Thursday, May 12, 2016

From Curtain to Roman Shade - A Window Treatment UpCycle

This has been one of my favorite transformations so far. A little change can make a huge impact! So I am excited to finally be able to share it with you.


I realized my only before picture was actually taken prior to our move into the house, but as you can see the full curtains are lovely, but hide the beautiful original woodwork we love so much about this house. Plus they are always getting pulled and smeared by dirty hands. Converting them to a shade not only displays the beautiful windows but also keeps them clean!

I used this tutorial as reference for my project, it is excellent! I started with my living room curtains and gained a lot of knowledge from trial and error. Now that I have completed the dining room set I will be going back and redoing the living room set. I thought I could do without the dowels but I am too much of a perfectionist when it comes to decor lines. So I ended up ordering dowel rods on Amazon because my local stores didn’t carry any the right length… hazards of small town life. But I am so glad I did! It took the project to a whole new level. Clean and professional. 

Materials List:                                                  Supplies List:                                                   
Curtain Panel, or fabric of choice                Drill                               
1x2s (or 1x3s cut to size)                                Scissors
Wooden Dowel Rods                                      Tape Measure
1” L-brackets and screws                               Pencil or Fabric Marking Pen
Plastic Rings                                                    Needle and Thread 
Drapery Cord/Twin                                        Staple Gun 
Eye Hooks                                                        Sewing Machine (or Seam Tape and Iron)
Rope Cleat 

I started by cutting the panel to the right length and width; leaving an inch for a seam allowance to match the existing hem. I used two dowels and the scrap piece leftover from ripping the 1x3 down to the right size (again, the local hardware store didn’t carry 1x2s in stock) as the weighted piece on the bottom.

I used the leftover fabric to wrap my wood and stapled it in place. I hemmed the cut side and stapled it to the wood. I marked the place for the eye hooks, 2" in on each side and centered in the middle. These hooks will hold the cords that operate the shade. 

Next I finished the dowel pockets and folded everything to line up with the eye hooks. This is a step I skipped on my first trial and discovered if the rings are not level and square when you pull the shade up it will be crooked. Most people might not notice, but I couldn't stand it! 

I used a curved upholstery needle to quickly stitch the plastic rings onto the dowels. It was much more efficient that attempting it with a straight needle. After attaching all the rings. I used brown household twine for my cord. It was half the price of the drapery cord and matched the color of the curtain. The only downside is it's thin and slick to work with, but I liked the look of it better than the white so I made it work. 

I mounted the wood to the inside of the frame using 1" L-brackets, I pre-drilled the holes according to package directions.

Originally I had the cord pulling from the back and mounted with two command hooks on the inside of the window. (Because my local Walmart didn't have any rope cleats) However it just wasn't a neat of a presentation as I wanted from this project so I decided to use a grommet to pull the cord into the front and after a trip to the "city" I picked up some rope cleats and moved the cord stay to the outside of the window. The finished result is much cleaner and it is much easier to wind the cord. 

Again, I couldn't find any cord pulls here locally, so I used some wire mounted beads (leftover from my wedding flowers...9yrs ago!) and wrapped them onto the cords. It functions well and adds a little bling at the same time! ;-)


I love how they turned out! I learn so much from this DIY project. I am in the process of redoing the living room set and I will post updates as time allows. 

We are looking forward to our first summer here in Iowa and will be out exploring as much as we can! I am excited to share our adventures with you. Remember to subscribe to my page by email so you don't miss a post! 

Until Next Time,


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