Hey everyone! It’s been forever! Although “free time” is not something that is abundant in my wife/mommy/business woman life, from time to time I just LOVE sitting down with a big glass of pinot and diving into a DIY project. About a year ago I got really into sewing. It’s a great pass-time while the kids are watching their cartoons or during any other down time. It’s also a great stress-reliever and can save you a TON of money in the process. I started my sewing with clothing. I have made dresses, shirts, skirts, even shorts! You don’t even need a sewing machine! My lovely husband saw how much I love to sew and he went out and bought me my own machine. That was a year ago, I’ve used it once since then! Those things are a pain in the ass. I prefer to do it by hand – gives me a little more satisfaction once I see the completed product.
My other favorite hobby in this world is to decorate. If you know me, you know that my furniture seems to have legs because it’s constantly moving around and I have totally run to the local hardware store on a whim and painted an entire room in my house before my husband makes it home from work. With that being said, a few months back I decided that I needed some new more modern window treatments. My boring drapes weren’t working for me. Has anyone else ever looked into getting custom shades?! They are so EXPENSIVE! I have an older house with odd sized windows, so to get custom Roman shades that would fit perfectly in my windows would cost well over $100… for one window! One window. This is what I wanted…
Would you believe that these custom-sized shades start at around $100.00 per window? I certainly couldn’t. I’m one of those people that would rather buy something inexpensive so I can keep changing it, rather than being stuck with one pricey item that I’m over in a year. So I thought about it, and VOILA! Why not use my love for sewing to achieve my goal of custom looking shades for literally one tenth of the price? The other totally awesome thing is that if you hate sewing or simply do not have the time this same exact thing can be achieved with an iron and iron-on fabric tape! I have made shades and curtains using both techniques. I hand-sewed this blue set…..
I posted these pictures on my social media and had so many people asking me how I did this that I put together some instructions for you ladies! It’s so simple and these literally took me one hour BY HAND and about 30 minutes with the fabric tape. I get so many compliments on them and nobody believes that I made them. The trick is that the flaps (or folds) are created using $2.99 tension rods! No cords or pulleys like you would get on a store bought shade.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Fabric of your choice (purchase a fabric intended for Interiors)
- Measuring tape
- Thread/sewing needle
- Trim of your choice (I always go for the strands of crystals, but you can do ribbon, pom-poms, roping, whatever!)
- 2 or 3 or 4 tension rods (depending on how many folds you want on your shade)
WHAT YOU DO
- Measure the inside of your window (top to bottom and side to side)
- Add 2” to the width of your window (to allow for the side seams) and 4” to your length (to allow for the bottom hem and pocket on top for the tension rod to fit through).
- Cut your fabric to these measurements.
- Using your tape measure and pins fold each side of your fabric over one inch (the extra two inches we accounted for in step 2) and pin in place.
- Do the same with the top and bottom of your fabric. 3” at top (for rod pocket) and 1” on the bottom (for hem). Pin in place. Now that your fabric is pinned in place, the measurements of the material should be exactly the same as your original measurements of the interior of the window.
- Sew your sides and hems.
- Now, pin the trim you selected to the bottom of your shade and sew it in place (you can also use fabric glue to attach your trim to save some time, looks just as fabulous).
- Put one of the tension rods through the pocket you made at the top of the shade.
- Hang your shade in the highest point of the window. You should now have one sheet of fabric hanging and covering the interior of your window completely.
- Now you have to put the other tension rod… or two … or three in the window.
- Place them anywhere from 4-8” apart beneath your original rod depending on how big you want your folds to look.
- Now pull the fabric between the rods to make a fold. Repeat over each rod (again depending on how many rods you chose to use).
An added tip… Joann Fabrics ALWAYS has a ton of coupons available (usually one for 40% off any item), so it’s where I go to purchase my fabric. You can search for them on your phone and then screen shot them and use them at the register. How easy is that?? So my friends, now you have unique pricey looking shades on a budget so you can change them whenever you want. Happy Sewing… or taping 😉