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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation

11.01.2004

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editor's note 
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let's roll!
make fabric roller shades
by Yee-Fan Sun
| 1 2 3

I've never been a big fan of proper window treatments. Drapes and valances and tie-backs and the like -- call me lazy, but it's always seemed like an awful lot of unnecessary fuss over a feature of the home that I generally think looks just dandy as is. I like big windows that let in lots of light; even as a kid, I always made sure my curtains were open before I went to bed at night, so that I'd wake up with the sun hitting me smack dab in the eye. Of course, I grew up in the suburbs, with a second-story bedroom and sufficient distance between our house and the neighbors that little matters like, oh, privacy, just weren't that much an issue. These days, I'm living the city life. And I've had to reconcile myself to the fact that unless I want to be giving the folks in the adjacent apartment building a free peep show every night, window coverings are pretty much a must.

Still, there was no way I could live with the matching faded peach floral curtains and roller blinds that originally came with my apartment, no matter how practical they might be. Down came the curtains, which I promptly stashed out of sight in the darkest deepest depths of my closet. And then it was time to deal with the shade. Fortunately, replacing old, ugly roller shades with whatever fun fabric suits your fancy turns out to be a quickie project that can be easily tackled in a free evening -- perfect for lazy decorators like yours truly. Heck, you don't even need to know how to sew -- with the help of some fabulous heat-fusible products, you can do it all with an iron and ironing board.

what you'll need
fabric -- Bear in mind that plush/super-thick fabrics won't roll up smoothly, and super-sheer fabrics won't offer much in the way of privacy. Other than that, just about anything goes! Rummage through the remnants bin of your friendly neighborhood fabric store or look for funky vintage tablecloths and curtains at your favorite thrift store for good deals.
iron-on interfacing (aka fusible interfacing)
no-fray liquid (aka seam sealant)
no-sew tape (you can also use a sewing machine if your prefer)
thread
scissors
iron and ironing board
colored pencil that'll show up on your fabric
t-square/straightedge
old roller shade

 

slide this way for the directions

 

---------------------------> lounge . nourish . host . laze . home.