Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DIY Window Shade


The shade in my kitchen window has been driving me nuts ever since we moved in, about 5 months ago now. I have been meaning to replace it but didn't want to spend the extra money. Then I remembered an awesome window treatment my friend Amber made for her bathroom a while back, so I decided to give it a try.

I'll be honest, I am NOT a sewer, which seems kind of ironic. I mean, you would think an interior design major would be a able to sew herself a nice throw pillow or something. But nope, not me. I just have never taken the time to practice at it. When I'm at home in WA, I sometimes get ambitious and try to have my mom help me sew something. But, my mom usually ends up taking over and just finishing whatever project I start because I get so frustrated with it.

With that in mind, Let it be known that I sewed this shade all by myself! It wasn't too hard. Just a few straight lines was all I had to do. So, If I can do it... YOU can do it!



I really like how it turned out, and I REALLY like that the total cost for the project was under $10!

My husband even made these fancy pulls in place of the plastic ones that come with the blinds, aren't they fabulous?

Click below to get the full Tutorial!

Ps. This window shade tutorial is based off of the tutorial over at Little Green Notebook, but I added a few of my own steps, along with helpful tips from my friend Amber.


DIY Window Shade 


Before You Begin: Measure the size of your window so you will know how much fabric to buy and how large your blinds need to be. My window was slightly wider then the blinds I bought, but I will show you what I did in this tutorial to account for that. Also, buy a pieces of fabric slightly larger then your window size. For example my window was 28" wide by 30" tall. So I added 4" onto each measurement (making it 32"x34") to make sure I had enough fabric to create a nice hem on each side of my shade.

Materials/Tools
Vinyl Blinds - can be purchased at Target for around $3 or $4 (buy a length that best fits your window size)
Fabric Glue
Tape measure
Push Pins
Scissors
Sewing machine
Fabric

Step 1. Let out your blinds all the way and place them on a nice flat surface.

Step 2. Cut the smaller tilt strings off on each side of your blinds (see picture below). Make sure you DO NOT cut the larger pull string! You can glide your scissors all the way down your blinds cutting as you go.




Step 3. Remove the plugs located at the bottom of your blinds. Then remove the entire bottom bar by cutting the tie in the string and set the bar and plugs aside.





Step 4. Do a little math and figure out how many pleats you would like to have in your shade. My shade has a pleat about every 7 inches so I needed to keep 4 of the blind slats. Set the leftover slats aside, and if you can come up with a project to use them with let me know!


Step 5. Before reinstalling the bottom bar, measure the length of your shade and make sure it is about the same length as your window (you may have to cut the lift strings if they are too long). When I did my measurements, I marked the length of the strings with a piece of tape so I would know exactly where to make my cut.


Step 6. Thread the strings back through the bottom bar and tie them off. Then re-insert the plugs. 



Your Blinds should now look something like this...

Step 7. Time to sew the shade! If needed, cut your fabric to the appropriate length (remember to add a couple of inches to each side of your fabric for the hem). 

Step 8. Sew a 1" to 2" hem on each side of your fabric. I didn't worry about sewing the top hem, I just glued it down later, which I will show you.



Step 9. Iron out all the wrinkles and edges of your fabric so it looks nice and clean! 

Step 10. Measure where you want each slat to go, mine are approximately 7" apart. I didn't have anyone to help me hold the slats while I glued them down, so I taped them in place until I was ready to glue. 



If you did what I did, and somehow measured your blind length wrong, you can adjust the strings at the top to fix it!

Step 11. Fold over the top of your fabric making about a 2" hem and glue it to the top of the casing. Don't glue the fabric all the way to the edge of the casing, or you wont be able to insert it into the wall mounts.



Step 12. Glue the slats to the fabric using fabric glue (Not hot glue!) with the rounded convex side facing down toward the fabric. After I applied the glue I smoothed it out with my finger to make sure you couldn't see any bulging glue lines through the front of the shade. Press the slats down gently and wait for them to dry.


Step 13. After everything has dried, install your shade according to the package directions of your vinyl blinds. Then have your husband creative a couple of groovy wooden pull cords instead of the plastic ones they come with. All he did was cut a couple of pieces of wood from a branch in our backyard, then drilled some holes down the center, and sanded the edges down.
Note: I cut a small hole at the top of fabric to run my pull cords through so they would hang over the shade. If you would rather the cords be out of site, leave them where they are. You will just have to reach back behind the shade to pull it up or down.

