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Go Fresh With Handmade Rollout Shades

Updated on March 15, 2012

Making Shades

Window treatments are a quick and simple way to add interest to a room’s décor. When you make your own roller shades, you can switch things around inexpensively and have fun while you plan and create your coverings.

Recycling Shades
Customize old shades and “go green” at the same time. If you do not have old shades of your own, scour garage sales and retail shops for recyclables. You can use any shade that still has its basic structure intact, no matter the color of the shade or the stains it might have. If the shade is torn or tattered, salvage the roller mechanism for the next section.

Refurbishing shades is a simple process. For a fun and practical option, especially for a cover that will rarely be raised, paint the shade with blackboard paint. You can then use it as a memo board or decorate it with colored chalk designs.

You can also renew your old shade with a wallpaper or fabric cover. Measure the shade and cut the fabric about 1/2 inch larger on all sides. If your shade has a dowel at the bottom, measure all the way to the back. Use spray adhesive to attach the fabric, folding the extra to the back. Add some fringed trim to cover the tabs on the back, or cut another piece of fabric to attach there.

Paint and stencil or stamp your shade for a whimsical look. Cover the whole thing with a pretty background cover and then use stencils or wall stamps to add a design to the shade’s front.

Embossing powders or beads can add texture and dimension, as well.

Create a faux window scene by covering the top half of the shade with fabric. Then paint an outdoor scene on the bottom half, overlaying it with painted “panes” to create the impression of looking through the window.

New Shades

You Will Need:
· Roller mechanism
· Curtain fabric--cotton/cotton-poly blends work best, but you can use nearly anything that isn't too bulky
· Heavyweight fusible interfacing
· Iron
· 1/2-inch dowel

For this project, you will need a roller shade kit from the hardware store or the mechanism from an old shade.

Decide if you want the shade to fit inside the window, which is traditional, or to extend beyond the window to cover part of the wall. Measure the area to determine the desired finished size of the shade.

Add four inches to the length of your shade and one inch to the width; this will allow for the casings and the seam allowances. Cut two pieces of fabric and one of the interfacing to match the new measurements.

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of one piece of fabric with your iron.

Pin the fabrics together with the right sides facing. Stitch around all four sides, with a one-half inch seam allowance. Leave two to three inches open for turning.

Trim the seams to one-fourth inch, and turn the shade right side out. Hand-stitch the opening.

Fold the top of the pieces to the back to make a two-inch casing and pin the fabric. Stitch about one-fourth inch from the edge; if you like, use a contrasting thread color to add decoration to the shade.

Insert the shade mechanism, following the manufacturer’s instructions, as each style may be slightly different.

Fold one inch of the bottom of the shade to the back and stitch it down to make a casing. Insert the dowel. You may paint the dowel to match the shade, if you want, or you may stitch the sides closed to keep it from showing.

If you prefer to omit the bottom dowel, you may also hang a ring or a string of beads to the bottom hem to pull the shade up or down.

If you use these instructions to make your own roller shades, you can easily match the room’s décor, or make quick and inexpensive changes when you get tired of the existing theme.


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