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How to make a no-sew custom fabric roll up blind from the cheapest smallest shop bought one you can find.
Windows come in all shapes and sizes and getting blinds to fit that you like is a nightmare. If you need to protect against heat/cold or light proof the room, the choice is even more limited and the cost even higher.

This tutorial shows you how to adapt the fabric of your choice and the smallest/cheapest commercially produced roll up blind to make your perfect window dressing.

Posted by Mo from Verwood, England, United Kingdom • Published See Mo's 4 projects »
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  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 1
    Step 1

    Measure Height - From where you want the blind to stop to where you will fix the blind and add 15cm.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 2
    Step 2

    Measure Blind Width - where you measure will depend on whether you want the blind to sit within the window enclosure or on the wall in front of the window. This tutorial covers a blind fixed in front of the window enclosure but if you wish to adapt it for a blind in the window recess add 4cm to the actual width of the recess and finish the edges with 2cm iron on hemming tape such as bondaweb.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 3
    Step 3

    Materials
    Bamboo Cane: I like bamboo as it is hollow, cheap and strong. It can produce a slightly rustic finish if it is not entirely straight. You can use any straight material that you are able to join onto the existing rod. In this tutorial I used a card tube for the bottom weight/roller. This produces a bigger blind roll but it is straight and even and rolls up neatly.

    Tape: Any sort of duct/fabric self adhesive tape will work as long as it is sticky enough and will stand the sun over time. I used standard silver duct tape in this tutorial as the tape will not normally be seen in the finished project.

    Blind: Buy the cheapest roll up blind you can find - anything from £4.00 to £7.00 at the moment. These are usually made of bamboo slats but you might find a damaged or reject bargain as long as the mechanism is not damaged.

    Fabric: If possible choose material WIDTH just larger than your window WIDTH. This lets you use the selvedges for the edges of your blind and no finishing is required.

    If this is not possible because you have a very large window, as long as your window HEIGHT is narrower than the material WIDTH (which most will be) buy a length of material the same measurement as your window WIDTH plus 4cm and finish the edges of the blind with 2cm iron on hemming tape. You can also join two pieces of material with this tape if you wish.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 4
    Step 4

    Fold material in half vertically and mark the half way point (crease or mark with pen (I have done both here).

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 5
    Step 5

    Unpack your blind, familiarise yourself with how it works and what the strings do. This is important so you know which strings need to go in front of the blind material and which behind. There are usually wall fixings and a cleat to wind the strings on. Put these to one side. You can use these later.

    Cut the existing fabric/canes off of the blind (see picture). DO NOT CUT THE DRAW STRINGS.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 6
    Step 6

    If you have blinds with safety features (string height adjusters/quick release toggles) you can adjust these right to the bottom of the string for now. Loosen as shown in the photo and pull the plastic ring towards the quick release toggle. Pull tight or remove if you prefer. (they are useful so I dont advocate removal).

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 7
    Step 7

    Measure top bar of blind (one with mechanism on it) find the half way point and cut in two with hacksaw. (This does not need to be exact and I subsequently removed the knuckle on the left hand piece as it was hard to get a secure top rod with it on)

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 8
    Step 8

    PLEASE NOTE THIS PICTURE IS INCORRECT. FABRIC SHOULD BE PATTERN SIDE UP. If you do things equally at both ends it doesn't matter but as I shortened one of the mechanism pieces I had to modify my blind later.

    Lay out your fabric (pattern side up) lay your two end sticks and the extra cane at the top edge. Cut the extra cane to size allowing enough overlap to form secure joins.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 9
    Step 9

    Once you have ensured the cane is the right length and the joins are secure, tape the joins to stop them slipping apart later.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 10
    Step 10

    If the canes will not easily go inside one another it is easy to hacksaw a small slot across the top and then allow the cane to split to fit one inside the other. (See picture) Tape well to ensure the split is supported.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 11
    Step 11

    Lay the completed top bar at the top edge of the material (right side up not wrong side up as pictured) and mark where the two mechanisms fall. cut a 5cm slot in the fabric either side of the mechanism. (If your cane or rod is thicker you will have to adjust the depth of the slot.)

