Monday, May 30, 2011

EASY diy Roman Shades

I wanted this:

But I could not afford that, and happened to come across the blog, Domestically Speaking, and just in the right time may I add! She had a wonderful tutorial, giving a step-by-step account of how to make your own roman shades that you can see here for a fraction of the price! So in my opinion... even if they don't turn out I haven't wasted much money, but let's hope it saves me a ton!

Let me go ahead and announce... I DO NOT SEW, but thanks to my teaching background I can use a ruler and apply glue correctly (well... in most instances), so this DIY method was perfect for me!

So, this is how it went down.

1) Gather your materials:
*Tools I didn't realize I needed until I got into the project: an iron, tweezers, paper towels and Woolite...yeah... there's a story. :)
*fabric (mine is white linen, and I bought out what Hancock fabric had, which I think was about 3 yds, and also your black out fabric-2 yds) You don't need as much of the black out fabric because it will be cut to the exact size of your window
*Fabric glue (I used fabri-tac bought from Hancock)
*cheapo mini-blinds from Target to fit your window (mine were 31 x 52)
*Measuring tape
*and your computer... for this tutorial :) (I actually had three similar tutorials up all at the same time... everyone one of them gave different tips that helped in the process)

This whole project cost me about $30.00!

2) Take your $3.00 mini-blinds out of the package and sprawl them out on the floor, making sure to let the blinds out all the way.
 3) Cut the thin string, holding each blind in it's place. DO NOT CUT THE THICK STRING RUNNING THROUGH THE BLINDS or your project will come to an abrupt halt. :)


4) Next, pop off the plugs on the bottom of the blinds, fish the thick-stringed knots out, untie or cut the knots off, and slide the weighted bar off. This will allow you to pull the rest of the blind slats off.

6) Now... this is where your 5th grade math will come into play. You will need to decide how many folds you want in your Roman Shade. I just choose a number that would go evenly into 52 (that was the length of my window), which put me at 4 folds. So I kept 3 blind slats + the bottom weight.  52 divided by 4 =... you guessed it, 13! So my blind slats will be 13 inches apart.

Then pull off all the slats, except for the ones you want to keep (3 in my case). You will have lots of useless strings hanging around. :) You can cut those off, but not the thick ones!

7) You will now want to reattach the weighted bar. 
I found it easiest to mark my string at the 52' mark (the length of my window), reinsert the string into the weighted bar, tie the knot, and then cut off the excess. (Note: I would leave a little extra, just in case you mess up... you can always cut off more, but you can't make string grow!)

 And reinsert the plugs.

You now have your Roman Shade skeleton! On to the fabric!
 8) I started with my exterior fabric (the one that will be seen). You will want to cut it 1-2 inches larger than your actual window. ( My window is 31 x 52 and I cut it into a 33 x 54 rectangle)... and yes, I used my yoga mat make sure I cut a straight edge. :)

 9) Next, cut your "black out" fabric to the exact size of your window... you will see why in juuuuust a minute.
Lay the fabric on top (it's okay if it's not perfect) However, I did measure, measure, measure the lengths and widths in various areas of the shade constantly throughout this portion of the project!

10) Now it's time for the no-sew magic! Put glue on the black out fabric, and fold over the edges of your fabric so the edges are nice and clean.

 I then took an iron to make the crease even more defined.

11) Now for the easy part!
First glue down the top part of the blind, making sure NOT to get any glue on the thick white strings... or the pulley system will not work properly. Also, you will want to make sure the hanging string, that you will pull to make the blind rise and fall, is on your right as you are assembling it. So when it's up the string is on your left when you are looking at it. (I had to take my blinds back apart b/c I did this wrong!)

When you are gluing it down, make sure to not glue the outside edge because the blinds have to be mounted on that little plastic thing shown here.
12) From that point, you just measure out where your blind slats will need to be glued, starting at the top, where you just glued down the bar. For me that was every 13 inches.
 13) After you know where the blinds slats are going to be, put glue on the convex side (careful not to get any on the strings. I stayed about a 1/2 inch away just in case), and then press them down into place.
 And there you have it!
Let dry.

14) Yeah, I thought #13 was the end too... but as I mentioned earlier I had to take them back down once Ryan and I realized that the string had to be on the opposite side. It was not going to take but 10 minutes to fix, until ....

Don't let that sweet face fool you.

 Bailey tinkled on my shades! It was a good thing Ryan was there or I would have had a come-apart.
So needless to say, an extra 20-30 minutes was added to this process, but all is well, thanks to this wonderful product.

 So this afternoon, Ryan put them up!

I made two... the first one took me about three hours, the second about 45 minutes! So their is definitely a learning curve + I wanted to make sure I did it right! I am now confident I can make them, and that they look pretty darn good! However, I am a little bored with the white... maybe it will grow on me tomorrow, once I see it in the light, but if not I'm pretty sure it will be super easy to buy some fabric and recover just the front... I'll let you know! I'm thinking some sort of grey/blue paisley pattern... we'll see!

Let me know if you give this tutorial a try, or you have any questions!

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