Hi everyone! Well it’s almost the end of my first week off over the summer (5 more to go!) and I’ve been a very busy bee. I decided a couple of weeks ago that the kitchen was in need of an update, so organised for a decorator to visit and give me some quotes.
That was last Friday, when I rushed home, after waving goodbye to colleagues for the next month, only to sit around waiting for two hours and finally realising she wasn’t going to turn up! Naturally, I was annoyed but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it was a CALL TO ACTION!
I was going to do it all myself…
So, Monday morning, I was at the local hardware store by 8.30 am and returned home armed with weapons of mass destruction (that’s what Sam generally thinks when a simple paintbrush is in my hands!)
Over the next three days, I repainted everything from top to bottom, which in itself is an achievement – I usually bypass the ceiling being of a short stature but I’d purchased an extra-long, extendable doo-dah this time, so no excuses. I was super impressed with myself because not only had it cost me a mere £38 for the equipment but I’d also managed to get more on the walls than myself!
The only problem were the Roman blinds. They just didn’t go with the shade I’d painted the dining area. I’d never been a huge fan – they were left when we moved in – but they served a purpose and were good quality so I’d not bothered to change them. However, now…they had to go!
Prices for new ones were running to well over £150 in the designs and size I wanted so I began looking online to see if I could upcycle them. And hurrah…you can. Incredibly easily. And what’s more, if like me, your sewing skills only extend as far as the odd button or using a needle to get a splinter out your finger, you can still update the look within a couple of hours and for very little money.
All you need is some new fabric, hemming tape, scissors and an iron.
Here’s how I did it:
Step 1: Take down the blind. Yes, of course that’s common sense but believe me, if I could have achieved the goal with it still hanging, I would have done. I am that lazy.
Step 2: Lay the blind out flat, making sure there are no wrinkles anywhere.
Step 3: Place your new fabric face down in your working area (the floor in my case) and lay the old blind on top. Make sure the new material is straight – try to line the edges of old and new so they are parallel.
Step 4: Cut around the old blind, leaving around 3-4cm edge to create a new hem.
Step 5: Flip the blind and fabric over so that new material is on top (blind needs to be the right way around).
Step 6: Begin tucking in the sides to create a new hem. This needs to be a smidgen wider than the existing fabric. Pin into place once happy. Remember to make sure the pattern is straight.
Step 7: Use a pressing cloth (also known as a clean tea-towel!) to iron the new hem into shape. Be careful if ironing on the carpet as some fibres will just melt. Iron on an old sheet etc if unsure.
Step 8: Unpin the hem and lay a strip of hemming tape between the new hem and old blind, to run the length of the edge. Using a cloth again, press the tape for 7-10 seconds until it binds.
Step 9: Repeat on the opposite side and the top of blind. Next, tuck the bottom edge around the wooden baton (that weights it down) and stick into position with more hemming tape on the reverse.
Step 10: Iron the new fabric, paying attention around the horizontal section rods. Finally, rehang it and admire your work!
Essentially, I stuck a piece of new fabric over the top of the old one. I could have wrapped it around the edges and stuck it all on the reverse, but this would have faffed around with the pulling strings and I wanted quick and easy. Also, I did sew a little: each corner was stitched to make it look neater and on the first blind, the old material on one edge was bulging a bit so I could see it. Therefore, I went along the length with a quick running stitch to keep it flat.
Some tips to consider:
Choose fabric wisely – I fell in love with the adorable Scottie dogs immediately. However, when the blind is fully extended, you can see some of the old pattern coming through. But we rarely have the blinds down in this room so it didn’t matter to me. If you do, the thicker the better to prevent this.
Function over fashion – Our Romans are mainly window dressing. The fabric will follow the folds of the old blinds and they are still functional. However, if they were lowered a lot, I’d consider sewing the material in place to keep it more secure.
Sticky business – the hemming tape worked wonders for me and should hold up a long time. Some tutorials suggested using a glue gun but I was worried it would either leak through or I’d make a pig’s ear of the whole thing (or both). A heavier fabric might benefit from stronger glue though.
I’m delighted with how they’ve turned out, especially as the fabric only cost me £30 and each blind took around 30-40 minutes to create. I even have enough material left to make a table runner or something (it’s too cute to waste!).
So what do you think? Have you ever recovered your old blinds? Have you any DIY tips or suggestions of what I can make with the extra fabric? Let me know in the comments if you do!
IMAGE CREDITS: Mine plus thebump.com and Relics of Whitney via Pinterest.