How to make pleated blinds

Written by lisa east hunter
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How to make pleated blinds
Accordian-fold paper to make a window shade. (paper folds image by Stepanov from

New window coverings can set you back a lot of money. To save money, you often have to compromise on colour and design. Why not make custom window coverings that exactly match the size of your windows and are constructed in any pattern that you like? Pleated window shades can be constructed from paper, adjusted to match your window size and shape. They will look great in your window, adding colour and texture to the space. Add a pull cord to the side of the shade so you can open and close the blinds for privacy.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Craft paper
  • Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Bone scorer
  • Hole punch
  • Velcro strips
  • Cord or ribbon
  • Cord stops

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  1. 1

    Measure the width of your window. Measure the length and add 20 per cent more length to accommodate the seams in the pleats.

  2. 2

    Cut the paper to your dimensions with scissors. Lay the paper flat on a worktable.

  3. 3

    Measure and mark the paper in 2.5 cm (1 inch) increments all the way down the length of the paper.

  4. 4

    Fold the top 2.5 cm (1 inch) of the paper back so that the back of the paper is pressed together. Use a bone scorer to press a clean and crisp fold in the paper. Continue in this manner to accordion-fold the paper in 2.5 cm (1 inch) folds. Score each fold with the bone scorer.

  5. 5

    Punch a hole in the paper at the same spot on each side all the way down the blind. Move in at least 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) from the edge of the paper. Hole punch four pleats at a time.

  6. 6

    Tie a knot in the top of the cord or ribbon. String the cord through the holes to the end of the blind. Slide a cord stopper on the end of each cord. Tie a knot in the end of the cord to keep the cord stopper in place.

  7. 7

    Attach half of the self-adhesive Velcro to the top of the window. Apply the other half to the top of the paper blind. Attach the two Velcro pieces together to hang the shade. Raise the shade slightly by pulling the cord stopper up the cord and securing.

Tips and warnings

  • If you prefer fabric shade, use a heavy-duty fabric that can be folded. Starch the fabric heavily and iron the pleats into the fabric.

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