Thursday, July 26, 2012

no sew roman shades

We moved into our first home (ok, townhouse) in April, and I wasted no time in making the place our own. I even painted Baby Wonder's room blue (unless you're my landlord, in which case, I did no such thing). My focus today is on one space. Our kitchen is pretty generic, and though we are fabulously lucky to have a relatively updated look (I've cooked in some scandalous kitchens in my college rental days), it's boring. There wasn't much room to do anything, though I did my best. One place I failed miserably though was my window. We are lucky enough to have a kitchen window, and I totally dropped the ball. I abandoned my kitchen window, and I felt guilt every time I looked at my barren, builder-grade white mini blinds and bent screen. I'm pretty sure the last tenants locked themselves out (at least that's what I'm hoping) because our screen was pretty nicely dented when we moved in.I don't wanna look at that!

So, almost 5 months after moving in, I decided to do something about my sad window situation. One reason I love Pintrest is that I suddenly have access to people far more talented and creative than I am. I decided on a Roman shade for my kitchen window, since it's a tidy look for a kitchen. I looked all over the Pintrest- accessed blogosphere, and became overwhelmed for a short time. There were so many different options, and some seemed super complicated. I like crafts that take a minimal amount of time, preferably something I can orient around nap time. One tutorial called for overnight drying. Ha. No way, ma'am. I am an instant gratification type girl. I combined several methods I found online to come up with this. I hope it's easy to follow, because it was pretty easy to make. It was also the most inexpensive project I've ever done. I topped out at just over $4 for this one. My fabric was $1.50 a yard at Walmart, and my set of mini blinds cost $3. HOLLA.

This is why craft projects are best done when Baby Wonder is sleeping. He's throwing around my cut up blinds.

You'll need a set of standard, boring mini blinds for this. The cheapest brand you can find is perfect. You'll also need fabric to cover the entire height and width of your blinds, plus about 3 inches on all 4 sides. My window called for a 32" blind, so I used about a yard of fabric, with some left over. Measure your blinds, height by width, and bring your measurements to the fabric store if you're unsure. Someone will help you get the right cut.  Lastly, you'll need scissors, an iron, and a hot glue gun. If you have fabric glue that doesn't show through to the other side, then more power to you. Mine stained, but it wasn't an important part. What gives, FABRIC glue??

Step 1: Open your blinds the full length of your window, take them off the window, and lay them on a flat surface. Mark out which rungs you're going to KEEP. I put an "X" on every tenth rung, since my window is short and I wanted enough gather. If you're doing a full length window, every 15th rung should work.

If you mark close to the string, there's less of a chance you'll accidentally cut the rung you want to keep!

Step 2: Cut away all the rungs you did not mark (if you want to see what it looks like all cut to make sure you're doing it right, see a step below). Be careful not to cut any of the strings holding the blinds together. If you cut one slit, as shown, you'll be able to slide the string out without hacking away at the plastic to free the rung. Do this on each side, and you can just slip the whole rung out between the string. It took me a while to get this rhythm down.

Step 3: Lay out your fabric with your funny looking blinds on top. Cut your fabric so that you have about 3 inches on all 4 sides (a little less on the top and bottom is ok). Do me a favor: after you've cut your fabric, move your blinds and iron your wrinkles. You're not doing all this work to have wrinkly curtains. Thanks.

Make sure ALL your rungs are face down, that is, "U" side up. Unlike my second rung from the bottom. But don't worry, I flipped it.

Step 4: Start your gluing process, You'll first want to take a quick measurement of how far your top bar slides into the bracket on the window (the part the holds the blinds in place). You don't want this part covered in fabric, so cut a small square (below) and glue around the top edge of the blinds. Next, glue each rung. You don't have to glue the WHOLE rung, small squiggles of hot glue at the two ends and the middle will work just fine. Then, just like the top, wrap around the bottom rung and glue.

TIP: Once you have your fabric straight and your blinds set evenly, DON'T MOVE your project. Get an extension cord for your glue gun if you have to, but do yourself a favor, and don't slide anything around on  the floor.

Step 5: Fold over your sides, gluing them to each rung. Iron your edges to give the curtains a clean look. One tutorial said this was optional, but it's really not. Iron your curtains, friends.


Step 6: Hang your curtains and be proud!

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