom slat back on, knot the cords off at your desired length, cut the excess cord and pop the plastic tabs back in.
You’ll see in this pic that I had tentatively measured out how far apart each slat needed to be, but this can wait until later since you’ll need to pick the whole shade up to put your fabric underneath.
Speaking of fabric…
I then ironed fabric, then cut it out to the shade measurements plus 2″. So for my 35″ x 42″ shade, I cut my fabric to 37″ x 44″. Then I folded over all of the edges a 1/2″ and pressed.
If you want to keep this a no sew project, at this point, you’d use fabric glue or instant bond double-sided fabric tape to keep the edges down.
For me however, it was just as easy to use the sewing machine to stitch down each side. Did I just use the words “sewing machine” and “easy” in the same sentence? Wonders will never cease.
Plus, I liked the idea of having the contrasting line from the thread showing around the edges.
Now it’s time to put it all together!
I spread my fabric out and laid the shade on top of it, stretched out to its full length.
Then I used a pen to make small marks on both sides at each 7″ interval so I’d know where to glue my slats down.
I found this fabric glue at Jo-Ann Fabrics and liked that it was clear and fast drying.
First I glued down the top piece that houses the pull cord mechanism. Make sure that when you do this, the pull cord is flush with the fabric. Also, don’t glue down the outer 1/2″ on each end to allow room to get the blind into the mounting brackets.
I used my hurricane candle holders to keep this in place and standing upright while I started gluing the other slats. Make sure you glue on the convex (rounded up) side of the slat for maximum contact with the fabric. Also, do NOT glue over or on the pull cords. You need to keep these free to pull your shade up!
I used a small foam brush to spread the glue out a little more, but in hindsight it probably wasn’t necessary. Once you’ve applied your glue, turn the slat over, line up to your markings and press gently down onto the fabric. Repeat this all the way down to the bottom.
Ideally you’d leave it this way to dry for 24 hours.
Then you hang the plastic brackets that come with the shade up in your window, or do like I did and get your significant other to do it :). Hang up your new roman shade and admire from near and far.
I love the pop of color it adds to that side of the kitchen.
Green is my favorite color.
Don’t you love the folds?
It turned out great, and the fabric still lets in enough sunlight to keep the kitchen nice and bright.
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