How to Make Festoon Blinds

silk and gold image by Dumitrescu Ciprian from

When people redecorate a room, one of the first things to get changed is the window treatments. Curtains, shades and blinds can change the look of any room. Just going from a simple shade to festoon blinds can change a room from simple to elegant.

Festoon blinds look like they are expensive, but you can make the blinds for about £6 per window. If you add lace, ribbons and decorative trims, it will look even better.

Measure the window. Double the length and width of the window, and add 5 extra inches to the length of the fabric. As an example we'll use window measurements that are 36 inches wide by 60 inches long. You will cut your fabric into a rectangle 72 inches wide by 125 inches long.

Fold the material in half with the finished side facing inward, so that it measures 72 inches wide by 62 1/2 inches long. Mark all the way across the folded centre line with stick pins and unfold the fabric. The folded line will be the bottom of the blinds.

Measure in 24 inches from the edge on the line of stick pins, and pin one of the strips of piping cord with one of the stick pins onto the centre line. Measure in 24 inches and pin another strip of piping cord.

Pull the first piping cord up to the top 72-inch wide end, and measure 24 inches from the left edge. Pin the piping cord to the edge of the fabric at your mark. The piping cord should lay flat from the bottom of the blinds to the top. The top of the piping cord will extend past the top of the blinds. Measure 24 inches toward the right edge from where you pinned the first piping cord, and pin the end of the second cord onto the mark.

Pin the piping cords into place on the fabric in several places.

Fold the material in half with the finished sides facing inward. Remove the pins from the centre line on the fabric except for the ones holding the piping cord in place.

Line up the edges of the fabric and pin the left side edges together. Pin the right side edges together and sew a straight line down both of the pinned sides. Remove the pins.

Sew a line across the folded line at the bottom of the blinds 1/2 inch from the edge. This will hold the piping cord in place and create a neat edge. Remove the pins from the all of the piping cord except for the top.

Turn the blinds finished side out. You will need to make two piping cord channels to pull up the blinds. Lay the fabric on a flat surface and pin a straight line up the left side 23 inches from the left edge. Pin a second straight line 25 inches from the left edge. Don't get the piping cord caught in the pins. Pin another row 47 inches from the left side, and one 49 inches from the left side. Sew a line from the bottom to 3 inches below the top on each line of pins. Remove all of the pins from the blinds.

Place the wood on a flat surface. Measure in 12 inches and 24 inches from the left side of the wood and place a mark.

Staple the left edge of the fabric 1/2 inch away from the left edge of the side of the wood. Staple the right edge of the fabric onto the right side of the wood 1/2 inch away from the right edge.

Line up the fabric so the piping cord is on each of the marks you placed on the wood.

Place a staple on the left and right side of the fabric by each piece of piping cord, and begin pleating the material between the left edge and the first piece of piping. Do not staple the piping cords. Pleat the material by making a small fold about 1 inch and stapling it into place. This will flatten the excess fabric to the board. Repeat this process on the centre and right side.

Attach the rod holders to the window with screws and place the shade into the holder. The fabric-covered edges should face inside the house. Allow the piping cord to fall behind the blinds.

Attach the cleat to one side of the window frame. Pull on the two pieces of piping cord so the blind will go up. You will have to pull on the cord a little bit to get the blind even.

Wrap the piping cord around the cleat to hold the blinds at your preferred height. You may need to cut off some of the excess cord if it is too long.