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"Blind Ambition" Costume

This woman's collar may look worthy of Elizabethan royalty, but it's made from just a $5 window blind. Along with a multi­-tiered waist ruffle fash­ioned from another blind, it transforms an office ­appropriate outfit into a costume.

blind ambition paper costume

Photography: Barbara Donninelli

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2014


  • 2 paper shades, each 36 by 72 inches (Pictured: Redi Shade paper blinds, in White, $5 each,

  • Utility knife

  • 5/8-inch white ribbon or twill tape, 22 inches long

  • Ribbon, 4 inches wide, length cut to your waist size plus 2 inches (Pictured: White grosgrain ribbon, 4", $3.25 for 3 yd.,

  • Wire, 24 gauge (Pictured: Silver wire, 24 gauge, by Artistic Wire, $6 for 70 yd., silver wire, 24 gauge, by Artistic Wire, $6 for 70 yd., )

  • Double-sided tape

  • Stapler
  • Dress pins


  1. To make collar, cut one closed shade to a 16-inch width.
  2. Measure 1 inch in from end of folded shade. With knife, cut a 3/4-inch slit through all layers of shade. Thread 5/8-inch ribbon through slit.
  3. Holding ends of ribbon, slowly unfold shade, creating an arc shape, as shown.
    lady cocktail blinds costume details
  4. To make belt, sew snaps onto ends of 4-inch ribbon.
  5. Make 5 fan shapes from second shade: Working with closed shade, cut three 12-inch widths. Unfold sections and cut in half. Refold pieces.
  6. Wrap center of each folded piece with wire. Pinch top outer edges of shade; pull up so they meet, creating fan shape. Use double-sided tape to hold edges together.
  7. Staple fans onto ribbon, in layers: 2 on bottom, 1 in middle, 2 on top.
  8. Place collar around neck, and tie ribbon. To splay fan, pin outer edges of fan to shirt. Snap belt around waist.
    lady cocktail blinds costume

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