How to make a Roman blind

Find out how to make a Roman blind for your window. Choose the perfect fabric for your room, then follow our easy step-by-step instructions

How-to-make-a-roman-blindA classic Roman blind is a simple but beautiful way to dress a window. Our design uses lining fabric, rings, eyelets and dowelling for a neat, professional look.

Note: Before you embark on your blind project, take a look at the latest rules and regulations on blind safety.

Visit makeitsafe.org.uk for up-to-date information

You will need

  • 2.5cm-square wooden batten the width of the blind
  • Length of self-adhesive hook and sew-on lop fastener the width of the batten
  • Main fabric (we used Up the Garden Path, ref 48, col Dove, £46 a metre, Vanessa Arbuthnott)
  • Lining fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Lengths of narrow wooden dowelling, the width of the finished blind minus 3cm
  • Decorative trim or braid (we used Westerley Suede braid, col Smoke, £41.30 a metre, New House Textiles)
  • 12mm plastic rings
  • 4 screw-in eyelets
  • Wooden blind pull, painted if preferred (we used Luna blind pull, £20.75, New House Textiles, painted in Light Gold, £35.50 for 2.5 litres of Intelligent matt emulsion, Little Greene)
  • 3 lengths of cord, each the width of the finished blind plus twice the length
  • Wall cleat

Not sure how to measure up? See our video how to measure Roman blinds

1. Fix your blind’s supporting structure

Attach the batten above the window frame and press the self-adhesive hook fastener along the front of the batten.

2. Work out the size of your blind

Measure from the top of the batten to your required finished drop, adding 2.5cm each for the top and bottom hems. For the width, measure the length of the batten and add 2.5cm for each side seam. Cut out your main and lining fabrics to these measurements.

3. Line your blind

Right side up, lay out your main fabric on a flat surface. Place the lining fabric on top, matching raw edges all round. Pin all round then stitch the side and bottom edges, taking a 2.5cm seam. Remove pins.

4. Create dowel pockets


To create a dowel pocket along the bottom edge, stitch a second line of stitching 6mm from the raw edge. Insert dowel. Trim seam allowances and turn through and press.

Love sewing? Read: How to make a square envelope cushion

5. Create the pleats

Lay the blind lining side up and measure 5cm from the top of the blind. Mark with a pencil line across the width of the blind. Divide the remaining length of the blind into 20cm to 30cm pleats, finishing with a half pleat at the bottom. Mark each section with a pencil mark as before.

6. Make pockets to hold the dowels at each of the pleats

Cut 8cm strips of lining fabric to the width of the blind for each of the marked pencil lines. Fold each strip in half along the length and stitch the long raw edge and one end, taking a 1cm seam. Turn through and press.

Centre the pockets along the marked pencil lines and pin and tack in place. Machine stitch each long edge, through all thicknesses, being careful not to pucker the fabric.

8. Fix the dowels in place

Slide the dowels into the pockets, turning under the remaining raw edges on the pockets and slip stitching to hold dowels in position.

9. Add the plastic rings

On each pocket mark the centre point of the blind and slip stitch a plastic ring in place. Repeat 5cm in from each side edge of the blind on each pocket (see illustration).

More inspiration: Stylish shutters and blinds for sunny rooms

10. Make the top hem

Turn the raw edges of the main fabric and lining fabric to the back of the blind by 2.5cm, press and tack. Stitch the sew-on loop fastener in place, close to the fold.

11. Trim your blind

Cut a length of decorative trim or braid to the width of the blind and slip stitch in place along the bottom edge. Hang the blind from the batten.

12. Attach the eyelets

Screw three eyelets to the underside of the batten so that each aligns with each row of plastic rings on the blind. Screw a fourth eyelet to the edge of the batten where the cords will fall and where the blind will be operated from.

13. Attach and tighten the cords


Tie each length of cord to each of the three rings on the lowest pleat. Then thread each length of cord through each of the rings above it, and through the eyelets, finishing on the working side of the batten. Trim the cords to a suitable length and attach the blind pull (painted in a complementary colour if you prefer). Fix a cleat in place on the wall and use to secure the cords.

Illustrations by Michael A Hill

For more decorating inspiration, craft ideas and cleaning hacks don’t miss our dedicated DIY guide.

If you’re looking get crafty, why not start now with our step-by-step guide to transforming your windows?

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