DIY Top-down/Bottom-up Shades, Part 2.

If you’re caught up on Part 1, you’ll know that I went through a lot of trouble to assemble my ideal fabric for this project.  While I might have used burlap-lined bamboo, you can certainly use a simple piece of fabric.  Just be sure that it fits the dimensions of your window and that you sew slots for the dowel rods!  Space these slots however far apart seems appropriate for your window.

For this project:

You’re going to need:

  1. Your fabric of choice, prepared
  2. Two sets of blinds per window (We found metal blinds to suit us better than ones that had plastic parts.  If you purchase them from Home Depot, they’ll cut them to size for free.)
  3. Scissors
  4. Yarn needle
  5. Hot glue gun & hot glue
  6. Marker
  7. Zip ties
  8. Drill
  • First, you’ll need to disassemble your first set of blinds.  You really just need these for the top, the bottom, the main strings and the pulleys.
  • Pop the bottom buttons out.  Untie the tie.  Save the button.  (This website also has fabulous clear pictures of the disassembly process.)
  • Cut the “ladder” strings that hold the slats in place.
  • Remove these strings, while keeping the thicker, main strings in tact.
  • You should be left with this (but save that bottom rod):
  • Try to keep the curious cat occupied.
  • Using the holes in the bottom blind rod for reference and measurement, mark your dowel slots to indicate where the string will run.
  • Using a yarn needle, feed the string through the dowel slots (between the rod and the front of your fabric).  (If your fabric has too tight of a weave, you may need to cut the holes a bit larger so that the string can easily glide through each slot.)
  • Feed your blind strings through their original holes in the bottom rod and reattach the original buttons.
  • Your second set of blinds will now attach to the top of this window treatment.
  • Disassemble the second set of blinds as you did the first, snipping the ladder rings and discarding the blind slats.
  • Feed the main blind strings back through their original holes at the bottom rod and reattach their original buttons (as seen for the first set).
  • Slip  three or four zip ties around the skinny metal rod that exists within the top piece of the first set of blinds.
  • Place the bottom rod of the second set of blinds on top of the top rod of the first set of blinds.
  • Tighten the zip ties around the bottom rod of the second set of blinds.
  • Both blinds should now be attached.  Cut the tails of the zip ties.
  • Hot glue the zip-tied pieces to the top of the back of your fabric.
  • Hot glue the bottom of your fabric around the bottom rod.  (I did sew my fabric ribbon, rather than glue it.)
  • The top pulley system will now let your blinds down, while the lower pulley system will raise your fabric!
  • Drill the top bar into the frame of your window per blind instructions.
Fully closed:
Top down:
Bottom up and top down simultaneously:
I think it’s safe to say that I obsessed over this with the same gusto as my candy cane Christmas.


  1. March 11, 2012
    charles armstrong


  2. March 11, 2012

    Wow, that’s amazing. Your “stick to it” attitude is wonderful. 🙂

  3. March 11, 2012
    Brian Spears

    When I think my wife is crazy, she shows me just how much more amazing she is.

  4. March 12, 2012
    Erin McDonald

    Brian is right, you are amazing!! I can’t even understand what you did or how you did it but the effect is awesome! Next time I need window coverings I may call you!

  5. March 13, 2012

    The whole thing boggles my mind. LOL. Can’t wait to see them on Saturday. Oh and that picture of Cubby Cubs, LOVE IT!!!!

  6. March 13, 2012
    Cindi Loretz

    I am impressed! If I were there I would give you a standing ovation!

  7. March 16, 2012

    They look so wonderful. Love the old drape/ribbon accents.

  8. March 19, 2012

    Wowza!!!! You rock! I love them. (What a sweet comment from that Brian Spears guy.)

  9. January 28, 2014

    I make drapes for a living, and was looking up top down bottom up shades. Came across yours.
    Wow, for being a DIY you did an amazing amazing creative job!
    And I really loved using a mini blind for the mech!
    What I can use would be 30-40.00 wholesale for each direction. And that you did it in bamboo! And the angled top! Very cleaver.
    Nex t time you do the band, just a tip, you can cut it and just press both halves to the center, don’t have to sew a tube and turn it, since you lined it, and hot glue, and I mean the hot glue not th low melt, would have been the sugare free method!
    Great job!

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