Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY Roman Shade

Finally... I actually dressed the naked window in my kitchen. I knew that I needed something, but not knowing if when we would be adding a backsplash and what color/texture that may be, I kind of put the window project on hold.

Then it just hit me like a big slap in the face. We were having friends over for a Christmas dinner and that dumb window was like a big naked lady standing in the middle of my kitchen laughing (she had already been there for over two years but maybe it was just the recent addition of her laughing that sent me over the edge).

There are SO many posts out there in the blogosphere about DIY roman shades and "roman shades" (roman'esque shades as I say) and no-sew shades... so I'm not claiming to have reinvented the wheel. I did see a shade in my fave fabric store that I snagged some pics of, and used as my guide of how a simple shade is made/works. Maybe they'll help you...

This is a simple and cheap way to make a roman shade with as little sewing as possible... but event that was too much work and functionality for what I had in mind. My shade didn't really need to be adjustable. I just wanted it to cover a small amount of my window and I never have a need to adjust the height.

That being said, I came up with this very simple shade... It was really simple, and you could do it with fabric glue and a few hand stitches if you don't have a sewing machine! 

*keep in mind - this is an inside mount shade. If you want to mount yours to your wall or window frame, your measurements will be a little different and you can refer to the YHL link at the bottom for help!

The fabric I used is similar to linen in texture, and so I decided I would like a liner so the print will still be visible when the sun is really shining through. Here are the basic steps. If you're going to try this and want a little bit more help, feel free to contact me!

I measured the width of my window and added 2" to each side (for the seam and so I would have a little room on each side for the fabric to fold back into the window. For the length, I measured the full length of the window because thats what I would use if I were to make an actual functioning shade - and I wanted some big full folds - then add 2" for the top where you will attach it to the board.

Cut your fabric to your measurements, along with the liner fabric in the same size. Place your print fabric face down on your liner fabric and pin it along the edges. Sew three edges of your fabric (length, width, length) and flip it right side out when you're done. You don't have to sew the fourth edge because it won't be seen. *this is where you could use fabric glue if you don't have a machine

Now for the folds... I determined how long I wanted my finished shade to be. Then I laid the fabric down on the floor and moved the bottom of the shade (sewn edge opposite the open edge) up to meet that measurement from the top plus 2" (for where you will attach it to the board). Next, I literally moved the folds up and down until I got them positioned in a way that I liked. Pin them down.

So, now you need to make sure that your folds are even on each side, so measure along one side from the bottom of the shade to the top of each fold. Go to the opposite side and do the same thing. If the second side measurements are different from the first, you will need to adjust to make them equal.

You're all pinned down, measured and straight, and ready to tack the folds down. I used good old fashioned needle and thread to tack each fold down with a simple stitch in four locations across the width of the shade on each fold. So easy!

To get that sucker up in your window... Cut a piece of 1"x2" board to the width of your window minus 1/8" for a little wiggle room (they will cut it for your at the hardware store if you don't have means to do so at home - or if you too have a Mr. Husband that won't allow you to operate a saw without him). No need to paint it, because now you're going to take the un-sewn side of your shade and staple it to the board. staple guns=awesome and a must have for any household.

Now, you should have a little fabric extending beyond the length of the board on either side. I used my flat iron (yes, for my hair - but you can obviously use a regular iron as well) to iron a fold along the length of each side to make the curtain fit into the width of my window. I just did that so I wouldn't have to be stressed about making sure my seems were in a particular perfect place to make my shade the perfect width. This was a fast a furious project, remember?

You will probably have to add staples on each end of your board now to tuck that extra fabric back as well (this is why it was important to cut the board a little short of the actual window width).

The only thing left to do at this point is hang the shade. Now, by some miraculous feat I stuck my board up in the top of my window and it fit so perfectly snug that I didn't have to use any hardware to make it stay. BUT, if it had not... I would have used an "L" bracket on each side (screw into the board and into the wall) to secure it.

Ta-da! That's all folks! The whole thing took my 2 hours, maybe?
Sorry I don't have pictures and exciting diagrams. If you need more visuals, here are a few good posts that are helpful:

Centsational Girl
Young House Love  <----- Check it! same fabric! maybe there's a reason why I like YHL so much?

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