After traipsing round looking at dozens of roller blinds made with boring fabrics, we spotted a small kit to make your own.
The kit includes a roller, a baton (to weight the bottom of the blind down), and a small pull cord. You have to buy fabric, and some PVA glue in a spray/pump to stiffen your fabric and stop the edges from fraying.
Below are some instructions, and on Flickr you can see a before and after picture to give you an idea both of what you’d be letting youself in for, and what the finished results look like.
1. Cut your fabric to a size that is a few inches wider and longer than you’ll need in the end. (It shrinks a bit when you spray it.) For the length of the blind, you want to allow for a hem at the bottom, the length of your window, and a few more inches (say 10) to allow for the roller.
2. Hang the fabric so that the reverse side is facing you. Spray it all over with your PVA glue – when you think you’ve added too much glue, spray it all over again and then leave it to dry. (You will get glue everywhere, so either cover the space that’s behind where you’re spraying, or do this in a room with horrid peach walls so that the sprayed on glue is actually an improvement to your decor.) (Or do this outside, so you don’t have to clean anything up afterwards.)
3. When the glue has dried – most likely the next day – take down the fabric and cut it down to the size you really want it to be. This is the size of your roller – so to really measure this properly, you have to have put up your brackets on the sides of the window, and measured and trimmed your roller. (It’s a bit of a fiddly process, but not impossible.)
4. Try not to panic as you cut the fabric. And try to cut in a straight line…
5. Make a hem along the bottom of your fabric – just big enough to allow you to insert the wooden baton. Insert the baton, and if there are screws supplied, use these to secure it in place and to attach the pull cord.
6. Attach the top of the fabric to the roller – our kit used double sided tape for this part. This is a scary moment as you want it all to be perfectly straight.
7. Roll the fabric around the roller by hand, and then put it into your brackets. Raise and lower the blind a few times, and just generally fiddle with it until the tension is correct.
8. Step back and admire your work, and be proud that your next door neighbours can no longer see in.
Updated to add that, now we’ve had our blind up for a few months, there are a couple of stray threads appearing down one side. They are minor though – and I have had similar threads appear on shop-bought roller blinds in the past, so I don’t think it’s entirely possible to avoid this happening. They are easy to trim though. I would definitely recommend making your own blinds rather than buying them, because this way you can choose any fabric you like, and it’s not that difficult to do.
Note: this is an updated version of a post I made on my old website – more info here.