2.22.2011

Kitchen Shades: DIY

Okay, I lied.  I didn't write this over the weekend.  No excuses.  Sorry to make you wait.
A long while back, I read this a post from Jenni at Little Green Notebook about making no-sew roman shades out of mini-blinds.  Awwwwwesome!  I saved the post knowing I would need it someday.
First, let's review.  My kitchen window:
I took those curtains down when I repainted and thought a long time about what I wanted there. 
During the time that my window was "naked", I realized two things.  One, I LOOOOVED how much natural light came in (and during the winter, the sun shines in all afternoon: perfect remedy for the winter-blues).  Second, as soon as the sun sets, these (old) windows were (and still are) like an open refrigerator.  All I had to do was walk by and cold air was practically blowing into my kitchen.  I knew I needed something that could open ALL the way during the day, and close ALL the way during the night.
Since it's right above the sink, I really wanted to avoid something flowy, so a shade is the obvious choice.  I also wanted to avoid cords, so my top choice would have been fabric roller shades.  But to make them with the fabric I already had, it would have been very expensive for the mechanism kit thing.  So I sacrificed on the cords and opted for LGN's mini-blind option.

The time that this method would be MOST cost effective is if you have a window already covered with an ugly mini-blind that you want to get rid of.  If you CURRENTLY have mini-blinds in your house: DO THIS!  But I was starting from scratch, so I actually purchased blinds from Lowe's, for a whopping $3.50 each.  Then I followed LGN's tutorial and I had myself some new shades!
A few things I wanted to point out that she doesn't have pictures of...

She talked about removing the plastic plugs at the bottom: this is what they look like:
Also, this is a close up of the "ladder/tilting strings" that you are supposed to cut. 
I spray painted the back of the slats I was going to use.  I already had the spray paint and it just took one coat.  If I hadn't painted them, each of those slats would be white.  Ick.  Here is what it looks like from the outside (and really the only time I put them down is when it's getting dark, so no one really sees it like this anyway).
And here they are all the way down from the inside.

Now there are a few more things about them.  I am not a perfectionist, so I am okay with the things about these that are not perfect.  For example, I measured everything, but somehow the left shade is longer than the right one (by almost an inch...eek!).  Also, when they are pulled up all the way, the left one hangs nicer whereas the right own bunches together a little more.
But lucky for me, you can't tell in the pictures. 

If you are seriously consider making these, I'd highly recommend not only reading the tutorial, but ALSO taking the time to read the comments.  A lot of people have made these and you can get good ideas from them (such as what to do if you want to put white lining on the back side.. .you have to attach it to your fabric first before you glue the slats to it).  
Again, here is the Shades from Mini-Blinds Link!
I'd love to know if you ever decide to try this!  Let me know if you have questions!
 Happy Shade-Making!

5 comments:

Rebecca said...

SUCH a good idea! They look great!

Lindsey said...

Rachel I LOVE THIS!!!! I so want to do it to my little window in my kitchen. It currently has very ugly mini-blinds and this would be a great way to spruce them up! Thank you so much for sharing!

Life in General and Specific said...

This ALMOST looks like something I could manage. It DEFINITELY looks like something I could screw up. :) Come out to IA and help me??? hah. Shameless ploy I know. After reading your post I spent too much time on the blog the idea came from, which got my creative juices flowing, which means tomorrow I will be out at the thrift stores spending money for 'great finds!'

Keep being awesome. You're very good at it. ;)

Traci said...

Rachel, I love your style!

Rachel said...

just trying this...

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