Showing posts with label Window Treatments. Show all posts

Hung Over

No, this post doesn't have anything to do with alcohol...or a self-induced nausea fest as a result of too much of it (I don't see how that's "fun"...never have, never will).  Anyway, it does, however, have everything to do with valances.  And it all began with a little bit of this:

and a little bit of that:

I know some of you (eh-hem, Farrah) were hoping I'd have a post on a finished loveseat this lovely Saturday Friday (I know, I usually post on Saturdays but tomorrow my world wide web access will be a world wide won't), but alas, it still sits undone.  I'm at the point with it where I need Anthony's help and he's been swamped with school and work so - no Anthony, no help, no loveseat...yet.  But back to the valances.  It's been on Anthony's to-do list for me to whip up some valances to adorn our dining area windows for like a year.  Finding the perfect fabric took me a long, long reason for the delay in said project...but I did find it.  It wasn't as cheap as I'd been hoping (actually it's the most expensive fabric I've ever bought at $17 a yard) but luckily I only needed two yards to get these babies made.

Here's how it all went up:

First I painstakingly cut out the four rectangles that would soon be sewn into valances and laid them out on our living room floor to make sure they'd look okay...a.k.a. to make sure that there weren't two side-by-side that looked too similar.
I could've made each valance exactly the same - the same floral pattern across each - but that would've required about 4 yards of fabric and I wasn't willing to splurge.  Besides, I liked that they would all be different and since I was using a floral, I could do that without it looking off.

Next up I cut the lining that would be sewn onto the back of each valance.  All I did was lay a large piece of lining fabric (don't know the technical term) over the future valance and then cut it to be about an inch smaller.

After everything was cut I went back and forth from ironing down seams, pinning, and sewing until I had five almost perfect valances ready to be attached to the wood beams that would hold 'em up.

We used two, long (8 ft. I think?) pieces of the cheapest 1x2 pine strips at Lowe's but made sure they were straight before we bought 'em...very important!  Enter handy man Anthony, who cut the wood pieces to the measurement we needed to fit each window.  Because of my little perfectionist personality, I also gave the under side of the wood beam (the side that would show if you looked under the finished valance) a coat of white spray paint, you know, so in case anyone looked underneath they'd look nice too (okay, maybe I'm crazy).  Then, Anthony attached some corner braces we picked up for 75 cents for 2 at our local ReStore.
In comes the staple gun and newly sewn valances.  First, we stapled the valance to each corner.  Since we wanted the valances to wrap around the entire piece of wood, we did this first to ensure the fabric was centered and that the side seams were straight and would be flush with the wall.

Then, to make sure the valance hung level, I quickly measured along the length of it.  When I had measured twice and was certain of it's perfection, we began the stapling.

I held each valance in place while Anthony did the clickety-clicking.

We didn't use too many staples since the valances were super lightweight - about one every 4-6 inches.

And then, after a tough 20 minutes of holding and stapling, we celebrated our 'hang-overs' with a rousing game of hide-and-seek.  Ten points if you can find Anthony!  :)

 Haha...that was fun.  Anyway, we did get around to putting them up and we're thrilled with them!  While we were staring, admiring our work, Anthony said "They look so good.  I can't believe we went this long without anything up there."  I don't did we ever survive?!  : p

In case you were curious as to what they looked like underneath...

 To get the crease on the corners, Anthony broke out the iron and made his own corner...yep, that's what I said, Anthony used the iron...I know, I'm a lucky woman.

And finally, here's the whole shebang:
We also hung an itty-bitty valance over the window above the sink, but lighting conditions and a not-so-great camera wouldn't allow a good pic.  You can take my work for it though, it's darn cute.  Now I just need to dress up our plain jane table with a runner and decor or something.  And, now that we've got valances up, the wall to the right of the windows is looking a little too blank and bland, but don't worry, I've got a collage project up my sleeve and I'm sure you'll be hearing about it.  :)

.           .           .

Stay tuned in the coming weeks if you wanna see a curb-side rocking chair make-over and painted wallpaper...and, crossing my fingers and hoping for time, an un-antiqued, antique loveseat finito.  :)  That's all.  Have a happy weekend everyone!

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.  :)