How to Easily Make No-Sew, DIY, Cordless, Room-Darkening Roman Shades For Windows, Doors & Kitchens

Has there been something small around your home that needed attention?

A problem, glitch or issue?

Something that sadly, went ignored?  Because it just wasn’t as urgent, pressing or exciting as painting gold stripes on deer antlers or adding tiny dinosaurs to a succulent jungle?

Let me introduce my kitchen back door.  (And the unwashed windows.)

A well-used, functional, but largely ignored decorating opportunity.

So let me explain the issue.  Here at the Charming Zebra household, we love natural light.  We crave it, in fact.  Each morning, every single window covering in our home is opened to it’s fullest extent to let in every last ray of sunshine.  And because our backyard has the beginnings of an overgrown jungle, privacy hasn’t been an issue with our kitchen windows.  Therefore, the window in the door has never had a blind or curtain.  That would all be well and good if it wasn’t for the blazing, early evening, blistering, Texas Summer sun streaming through the window and searing the faces of about 3/4 of the family sitting at the dinner table.


The kitchen door is metal so my temporary solution was to stick on a magnetic mini curtain rod.  Then I would grab whatever material was closest (be it fabric, a towel or an errant t-shirt) and drape it over the rod in an attempt to partially shield the burning rays from the faces of my suffering children.  (Shameful, I know.)

So I finally decided to make a more visually appealing solution to our dinner sunshine problem, why making DIY, no-sew, room-darkening roman shades seemed like a perfect fit for windows or doors in the kitchen or bathroom, where too much light is being let in. This cordless option greatly ended up serving the intended function.

I grabbed a brightly colored fabric remnant from Joann’s.

And decided that it would be the perfect project to try out fabric glue.  And magnets, of course.

I wanted to make this as simple as possible so I just measured the size of the covering I wanted and cut the fabric with pinking shears so I wouldn’t have to hem the sides.  I then folded down the top edge and spaced four magnets right under the fold and glued them.  (I used scratch paper underneath so the glue wouldn’t stick to the table.)

Next, I glued a bit of green ribbon across the seam to give it support.

Well, the glue dried beautifully and the window blind worked just great.  But something was missing.

Pom Poms! I love them. The world could definitely use more pom poms.

And this little window covering was begging for pom poms. So I just glued a string of white to the bottom edge of the blind.

I left a few inches of the bottom of the window uncovered so some light would still stream in.

The beauty of this simple window blind is that it can easily be put up or taken down.  When I don’t wish to have the window covered, I just move the blind directly beneath the window.  That way the morning light is invited in and I still have a pop of colorful pattern in the room in a very relaxed manner.  So simple.  So ridiculously easy.

So what about you?  Have you had to deal with the laser rays of the sun or have an unnatural affinity for pom poms?

If you are making your own roman blinds, there are various other things that you may have an interest in doing as well. For instance, you may more so be interested in something that entirely blacks out any sun coming in, or perhaps you're more interested in corded options.

That's completely fine! The cordless option that we created is obviously one that works in the setting that we needed it for, and the magnet system may not be perfect, but it is an easy system to make yourself. So if you have the desire to make it yourself, it is by far the easiest way to go about it. No need to create some advanced solution that has cords, nor is there any reason to get yourself too involved in some adventure that you know that you won't end up finishing anyway.

As with the old window frame that I repurposed,  it is often times important to keep DIY projects nice and simple to stick by so that they're ones you can get done in an afternoon or perhaps a day, rather than having to bring them back up and work on them repeatedly weekend after weekend.

Various rooms have different purposes, why it is important that you start out by considering which room it is you're planning on using them for.

While you can use roman shades in any room you see fit, you may just want to have them have different properties depending on where it is you’re making and installing them. Various types of fabric will go well in various different rooms, and the type of fabric that you choose for your DIY project will very much depend on the amount of sunlight you wish to have coming through your window, as well as how well lit it already is. 

Are you making and installing them for the bedroom? Then you will probably want to go with a heavier, denser type of fabric that is better at keeping the sunlight out, unless your intention is that the light will wake you up in the morning. 

Installing them in the kitchen instead? We only needed to have the shades block out a small portion of the light coming in, why it works perfectly to do it with a lighter type of fabric that ensures that someone won’t get blinded if they’re looking in the direction of the light, but without making our kitchen feel like you’re stepping into the middle of the night either. 

The advantage to having roman blinds installed in your home over other types of blinds? They’re great for providing a perfect, snug fit that you typically won’t be able to achieve with Venetian curtains, rollers and other options used to provide shade in your house. 

