Blinds Behind

Finally, it's here!  You might remember that in this post of yore, I mentioned I had an ingenious idea up my sleeve and, literally, on my window.  I just haven't had time to write up a wordy post about it.  But, today is the lucky day because I'm stuck at home without a car...a curse and blessing of being a one-car fam.
So let me start with faux wood blinds.  What can I say about them?  The thought of them tumbles back and forth in my mind between like and dislike.  I'm not a huge fan of their aesthetic appeal (if there is any) but they do maintain privacy and block out light like champs.  Personally, I would much rather get those features out of a roman shade.  But, since my sewing skills haven't had time to develop into roman shade making, I've had to deal with those darn faux wood blinds that adorn every single window in this house.  However, I did come up with a compromise and I'm going to call it "putting the 'blinds behind'". 
Here's what I did:

First, using the same fabric used to make the decorative pillows I wrote about yesterday, I quickly sewed up a 'shade'/valance 42" wide by 20" long finished.

Then it was time to measure how high above the window I wanted the curtains and 'faux shade' to hang.  I actually ended up raising the curtains about six inches from where they were so that in the end, my window would look bigger since the shade would be covering mostly wall space.  Out came the drill and up went the hardware for the second curtain rod on which would hang my shade.

Next, I slipped my homemade shade onto the curtain rod and hung it.

Now comes the part where my valance actually becomes a 'faux roman shade'.  Using the mechanics of the blinds is the vital element in making this come true.  So with this in mind, I sewed the shade to the blinds vertical strings (on this particular blind, there are three).  I attached it with one small knot around each string, between the second and third blinds.  So, in the end, I had three, almost invisible, tiny knots.
This picture shows the sewing in progress, right before I cut and knotted the thread:
Make sense?  I hope so.

At this point, the shade is attached to the blinds and will move with the blinds, up or down.  At night or any other time when our guests want the privacy power of the blinds, the shade is simply a decorative valance.

The same is true during the day when the blinds are down but open to filter sunlight (or a rainy day like it was when this picture was taken).

But here's my favorite - when the valance becomes a shade.  Since the shade moves with the blinds, when the blinds are raised, so is the part of the shade that is sewn to the blinds.  This creates the faux roman shade.
Ta-Da!  Presto chango!  Unless we have guests, this is what the window looks like!  And, unless you've read this post, you'd never know it wasn't a full-length piece of fabric/real roman shade that only cost me around 9 bucks to make (new $5 curtain rod + $4 of fabric)!


See the 'blinds behind'?  :)

I originally thought of this idea after getting some inspiration from a post by Jenny at the blog, Pearl Street Interiors, where she made a roman shade out of mini-blinds (which I can't wait to adopt if we ever buy a 'blindless' house).  After tweaking her idea to fit my own situation, I had to have a trial run to make sure I wasn't going nuts.  So, I grabbed some left-over fabric from making the Berr Chair, and quickly hung and sewed it to a window in our bedroom.  Then I did the happy dance realizing that it worked and that a couple of Beans could have window treatments that looked custom and not-so-cheap on a shoe-string budget!  Here's what my temporary trial run looked like:

Putting the 'blinds behind' would also work if you wanted to make a full-length shade to cover your blinds.  All you would have to do is sew the fabric to the strings of your blinds every 8 to 12 inches or so.  It would cost more, but not much more.  I was going for a super-cheap solution (I spent $4 on fabric vs. $20) but might employ it in the future.  Also, if someone doesn't come buy this house soon, every window will become a victim, or should I say, every blind.  :)    

4 comments

  1. What a stunning transformation! I would love to cover my blinds like this. It looks really stylish!

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  2. This is such a clever idea! I would never have thought of it.

    I'm visiting from Richella's party. Hope you'll stop by .

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  3. Here's a nice way to add some color to a dull area! I love what you did to the blinds. The space looks livelier now. Who would have thought a simple shade can make so much difference? :o)

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  4. This is. A brilliant idea and looks so good. I'll definitely be having a go. Well done!

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