Embarking on a DIY window treatment project that features neat, accordion-like fabric pleats? If you gain the required skills and gather the essential materials, it could be as easy as pie. Skilled homeowners love to make and install pleated blinds for their aesthetic appeal and lots of functional benefits, such as privacy, light control, energy efficiency, durability, and ease of maintenance. Here is a comprehensive guide about how to make a pleated window shade.
Making your own pleated window coverings can offer several advantages, such as cost savings, complete personalization (of size, design, fabric, color, and pattern), perfect fit, and a creative expression of your artistic abilities.
Materials and Materials You’ll Need
Specific tools and materials you’ll need to make your pleated blinds may vary based on your preferred mode of construction, design, and the size of the window frame. Below are some suggested materials and tools required for this Do-It-Yourself project.
- Fabric: Choose medium-weight cotton, polyester, or a polyester blend.
- Lining Fabric (Optional): Choose a lining fabric (or blackout lining) if you want to get complete privacy and light control.
- Plastic or Metal Rings: These are used to create the pleats and attach the lift cords that raise, lower, and adjust the window shades.
- Lift Cord (Not Safe for Children and Pets): To operate your pleated shades, you’ll need a durable lift cord that can withstand the weight of the fabric. However, a cord lift is not considered safe for children and pets.
- A Cordless Lift System (Safe & Recommended): A cordless lift system is not only convenient to operate, but it also offers safety for children and pets.
- Mounting Brackets & Screws: You will need mounting brackets and screws to fix your pleated shades inside or outside the window frame.
- Steel Measuring Tape or Ruler- To measure the dimensions of your window frame and determine the size of the shades.
- Fabric Scissors- For cutting the fabric material to the required size.
- Sewing Machine- To sew the panels of fabric material together and create the pleats.
- Iron & Ironing Board: To process the fabric and create crisp pleats.
- Hand Sewing Needles & Thread: For any hand-sewing tasks, like attaching lift cords.
- Screwdriver: To fix brackets and other mounting hardware for hanging the shades.
8-Step DIY Procedure to Make Pleated Window Shades
While making pleated blinds could be a hectic task, the following step-by-step procedure could make things easier for you.
- Measure & Cut the Fabric: Measure the width and height (w x h) of your window frame. Use a steel measuring tape or a ruler to mark the measurements on the fabric. Cut the piece of fabric to the desired size using fabric scissors.
- Prepare the Fabric Panels: If you’re using a blackout fabric lining, cut it to the same size as the main fabric panel. Align the main fabric panels and fabric lining with their right sides facing each other. Pin them together along the edges. Leave one edge open for turning later.
- Sew the Fabric Panels
- Using your sewing machine, stitch along the pinned edges of fabric panels, leaving the designated opening unstitched. Trim any excess fabric along the stitched edges and remove the pins.
- Turn the Fabric Right Side Out: Reach through the opening to carefully pull the fabric and turn it right side out. Use a pointed object, like a pencil or a chopstick, to push out the corners and create clean edges. Then, press the fabric with an iron to smooth out any creases or wrinkles.
- Create the Pleats
- Start at the bottom of your blind and fold the fabric upward, forming a pleat. Hold the pleats in place and secure them by stitching through all layers of fabric at the bottom edge. Continue folding and stitching the fabric for creating evenly spaced pleats. The number and size of pleats will depend on the width of your fabric.
- Attach the Rings & Lift Cords or Cordless System: Attach rings to the backside of each fabric pleat, positioning them at the same height for a symmetrical and consistent look. Cut the lift cord to the desired length for raising, lowering, or adjusting the shade. Thread the lift cords through the rings and try to knot at the bottom of each cord to prevent them from slipping out. Alternatively, you can install a cordless, motorized, or smart lift system, which is safe for homes with children and pets. A motorized lift can also be integrated into your existing smart home automation system.
- Install the Cord Lock: Determine the desired height for your pleated window shade when fully lowered (or closed) and mount the cord lock accordingly. You can feed the cords through the cord lock system or wrap them around the cord cleat to secure the blind at different heights.
- Hang the Shade: As per your choice, you can mount your pleated window shades inside or outside the window frame. You can use screws and a screwdriver to install the mounting brackets according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Slide the top edge of your blind into the mounting brackets and secure them in place.
Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions when starting a project on DIY pleated window shades.
If you face any difficulty when creating your own simple or accordion-pleated blinds, you can contact our professional experts for further assistance. A 24/7 ‘Live Chat’ option is available.