Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Re-covering a Roman Shade

This is a DIY project that has been plaguing my To-Do Lists for months! I was in way over my head with this one, and as per usual, it was all my idea. And as with all great ideas, this one began with a need... sort of. It all started with the need of covering up the light that poured in from our french door leading onto our balcony. For the time being, as we were unsure of what window covering to go with, we draped a piece of IKEA fabric that was pinned onto a magnetic curtain rod. While the temporary covering looked great, it still did not block out enough light, and the rod fell down a few times when Hazel would tug onto the fabric *ouch!*

As I've mentioned before, one of the perks of my job at Home Depot, is that when product comes in damaged or neglected, I can get first dibs at receiving it at a potentially discounted price. I had a customer who had purchased some Roman Shades for a set of french doors. One of the shades came slightly un-glued at the bottom rail, and this was unacceptable to her- and so, we re-ordered a new shade for her. I then called the manufacturer to inquire about shipping the broken shade back to them. They suggested that I simply throw the shade in the garbage, as it was off no use to them... did I mention that the shade was worth $350? And they wanted me to throw it out!? So, I pulled some strings, and got the blind for free! It had a top down/ bottom up feature- meaning that the shade could be lowered and raised from the top and the bottom of the blind. The only issue I had with it was its silky, cream-colored fabric. It was a bit too old lady for my liking.

Jackie and I tormented ourselves trying to find the perfect fabric to cover the shade- as it had to be thick enough to block most of the light, had to be somewhat fun and whimsical, and had to be a fabric that we wouldn't grow tired of for a long time. We stumbled upon this green indoor/outdoor fabric at Fabricland- on discount- and thought it would be a solid addition, as the tones went well with the dresser and Hazel's play mat.

As far as re-covering the shade went... well, I think I spent a few hours simply staring at the fabric and the roman shade, trying to come up with a brilliant scheme of how to tackle the project. I assumed that sewing would be involved, and late one night, I sewed the top seam of the shade on via hand-stitch, as sewing machines and myself tend to not get along. Realizing that this project was becoming more of a chore than anything, I decided to speed things up by purchasing some fabric glue. The plan was to start by gluing at the seams, waiting for it to dry, and then wrapping the excess fabric tight, and gluing that to the back of the shade. I applied the glue very liberally to the seams between the fabric's folds. And it seemed to be working great, until it dried- and looked like dried snot. It was pretty discouraging. So, I threw the shade back into the closet, and let some more time pass.

Fortunately, as time went on, the seams were less snot-like, and now I was left with having to glue the excess fabric down the sides of the shade. For this, I pursued a different avenue: using iron-on fabric tape. And what a difference it made!- Gone was the snotty-glue appearance. And instead, I ended up with crisp, clean lines. My recommendation: use that iron-on tape! It made the project a breeze, and I was happy to have the shade re-covered.

The final step of the Roman Shade project was to mount it to the door. The door was metal, and so I made sure to purchase metal screws, rather than use the cheap drywall screws that came with the blind. Jackie ended up doing the mounting part, as I just couldn't seem to drill a pilot hole evenly. The only tragedy that occurred with hanging the blind was that, during the process of hanging the brackets, the blind was stepped on, and shattered one of the clips that operated the top down/ bottom up feature. Boo. But, the blind served its purpose. It's a project that I'm really glad to have completed- but will likely never do again. It resulted in too much hassle, and felt more like a chore than a project that I was excited about. However, it felt pretty good to step back and admire the shade once it was mounted. Gone was the nasty granny-linen fabric; it was replaced with a funky floral print that complimented our living room perfectly.

After having the shade up on the door for many months- and throughout the summer especially, the shade has certainly served its purpose. It has become as much a part of the room as the hot pink feature wall, or our color coded DVD shelves. And best of all- it keeps our creeper neighbors from looking in!

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