Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Into Action: My DIY Relaxed Roman Shade is DONE!

I've got to hand it to Linda. When she suggested that we all pick a project that we've been procrastinating and commit to finishing it by the end of April, I thought, "piece of cake". But the honest truth is that if I hadn't participated in her Spring Into Action challenge, my fabric swatch would still be taped to my guest bath window, and that window would still be naked. Gotta love the power of peer pressure. This is why I am happy to report that my DIY relaxed roman shade is done!
Now guess how I did it...
Using safety pins!
Let me explain. Like a kid procrastinating until the very last minute to finish a school project, I frantically searched Pinterest and Google for "easy roman shade tutorials" hoping to find something that didn't require me to go shopping for more materials and wouldn't require hours of labor and understanding hard to follow instructions (I'm not very good at following instructions. Just look back to Day 1 of the challenge, where I started three days before everyone else). Since my window is frosted, privacy is not an issue.  I didn't need a functioning shade. All I needed was a "faux roman".
I didn't find a tutorial that met my needs exactly, but I knew I needed to get started with hemming the panel at the very least. I opted to sew my hems, but if I were to do this project again, I would absolutely use hem tape. If I had, I wouldn't have run into this mess:
But I digress. Let's start from the beginning and I'll show you where the safety pins come into play.
First measure the width of your window and allow enough room for a hem. I didn't even bother to measure the length of my window because this is a faux roman and will never need to be in the closed position. Just make sure you have enough length for some realistic looking folds at the bottom.
Sew or iron your bottom and side hems. Leave the top un-hemmed as this is where it will be attached to the mounting board.
(Note that this step would be when you'd attach your lining, which I opted not to use.)
Then starting from the bottom, make equal sized accordion style folds. They should just slightly overlap. 
 Take your safety pins and pin through each fold, including the front panel.  I placed my pins about five inches from each side. The closer to the sides you pin, the bigger the droop in the middle.
 Here's a close up so that you can see how small the very top pin hole is when attaching it to the front panel. This part of the pin is viewable from the front, so make it small.
From the front. 
 This is what it looks like from the front side. You may need to do a little adjusting and repinning to make sure the folds hang evenly on both sides.
 To attach it to the window frame, I selected a piece of scrap wood cut to the width of my shade.
 And stapled the top of my fabric to the top of the wood piece.
 Side view.
 Underside view.
 I asked Chris to drill pilot holes through the piece of wood.
(Note, I did NOT condone his drilling on our new marble countertop! Men!)
 Then he screwed the wood piece into the underside of the window frame. (This is for an inside mount, obviously).
 Once hung, I didn't like how the sides sagged. It was looking just a little too relaxed.
 But this was easily remedied by pinning another safety pin closer to each side.
That's better. 
 I like how the fabric looks with my greek key trimmed shower curtain.

Now let's check in on the other ladies who participated in the Spring Into Action challenge. Did everyone finish?

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