Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Easy, NO Sew Roman Shades (for $4.50!)

*Welcome to all my Pinterest visitors! I've been blogging less than a month, but if you want to see what I still have up my sleeve, follow me!*

The title says it all folks. Do you love roman shades? Do you love the price of roman shades (at least ones with cute fabric)? Do you love how HARD and time consuming and expensive it is to make your own roman shades? Yeah. Me neither.

I have been on the lookout for patterned, cheerful roman shades that won't cost me half my paycheck, for my kitchen for a couple of months now. These ones from West Elm are great, but geez louise, the price!

So one day I was browsing around Target and I found a lovely DwellStudio tablecloth. It was $9 and I KNEW there was a way I could make it into a window treatment. If nothing else, I could use it to make some throw pillows or something.

Fast forward a month and I am browsing on Pinterest. Lo and behold..........a fabulous idea from The Little Green Notebook. No sew roman shades made from CHEAPO MINI BLINDS. YES!

Now, I have a sewing machine, and I like to sew, but like Angela from 365 Days to Simplicity says, "Each and every one has the devil in them". They just are irritating sometimes and like to jam or run out of thread or the bobbin runs out or the needle breaks, or WHATEVER. They like to torment you while you are trying to do a QUICK project. Grrrr! So, I welcome any no-sew project these days. Seeing as I have five kids running around here during the day and I don't like to get angry and yell at my sewing machine in front of them.

Ahhem. Yes. No sew all the way.

Here is the kitchen window before we moved in (not ours yet):

Here is the window this morning (scallop will go when we do the cabinets):

Annnnnd here it is NOW:

I am SHOCKED at how nicely they came out. They look professional! They even look nice from the back too. I really can't believe they didn't involve sewing. Our house was full of cheapo mini blinds when we moved in and these two were originally in the first floor bath and laundry room. So those were free. I had the glue and hem tape. AND I have half of the $9 tablecloth fabric left still! So really, they cost me $4.50 for two custom roman shades. Doesn't get much better than that!

Here is the tutorial on how to do it. It may seem like a lot, but they are all simple, short steps. It took me 1.5 hours while watching five children under age 5 for the first one, and 30 minutes for the second one since I knew what I was doing, half the kiddos were sleeping, and I wasn't taking photos.

Sit back, grab something tasty, and follow along!

Here is a shot of everything I used:
Glue (tacky or fabric glue)
Hem Tape
Screwdrivers (for hanging it)
Tape Measure (or ruler)
Butter Knife
Foam Brush

You also need a set of mini blinds and fabric of some sort.

1) Measure your window. I wanted my blinds to be above the molding, not inset into the window frame, since I didn't want to have to cut the blinds I had. I measured the length of the window and added a couple of inches so it would be a bit longer than the window. So 42" long.

2) Open your blinds up all the way:

3) Remove the ladder cord. As you can see here, blinds have a thicker cord to pull it up and down, and then a thinner, "ladder" cord that holds the slats. You want to remove the ladder. The thick cord in the holes you want to keep, so be sure not to cut that one.
What I did is snip it at the top of the blind, then hold it up and snip snip snip above each slat. It takes all of 2 minutes to do both. Once you cut it, pull it out from the bottom. (Don't mind the dirty slats. I wiped them once I was done).
See, I held it tight as I cut it and just snipped the little piece between each slat.

Here is what it looks like now, all wonky because now the slats move freely:

3) Figure out how many slats you need. I wanted my slats to be 6" apart so that my pleats were fairly small. Divide your length, by the inches apart you want them. For me it was 42/6=7. So I need 7, but that includes the top bar and the bottom bar. So really I only need to keep 5 slats.

4) Pry off the round caps on the bottom of the bottom bar. I used a butter knife.

5) Cut or untie the knot and pull it out of the bar. Remove all slats except for the ones you are keeping (so, 5 for mine). Retie the cord into the bar and put the plugs back in. Here is what it looks like now. I just put the slats approx where I wanted them, they are not stuck there or anything.

6) Lay the open blind on your fabric and cut around it. You need enough room on each side for a hem (and room to glue the top and bottom). So add an extra inch or two to each of the four sides.

