Monday, October 19, 2015

DIY: No-Sew Roman Shades

I am jumping for joy, y'all! 
A year and a half after buying our house, the playroom is finished! 

When we bought the house we knew there was a bit of water damage in our 'Florida room'.
{For those who don't live in Florida - think sunroom meets screened in porch for a kind of outdoor/indoor room}
Ours had been fully enclosed by previous owners so it was more like an extra room in our house. 
A large space with a sightline from the kitchen and tons of natural light from six windows {yes, I made six shades. On my first attempt at window treatments...#classicoveracheiver} we knew it would be perfect for a playroom.
{A whole room in which to contain the kids' mess...the things moms' dreams are made of!}

First thing's first...before we could consider it livable space we had to fix the water damage, ensure it wouldn't happen again and add some serious insulation. David and I, with my dad's help (thanks, Dad!!) took down the ceiling, put multiple layers of insulation and then redrywalled with mold and mildew resistant drywall. We removed all of the drywall below the windows and insulated there as well. After caulking, priming and painting {paint color is Benjamin Moore Simply White, mixed in Valspar Signature at Lowes}, the room was finally functional. Now time to turn it into a playroom ready for countless memories to be made!

The first issue was the flooring; the ugly orangy/red outdoor tiling had to go but it wasn't in the budget to totally redo the floor. I knew, with two boys, it wasn't an 'if', but a 'when someone falls on the hard floor and gets hurt' type of situation. I found these awesome wall to wall foam mats and cut the edges to fit snugly against the walls. They're super functional and make the floor really comfortable to sit on but let's face it: they're ugg-ly.

I had pinned several images for a 'primary color' themed playroom {because even though right now I only have boys, I didn't want the playroom to sream, "boyyyyy playroom"} and scored this awesome rug on sale on Overstock.

Once I brought some color into the room with the carpert, I was hooked and knew I wanted bold primary colored curtains with a contrasting print. And since it's a playroom, long flowing curtains were just about the worst idea ever.
{You thought I would never get back to the point of this post, didn't you?}
Anyways, thus began the weeks long online search for the perfect roman shades.
{Spoiler Alert: They did not exist.}
Why, oh whyyyy are there no beautiful yet affordable roman shades?
{Unless I wanted to pay for custom-made window treatments. I did not.}
It didn't help that I would need six. SIX!
{Ugh, who am I, Rockafeller?}

Enter, life motto: Champagne taste, Beer budget!
And back to the pinterest (drawing) board...

I stumbled upon this no-sew tutorial and decided to give it a try. The only thing I did differently is that I added a blackout liner.

My materials:

Fabric from Hobby Lobby (on clearance, score!)
Blackout liner from Joanne Fabrics
Mini-blinds from Lowes (my windows are 36" x 49")
Liquid Stitch (this stuff is seriously awesome)
Rowenta iron
Fabric shears (good fabric shears are worth it, trust me)
{not pictured: fabric tape measure, pencil, plastic clips)

For me, the major challenge in this whole project was adding a black-out liner. Eventually I'd like to put a 'day bed' style trundle or high-riser in the room to use for reading and also give us extra space for guests. Having the blackout liner will definitely be appreciated by future guests because six windows = tons of light! I couldn't find a tutorial adapting a liner for the way I planned to construct these so I kinda had to wing it. I think it came out really well!

Step 1:
Measure, cut and iron blackout liner.
(I measured 36" x 50" to give a 0.5" seam allowance in the length - you'll see why I didn't give an allowance for the width.)

Step 2:
Measure, cut and iron fabric. 
(I measured 37" x 51.5" to give a 1" seam allowance for the width and a 2.5" allowance for the length.)

Step 3:
With fabric print side down, lay liner on top ensuring that there is an equal seam allowance on all sides. If need be iron out any last large wrinkles.

Step 4:
Squeeze a thin line of Liquid Stitch onto the printed fabric so that when you press the liner down onto the adhesive it will adhere approximately 1/4" in from the edge of the liner. Do this one side at a time until all four sides of the liner are glued to the printed fabric.

