Monday, January 13, 2014

converting mini blinds to roman shades diy

       20 yards of white muslin on sale at Joanns for 40% off plus additional coupons
+     1.5 packages of dropcloth from Lowes
+     1- 4 oz. container of Liquid Stitch permanent adhesive
+     2 snow days with school cancelled
=     11 hideous mini blinds converted to roman shades

I looked at so many tutorials it is going to be hard to give anyone appropriate credit. I started off following the directions from Simply Mrs. Edwards which added 2" width and 6" length, then sewed the two long sides followed by the short sides.
Well I ended up improvising, which is what it sounds like everyone has done with these.
I cut my drop cloth to 39" wide by 60" long for a 35.5" x 53" window, but I cut the muslin to the exact size of the window. I find that the drop cloth is easier to work with when pressed so I made that my next step.
In addition, the drop cloth tends to fray when cut, so I decided that I preferred a double fold hem to prevent this. I folded the sides half then a whole inch pinning them down (to a 36" width finished). Followed by pinning the top and bottom in an inch then down a little over two inches (to a 54" length finished). I sewed around the whole thing starting at the top left hand corner so that I could essentially sew 5 sides without having to stop and start again. I only had to go back and sew one more side again so that I would have a single stitch on the sides (3/4" seam) and two stitches on the top and bottom (1/2" and 2" seam).

Once sewn I started deconstructing the blinds. Lengthen them to full length.
Cut the ladder string apart all the way on both sides DO NOT cut the center cord as this is what is going to allow your shades to gather.
Remove the bottom rod, making sure to keep all of the pieces for later.

Decide how far apart you want your shades to be. I would say don't go wider than 10 inches. Mine generally ended up being in the 7" range. Since they were all going in the same room I made sure they were the same. Then use the fabric glue to attach the parts of the mini blinds to the back of the curtain (muslin) starting at the top and working down. For my blinds I couldn't glue on the outer most inch of both top sides due to how it went into the bracket. I also made sure to leave an inch above the top. When possible I tucked the sides of the slats under the side seams after applying the glue (rounded side down) Then lastly reattaching the string to the bottom and gluing it.  Don't forget to let it dry for a bit before hanging it up.

On a side note we have old windows and I was amazed at how this cut down on the cold air getting into our home! My only concern is cleaning them if they get dusty or stained - I mean the only option will be to spot treat or vacuum from what I can tell. Which is definitely a bit of a downside over throwing something in the wash. 

other tutorials with more and better info :  Maison de Pax The Inspired Room