19 December 2011

Guest Post - Sarah Oxley


New Year will be here before we know it, and with most of us having some time off work, our attention is usually drawn to our homes and DIY. I think this is a great tutorial for window treatments. Have a read on how cheap and easy it is to make your own roman blinds!

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D.I.Y Roman Blinds


Covering your windows with window treatments is usually one of the last things on your mind, when designing your home, yet it still needs to be done. And, of course, after putting so much effort into the rest of the home, you don’t want to just go for the next best thing. It has to match the d├ęcor you’ve already created. However, you don’t want it to cost much either. 

The cheap option is to do it yourself, yes, even when it comes to blinds.
Roman blinds are, currently, very popular and highly fashionable. They are also easy to make:

1: Mounting The Blind
To begin with, you’ll have to decide how you want to mount your blind, as there are three available ways: outside, inside, and hybrid. If you have marred or unremarkable woodwork, it is recommended to choose an outside mount, because this mount covers the entire window as well as frame and trim. Whereas, an inside mount covers only the window itself leaving frame and trim visible. If you have a window with a deep window sill, then the hybrid mount is best. This mount covers the whole frame horizontally including the top, but ends at the sill.

2: What To Measure
The measurement is dependent on which mount style, you have chosen. An outside mount requires the distance between the outermost edges of the window trim horizontally and vertically, and the greatest depth of the trim outward from the wall. More often than not, this will be the window sill. An inside mount just needs the distance between the inside edges of the trim, again horizontally and vertically, while for a hybrid mount you’ll need to measure the outer edges of the trim horizontally, and from the top edge of the trim to the top of the window sill vertically. The horizontal dimension is always the finished width of the blind, and the vertical the finished length. This goes for all mount styles.

3: How Much Fabric
The finished width of the blind needs 4 inches (10cm) added, while the finished length needs 8½ inches (21.3cm) added on. This is called the ‘cut size’ of the fabric. Most fabric sellers will calculate the needed amount of fabric from the cut size. If you want to calculate it yourself, divide each dimension of the cut size by 36 if using inches and yards, or by 100 if using the metric system.

The majority of decorator fabrics are 54 inches (137cm) wide. If your window is wider than 50 inches, it is best to double the length and live with a vertical seam in the blind. It’s best to have too much fabric than too little, as any extra fabric can be used for other D.I.Y or craft projects. For sliding doors or wide windows, it’s best to make several separate blinds, rather than one wide one. Roman blinds require a lining, so be sure to purchase the same amount of lining as you did the main fabric.

4: Extra Supplies
As well as the fabric, you’ll need the following supplies:
Thread (sure, you’ve thought of this one)
Sew-on or decorator-type hook-and-loop tape the width of the finished blind
Twill Tape With Pre-Sewn Plastic Rings- 2 to 3 times the finished length
Dowel Rods- Quarter inch (8 mm) in diameter, cut ½ inch (13mm) less than finished width
Screw Eyes and Mounting Screws
Nylon drapery cord (5 to 8 times the finished length)
For the headrail: A 1" x 2" (2.5 cm x 5 cm) board cut to ¼" (6 mm) less than the finished width


You can also purchase cord cleat, fusible hem tape, cord-luck pulley, a glue gun or glue sticks- these items are optional.

5: Hemming The Blind
As mentioned above, roman blinds need lining, so you’ll need to hem the front and the lining, then sew them together top and bottom, sewing the wrong sides together. The side edges remain open for now. Then simply sew loop tape to the top edge of the back of the blind.

6: Rod Pockets
To make the rod pockets, cut two pieces of twill tape 10 inches (25 cm) smaller than the finished length. Sew one length at each side edge of the blind.  If your blind is wider than 39 inches (1 meter), you’ll need three twill tape pieces. Sew one length at each side, and one down the centre of the blind.  The bottom ring should be 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the bottom of the blind. Be sure that the first ring of each length is 10 inches (25cm) from the top of the blind, and that all bits of tape have an even number of rings. The rings on each tape need to be aligned. Otherwise the blind won’t hang properly and won’t fold properly, either. If you want to have sewn rod pockets, sew a straight line below and above each ring, and then slide a dowel into the pocket. For a no sew, use fabric glue to attach the dowels to the wrong side of the front fabric. A dot of glue every 6 inches (15cm) along the length of the dowel is sufficient. The dowel will need 4 to 12 hours to dry, so lay the dowel on the fabric and keep it in place by weighing it down with books or other reasonably heavy objects, and put a rod inside the bottom hem allowance of the inside-out blind. Once the glue is dry, turn it right-side-out. 

After you’ve inserted the rods, sew the side seams closed.

7: The Headrail
The headrail needs preparing before it can be mounted. Cover the headrail board with muslin or leftover fabric and staple in place on the side that will be facing the wall. Now, staple hook tape to the front of the rail, and place a screw eye in the bottom of the rail. Be sure it us even with the ring tapes. If you’re using a cord-lock pulley, mount it on the end of the rail where the finished pull-cord will be. The rail can be mounted to the inside window frame, the upper edge of the trim, or on the wall just above the trim. This is dependent on your chosen mount style.

8: The Blind
Using the hook and loop fasteners, attach the finished blind to the rail.

9: Threading The Cords
At the top of the blind, thread the drapery cord through a screw eye and each ring of tape. Tie it securely to the bottom ring. From the screw eye, pull the length of cord through the pulley and down along the side of the blind. Cut the cord at the wanted length. Repeat with each piece of tape. Then bring the length of cord across to the rail through the first screw eye and the pulley. Cut it, so it is even with the first cord. For a single pull-cord, braid or knot the cords together and add a cord drop.

10: Sit Down And Have A Cup Of Tea
You’ve earned it.

Written by Sarah Oxley

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Thank you Sarah! This is a great DIY for fabric lovers like myself : )
Gemma x 

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Gemma x

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