Monday, March 28, 2011

Blind Tutorial

Do your projects get done before "company is coming"?

I had been thinking about this project for a while and managed
to get them done in 4 hours one evening before an informal get-together 
at my house.  Whew!  (Thank goodness for deadlines!)

To re-make my existing bamboo shades, I used:
  • Prewashed Drop Cloth Fabric
  • Existing (Seen-Better-Days) Bamboo Blinds
  • Hot Glue (!)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Measuring Tape (Only when absolutely necessary!)
  • To make the shade:
  • Check length and width by laying fabric over the existing blind;
  • Cut (snip, then rip) to length and width; 
  • Hem bottom and sides - only if necessary!  
(I used existing "factory" hems whenever possible!  I did not hem the top...
it won't show in the end!)

  • Using a scissors, snip the strings that hold the bamboo together.  (Not the strings for the mechanism!)
  • Then, glue the raw edge of the fabric blind to the slat with the existing hardware.  
(I was going along cautiously here and didn't cut the bamboo valance off until I thought I had it the way I wanted...there was some trial and error here!)

Raw top edge glued to slat with existing hardware.

For the valance:

  • Cut (snip, then rip) a length of fabric 8 inches tall.
  • Check width (& height) by laying the strip on the blind; 
  • Cut to width and hem the sides & bottom (I left the raw edge at the top again.)
  • Place your valance, making sure one string is in front and one is in back (& that they're not tangled!)...and glue to existing slat.

The picture below shows the "right-side" facing us, 
with the valance ready to be glued to the slat.

  • Wrap the valance around so the raw edges face the wall/back of the blind. 

  • Cut a slit for hardware and glue around the eye.
(BTW, those really are original gold-flecked counters!  :) 
They have been very good to me!)
I used the existing hook and eye hardware to hang the blinds.
(I was on a major time-crunch people!)
You could also hang these with "L-brackets". 

Then, roll from the bottom and re-hang. (Or rehang and roll.)
I choose to hang the blinds with the "right-side" of the fabric facing the room, so when rolled up, the raw edge of the "wrong-side" hem shows just a smidge. I liked that informal detail.

What I love about my remade blinds:
1.  They don't completely block out the light.

2.  They block the sun.
(East-facing windows + breakfast at the table + bamboo blinds = grumpy breakfasts)

3.  They're an inexpensive "still functional fix" - I used 2 drop cloths at $10 each.

What I wish I had done (Learn From My Hastiness):
1.  Purchased the dowels sooner- the sagging below is "charming" until you try to actually use try the blinds!
2.  Found this tutorial sooner - The rings and straps are such a cute/functional detail!  (Although the additional sewing would have added to my time! :)

3.  Been brave enough to pick a splendid color, floral, or print fabric.
(Though picking a paint color is difficult enough!)  :)

The Lettered Cottage


  1. Yeah there is nothing like company coming to get me up and moving too! The blinds look good, I would never have thought of this. It is good to recycle when we can anyway.

  2. They looks great! I also love your dining chairs.

  3. Love them, great tutorial!!! Love the sun in the bamboo ones too, but then again I like the soft look to the other ones!!!

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, everyone!

  5. looks great. I LOVE that buffet in the photo! awesome piece

  6. Are you kidding me? Sometimes I schedule company just to pressure myself to get things done!

    I too love the buffet!

  7. What a great way to used the bamboo blinds to make that. Great tutorial. Thanks for stopping by. I have a party tonight you can join if you like.


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