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 12
    Step 12

    Fold the flap to wrong side and tape down. Repeat at other end.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 13
    Step 13

    Attach tape to one of the short ends and lay the top bar in place ensuring the correct strings are in the front of the material and the correct ones at the back. Attach tape to material around the cane without sticking the tape to the cane. (This allows the cane to move as required). Repeat the other end ensuring the strings are in the correct positions.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 14
    Step 14

    Taping the middle section can be tricky, especially if you are doing a long blind (like this one). If you prefer use 2 or 3 pieces of tape to ensure you get it flat and level.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 15
    Step 15

    Mark the middle of the wall you will be mounting the blind on. We are lucky enough to have wooden battens screwed above every window so we utilise these most of the time. The blinds are very light and if cut to fit inside the recess can be screwed either into the wood or plastic of window frames.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT SOME DOUBLE GLAZED WINDOW GLASS FITTINGS GO RIGHT TO THE EDGE OF THE WINDOW SO DO NOT SCREW INTO WINDOW PLASTIC UNLESS YOU ARE SURE IT IS SAFE. I suggest you use command hooks or other adhesive hooks for blinds mounted on plastic.

    Plugs are provided with the blind fittings so if you have no choice but to mount in plaster or brick you will need to drill two small holes.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 16
    Step 16

    Measure and mark the distance from your centre mark on your blind to one of the hangers attached to the back of the mechanisms. Use this measurement to mark the placement of the fixing on the wall. Add screwhook or other fixing supplied.

    I use a cordless screwdriver and a screw to make a pilot hole for the screw hook supplied. You can just screw directly into wood without pre-drilling if you prefer and have the strength and the reach.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 17
    Step 17

    Repeat for the second hook and hang the blind. This is the moment to adjust any tape that is not level or to unclip or untangle any strings that aren't where they should be. If your blind has safety features there will be clips at the back of the blind which you can pull off and put back on again once you have sorted out the stringing.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 18
    Step 18

    Decide how long you want your blind. (You can just use the whole length of material if you like as it will roll around the bottom rod) I like my blinds to sit on the windowsill so the heat from the radiator isn't funnelled up behind them. This is particularly important if you have used insulation/blackout material. If you are cutting to length you need about 10cm added to the finished height of your blind to ensure the tape is hidden. I like to snip the selvedge and tear my blinds but I do make quite a lot of these. If you are using blackout material or you are not sure, it is better to cut it to length. A slightly ragged edge will be hidden by the tape.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 19
    Step 19

    As with the top rod, you need to measure and cut the bottom rod to length. You can use canes and I usually do but this is a long blind and the last one I made that was this long was not substantial enough and sags (See picture below) so I decided to use a cardboard tube. Some of my earliest blinds have broomsticks or dowels for bottom rods. (See pictures below)

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 20
    Step 20

    As with the top rod you can use several pieces of tape, starting from the middle, if you aren't confident in getting a flat straight result.

    I have found that if you stick one end of the tape to the table edge (folded back on itself) and then allow the roll to hang off the other end it is very easy to gently lay the whole blind on one piece.

    NOTE: These blinds roll forward so the rod is attached in front of the printed side.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 21
    Step 21

    This time you are trapping the rod so stick the tape about half onto the fabric and half onto the rod. Roll it up and run your hand along the length to ensure it is firmly stuck. Hang the blind again and adjust the strings to the right positions.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 22
    Step 22

    Make the final adjustments to the length guides and cut the strings to length to put into the safety breakaway bead. A final touch you can add if you like is to replace the bottom bead with a cloisonne thimble with a hole drilled in the top. this was where I got that idea from http://www.epbot.com/2015/07/quick-craft-turn-old-thimbles-into.html

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 23
    Step 23

    Do pay attention to the safety warnings attached to the blinds and secure your strings safely using the cleats provided or in some other way.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 24
    Step 24

    This is one of my first blinds, using a different type of cane blind. I removed the mechanisms by drilling out the rivets and used large dowels for this one and the iron on webbing to hem the edges. See picture at the top for the finished version

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 25
    Step 25

    This is our bathroom blind - no radiator underneath so I didn't worry about the length of this one and I just used the existing cane blind and the same method using light/heat insulating fabric behind.

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 26
    Step 26

    this is probably my favourite blind(s) so far. It was impossible to find blinds for my french doors that were both narrow and long so these are made exaclty the same way but removing length from the original blind instead of adding it and finishing the edges with iron on webbing tape. They are fixed with screws to the doors so act as sunshades whether the doors are open or shut. My builder was horrified that I had screwed into the doors so do be VERY careful and maybe use command hooks or something that is non invasive!

  • How to make a curtain/blinds. No Sew Rollup Blind - Step 27
    Step 27

    And this is the not so good one that I will have to rework..... This is a sewn and lined blind as the sun comes up into this window but the canes are not robust enough and are bending in the middle making the blind sag.

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