With the ability to better insulate a one pane window, as well as giving your home that homely feel that you want, this cheap option is a great way to ensure you get some undisturbed sleep. With the various different options you have available, you can make your roman shades the timeless décor that your house has been begging for!

However, you need to put some serious consideration into the type of fabric that you are going with and how it works with the rest of your house so that you can get the absolute best solution! You should be making sure that your fabric doesn't entirely stand out relative to the rest of the house, and that the blinds that you're installing provide some level of continuity in the house as well.

If, for instance, your house is very modern in its furnishing, you will not want to install blinds similar to mine, but would perhaps more likely end up going for a type of fabric that is more consistent in its color. I, on the other hand, wanted the pattern to exude life and homeliness, and that it does!

It's important that you consider the various factors that could be influencing the fabric to know whether or not you should expect it to hold up against the test of time in those environments.

For instance, if you are installing shades of any kind in either your bathroom, kitchen or anywhere else that is likely to end up getting very damp, you will want to make sure that you are using the right materials; including both fabric and metals.

Whether you're intending on making them yourself or whether you're intending on buying the shades, you will want to make sure that they adhere to the same principles of being mold-resistant and easy to wash as you don't want any breeding ground for bacteria anywhere in your house.

With traditional fabrics you will quickly see that they start experiencing unfortunate side effects when being exposed to lots of humidity. When you start folding layers of fabric into each other, it not only makes it difficult for it to entirely dry out, but it becomes the perfect breeding ground when it comes to both dust and mold. Not things you will want in any part of your home! In addition to that, blinds, and fabric in general will soak up any type of liquid it possibly can, whether it is oil from your cooking or humidity in the air. Going for a solution that is easy to wash is therefore much preferred when you are having to install it in either your kitchen or bathroom.

Now, we don't experience vast amounts of humidity in our kitchen with the way that we generally live our lives, and with the way that we use the curtains, but if it would have been a curtain that was intended to go on top of the sink, or in any other place where things might splash onto it, I would have also been more selective in choosing the type of fabric that I used for the project. Additionally, if you are intending on using them a place where you know you will be washing them often, you will want to make sure that they are easy to take down, too.

There are certain types of fabric that fare a lot better in these more moist climates, such as polyester and cotton blends. They're both easy to clean and won't show damage as some of the other alternatives in the market. Some of the general types of fabric to avoid when it comes to your very humid rooms include velvet, faux silks and taffeta. Although you may not always be able to find exactly the right design that has also been made in the right fabric, you should know that it is more forgiving to go for a fabric that has a pattern, as the pattern won't showcase the damage to the blinds the same way a piece of fabric will if it's made of a single color.

You may not necessarily want to have the exact same color shades throughout the entire house, but would rather be interested in having various colored shades that suit each individual room instead. Choosing colors that contrast the room is one way to add a little bit character to the place as well, rather than simply having your entire space be white, and you may even choose fabric which has contrasting colors within the pattern or design. Simply make sure that the blinds will fit everything around it, including your existing furniture.

There's one place where patterned shades do extremely well and that is in the bathroom. If you have one of those fancy new bathrooms that basically has tile and ceramic from the floor to the ceiling, something that contrasts the entire design can be a nice change.

Guess what. If you get tired of the pattern that is on the shades, changing it out is about the cheapest bathroom upgrade you can make that will still have a significant impact on the way the room feels to be in. Adding pattern to monochrome rooms is one of the ways you can break the traditional modern design and give it a little bit more character.

Besides having beautiful, floral shades, you can also use patterns in a range of other ways to accentuate different aspects of the room. For instance, did you know that striped blinds make a room seem bigger? If you already have high ceilings, and you are adding horizontal lines to it as well, you're not just traditionally noticing that there are high ceilings, but you will be paying closer attention to how high the ceiling are in comparison to the various horizontal lines, making the ceiling seem even higher.

So, when I was making the shades that I described above, I went and found the necessary fabric at Joann, however, there are a couple of other really great options as well. Michaels and BLICK are other places where I go whenever I am feeling creative where I know I can also be sure to find the high-quality fabrics I am looking for.

I've been called crazy more than once, believe it or not.

If you otherwise wish to follow along on my adventures, I can definitely recommend that try reading my post from when I did an extended water fast, achieving various things like both increased levels of autophagy and weight loss.

However, do make sure to bookmark the site as I add more information on my various projects.

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