Step 5:
Prep the fabric by ironing down the hems before securing with fabric glue. Iron down all four sides of the printed fabric so that the edge of the blackout liner sits right in the folded crease {this is why I didn't leave a seam allowance for the width of the blackout liner. I wanted it to sit perfectly inside the printed fabric}.
Pay special attention to the corners to ensure they will lie flat.

Step 6:
Starting at the first corner you glued the liner to the fabric, apply a slightly thicker line of liquid stitch (be careful not to use too much as you don't want to be wiping up excess, but you want the seam to hold up well and the liner to be reinforced). You want this glue applied at the place where when you fold over the seam the glue will hit 1/4" from the outer edge of the fabric. Do this for all four sides. Make sure all corners are properly secured down. You might want to use plastic clips or clothespins to reinforce the adhesive as it dries. I generally left this step to dry overnight but you can just wait the recommended time on your fabric glue before moving on.

Step 7:
Take out your mini-blinds and lay them on top of the curtain you've assembled so far.

Using a scissor or flat-head screwdriver, pop off the three plugs from the bottom of the mini-blinds. Put the plugs in safe place, you'll be putting them back at the end.

Untying the pull cords, remove the from the bottom piece and set aside. Cut the ladder cords (the thin cords on either side of the plastic blinds) to remove them from the bottom piece.

Cut the ladder cords ONLY (DO NOT CUT THE MIDDLE PULL CORDS or your mini blinds won't work!) Take all blinds off pull cords and set aside.

Step 8:
Position the mini-blind mounting bar on the top of the curtain where you want it to be secured so you can determine your spacing. If you want the curtain aligned with the top of the window then place the bar at the top of the fabric; if you want a lip of fabric over the top of the window, place the bar down slightly. Turn over and apply a generous coating of Liquid Stitch to the side that will be glued to the curtain. Press well to ensure even distribution of adhesive and contact with fabric. (Optional: Secure with plastic clips or clothesline)

Step 9:
Here is where you have to determine based on how big your window is, how many pieces of blind you want to use and how far apart you want to space them. Keep in mind that the placement of the blinds is where you will get the folds in the roman shades, so if you like more folds, use more blinds and vice versa.
My fabric measured 49" from bottom of mounting bar to bottom of fabric so I divided that amount equally and used 6 blinds 7" apart and used the bottom part of the mini-blind track as my 7th piece.

Step 10:
I positioned each blind in its' place, flipped it over and applied my line of glue directly to the liner. Then I flipped my blind back down on top of the line of glue. DO NOT LET THE GLUE TOUCH THE PULL CORD! You need the pull cord to be able to move freely to raise and lower your shades. After I adhered each blind, I went back to double check that I could still move the pull cord freely. I secured the ends with the plastic clips and let each piece dry for 5 minutes before I moved on to the next.

Step 11:
(I got distracted and forgot to take a picture of this step, sorry! It's basically the opposite of how we started with the mini-blind track.)
Position the bottom piece of the mini-blind track so that the bottom of the track lines up with the bottom of the curtain, thread the pull cords back through the holes, and tie off at the fully extended length for your window. Trim the excess cord if you need to. Press the plugs back in place.
Apply an even coating of glue to the track and press onto bottom of the curtain. Make sure there are no bubbles in the fabric and secure at the ends with your clips or clothespins if you want. Let dry for several hours or overnight before installing.

Step 12: 
Install using directions that come with the specific set of mini-blinds.

The playroom is far from finished, but in the interest of documenting along the way, I thought it'd be fun to show all the curtains from the different angles and to do an update in the future on any changes.
{Plus if I were to wait until the room was finished I'd be writing this post, ummm...never!}

So here you have it - the six finished DIY no-sew roman shades!

I would say that this project is definitely more time-consuming that difficult. These took me several weeks to complete, but I was only able to devote 2 hours a night a couple times a week.
{Although, if you're only making a few it wouldn't take more than a few days}

In terms of skill-level, this project is somewhere between beginner and intermediate so it's definitely worth trying for anyone looking for custom window treatments without the custom price tag ;)

And as always, if you make them, share the pics with me! I always love to see everyone else's projects! 
Email me at modestlyfashioned(at)gmail(dot)com and follow me on Facebook and Instagram at Modestly Fashioned.