Background: For a while now I have been meaning to replace the blinds in my dining room and family room. My little cape code has 2 very large windows in the front (about 68″ wide), so these blinds needed to be custom ordered. I was pretty fond of my former blinds-they were cellular shades (RIP cellular shades-murdered in cold blood by a kitten)-but it was too risky to choose something so delicate a second time. So I took a
chance and went with woven wood shades (also referred to as bamboo shades). I had ordered from JustBlinds.com successfully for the kitchen in the past, so knowing that they were fairly reliable, I decided to do it again. Knowing that the blinds would be heavy and that this was a safer alternative to a dangling cord, I opted for the continuous cord loop, with the intention to mount the cord on the side of the window frame. When the blinds arrived, I was beyond eager to hang them. Now, being that woven wood shades are more like a screen than anything, I had suspected that they might be a bit see-through, however, I didn’t expect them to be TOTALLY transparent. After some struggle of installing the wall anchors and brackets with the boyfriend, I went outside to check the status of the blinds, and was disappointed that I could see absolutely EVERYTHING going on in the house. &$*(&*(#&&$^@&*#)(*!&#*(&$*(
Action: If I were living on some extra land with little street traffic or neighbors, this really would not have been a concern. However, when living within arms-reach of the street and other houses, I felt that it is necessary to have a little bit of privacy at night. After all, not everyone needs to watch the “Mary Show” (an imaginary show starring me tripping over furniture that has always been in the same spot).
So my boyfriend willingly accompanied me to JoAnn’s the following day to pick out some basic, thin cotton fabric. He was quickly distracted by the Star Wars section, so I went on to choose some beige fabric and purchased about 8 yards. I had googled a few tutorials the day before, and I figured that if someone else had created their own privacy liner, I could. I was determined, but nervous. Custom blinds are not cheap, and I really did not want to play arts and crafts with my brand new blinds.
The Process: Roman shades, as many of you know, are fairly straight forward in terms of
“mechanics.” There are loops on the opposite side with a vertical string that pulls the fabric or material up as you draw the cord. In order to create the privacy liner, you must flip over the blinds, carefully untie the cords at the bottom, pull the string out of all of the loops, cut fabric to the correct size, attach the fabric (I chose hot glue but I have also read that you can sew these on or use velcro), cut slits and pull through every single loop, restring the string through each loop and tie at the bottom, then of course hang the blinds back up (this was a challenge in one of the windows because the giant, artificial Christmas tree is currently next to the window. Needless to say, the tree is now leaning).
Step by Step*:
1. Realize that your blinds are completely see-through ,and panic slightly because you have just made this GIANT purchase $$$.
2. Surf the internet for tutorials. Here are a couple that were very helpful!
3. Measure your blinds and calculate how much fabric you will need. For larger blinds like mine, you may want to do 2-3
panels of fabric to ensure that they fold and hang properly. Before you remove your blinds from the window, make sure they are in the down position (covering the window).
4. Flip the blinds over, lay the fabric on the blinds, and cut the fabric to size. You could also just measure the area you plan to cover and cut accordingly. I chose not to cover the entire area of the blinds because I was worried the fabric would show on the edges. Plus, with the way the window is made, you would not see about 1.5 inches anyway.
5. CAREFULLY untie the string from the bottom loops of the blinds, and pull it through. Make sure it is out of the way so that you don’t trip over it, tangle it, or glue it to yourself. The loops should now be exposed and stringless.
6. Make yourself a cup of tea because untying small knots takes a special skill (I used a pin to help ease the difficulty).
7. Decide where you would like your privacy liner to start. I started mine about 4 to 5 inches from the top of the blind because I knew that the valance would cover that section. You may want to start it a little higher for uniformity purposes. I marked where I would be attaching the fabric with little x’s so that it wasn’t crooked (this was a tip from another tutorial).
8. Begin attaching your fabric. I used dots of hot glue and started from the top (where the x’s are). Logically, you wouldn’t go too overboard with the hot glue because you want these things to operate properly. However, you also want to make sure you dot in multiple places so that the fabric does not hang down when you open the blinds. Do not dot too close to the loops. I dotted a few in the middle and also on each edge of the fabric. Only do a little at a time since hot glue cools and hardens quickly.
9. Cut slits for the loops. *You may want to do this before you glue.* As a matter of preference, I did it after. Pull the loops through the slits. (Yay, you’re almost done). Tie the string at the bottom of the blind through the final loop. Make sure that your string has gone through EVERY loop.
10. Hang your blinds and test them out. If for some reason the fabric hangs down, you might need to add some more glue.
- *I was pleasantly surprised that this worked for me but cannot guarantee that it will work for you.
- An extra, but possibly unnecessary, step that I took was to sew the edges of the fabric after cutting to prevent fraying, then ironing the fabric so that it was flat.
- My entire first floor looked like a messy workshop during this process. My blinds were already attached to the wall and I didn’t want to unscrew the continuous cord mount, so I worked right at the windows.
- Be as patient as possible, work slowly to prevent mistakes, play some soothing music, and expect this to take a while.
- You can choose a darker fabric if you are interested in making these into “black out” blinds. I personally like a bit of light to seep through.
- You will see some light where the slits for the cord loops are. This tutorial- http://creativelittledaisy.typepad.com/creative_little_daisy/2012/02/i-lined-my-bamboo-roman-shades.html -explains a way to remedy this.
- Choose a color fabric that makes sense. Note that from outside, your blinds aren’t going to look beautiful.
- I will NEVER work in a blinds factory.