7) I used the blind to make sure the hems were lined up all the way down, nice and straight, ironing the hem down as I go to make sure the hem is nice and crisp.
8) Now that the hem is ironed down, slip the hem tape into the folded hem and iron according to the package. You want the hem tape to be IN the "pocket" that you ironed. Here it is before I closed it back down:

9) Now that you are all hemmed, lay the blind back on top of the fabric. Lay the top bar down so that the lifting mechanism is face down, touching the fabric.
10) Grab your glue and smear it all over the face of the bar and attach the fabric, overlapping it a bit over the top.
11) Measure out where your slats are going to go. I did mine all 6 inches apart, so I measured and marked with a pen where the top of each slat goes. I measured from the bottom of one slat to the top of the next. I measured and marked on each side of the blind to be sure they line up.
12) Start gluing the slats to the fabric. Glue on the rounded side of the slat and be sure to match up the slats on each side of the fabric. Make sure you don't glue the cord at all, it needs to be able to move.
13) Glue the bottom bar to the fabric, wrapping the fabric around the entire bottom. Sorry I forgot a photo of this step I guess.

14) Let dry. I would like to say I waited overnight for it all to dry, but....I didn't. I waited an hour or so and then hung them up because I was too excited to see the results! They attach to the wall with the original brackets and they go up and down perfectly smooth.

There you have it. My $4.50 set of roman blinds. I really REALLY like them. They are exactly what I was looking for, in a budget I couldn't even have hoped for! After such a successful first attempt, I'll be making ones for our master bath and all the bedrooms in the future. You could also very easily line these if you wanted to. Use the hem tape to attach a liner to the back of the shade, being sure to leave a slit at the top for the cords. I don't need mine to be lined though since I want as much sunlight as possible in my kitchen.

Also, I ran to Target last night, and mini blinds were $3.99! So even if you don't already have some, they are definitely cheap enough that you could buy them brand new and it would still be a very inexpensive project.

Don't be intimidated, it was all VERY simple and pretty easy to put together if you are at all crafty. You know you want to try it. "Pin it" if you love it and "Follow" me for more great ideas to come!
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Score One For Marshalls

Today I made a quick stop at Marshall's (Similar to TJMaxx or HomeGoods) while Steve took the older boys to Home Depot. A couple times a month or so I pop in to see if there is anything particularly special. With Holden in tow, we browsed around and found a handful of things we couldn't pass up (well, I browsed. Holden schmoozed all the women in the joint). Here is a peek (I snapped it quick on my phone).

From left to right: Yellow planter for the palm next to my desk $10, white fruit bowl $6, metal aqua mirror for my vanity $10, white metal geometric patterned pencil cup for my desk $5, sunny yellow metal colander $7

Definitely some great, cheerful additions for all around the house for less than Target prices! I am trying to infuse a bit of yellow into each space on the first floor, so these are perfect. You never know with Marshall's. You can strike out a few times, then hit a home run out of the blue. It's worth a look every now and then!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Toss Me One!

Our next project on the horizon is our master bedroom. Just recently I finally found some nightstands tall enough for our super high antique white brass bed, and now we are all ready to paint! I'm thinking next weekend will be THE weekend we get rid of the particularly pukey green and gold that it currently is. Here is a sneak peek at what it looks like (this was with the previous owners drapes and furniture):

Can you see that teeny tiny sliver of gold at the top right of the photo? Nice huh? Oh and look at that window. Painted green. The trim in this house makes me cringe!

So far we've made the sunburst mirror for above the bed, found nightstands that go with the rest of our furniture and we've officially replaced all 3 doors in the room. YAY! No more varnished & brass doors! It already looks much more updated.

I've also finally picked out bedding. After buying and returning FOUR sets. Yeah....I couldn't figure out what look I was going for. If I wasn't concerned about price, I could have found something in a blink. But, I just couldn't bring myself to spend a fortune on a new set. I ordered a great one from West Elm and two weeks later when I hadn't received it, I called and they had canceled my order without telling me. Thanks! I ended up going with all white bedding from Target that I found at a great price and I actually really love how it has come together so far.

So today I am ordering some fabric to make toss pillows for the bed and chair (which I have yet to find one that I like). I bought some clearance pillows a few weeks ago, with the intention of making new covers (since the pillows themselves were definitely not my style, but were the perfect price). Here is what I have in my cart right now. We are going for calm & relaxing, yet fresh and vibrant. I am LOVING the Dwell Studio citrine one.

Designer fabric is a great way to add style to your room for cheap. You can buy small amounts of fabric and even do just the fronts of pillows if you want to stretch it. A half yard of Dwell Studio home dec fabric will be just over $7 (with the coupon) and will make one, possibly two pillow covers (depending on the size of the pillow). BARGAIN for designer twill!

Fabric.com has a 20% off all orders coupon (facebook50) with free shipping over $35. I am buying 1/2 yard-1 yard of each. Just a bit for pillows and maybe a couple swatches in frames on the wall with the leftovers. I am really liking the grays, yellow, taupe, white and blue together. It is going to look great on the white bed! I'll do a tutorial on how I make my pillow covers once it comes in so you can see just how simple it really is.

