Cover up bamboo blinds

Bamboo blinds are a nice option for windows, but when you get tired of the look or want something different, instead of throwing them away, cover them with fabric and give them a new life.

Would you believe that the shade on the left is exactly the same shade as the one on the right, only it’s dolled up in a cute outfit and hung a bit higher?  It is, and all for a cost of about R50 and no sewing involved!  


Bamboo shade
Seam ripper
Fabric glue
Bias tape
Fabric of your choosing
Tape measure




Our shades are standard sizes, meaning they typically come in a 1,8 metre length.  To cover the windows in our den we really only needed a shade that was 1,5 metres long.  This meant that even when the shade was down, it was always folded up a bit to avoid looking like a too-long sleeve that fell down beyond the window moulding and behind our couch.  Thus, the first stage of my project was shortening the shade to lay flat when it was all the way down (as I think shades should be).  

This meant first flipping the shade over and tying the shade cording at the next highest loop . Once I determined how much I needed to take off the bottom I used a seam ripper to remove the lower portion of the bottom half, then pulled out some additional pieces by hand to leave some of the twine long enough to tie off at the point where I reached the desired length.

Once the shade was shortened I measured and cut the fabric I would need to make the shade, which was about 2 metres (allowing for about 5 to 6 cm on each side for “hemming”) and used the excess width for the top flap part of the shade.  

Linen was chosen because it’s a fabric that doesn’t take itself too seriously and can look casual yet polished. I laid the shade window-facing side up and pinned where I thought the edge would be where the fabric wrapped around the sides of the shade. The crease was ironed to help the hemming part go smoothly.  

I first glued the fabric to the top of the shade (room-facing side), then flipped it over, applied the glue to the bamboo slats closest to the surface and folded the excess fabric (like a hem) around the sides and bottom. I also cut out a small section at the top of the shade (room-facing side) to allow the cording to move freely.  

This section is covered by the flap, so it’s not visible once the shade is hung. Use a similar process to cover the front flap part.  I wouldn’t recommend skimping out on the ironing here, since it really helps with aligning and gluing the fabric.

Once the fabric was securely glued on, I ironed, measured and cut the bias tape. I didn’t mitre the corners, but cut one strip at an angle and laid over a squared-off edge of another. This gives the look of a mitred corner without the hassle of lining the edges up perfectly.

Once I had the bias tape laid out where I wanted it, I applied a light layer of glue to secure it in place.  If any corners or edges popped up I dotted them with glue as well.

When the shade was ready to hang, we moved the bracket to the highest part of the molding to give the room more height. We’re really happy with how it turned out. The yellow is bright and cheery and the trim detail gives it a bit of timeless sophistication. As a final touch we may need to swap out the brown cord with a white one. All things considered, our R50 custom makeover looks pretty darn good.