DIY Roman Shade from Mini-blinds

I finally got rid of converted the nasty old (and I mean old) mini-blinds that were hanging in my son’s room.

Turn old miniblinds into functioning roman shades | #upcycle #diy #dropcloth

There are some fabulous tutorials out there (with much better process pictures than mine since I took them late at night while my boys were sleeping… it’s when I get my worst pictures best work done) on how to convert mini blinds to roman shades.  I used this one mostly.

So I’ll spare you the mini-blind to roman shade tutorial, but I will share a few thoughts.  The best part is that I converted this for free since I used the mini-blinds, left-over drop cloth (from my smocked drop cloth curtains), and red craft paint (which I already had), and the curtain is actually functional.

Turn old miniblinds into functioning roman shades | #upcycle #diy #dropcloth

Tip 1: Choose your fabric carefully (too stiff or thick can affect functionality)
I wanted good coverage but was not concerned about a total blackout effect because this window is actually in an little alcove between my son’s room and his bathroom (hence the desk currently functioning as a changing station), so I used two layers of drop cloth.  In retrospect, the drop cloth is a little stiff, making raising and lowering the curtain not as effortless as I would like.

Tip 2: Consider how often you intend to raise/lower the shade
Our old mini-blinds were secured on either end with a little piece that flipped up in front of the crossbar.  Since I’ve glued fabric to the front of the bar, I cannot latch the front pieces on the window hardware, meaning that if I pull too hard on the cord, the shade comes out completely.  Not ideal, but not a big problem since we almost never bother to raise and lower this shade.

Turn old miniblinds into functioning roman shades | #upcycle #diy #dropcloth

So functionality is not perfect.  But price?  And look?  Just what I wanted.  Little Pax’s room already has some plaid patchwork fabrics, so I didn’t want another busy pattern.  I think the little red racing stripes (which I made using painter’s tape and craft paint) give it just the accent it needs.

Turn old miniblinds into functioning roman shades | #upcycle #diy #dropcloth

The light filtering through makes the drop cloth look like linen, and the stripes give it that bit of whimsy needed for a child’s room.  I love it!

Turn old miniblinds into functioning roman shades | #upcycle #diy #dropcloth

What do you think?  Has anyone else had problems with converting mini-blinds into roman shades?  If you haven’t tried it yet, I don’t want to disparage the process.  It was easy, free, and I love the result… it just doesn’t function perfectly.

pin it image

Turn old miniblinds into functioning roman shades | #upcycle #diy #dropcloth


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Easiest tutorial ever for converting regular curtains into blackout curtains with NO SEWING at

The World’s Easiest Blackout CurtainsStep by step tutorial to turn a tired, outdated mirror into this gorgeous piece of art at

Distressed and Paned Mirror Makeover

diy smocked drop cloth curtains

DIY Smocked Drop Cloth Curtains

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  1. I also made some very similar to yours. Utility cloth was used and I totally agree about fabric stiffness. Wish I would have used a softer fabric. Yours sounds perfect for where it is located and its purpose.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Thanks, Tara! It’s been there a few months now, and it seems to be working just fine. I hope yours wasn’t so stiff that it wasn’t functional. :)


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