How to make simple Roman blinds

Updated February 21, 2017

If your window treatments are looking a little dated, and honestly a little tired, then take them down and get ready to put up something new. Roman blinds can be just the thing to give your windows the lift they have been waiting for. Best of all, this is a simple technique that even a beginning sewer can follow without being intimidated. So get your fabric and tools together and get ready to make your own custom Roman blinds. Your windows will love you for it.

Measure the width of the window from the inside left edge of the window frame to the inside right edge of the window frame. Measure the length of the window from 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the top of the window frame to the base of the windowsill.

Add 7.5 cm (3 inches) to your measurement to for the width and 12.5 cm (5 inches) to your measurement for the length. This will allow for the sewing seams and for the finished blind to overlap the window frame. When the shade is drawn there will be no visibility into the room. Use your window measurements to determine how much fabric you need.

Cut the fabric for the shade and the lining according to your measurements. However, cut the lining 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) shorter in length, so the lining won't show after ironing. Pin the fabric and lining together, right sides facing in. Using a 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) seam allowance, sew the right and left sides. Pin the top and sew the top edge. Remove the pins and clip the corners diagonally. Turn the fabric right side out and iron flat.

Place a pin in the centre at the top. Use a tape measure and put a pin every 25 cm (10 inches) from the top down to create the rows for the shade. Make identical pin rows every 15 cm (6 inches), always checking to make sure that each row is straight. Attach rib ring/loop tape at each 25 cm (10 inch) mark, with the ribs running horizontally across the shade. Sew a line down each side of the tape (left and right). Use a zipper foot on your sewing machine to avoid the ring loops. Fold over one end of each rib pocket and stitch closed.

Fold in the bottom seam allowance for the fabric, keeping the shade fabric about 6 mm (1/4 inch) longer than the lining fabric. Press flat. Sew a top seam 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) from the bottom of the shade.

Insert a dowel into each rib pocket. Hand stitch the side openings closed after inserting the dowels.

Cut the mounting board the same width as the shade. Wrap the board with fabric for a finished look. Staple the board to the shade fabric. Screw in the screw eyes on the bottom edge of the mounting board right at the centre point for each line you sewn for the shade tape. Attach the pulley and hardware on the left side of the board.

Cut a cord for each ring strip that is at least double the length of the shade. Attach the cord to the bottom ring. Run it straight up through each ring loop, horizontally through the screw eye and out through the pulley. Repeat this process for each cord. Trim the ends of the cords protruding through the pulley at an equal length and knot them together.

Attach the mounting board to the window frame using L-brackets. Screw in the cleat to the wall or window frame trim to wrap and hold the cording when you raise your new Roman shade.


Select thread that blends with the fabric so the stitches won't show so easily.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric for blinds and lining
  • Roman shade rib ring/loop tape
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Wooden dowel, 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) diameter, as long as the inside width of the window frame
  • Staple gun
  • Window shade cord
  • 2.5 by 5 cm (1 by 2 inch) wooden board
  • L-brackets
  • Screw eyes
  • Metal cleat
  • Drill
  • Window pulley hardware
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About the Author

Cheryl Munson has been writing since 1990, with experience as a writer and creative director in the advertising industry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a focus on advertising from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.