Making my own Window Shades

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  #1  
Old 01-19-04, 10:59 AM
Flutterbye
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Making my own Window Shades

Hi - I'm trying to find "how to" information on how to decorate my own Window shades. I have a large window in our living room with two vertical slide sashes (each window is about 40" across) and the entire window is about 44" up from the floor. The room is a combined living room, dining room and entry foyer (like a great room) and the other windows are two very large Bay windows. I have lace cafe curtains in the dining area bay and cafes in the living room bay (cream background with tiny rust/brown/orange/green flowers). As you walk into the room at the entryway, this window is the first one you'll see because the decorations on the Bays are hidden until you get further into the room. This is a western facing window so it gets lots of strong sunlight in the afternoon. I want to be able to keep the sunlight to brighten the room, but need to be able to cut the glare because it is also where most of the family watches TV and works on our computers. Our decorating style is more or less rustic colonial so I'd like to stick to a comfy and natural theme. The walls are a cream off-white, wood trim is oak and we are installing a new oak floor.

I have a long grapevine that I'm going to twine over the top of the window and will seasonally tuck flowers, fall leaves, pine cones etc in for effect. The Bay windows are framed in 4" oak with squares in each corner that have daisies carved into them and I'd like to use two or three of those square blocks mounted on a peg to hang the grapevine swag over the window. For the shades, I'd like the look of a window quilt, but I don't know how to attach the fabric to the roller shade. If I make a quilt (even without the batting), won't it be too thick - making a very large roll? If I just paint a quilt onto the shade, it won't have the interest of the texture, but would be acceptable. What kind of paint would I use that wouldn't crack, flake or get sticky when it is rolled up and down? If I paint, should I get a roller shade made of plastic or fabric? If I replace the shade with fabric squares, I'm assuming I'd use a fusable web to hold it all together and provide a backing for the outside view of the shade - but will that hold it together enough so that it won't come apart an still not be too bulky?

Has anyone done this and how did you do it? Sewing doesn't scare me, and I can do just about anything craft-wise. Hubby is very handy too when it comes to the hardware stuff but the designing is my area. I know what I want it to look like but am just not sure how to go about it.

~Heather~
 
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  #2  
Old 01-19-04, 02:36 PM
Annette's Avatar
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YOU'RE IN LUCK!!!!

you can buy a roller shade just for this project! it has a sticky side, that you peel off a cover from & then you can stick fabric to it.

i saw this done on a decorating show. i would suggest, to get your quilt effect, that, instead of sewing all the little pieces of fabric together, you just lay each individual piece onto the shade, butting them together. they shouldn't fray or anything, since they won't be touched or anything. that way, you won't have the bulge of the sewed seams creating too much thickness and such.

also, on the show i saw, they recommend using a spray adhesive in addition to the sticky surface of the shade. (my guess is that they found out the sticky on the shade wasn't quite sticky enough!)

check fabric/hobby stores for this shade.
 
  #3  
Old 01-19-04, 08:30 PM
Flutterbye
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Cool!!! I knew that there had to be someone who'd seen or heard of doing this. A few months back while waiting in a doctor's office I saw a picture of it done in a magazine but couldn't remember the issue or which one it was. Now when I need it, of course I can't find it.

Looks like it's time to start haunting the craft and fabric stores here. The sticky or fusable web idea would produce exactly what I wanted. If time allowed, I would actually make a Roman Shade out of a quilt as I've done that before - but the look is bulkier than I want for this window. I want it to be as unobtrusive as possible when it is rolled up so the wood work will show, but still be homey and nice looking when it is pulled down. I'm removing heavy drapes and carpets from the room as we are laying a new oak floor, so to avoid an echo I still want some fabric in here.

Thanks Annette

~Heather
 
  #4  
Old 02-08-04, 11:09 AM
Flutterbye
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Hi Annette, I did it!!! I found a kit at a local Fabric/craft store. I'm not sure of the rules here about recommending specific brands, but I'd recommend the kit in an instant... For about $15.00, you get one adjustable rod, mounting hardware, instructions and a sheet of heavy fusable fabric. You buy your own choice of fabric and iron it onto the fusable backing, trim to fit and tape the fabric to the adjustable rod with strong tape. If using fabric that has a definite vertical stripe or panels, you have to watch for the pattern repeat and compare it to your window so you can center it. The kit also has instructions for doing a fancier shaped bottom edge where the pull bar is behind the bottom edge - but I figured for my first one, I'd keep it simple because I did choose a pattern that had a definite repeated vertical pattern.

I haven't gotten the pictures online yet but will post them as soon as I do. My windows are 33" wide by 45" tall so Ibought two kits. The material was expensive - about $7/yd and I needed about 3 yards). I chose a pattern that has vertical bands of blue and red diamonds and a cream colored background with roses trellised in rose pinks, golds and greens. I picked up about $10 worth of grape vine, silk flowers and berries (in shades to coordinate with the shade) and a 3 yard length of a shimmery white lace fabric. I twined the lace and grapevine together and wired the flowers and berries at intervals along the swag and hung it over the window. My husband is milling the woodwork for our project out of oak with a fancy beveled edge. In the corners of the windows and doors, he is putting square (purchased) blocks that have a daisy design engraved in them. Since replacing the woodwork on this shaded window wasn't part of the project this time around, he purchased 3 blocks a little smaller than the rest to match the width of the current woodwork and mounted them on adjustable stems that can telescope out to accomodate a small or thick swag. He mounted them on the woodwork at the upper corners and one in the middle to hold the swag so that it shows part of the wood, while still framing the window. The paint on the walls is a cream white so the white lace really "pops" against it. The last step is a small sconce he is making from an old chair leg (just a simple round tapered shape) that will hold a small bouquet of the left over flowers. That will be stained oak to match the rest of the finish and mounted on the middle strip between the shades. I love flowers and vases, but having a couple of curious cats sort of precludes putting them on table tops where the cats can get at them. Here, I'll have a simple vase and it will tie to the whole window effect.

I had to laugh when I was out shopping yesterday... I had originally planned on this looking like a cabin quilt on the window, but couldn't find the fabric I was thinking of. The change to the more formal design took a long time to decide on because we are pretty casual - but now that it is up, I really like it. It's feminine enough for me and our two daughters and masculine enough for my husband.

Pictures coming as I get them... Today's project is to finish putting all the office stuff back on this side of the living room. We have two computers on this wall that were moved out and are now back and set up. Now I get to sort through several years of "stuff" that hopefully won't find it's way back in here.

~Heather~
 
  #5  
Old 02-09-04, 07:10 AM
Annette's Avatar
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!

....and thanks for posting back & letting everyone know how your project turned out (a rarity around here!!) the iron-on backing sounds easier than the sticky-backed version i'd seen. (and i think it's fine for you to say what brand it was that worked for you!)

i can't wait to see the pictures! unfortunately, for now, anyway, you won't be able to post them here, but maybe you've got a webpage you can put them on & then direct us there to see them!
 
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