Faux Roman Shade From a $4 Mini Blind

Okay, I admit it…I stole my husband’s man cave. Well it wasn’t so much a man cave as an “office” space he wanted but didn’t use very often. Given that we only have about 1,350 square feet, we really couldn’t afford to waste the space. I needed some office and craft space, so I made it a couples cave.
I had to make the room more usable. This room (our third bedroom) gets awful afternoon sun and the heat can be unbearable in the summertime. The slats in our plantation blinds were just not cutting it – too much glare on our computer screens.
When I found an article on Mini Blind Roman Shades I knew I had the answer!
I found the fabric and got the supplies, and left them sitting around for a while because I was intimidated. Let me tell you there was no need to be intimidated. This project is so easy I will be doing it again!

Here is what you will need:


◾Muslin fabric

◾Fabri-tac glue

◾Heat n Bond no sew tape

◾Tape measure


◾Cheap mini blinds (I bought mine at Wal-Mart for about $4)

◾Iron/Ironing board

Step 1

Cut fabric 2” wider than window in width and 6” longer.

Cut muslin to exact window size.

Something to think about – it will depend on the “repeat” of the pattern in your fabric where you want to cut the fabric and where you ultimately want the folds in the shade. My fabric had a very standard repeat so it was ok as far as the initial cutting. I did not worry about how the pattern would fold once the shade was up and it worked ok for my fabric but think about this if you want your pattern to be seamless looking when the shade is up. You might want to lay the fabric out and go through the steps before you cut because once you do there is no going back
Step 2

Grab a glass of wine (not mandatory but it helped!) and iron your fabric. Put your muslin on top of the fabric – leaving 3 inches of fabric at the top and bottom (remember that the fabric is 6 inches longer) and 1 inch on each side (fabric is 2 inches wider). Use your iron tape to “hem” the sides. You will fold over that extra 1 inch and fuse the extra 1 inch to the muslin.

Bond the muslin to the fabric at the bottom too.
Step 3

Disassemble your mini blind, taking off the bottom bar (take the plugs out and untie the cord) and all the slats. You will need to cut the string that looks like a ladder. Do NOT cut the main string in the middle – that is what controls the blind going up and down.
Step 4

Decide how many folds you want. Put that number of mini blind slats back on. I only used four plus the bottom bar. When I made these again I will use two or three more slats.
Lay the slats out where you want your folds to be. Depending on your pattern and desired repeat you might want to mark off the correct intervals.

If you are doing more than one window (I only did one) then you will definitely want to make sure your top bar is in the same place on both shades and that your folds are in the same place.
Step 5

Use the Fabri-Tac glue to adhere the top bar to the fabric. Put the glue on the front of the top bar and then flip it over to adhere it to the fabric.

Take care not to get glue on your cord.
Step 6

Glue to slats on to the fabric. Again you will glue the front side of the slat and then flip it over to adhere to the fabric.

Glue the fabric to the front of the bottom bar and then wrap the fabric around for a finished look.
Step 7

Hang your faux roman shade, grab that glass of wine and stand back to admire your handiwork!

divider bar 800Tips

* I used the brackets that came with the cheap mini blinds. The way those are set up you have to slide a piece of plastic in front of the top bar to hold it in the bracket. Well clearly I couldn’t do that. So ultimately I ended up taking some E6000 glue and glueing the top bar into the brackets.

* Make sure you glue the slats really good at the edges. When I went to raise and lower the blind my cord got caught behind one of the slats and pulled it loose. A little glue fixed it right up.
Stacy @ anygirlcandoit.com
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 29 questions
  • Ruth McCarter Ruth McCarter on Feb 23, 2020

    I'm feeling intimidated but I'm more desparate with that hot afternoon sun blaring in..i too am confused about that center cord.Do i remove those outer cords totally fromthe upper bar? MarRuth

  • Cinlu Cinlu on Jul 20, 2020

    This is exactly what I have been trying to figure out in my head to do! I like the idea of using a cheap blinds' cord and slats on folds. But I didn't quite follow the assembly. Could you try to exp again please?

    I am not sure how you made it work and really want to do this!!

  • Karen Karen on Dec 30, 2020

    Is there video showing how to do this?

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2 of 252 comments
  • Sandra Sandra on Sep 10, 2021

    Thanks for sharing. This is a really great way to make Roman shades without all the little rings and looping all the cords. Way simpler and “cleaner” end result. Kudos. Will try this when I decide what I’m doing in my guest room.

  • Rojeana Nirenberg Rojeana Nirenberg on Jan 13, 2022

    Instead of cutting all the ladders up, I cut only the middle which did not have a draw cord and slid the other two off the sides after pulling the draw cord out, saved some time and hassle. Worked great, thanks for inspiring me to do the project. icon