Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The $20 Custom Roller Shade -- my Pinterest Challenge
I vowed not to make that mistake again.
So when I saw a roller shade at Lowe's in the clearance section a few months ago (who am I kidding -- it was last spring) and realized that it was exactly the right size for the basement window, I grabbed it. It sat (and sat, and sat, and sat) in the garage until last week when I finally ripped off the vinyl shade off the roller, replaced it with fabric, and hung it in the window.
Okay, so...no, it wasn't quite that easy. In fact, first I painted the vinyl and that looked great. But then I had to add a ribbon edge and that didn't go so well. First I used ribbon and Jewel-It glue, but you could see the glue through the ribbon. Blah. Then I used ribbon and hot glue. But the hot glue dried so fast that it didn't flatten out before it dried and you could see the bumps through the ribbon. So I tried a warm iron, to re-melt the glue, but I kinda melted the vinyl.
Wrinkly vinyl does not make for a pretty roller shade.
So I ripped off the vinyl shade and started over.
That's when I found this tutorial and pinned it on Pinterest, and I found this tutorial which helped me out, also. Now I'm including my new shade in Sherry, Katie, Erin, and Cassie's Pinterest Challenge.
For this shade, I used some fabric I'd brought back from Mexico a few years ago, but next time I'd use something flatter and with less nubbiness. I also backed it with white muslin because I think seeing a patterned/colored fabric in the window from outside the house is semi-tacky. I don't know why I think that. I guess I like the uniformity of white from the outside. Plus my mom told me that window treatments should be lined with white. And she knows about this kind of stuff.
To back the shade fabric, first I ironed on Wonder Under. I'm not gonna lie -- there was a bit of a learning curve to this, especially since I was ironing on about 2 1/2 yards of the stuff. Just wait til it cools to rip off the paper and I think you'll be okay. If you try to take off the paper while it is still warm, the glue comes off with it. And the paper comes off in tiny pieces, like nightmare wallpaper.
Then I cut the fabric (with the backing fused) to exactly the size I needed it to be. My window is about 4ft wide by 3 ft tall. I added an extra 12 or so inches to the height so that the fabric would wrap around the roller a few times before it became visible in the window. I think this is important for keeping the fabric tightly attached to the roller.
I used Fray Check to keep the edges from fraying and then sewed a hem to hold a weight rod in the bottom of the shade. Since the fabric is a little nubby, the edges weren't as clean-cut as I'd like them to be. So...back to the ribbon.
Using Heat 'n Bond to adhere the ribbon, I lined it up with the edges of the shade and wrapped it under the hem about 2 inches. The Heat 'n Bond is a bit narrower than the ribbon, but it seemed to work well with almost no buckling when the shade rolls up.
The problem with including ribbon on a roller shade is that the ribbon stretches differently from the fabric (or not at all). But, I love the finished touch it adds to the edges of the shade.
Once the fabric part of the shade was ready, I used double sided tape (plain old double sided Scotch tape) to adhere the fabric to the roller. I rolled it around one time and then added another strip of tape between the two layers of fabric. It seems simple, but the tape is definitely enough to keep the fabric on the roller -- especially with the fabric rolled around a few times, which it always is, even when the shade is down.
Now, the financial damage. I already had the fabric, so I count that as free. The shade was about $1.50 on clearance at Lowe's. The Wonder Under was about $6, the Fray Check about $4, the Heat n' Bond about $3, and the white muslin lining was about $6. I had the weight rod and the ribbon (it came with the gift wrap on wedding presents from Williams-Sonoma 11 years ago when we got married!).
So $20.50 is the total cost, plus a few hours of my time. And I ended up with a great looking shade and a husband who is happy to see headway made on a basement "detail." Totally worth the price.