Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Faux Roman Shade

As promised - a finished project, with lots o' pics and even a sad attempt at a tutorial!

A couple of months ago I purchased some curtain rods and curtains for my girls' room.  Because the windows looked like this:

Just kind of sad and dirty.  (By the way, that's a horse pasture outside the window.  It's actually kind of relaxing view - except when you wake up to find a horse 3 inches from being inside your house.)

The curtains are Vivan from Ikea - you get a pair for $12.99.  They're nothing fancy, but I like the pocket tops and they are super long so you can hem them to whatever length fits your room the best.  I got the curtain rods at Tuesday Morning after shopping everywhere - when did curtain rods become so expensive?  Mine were $9.99 a pop, and they're oil rubbed bronze - love.

I hung them up (no pic - sorry), and the billowy curtains instantly calmed down the bright coral walls.  But they looked unfinished.  Taking a cue from super-bloggers Young House Love, I decided what was needed were bamboo blinds.  Despite the fact that the nearest neighbors are horses, I figured my stepdaughters (and potential guests) would like a little more privacy, and the bamboo would look gorgeous.  Except I can't find the kind that I like for anything less than $25 each.  That's $50 for stupid blinds in a rarely used room.  Nope.  Can't do it.

However, I do have an old pair of vinyl blinds that used to be in our dining room.  Only I wanted a way to hide them.  Like a faux roman shade.

So, a couple of weeks ago the wonderfully skilled and irreverent blogger Allison at House of Hepworths posted a couple of pictures of window treatments she liked from a model home.  These grabbed my attention:


Bingo!  Not only did they look super easy to make, but I liked how they were hung so close to the ceiling.  This is a designer trick to extend the height of the window.  I usually leave a little gap - I like that look better.  However, in the girls' room (after a ridiculous number holes) I found out that right up by the ceiling was the only place where I could hang the curtain rods.  Everywhere else, even with drywall anchors, the weight would pull the rod off the wall.  Let's just say the drywall isn't in the best condition, but that can of worms is going to stay unopened.

I ordered three yards of this fabric, Waverly Cross Section in Charcoal ($8.98/yd)  from

I didn't have any gray in the room before, but I like how the print is modern and geometric, but still subtle.  And I think it'll look good with the black and white Audrey picture and maybe a mirrored side table.  I probably could have gotten away with only 2 yards, but I knew I wanted some for a throw pillow as well.  My mom, the super shopper, found some near-perfect match coral pink ribbon on a 50 yard spool for about $1.  I probably used about 8 yards.

I had two long pieces of scrap wood.  They weren't the same height, but since they were both from 3/4 plywood, they had the same depth.  I figured that as long as the depth was the same on both, it would be fine because that would be how far the shade was from the wall.  I cut them down to 39 inches, which is the outside measurement of the windows including the trim.

I measured my windows and decided how long I wanted the faux shades to hang.  If you only have one window, there's no need to be very exact.  I was very concerned with mine matching up because the windows are so close to each other.  Since I already had my curtain rods in place, I used a towel to figure out the best length - 18 inches.

Then I cut my fabric.  I added 2 inches to the width (41 inches).  I turned the fabric so that the print was railroaded to save fabric.  With this print it didn't matter which direction it was facing.  That made it 58 long.

I folded the fabric over 1 inch on each side and ironed it.  I cut some no-sew hem tape to length and slipped it inside the fold.  I ironed it to create a finished edge.  I don't have a sewing machine, but it would definitely have been faster.

Next, I folded the fabric almost in half.  On the top, I left one side two inches longer so that I could attach the wood for hanging. 

Then I flipped it over on its front and played with the folds.  I thought I would come up with an exact measurement to use, but basically I just used to rulers on either side and made sure the folds were at 6 inches, 12 inches and the bottom was at 18.  I pinned them all in place and picked it up to make sure it would hold.  Then I used a needle and thread to stitch where the pins were attached.  I made sure to limit how many places I had to stitch through the front of the shade, so most of the stitches are hidden by the folds or by the ribbon.  (This was another part that a sewing machine would have been useful, but I got by.)  I ended up having a lot more than 2 inches on the top, but that was okay.

I added the ribbon 10 inches in on both sides.  When I laid the ribbon on the fabric I could see the print through it, so I double-layered it on the front and then attached it on the back.  I wanted it to look like the ribbon was holding the shade up, like in the inspiration pic.  Then I used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the wood scraps.  I attached the shades to the wood before hanging so the wood would be hidden.  I then attached the shade to the wall right under the trim.

Cute, right?  (Oh, and I painted the trim cream while I had the curtains down.  Big difference!)

I decided not to use rods or wrapping paper tubes like the original.  It made mine too full, and I liked it being flat.  But the pockets are there if you make it the same way I did, so you could easily achieve the exact same look as the inspiration pic.

The ugly, recycled vinyl blinds are easily hidden behind the faux shade.

I re-hung the curtains and called it a day (or a week, since I worked on it a little bit each day).

From Before:

To After:

To be honest, I'm not sure if I'm loving the ribbon detail.  Without the curtains I liked it - but with the curtains it seems too much.  So that might change.  But right now it's staying as is because I'm happy to say I finished a project!  Sort of....  I made two shades, but haven't even started painting the other window because it involves removing the window air conditioner.  But this window - this window is done.

1 comment:

  1. Kai, Your new window treatment looks excellent! Thanks for the link back and also I'm so thrilled that someone liked an idea I posted! Keep on blogging!!

    ~Allison @ House of Hepworths