Saturday, November 3, 2012

I Made Something! aka DIY Roller Shades for Dummies

I'm one of those people who gets a seasonal itch to change up my bedroom and bathroom linens.  I get it from my mama.  As a kid, whenever it got chilly I'd come home to a cozy new comforter and curtains, so every year around this time I get twitchy to change things up.   For me, finding and committing to a new duvet is akin to the search for the fountain of youth, so I set my sights on the bathroom.  

Bathroom Updates

Pausing here a minute to pat myself on the back for my newly-acquired mood board skills (!!) thanks to this great step-by-step tutorial from Dana over at House*Tweaking.

Stupidly, I neglected to take any before pics of the bathroom.  In all honesty the before wasn't that bad but for the fact that there is ZERO natural light in our bathroom. Ironically the first thing you see when you walk in is a giant window, but sadly it's covered in dark frosted glass and faces directly onto a brick wall.  Although I'm thankful for the ventilation, I've been looking for a cheap and easy way to cover up the eyesore window since the day we moved in. DIY roller shades are all the rage in blogland, and since it's one of the few projects that requires no power tools, sewing, or schlepping of heavy materials on subways, I was all over it.  And here she is!

So, I have to admit, choirs of angels did not break out into song when all was said and done as I'd hoped (in my head).  I'm a little "eh" about the fabric and the fact that you can still see so much of the ugly black window, but I am SUPER proud of myself for successfully executing this little DIY project.  We've been living with our pretty new shade for a couple of weeks now and I still get a kick out of seeing my handiwork every morning.  Yay for the little things.

Thankfully, making the shade was simple a la these idiot-proof instructions from Emily Clark.  I started with a basic vinyl roller shade, wrapped it in fabric and glued the edges.   Easy!

None of the instructions I found online really addressed how to handle wrapping the fabric at the top where the vinyl connects to the roller thing.  In my case, the vinyl was stapled to a heavy duty cardboard tube thing at the top.   I could probably have left the very top uncovered since it would probably be covered when the shade is rolled up, but I decided to just unstaple the vinyl from the roller which worked out great because it allowed me to cut the vinyl exactly to length (I ordered it a little too long) without having to mess with the finished part at the bottom (the part you pull on).  It also made wrapping the vinyl in fabric easier without having to deal with the top part still being attached to the roller.  When I was done gluing, I just stapled/glued the fabric-covered vinyl back to the roller.

My fabric glue said wait 24 hours to dry but who has time for that!  I gave it a few hours and then enlisted the help of Handsome Hubby to hang the shade.

witness the big ugly eyesore (the window not HH!) :)

The lack of natural lighting foiled my attempts to take pretty after pics - in reality it's more citrus than mustard, but either way, there is A LOT of yellow going on in here. I'm on the hunt for colorful accents to break things up - maybe a blue bowl for my jewelry or a succulent plant (anyone know if they can live without sun?).  We shall see. 

Ambivalence about the fabric (and the yellow) notwithstanding, I'm fully on the DIY roller shade bandwagon.  So much so that I'm planning to tackle our kitchen window next - except this time I think I'm going to try painting on some stripes like this:

Better Homes & Gardens
Stay tuned...


  1. Wow! Kudos for such a great job. Personally, I just want to say I love you choice of fabric. It’s a very bohemian-meets-vintage hodge-podge-ish kind of fabric. Haha! I think the important thing is you were able to cover that awful window and it now has a very nice shade to it.
    Greg Arnett

  2. Thanks for the tutorial! I love DIY tutorials for home improvements. The shades tutorial is fantastic and I agree with Greg, the fabric color you chose looks fantastic!