Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Converting Curtains To Roman Blinds

Now I'm not professing this to be a "How To Convert Curtains to Roman Blinds" as my photos are few and diagrams ..... none.  This is just my brave attempt whilst clever web people sort out some glitches on my new website (which I hope to post about very soon).
Well, here is one of the curtains in situ, I made them about 6 years ago and with little children 'swinging' on them daily they're beginning to sag and need a new lease of life.  Luckily I made each curtain the width of the window so one curtain was all I needed to make the blind - plus I used the lining of the matching curtain to make the dowelling pockets.

Materials Needed:

  • 2.5cm square wooden batten - width of blind.
  • Self adhesive hook and sew on loop fastener - width of blind.
  • Lengths of wooden dowelling - width of finished blind less 3cm.
  • 12mm plastic rings.
  • 4 screw in eyelets.
  • wooden acorn.
  • 3x lengths of cord (each width of finished blind plus twice length.
  • Wall cleat.
  • Pair of old curtains.

First instructions are to attach your batten and press self adhesive hook fastener along batten front, we actually did that at the end as it was a 'blue job' and my husband was at work when I started.
First off the very satisfying job of using my seam ripper removing the curtain tape and to unpick the hem.
Next is to create a dowel pocket along bottom edge, stitching 6mm from raw edge.  At this point it says to insert dowel but I thought it would be really tricky trying to sew with dowel in place.
Then to create pleats.  Lay lining side up and measure 5cm from the top - mark pencil line across width of blind.  Divide remaining blind into 20-30cm pleats, finish with half a pleat at the bottom.  Pencil line across width.
Here are my 8cm strips of fabric, from the lining of the other curtain, to make the doweling pockets. You fold the strips in half, stitch along raw edge, 1cm seam at the end.  Turn through and press.
Pockets sewn and pressed ready to stitch on to the blind.
The pockets were centered on the pencil line and pinned in place.  I stitched along each edge through all thicknesses, ensuring the fabric didn't pucker.  Sewing on the pockets was a nightmare as it's black out lining and incredibly thick so my machine was not happy at all - he did well though, under the circumstances.
Dowels were slipped into pockets and ends slip stitched.
Then I marked the centre point of each pocket and stitched on the plastic rings and then repeated 5 cm each pocket end.

I didn't take a picture, but I then turned in top hem and pinned in place before sewing on the sew on loop fastener and attached to batten.

Eyelets are screwed to under side of batten, aligned with rings on the blind.  Fourth eyelet is screwed in the end where all the cords come together and the end where the blind will operate from.

Right here's the stringing bit:
  • Tie each length of cord to each of the three rings on the lowest pleat. 
  • Then thread each length of cord through each of the rings above it passing through the eyelet.
  • Pass the cord through the eyelets, finishing on the working side of the batten. 
  • Trim the cords to a suitable length and thread on a wooden acorn. 
  • Fix a cleat in place on the wall and use to secure the cords.

So here it is in place, not bad for a first attempt.  I've mounted it on the wall rather than the window recess as the gathered blind would block the top window and not allow any ventilation on hot sticky days (without opening the large window, which I'm not keen to do with small children bouncing round the house) and it's a south facing window.

I'm converting the curtains in the other bedroom next although they have black out fabric too, but I'll replace with calico as it was so hard sewing so many thick layers together. (Long story why there are hulk stickers with flower curtains!

And the great thing is I still have a length of the flower fabric left, any suggestions what to make with it - apart from a lampshade or cushions, which I made when I originally made the curtains?

If you want to see the full version of how to make Roman Blinds from scratch check out the HouseToHome website here.

I hope you enjoyed my attempt at 'blind conversion', I was surprised just how easy it actually was.

As always, thanks for dropping by.


Pene said...

Lovely job well done!! Could you use the remaining fabric to make a throw, table clothe, recover a chair seat? Failing that wash it, press it and flog it on ebay as recycled!!
Keep up the good work
Pene x

Kristy said...

That looks great! And I love the way it ties in the hulk clings! ;) That is soooo my house! Love it that I'm not alone!!!

Ditzy and Dotty said...

Clever you, its worked out really well. How about making a quilt for the bed with the leftovers?

Annie xx TheFeltFairy said...

Fabulous tute, they look great!

Linda said...

thank you for a great tutorial, Emma. Anxious to hear about your new website.

Pam said...

Very nice way to update your room. Great job!

Emma Thomsen said...

Thanks for some really great suggestions and very kind comments, I'm hoping to do the other curtains tomorrow. I won't post the process but I'll show you the result! Thanks for dropping by! ;)

alina victoriaa said...

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Roxie Tenner said...

Pretty snazzy curtains right there! It's amazing how a dash of color can turn an image or a place all its head. Yet this is nothing compared to when you deal with form, such as when you turn it into a Roman curtain. Not only does it subvert the ambience of your window, it completely rewrites it, into something more prim.

Roxie @ Allure

Zunair zain said...

Bathroom. Hmmm. Thinking moisture, moisture, and more moisture. How about film over window glass in print that compliments the rest of the home? From tiffany style to flower to geometric? roman blinds

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Henry said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful article,
It's looking very nice blinds,.
I really like this style,
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Hristo Yanev said...

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Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
If someone want to know more about Venetuan blinds I think this is the right place for you!

Sneha Unnikrishnan said...

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Oldham Woodblinds said...

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Oldham Woodblinds

Shutters said...

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Englander Line said...

The stunningly beautiful prints, colours and the fabric material of one such kitchen Roman blinds that I bought online from a designer home furnishing store in London was of premium quality and that made the difference to the overall aesthetics and ergonomics of my kitchen area which now represents a much more refined, soothing and refreshing look through this beautiful custom Roman blind.