Alright, so I’ve been failing at this blog recently…I’ll admit it. I seriously think the basement renovation just took it out of me, and I didn’t want to look at/think about/blog about anything DIY for a good few weeks. No worries though – things have still been happening around the house, and we have a few projects in the works now that the weather has finally decided to get warm again!
This is just a quick post about a project that got overlooked during the whole basement reno. If you remember, we have 3 little windows in the basement…here are two of them, on the day we decided to start randomly ripping up baseboards:
Midway through the project, we decided to add 1″x3″ boards to the windows as trim to bulk them up a bit:
Then we painted the boards in the same white as the beadboard for a nice finished look:
(Wrigley was checking out the sweet windows)
So, the windows looked great, but something was still missing. If you scroll back up to the first couple pictures in this post, you’ll notice how much sunlight comes through those tiny windows during the day. Considering we planned to use the basement as a TV room, the extra light posed a problem. But, being that it is a basement, the last thing I wanted to do was add thick draperies that would block out all of the natural light. Hmm….
I had seen several tutorials online about making draperies out of drop cloths (yep, the canvas style ones you can buy at Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.) At first I was skeptical, but after seeing results like this…
…I was ready to give it a shot. Of course, I wasn’t going to add full length curtains to those tiny windows, so I decided to loosely follow this tutorial for no-sew roman shades using tension rods. The result I was going for looks something like this:
First, I picked up a drop cloth at Lowe’s…I think this package was about $13 (and I have TONS leftover):
Next, I measured the width of each window, adding an inch to each side for a seam allowance. Next, I measured the height of each window and added an extra ~8 inches (can you tell I’m not an expert at this…?) to allow some extra fabric for the “folds” of the roman shade.
Next, I fired up my iron (which I only use for projects…last time it was for these DIY Superhero Capes) and ironed folds around the sides to act as finished seams:
I didn’t want to mess with trying to sew these seams, so I picked up a cheap roll of iron-on seam tape from Target…
…and followed the package directions. It worked wonderfully and left me with finished edges all around the shade and a pocket at the top for the tension rod.
I threaded the tension rod (the cheap-o ones from Lowe’s…I’m sure you can also find them at Target, etc) through the top pocket and adjusted the rod so it fit in the window opening. This picture shows how much fabric I was working with:
Then I used another tension rod and placed it a few inches below the top of the window, in front of the curtain:
Then pick up the fabric behind the lower tension rod and pull it over the rod to create a little flap:
You could continue this process as many times as you want (or for as long as your window will allow). I realized at this point that I only needed one extra rod per window (besides the top rod holding the whole thing in place), so I clearly used too much fabric at the beginning. Instead of taking it all down, removing the excess fabric, creating a new bottom seam and putting it all back in place, I just folded it under and tucked it in the open space of window.
I didn’t hate the way this looked, but I didn’t love it either. It kind of bothered me that you could so easily see the seams and folds due to the amount of light that passed (or didn’t pass) through certain areas. But I didn’t want heavier fabric because I liked that some light was still passing through into the room. So, in the end, I ditched the middle tension rod and opted for just a plain shade with the extra fabric tucked back. Eventually I might cut off all the extra and finish the bottom edge, but for now they are working out just fine.
What do you think? Do you prefer the “roman style” shade or just the plain shade shown above? After this project, I’m definitely planning on trying to use drop cloths in the future for full length curtains throughout our house. Til then, we have a bunch of new projects coming to the blog soon so keep checking back! “Like” us on Facebook to get even more updates!