Friday, September 28, 2012

No Sew Roman Shades Using Blinds

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No Sew Roman Shade
My kitchen window has had a nappy treatment for some time now, so I guess it's time I did something about it. I have always loved the look of the roman shade but are expensive and daunting to make. I thought I could just buy a cheap-o blind at Wal-mart and somehow sew some fabric to the blind... (I often have these great ideas without thinking them though.) Of course I turned to the internets for some kind of tutorial on how to make a roman shade from blinds. I found this nifty tutorial on exactly what I was looking for! How to make roman shades from blinds: This site has step by step instructions to make all your roman shade dreams come true. And in true blog fashion, I have added my own pics, tips, and suggestions on how go about turning a plain, old, boring blind into a fabulous, fashionable, and functional roman shade!

First things first, shop for some totally awesome fabric. I found a great print at Hobby Lobby for a steal, for like $6 for duck cotton or some such nonsense. Apparently the thicker the better. Whatevs, any fabric will do. If you want to filter more light, I would get a darker color, or double up on the fabric. If you want a print on both sides of the fabric, IKEA has a good selection. Pick out some ribbon as well if you want. A tip for easier measuring is to get a print with a pattern to use as your guide.

You will need some fabric glue, which can be purchased at Wal-mart or any craft store, and your blinds. Again I got mine at wallies for $4.00. Other things you will need is an iron, glue gun, scissors, measuring instruments, and iron-on "no sew" tape. (Sorry I can't remember the official name.)

I started out by measuring the window and cutting my fabric. Next, I hemmed the edges with iron-on tape. (I did not need to hem the top and bottom. I hot glued them to the top and bottom rail at the end.) I then used the iron-on tape to attach the ribbon to the fabric.

Now for the fun part: taking apart the blind. (Refer to instructional tutorial on how to do this. Don't worry, it's easy as pie.)

After taking apart the blind, I was ready to glue my fabric to it. I placed the fabric face down, and placed the blinds on top. Just like starting a wood floor, the first line is the most important in making sure  subsequent lines are level. Making sure my top rail was totally straight, I used the fabric pattern as my guide for straight lines, placing a blind every 5" or so. An easy way to begin gluing was to flip the blind over to the surface that I was gluing to the fabric (convex.) It was easier to place glue on the blind than the fabric. I used a foam brush to smooth the glue. I felt this is a very important step because it looked "globby" otherwise and did not adhere as well. I then flipped the blind back over and pressed down the length of the fabric making sure the two sides weren't crooked. I was careful not to glue the drawstrings to the fabric. You're supposed to let this set over night, but mine was perfectly dried in 3-4 hours. I adhered my top and bottom rails with hot glue taking care not to glue the top corners  because I needed to be able to slide the "locks" into my blind brackets. After installing the blind, I later hot glued the corners to their holders. And that there's how you turn a blind into a work of art!

*Note: if you have problems with your fabric bunching up as you pull the drawstring, don't panic. You may need to crease the folds with you hands and straighten it a little for it to start working properly. I had to do this with mine as I had thick fabric and thick ribbon.