For today, however, I simply browsed through iPhoto and found a project I have pictures of, but haven't written about yet. The lucky winner? Stencils!
Almost two years ago, right after Dylan bought this house, I made window coverings on my new (well, new to me, but handed down from my grandmother) sewing machine. I had some experience sewing, but had never tried to make a roman shade before. I looked up several tutorials, and the dining room window was the first one to be given it's very own, custom-made roman shade (say it out loud...it rhymes!). But after making three more for the living room and one for a bathroom, my first efforts were no longer something I was impressed by. Over time my method improved, my measurements became more precise and accurate, and I developed a different way of creating a roman shade. Unfortunately, that is not what this post is about (because I totally forgot to take pictures!). This post is about how I took $1.50/yd white fabric from Walmart and made a geometric patterned roman shade.
- plastic pocket folder (don't get the 3 prong kind)
- craft paint
- cheap craft roller (mine was $.50 at Walmart and has helped on two projects)
- time and patience
- spray adhesive (I used the Elmer's brand)
- pattern for stencil
- exacto knife
- plastic cutting board
- Make sure you think through your design what part will be painted and whatnot because you may need to leave connectors strips that you'll later have to paint in with a paintbrush. In the example below (the second stencil I made) I ended up cutting out about half of the connector pieces because the stencil was strong enough without, but I wanted to make sure.
- Before putting the blade to the folder, "x" out the area's that you want to cut out, because it's much easier to do this at the beginning than later when you're in the midst of your project and realize that you've screwed up.
- Leave at least an inch or two around the border, or you may have to tape around the edge to keep your stencil together.
When I had to move the stencil I gave it a couple of minutes to dry before I moved it and rolled again, but I was kept busy painting in the areas that I had to leave for the structural integrity of the stencil but really wanted to be painted. It didn't take long and it was actually very soothing to be working with my hands. It didn't hurt that I was also watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice (for probably the 15th time, at least).
As you can see, the outcome wasn't perfect, so if you're super obsessed, this may not be the route for you. As much as I like perfection and staying inside the lines, it's the imperfect parts of this shade that make me like it more, because I made it from scratch and it has more personality than if I had used store-bought shade or even store-bought facbric (well, store-bought pattern, I guess...I certainly did not make the fabric!).
I let it dry overnight, and the following day inserted the dowel rods into the pockets I had sewn into the back before stenciling, stapled it to the 1x2 board, and screwed it into the wall. While it can be a bit over powering when the shade is down (we have huge windows!), I still like it, and it's usually up anyway. Here's a finished picture (sorry for the low quality. These pics are all old...since taking these, I made up my mind that I was going to become decent at photography, so I'm slowly stepping up my game, turning off the flash, and turning it to manual mode).