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DIY Covered Rattan Blinds

April 10, 2012

Decorating update and new project! We’ve painted a couple of rooms, and after about a week with no window-coverings I started thinking about what to put up in our kitchen/dining area. We’re renting, and the blinds that were in the windows when we moved in are rattan, which is fine, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I contemplated making curtains, but I couldn’t decide on a fabric. Well, the other day, while at one of my favorite thrift stores, Thriftland, I ran across a sheet set that I thought would be great. $7 later the sheets were home with me, where I determined there was just not enough fabric for curtains for all of my windows. No worries – Plan B came to me – I decided to use the fabric to cover one side of the rattan shades.

The process was a little trial and error. I figured initially that it would be a breeze to stitch the fabric onto the shades. The flat sheet was almost the exact size of my largest sheet – a little long, but I figured I could just turn under the cut edge a couple of times at the bottom and no one would be the wiser, as the bottom is usually rolled up, at least a little. The stitching was definitely not a breeze. To get the edge of the sheet as close as possible to the top of the blind was a task. And though the needle slid right through the woven blinds, once I got close to the ends my stitches started slipping right off the horizontal slats, which had no vertical weave on the ends.

The other issue I ran across, which is perpetual for me, is that I was lazy when I started this. I laundered the sheets, but I didn’t iron them. You know how sheets will get kind of wrinkly on the edges? Well, those wrinkles made it a lot harder to eyeball the placement and stitch the sheet straight. After I finished the top edge I realized I had several extra inches of fabric on one side of the blind, and a slight slant to the pattern. I found myself bouncing back and forth – stitching a foot or so on one side of the blind, then a foot or so on the other side, to make things as even as possible. In the end, I had one side of the blinds with the hem of the sheet exactly on the edge of the blinds, and the other side has fabric wrapped around the edge.

The good news is, that particular blind is over a window that is BEHIND my bookcase, so even though you see that it’s there, it’s pretty well hidden and my goofs aren’t too noticeable. Also, I learned from that mistake, and after smacking myself in the head I got out my glue gun to finish the smaller blinds. Not only did it go faster, but as the glue will peel off if I need it to, I was able to reposition when I had my alignment off.

Though my method was definitely flawed (I’m sure someone out there has done/will do a much better job) the end result works well, I think. The foundation of this room is pale gray and white, so I think the blinds work nicely. (We painted the fireplace – doesn’t it look great! So happy our landlords were OK with that!) Don’t worry – I’ll be adding in plenty of color on down the line!


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