July 22, 2009

Roll Em On Up

I don't know why I have a sudden fondness for roller shades. Maybe it's the cheapskate in me, they are about as inexpensive as you can go. They are even cheaper than mini blinds, which I hate and always seem to hang from every window of every house we've owned. I'm not even sure where the idea of covering them with something came from. Did it pop fully formed into my mind? Probably not. More than likely I saw something somewhere and it registered in my brain as an entry on the "I could do that!" list (*again, I'm a cheapskate I think that about a lot of things I see, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't sometimes they cost more money in the long run, but hey, a tightwad can try...)

Since I haven't been cooking or crafting much in the past two weeks and my life (and blog) have been crammed with renovation issues, I thought I'd shake myself back into my craft and how to routine though and tell you about my adventures in roller shade decoupage.

So far I've embarked on two different ways of covering roller shades. For our bedroom I used the last of my precious Orla Keily wallpaper. It took some work since there was just barely enough to cover the two shades. And I mean barely, as in about two inches of scraps.

Because my husband things that people can see though thick shades and are always on the lookout for a chance to peep into our bedroom, I choose the thickest light blocking shades they had at the store for our room and then pasted the heavy wallpaper on with border glue just as if I was wallpapering a wall. In the end they are almost too heavy, but since they wont need to be rolled up and down several times a day they will work. I think if I was going to do wallpaper again I'd choose a lightweight shade to help balance out the heft of the paper.

For the kids room I wanted them to be light blocking but not as heavy since they will be rolled up and down. I found some lightweight but room darkening shades at Lowes and cut up the top sheet from Briton's sheet set for the fabric. Have I waxed poetic on the wonders of using a flat sheet for projects yet? No? Sheets are just about the cheapest way of getting fabric that I've found. You can get much wider pieces than you'll find at any fabric store and if you're not looking for high thread count or fancy labels, you can often find what you need on sale or at least pretty cheap.

For this project, one sheet covered three roller shades. I actually forgot that the kid's room has four windows when I was buying the shades (how I don't know since it's right there in my master lists of all things new house! I guess I need to start wearing my glasses again!) I'll make the fourth out of his fitted sheet that we won't be using in the new room so that they will all match, but that's another project for another day. For the three I did make I cut rectangles about an inch wider than the shade and about a foot longer than the length of the window. You don't need to cover the whole shade unless you plan to pull it all the way down, which I don't. Once the fabric was cut and ironed, I took the shades outside and sprayed them (one at a time) with spray adhesive then spread them out on the dining room table to adhere the fabric. The nice thing about spray glue is that if you let it sit for a minute before sticking it to whatever you are sticking to it, it creates a better bond. And (unless you get the kind that does) it doesn't stick permanently for about half an hour which is important when you are wrestling a long piece of fabric over a slippery piece of vinyl.

The trick to getting it relatively smooth is to lay it gently over the whole thing and then, working from the bottom, pull the fabric from the overlapped sides to get rid of any bubbles. Once the fabric was smoothed out over the whole shade I flipped it over and glues the bottom over lap over (about an inch) with tacky glue then trimmed the excess with a pair of sharp scissors (so that they will slide along the fabric rather than having to "cut" and giving you a smoother finish) Once they were hung in the rooms I rubbed fraycheck onto the edges and trimmed away any threads.

It sounds like a lot of work but it really wasn't I finished all three during Evelyn's short nap yesterday and still had time to make lunch for Will and I, so I promise, they aren't as labor intensive as they might seem. And if you ask me, the result was pretty cool. I love how the red looks against the green trim. I think it might be my favorite room in the house.

And just for kicks, I've put in a before of that room so you can see the difference. I can't help it! This renovation is eating up my life!

Next project (after finishing the hardwoods and decorating the kids room and moving the HOUSE! that is) is to cover the bathroom shades with some kind of pretty paper and probably some for the play room covered with, well, I'm not sure what. We'll see.