34 comments:

  1. Andrea, I love your blog! It's so cute. Just wanted to let you know it's awesome. :)

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  2. I am making these as soon as I get home, this is so cute. also you're on have a cute day blog... famous!

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  3. oh my goodness, you are so clever & talented :-) the window makeover looks amazing!

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  4. I am trying this! Who knew this was possible with a cheapo window blind?! Love it!

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  5. I got up this am and fixed my bathroom shades. Our cat has ruined every shade in every room by trying to sit in the window. Now I think with fabric on them he can't hurt them anymore (If he does, I will save the leftover slats for an easy fix). My shade has lighthouses all over it. It only took me less than an hour to complete it (MY kind of project!!). Thanks for sharing your cool ideas.

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  6. Nice Blog i have never seen Like this one.
    Bookmarked it.
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    ReplyDelete
  7. I was wondering. I see the light through the shades. I would be concerned about them fading. Do you think the shade would be too heavy or not fold properly if I put some drapery lining on the back? The kind that blocks out light I mean?

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same thing. I am planning to line my fabric but wonder if it will fold correctly if I do. Have you tried it yet?

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  8. That's SO brilliant, Andrea. I love how you managed to think of this design, and to share the procedure is very nice of you. It would be nice if you install valences on top of it to cover the mounting hardware of the shade. What do you think?

    Roxie Tenner

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  9. did you only glue the ends of the blinds to the fabric? or the whole length?

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    Replies
    1. yes, i was just wondering the same thing. have you gotten an answer yet from anyone?

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  10. It’s so nice of you to share this idea to your readers, Andrea. It is so easy to make this one, and the materials are not that expensive. I think it would also look good if both sides of the window shade have design on it. Would that be fine?

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  11. Thank you Andrea :) very nice tutorial :)

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  12. thank you so much. this is what i have been wanting for a long time now i am going to make that for my own bedroom.

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  13. Genius! I’m definitely doing the same to my kitchen windows! I have plain white venetian blinds, and it kind of makes my kitchen look duller than it really is. Since I’m renovating the kitchen, might as well do this, too! Thanks! =)

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  14. Wow, great idea. I would like to do this with window-darkening fabric, which is fairly heavyweight. Do you think I could do the same procedure with a 2-inch faux wood blind?
    Thanks for any input.

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  15. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

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  16. Amazing blog! Iѕ youг thеme custоm made or did yοu download іt from ѕomewhere?
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  17. Thanks for the tutorial. I would try doing than to buy window shades. Think it would be lovely to follow yours.

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  18. Hi there! great stuff, glad to drop by your page and found these very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing, keep it up!


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  19. Great post, pointing out to cut the smaller tilt strings was the missing piece in me trying to do this myself!

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Wow. This is wonderful. Thanks for providing us a DIY window shades. I plan to improvise my own too and use cloth that will match my pillows and cushions at home.

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  22. This is so beautiful! They looks amazing like blinds in calgary!

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  23. The shade in my kitchen window has been driving me nuts ever since we moved in, about 5 months ago now.
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  24. Thanks Andrea. The shade in my kitchen window has been driving me nuts ever since we moved in, about 5 months ago now.
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  25. Curtains look so lovely when you first put them up but you really don't realize how much dust and dirt they collect until, years later, you whisk them open to let the sun in and a cloud of dust circles the air. We neglect the cleaning part of curtains. Recently I got my curtains clean through this online site theblindspot.biz They are providing very good washing services and in cheaper rates as well.But you can’t avail this service of washing every week. For cleaning curtains and instead of washing them weekly you can use, a feather duster, static duster, dusting cloths, a damp cloth.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Looks so nice... I'd like something like that at our new kitchen as well.

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  27. Your this article is really good. Your work is really inspiring and informative thanks for share such a nice blog.
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  28. Your this article is really good. Your work is really inspiring and informative thanks for share such a nice blog.

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  29. My dog destroys blinds. We moved into a new home last weekend and there is a casualty already. So with an old drape the fit almost perfect, no fabric glue so I figured I only had a little time to lose, but practice to gain, I used a hot glue gun, scissors and a couple of hours... I have roman blinds instead of tore up blinds.

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  30. Great Pictures...I can't believe that people live like that!

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