The right shades for a bit of privacy

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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What I failed to realize when I decided to work from home was that the more time I spent here, the more I would want to fix it up. Our home is not in bad shape, but there are many small improvements I would love to make. We moved in three years ago and started a mental list of things we could slowly do over time. Well, there are many things on that list that have never gotten done.

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For starters, our front door is the kind with a narrow window on the side. This is called a sidelight. I appreciate that it lets natural light into the home. However, I have been meaning to dress it with window treatments. Sometimes we need privacy, and when I’m staying at home with a baby who feeds on-demand, I need privacy more and more. I don’t have a lot of time (or a sewing machine) to make anything fancy. However, there is an easy way to make Roman shades on your own, even without sewing.

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You’ll need mini-blinds that fit the window, scissors, upholstery fabric that measures as least 6 inches longer than the window and 4 inches wider, fabric glue, and a paintbrush.

Start by laying the blinds out flat and fully extended. Find the strings on the sides that open and close the blinds. They look like a ladder. Cut those away, and make sure you do not cut the strings that go through the slats. You’ll need those strings to stay in place.

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Measure the length of the mini-blinds, and divide by four. Use this number to mark the intervals between the sections of the blinds. These will serve as the folds of your shades. Mark the blinds that hit at these intervals, and remove the others. You will be left with three blinds and the bottom weight and top of the blinds still intact.

Next, take your fabric and fold 2-inch hems on the sides and a 3-inch hem on the bottom, ironing to hold them in place. Then, place the blinds on top of the backside of the fabric. Use the fabric glue and a paintbrush to glue the slats to the fabric. As you go, make sure the strings are pulled straight, and be careful not to get any glue on them. Glue the hems in place while you are at it. When you are done, fold the top over the top blind, and glue that down as well. Use the hardware that came with the mini-blinds to hang them up.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.