How to make Swedish blinds

Written by erin ringwald
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How to make Swedish blinds
Use a combination of floral and checked fabrics for your own Swedish blinds. (bolts of fabric image by Scott Williams from Fotolia.com)

Similar to Roman blinds, Swedish blinds use fabric to cover a window. These blinds are hung over the window and can be raised or lowered as necessary using cording that is passed through glass rings. Swedish blinds can be found pre-made at department stores, but finding the right size and colour can be difficult and expensive. You can make your own Swedish blinds at home with little effort and for little money, allowing you to tailor the finished product to meet your needs.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Floral fabric
  • Checked fabric
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • 6 mm (1/4 inch) dowel rod
  • 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) wide wooden batten
  • Staple gun
  • 2 strips webbed taping, 20 cm (8 inches) long
  • 2 glass rings
  • Cording
  • Sellotape
  • Screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the height and width of the window with a tape measure. Add 7.5 cm (3 inches) to the height of your window and 2.5 cm (1 inch) to the width to allow for seams. Cut two pieces of fabric to match these measurements. One piece of fabric should be floral and, one should be checked.

  2. 2

    Place your checked fabric face down on your work surface. Fold all four edges of the fabric over 6 mm (1/4 inch) and press the fold in place with your iron. This will crease the sides of the fabric and hold it down while you work. Tack the four folded edges. Repeat this process with your floral fabric.

  3. 3

    Place your tacked checked fabric face down on your work surface. Place the tacked floral fabric face up on top of the checked fabric. This will put the two wrong sides together and the two right sides facing out. Line up the two pieces of fabric and use a tacking stitch to attach the two pieces together.

  4. 4

    Sew the two pieces of tacked fabric together permanently, using your sewing machine. Leave the bottom edge unsewn.

  5. 5

    Insert a dowel rod 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick and 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) shorter than your window's width measurement between the two pieces of fabric at the open end. Position the dowel rod so that it is centred with a 3 mm (1/8 inch) seam allowance at the bottom of the fabric. Sew the dowel rod in place, sewing above and below the dowel, with your sewing machine.

  6. 6

    Cover a piece of wooden batten, the width of your window, with fabric. Wrap the fabric around the batten and attach it to the batten with a staple gun.

  7. 7

    Fold both of your strips of webbed tape in half. Slip a 2.5 cm (1 inch) diameter glass ring into the fold of each of the strips. Place the loose ends of the webbed tape at the top edge of your sewn fabric, with the floral side facing up. Place the two strips equidistant from the sides of the fabric. Staple the webbing and the fabric to your covered batten.

  8. 8

    Knot one end of a piece of cording, 2 times the length of your window. Attach the cording to the back of the batten near one of the strips of webbed tape with a piece of scotch tape. Bring the other end of the cording down the back of the fabric, up over the bottom of the fabric to the front, and back up to the top. Feed the loose end through the back of the glass ring and out the front.

  9. 9

    Bring the end of the cording across the width of the shade until you reach the second glass ring. Give it about 2.5 cm (1 inch) slack and then pass the end of the cording through the back of the second ring and out the front. Pass the cording around the ring a second time, so it wraps the ring. Allow the cording to hang down until it reaches 3/4 of the length of the shade; cut off the excess cord.

  10. 10

    Knot one end of a second piece of cording the same length as the first cording. Adhere the knotted end of the cording to the backside of the batten, near the second piece of webbed tape. Bring the loose end of the cording down the back of the fabric, up over the bottom, around to the front of the fabric and up to the top again, as you did with the first piece of cording. Feed the second piece of the cording through the back of the glass ring and out the front of it. Pass it through as second time and then allow the end of the cording to hang down to the same length as the first piece of cording. Cut off the excess cording.

  11. 11

    Attach your finished shade to the window frame: Pass a screw through the webbed tape and through the batten. When the screw comes out the backside of the batten, ensure that it passes through the knotted end of the cording. Place one screw on each piece of webbing, passing through the knotted ends of the cording.

Tips and warnings

  • Basting is a way of stitching your fabric in place temporarily. To do a baste stitch, pass your needle up through the fabric and then back down. Repeat this across the length of fabric, using long, loose stitches. Don't put basting stitch exactly where you want your permanent stitch, or it will become stuck in the sewing process.

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