Thursday, April 11, 2013

Half Bath Roman Blind Tutorial

As I am not a designer I do not know the correct name for this type of roman blind. What I do know is that it looks really cute and kinda fun in my little half bath. It is not the type of finish you could do on a big window, but it is perfect on a small window that will not get opened and closed very often. I was looking for something
fun and different. I wanted a splash of colour and something fresh. I also wanted something that I could still open and close as sometimes privacy is required. So I knew I could not just do a little valance. This is what I ended up with. It does not look like your usual Roman blind, as it only has one row of rings, which are down the centre rather than down both sides. I saw this somewhere years ago, I do not remember where but here is my version. 

If you do want privacy you can release the cords and put the blind down into the flat position. It works very simple. 

Here is the window before the blind. It looked pretty ordinary.  The measurements of the window are 34 3/4 inches in width by 35 inches in length. 

I cut the fabric in a rectangle of 37 inches in length and 36 inches in width. I chose to have the stripes go across the width of the window because it is a random pattern and I wanted the one stripe of red in my blind and if I had gone vertical I would have cut off the red stripe. I bought this fabric years ago to make Christmas pillows. I made the pillows and ended up giving them to my best friend for her Christmas gift, but I have always loved this fabric, as there is a freshness about it that just catches your attention. 

You will need one piece of 1 x 2 board cut to 1/2 in smaller than your window. Mine is cut to 34 1/2 inches. Hem your fabric on the two sides and the bottom with a 1/4 inch hem. IE: Fold under 1/4 inch and press and then fold over another 1/4 inch and press and stitch in place with matching thread. I chose green as it seemed to blend the best with the fabric. Measure on the back of the fabric for the centre vertical line. My centre line was 35/2 = 17.5 inches up the centre. I drew this line on the back of my blind with chalk. I then made a mark every two inches starting one inch from the bottom until I reached two inches from the top. 

At each of these marks I hand sewed a 1/2 inch clear ring. This what creates the folds of your roman shade. Make sure this is one the back of your blind. If you want smaller folds put your rings closer, if you want larger folds ( not recommended put them farther apart).  You can use special tape with the rings already attached, that can be purchased at the fabric store but it only took about 20 minutes to sew on all of the rings and this is a really nice neat finish with them hand sewn. 
Your almost done. At the top of your blind, thumb tack your fabric to the 1x2 board. I fold the fabric under 1/4 inch and using flat thumb tacks or a staple gun, attach the blind to one of the flat sides of the board. This will become the header for your blind, which you will attach to your windowsill. 
The next step is to insert four or five (I used four ) small screw in eye rings into one side of your 1 x 2 board. Whichever side you want your cords to pull from. You will now tie your cord to the bottom ring on your blind and string it through each of the rings and up through each of the eye hooks on the header. I chose to use three cords just for decorative purposes, two green and one yellow which I braided. The braiding took longer than the entire construction of my blind (it was worth it). I then chose to tie on a sea shell at the end just for decor also. You could just tie a knot, or you could do a tassel or beads or.... whatever you desire. You could also use only one cord if you wanted as this is all that is required with one set of rings. 

When you have strung your blind and are happy with the way it will hang, screw it or attach it with your choice of method depending on what your window sills are to your window sill. I screwed mine as I have a gyp rock frame and that is the best method for my window frame. I like my blind installed inside of the frame, but if you want you can always make it larger than your window and install it to the outside of your frame. You will also need to attach a cord holder to keep your blind at whatever level you want it. If you do not have one it would not sit in a pulled up position. They come in lots of different shapes. This blind looks nicest if it is mounted at the very front edge of the window sill. 

I hope these instructions were simple enough to follow. It really is a very easy blind to make. If you find it hard to follow, just check out how to make a regular roman blind, but then only add one row of rings in the centre of the blind and do not add a weight bar at the bottom of the blind as you want it to be more loose and fun. Later this week I will be stitching up some fabric to my green towels to give them a custom look. 

Here is a materials list if you want to make a blind like this for yourself. I had most of these things in my stash already, but here is what you will need. Most of these supplies can be found at your fabric store, except for the board. Most lumber yard type places will cut the board to length for you as well if you know what size you need.


-Fabric of your choice. It should be 2 inches wider than your window & 3 inches longer than your window. I would always get extra in case you want to trim some towels or line a basket or some other little accent.

-Thread to match

- 1 x 2 board cut 1/2 inch shorter than window

- enough cord to pull through the rings and the hooks. (I used embroidery floss full strand 2 skeins green, one yellow) Most blinds just use white.

- 1/2 inch plastic rings clear or white
-thumb tacks or staple gun 
- small eye hooks 4 to 5 
- cord holder
- 4 screws ( two for cord holder & two for header)
- ruler to measure
- chalk or other erasable marker
- shell, beads, tassel or whatever you want to finish your cord(s)


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