I am going to browse around for some drapery fabric while I'm here. I have white 96" Ikea panels but I am thinking it would be nice to add some colorful accent panels to the outside as well.

It's coming along and I can't wait for the paint next week!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ring Around The Rosie

Who doesn't love a little fabric rosette?? They have endless uses in home decor and fashion and are thankfully VERY easy to make. After posting my lamp yesterday, I had a bunch of requests for a tutorial on how to make them. They are very simple, but it is easier if you see the process in action, so my friend Carolyn and I whipped up a little video this morning while we made them. Here are some photo steps, and then the video is at the end so you can tie it all together.

Here is what you need:
Glue gun, glue stick, long strip of fabric. It can be any length or width. Use what you have! Old mens shirts work great. Any scrap will do. The longer it is, the larger it will be.

Once you find your fabric, rip it into a strip. You don't have to rip it, but I like the frayed edges.
If you notch the fabric, it will rip perfectly straight.
Now make a knot at the end of the fabric. This is going to be the center of your rose.
 All you do now, is twist the fabric tail and then wrap it around the rose. You need to glue it down every 1/2 inch or so. So, twist, glue, wrap (and curse under your breath after the 400th time you burn yourself on the glue).
Make sure you are wrapping just around the edge so that it makes a flat rose, not a knot. You can use your fingers to flatten it a bit as you go.
See how we are twisting the fabric, then gluing the twist to the side of the knot?

Continue twisting, wrapping, and gluing until it's finished. Don't aim for perfection, because "perfect" roses don't look half as good as the imperfect ones. Depending on how tight you twist and wrap, the rose will take on whole new looks. Sometimes I do tight ones, other times I do looser ones. You can mix it up a bit while you do one.
Sometimes the back ends up looking nicer than the front!
If you use a lightweight fabric and you want to mount it onto something flat, or say, on a headband, you can cut a piece of felt in a circle and glue it onto the back of the rose to make it a bit more sturdy and easier to glue. This fabric was leftover home dec weight, so it is very rigid already and didn't need it.

Here is the short video clip with us in action. Don't mind the kids being wack-a-doodle in the background! They were having fun while we crafted in the kitchen.

Cute huh? Easy right? You really can't do it wrong either. The great thing is, there are endless uses for these! Make some large ones and mix in smaller ones and make a wreath, embellish a lamp, a basket, a headband, hair clips, picture frames....endless ideas here. I always like to do an odd number in a grouping, so 3/5/7 in a group. I think these two will look perfect with a blue one. Or gray. Or white! I don't know yet, but I'm sure I'll come up with something fun.

Now go try your hand at it!
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where Oh Where....

After getting a couple of emails from people asking about where I got specific things in our family room, I thought I would just do a post on it. I meant to do that before, but forgot, so here we go! As a general rule, most things I have, I collected over time and on clearance or used, so you won't just be able to run out and purchase it. But, it can give you an idea of things you can find if you keep your eyes peeled.
(click on photos to see larger)

Window: white grommet curtains-Target, bamboo shades (2)-JcPenney.com, extra large satin nickel curtain rod- Target
Couch: sofas are from Raymour & Flanigan, yellow rosette pillow- Target, blue chevron pillows and Amy Butler pillow- made with fabric from fabric.com using a simple envelope-style cover
Side Table- table is a hand me down antique, lamp-RMHouse $6 thrifted item with handmade fabric roses added, photo box- Pottery Barn, silver star- Pier 1, magazine basket on side of sofa- Pier 1
Bookcase-Target (just a temporary piece in the room), clock on bookcase- Target, patterned slipper chair in corner of photo-Target.com
Desk: gorgeous attorneys desk-thrifted for FREE, chalkboard-curbside find revamped, lamp-RMHouse $6 thrifted item, chair- RMHouse thrifted (free with the $10 vanity I bought), yellow photo boxes for storage-Christmas Tree Shop, white photo box-Joanns, gray Moroccan patterned tray and magazine file-Target dollar section, beer mug with pens in it-Pottery Barn, frame-Target, tall slotted piece-hand me down antique mail sorter, plant (which needs a pretty pot)-gift, ugly old filing cabinet-I have no idea, but it was free, and it desperately needs a makeover!
Trunk/Coffee Table-RMHouse $20 thrifted item, magazine photo box on trunk-Paper Coterie, foot stool in front of sofa-RMHouse $5 thrifted then recovered with yellow chevron fabric from fabric.com, orange chair (to be revamped by painting the wood accents white)-hand me down antique that I have been storing in my attic for YEARS to be able to use someday!, sheepskin thrown over the orange chair-Ikea, chevron pillow-made from fabric.com yellow chevron with a simple envelope style cover, brown storage ottoman-Target, console table with tv on it-Target (temporary until we do our wall unit of some type), white ottoman under console table-Ikea, white pedestal end tables-Ikea that we then painted white, lamps-Target, lampshades-Ikea, yellow porcelain tealight holder on table-Pier 1, ponytail palm and white planter-Ikea, basket (it is our diaper caddy)-Blue Hare Antiques, FABULOUS wool trellis area rug which I LOVE-Overstock. They are two 5x8 rugs used together with an anti-slip mat underneath.
PHEW! I think I got it all. Luckily the walls are still bare so no need to talk about those. Can't wait to paint in here too! We are going with a beautiful, warm shade of gray. The gallery wall should be done soon. Well, the hanging of it rather. Then I have to choose photos! Yikes. When that is finished, I'll take some better, non-distorted photos of the room too.

