How to make roller blinds

Updated April 17, 2017

Roller blinds are a specific type of window blinds or coverings that are made of thin slats of wood, plastic, bamboo, fabric or metal. Instead of thin slats, you can construct roller blinds from a single piece of rolled fabric. Suspend roller blinds from the top of the window and adjust their height by rolling up or down, with the same pulling and rolling mechanism that completely closes and opens them. Adjust the position of the roller blinds with a thin cord on the side that rolls the blinds up or down. Make your own roller blinds to add a personal touch to your window.

Prepare the fabric for making the roller blinds. In order not to appear and act as a soft and flimsy curtain, stiffen the fabric as much as possible. Soak the fabric in a plastic bowl full of fabric stiffener and then lay it flat on an even surface. Tape or otherwise fasten the edges in order to get the fabric as smooth and wrinkle-free as possible.

Measure your window to see how long you need the roller blind to be. Buy a roller with a pulley mechanism that matches the dimension of your window. This roller and pulley assembly is the crucial element of your roller blind. The installation kit for the roller and pulley includes mounting screws and other necessary pieces for making your own roller shades; buy the kit at a home improvement store.

Cut the fabric to a required size with a pair of strong, steady and sharp scissors. Note that the overall width of your roller blind is the same as the roller element. The length of the blind is the distance between the window sill and the top part of the window’s inside, plus an additional 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 inches). In order to make the corners absolutely square, use a ruler when cutting the fabric.

Spread the fabric on a flat surface, with its bottom side up. Turn one short edge of the fabric up to 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) and stitch it about 3 mm (1/8 inch) away from the edge. This will create a casing for the wood dowel element from the roller installation kit. Check the thickness of the dowel, however, so you don’t make a too narrow casing.

Slide the wood dowel from the installation kit into the fabric casing you just made. Do it slowly and be careful not to make any wrinkles.

Spread the fabric once again on a flat surface, with its bottom side up. Measure and draw a line 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) from the other short edge of the fabric. Use a tailor chalk to draw the line, but do it as light as possible.

Tape a line of double-side tape from the installation kit all along the line you drew, placing the tape in between the line and the raw edge of the fabric. Now you can bring the roller and pulley mechanism and attach it to the fabric.

Remove the other layer of the double sided tape and press it on the roller firmly, so the tape adheres to the roller as much as possible. Note that the roller element has an indication line to show where the fabric needs to be taped, so make sure to follow the instructions and place the fabric correctly.

Roll the fabric around the roller element carefully, making sure the edges are flush and the fabric is evenly distributed.

Attach the roller while the fabric is rolled up. Install the roller and pulley mechanism at the same time, as one assembly, using the mounting screws provided in the installation kit. Use a power drill to make the holes for the screws if needed and make sure the whole assembly is firmly attached to the window.

Check your new homemade roller blinds by rolling them up and down a few times using the cord.


You can add various embellishments to your design such as decorative rope instead of an ordinary cord.


Use caution when working with sharp tools such as scissors. Wear disposable latex gloves when dealing with concentrated fabric stiffener.

Things You'll Need

  • Roller and pulley installation kit
  • Plastic bowl
  • Fabric stiffener
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Thread
  • Tailor chalk
  • Power drill
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Robert Raphael has been writing health and technology articles since 1993. His work has appeared in “Natural Living” magazine and “Extreme PC” magazine. Raphael received the Jonathan Melman Literary Award in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brandeis University.