So, as you can see now, my number 3 shopping locales are: Target, Ikea, and the Ronald McDonald House Annual Sale. I always walk out of there with a TRUCK full of stuff for cheap. I write a list that I keep for the year of things I want to keep my eyes out for. It stinks that it is just once a year (October), since that is really the only place I get "thrifted" items from since I really don't have time to check out thrift stores. Occasionally I will go to one of my favorite antique stores for smalls, but not often. The good thing is, the RMHouse sale is THE BEST SALE ever. You can find anything and everything there for garage sale prices. Plus it all goes to charity! Win win people. Win win.

Bits & Pieces

Nothing spectacular to talk about today. I had thought I would go into the progress we've made on our first floor bathroom and laundry room, but I realized that I left the before photos on Steve's phone. Shoot. Another day folks.

I did a couple of little things today while the kids ate breakfast and played happily at my feet. I changed up the arrangement in the entryway. I told you it was evolving right? Well, I did that and added a few pieces to the entry hall & painted some frames real quick. It is coming along!

In other news, I bought this awesome lamp from the annual Ronald McDonald House Sale this past year. It was $6 and I loved it at first sight. I added some fabric roses that I made, but I keep going back and forth on whether or not I want to paint the base white. It is a black metal base with a wood bottom. This lamp is really old by the way. Steve makes me unplug it every night before we go to bed, it's that old. HA! I love it but I just can't decide if I want to keep it the way it is, or try to spray it white. What do you think? Here it is currently:

(GAH! Don't mind the SUPER dusty side table!)

I really like the overall shape of it all. The base and the shade. I love the burlap too. So cute. In true Heather fashion, I really want to paint it white. I want to paint EVERYTHING white. So that's no surprise. But I am also afraid of ruining it and it not being replaceable.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In The Midst

Nothing major today, but I thought I'd talk a bit about the things we are working on.

Last night I made my way over to Michael's to take advantage of the sale they have going on this week for frames. A good portion are 40% off, but there is also a coupon for an extra 25% off your entire frame purchase, sale or regular price. That is a pretty rare coupon to come by, so I figured I would take advantage of it by trying to put together our gallery wall for the family room. Now, the frames I am using for this project are new at Michael's so they weren't on sale and probably won't be for awhile, so I thought this was a decent deal.

So here I am, laying frames all over the floor. Arranging them all around until things fit right. The saleswomen were very irritated looking. They kept looking down the aisle with this lovely look on their face. I mean, come on now. It was 15 minutes before closing so no one was there, and I told them I was going to put everything back. Oh well.

So yes, I have quite the arrangement going on. It was tricky tricky trying to get all the frames into the border I wanted, but I think I accomplished it after trying a million configurations. I then took a couple pictures on my phone so that I could replicate it at home. Here is that shot:

I can't figure out how to rotate the photo, sorry about that.

It is pretty large, about 90" long and 40" tall. Looking at it now, I am noticing most the frames are vertical, but I think it will work out alright. My next step (hopefully tonight) is to get it up on the wall. I have a good system I'll be using, so I think it should be relatively straightforward and simple.

I also grabbed a couple of frames for the entryway. Those ones ended up being under $4 a piece, which is great for an 11x14 with a mat.

Here is the entryway today. I printed out the GPS one again but with a lighter gray chevron background so that you can more easily read the writing. I feel like I need one more horizontal one on the other wall, above the 2 vertical. I also think I will do the coat hooks under there....

I think I might switch up the bottom (family rules) print with a more solid, colored print. It looks a bit too white in that row. We'll see. It is all evolving here.
Steve started on the doors upstairs last night while I was out. One door replaced so far! Can't wait to see how it looks when they are all in. He did our closet door and already our room looks brighter and larger. YAY for progress!

P.S. If you would like a copy of the family rules, shoot me an email and I can edit one for you. Just let me know what you would like me to change. =)