Saturday, September 4, 2010

When in Rome, Do as the Romans!

From the start I knew I hated didn't want blinds. We needed something functional and aesthetically pleasing that would:

1. Allow us to open/close the window with ease. (We like to fry food and frying makes the house way stinky).
2. Block out or limit the amount of sunlight that hits our kitchen window dead on from dawn to dusk, which makes the entire main floor of the house a cool 93 degrees (that's cool, right? RIGHT?!).

Without further ado, here you have my kitchen window!

I kid, I kid! The idea of putting something like this in my kitchen had me screaming H-E-double toothpicks NO!! while running around with a spoon trying to scoop out my eyes. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure these curtains would look just darling in a kitchen that does not belong to me.

I decided upon roman shades. The big box stores have a pretty measly decent selection of expensive roman shades in solid colors. None of which matched my bold style and I say my bold style because Mr. Partner in Crime for Life is a black-grey-brown-beige kind of guy. However, I do commend him for letting me do whatever the hell I please with the house :)

So I asked, why not sew them myself? Easy-peezy I thought. I did some research and found this absolutely wonderful tutorial and followed the instructions to the T (or is it tee?). No guts no glory, right?


3 yards of fabric = $21
2 rope cleats = $3
2 cord condensers = $2
2 cord drops = $1
1x2 poplar boards = $6
screw eyes = $2
cord =$7
matching thread =  $4
lift rings = $2
1/16in wooden dowels = $12
1/2 yard muslin = $2
velcro = $6


Additional pictures, tips,, tricks, and more information about the fabric can be found after the jump.

I originally decided on a striped fabric I found at the fabric store, but it sat around the house for months because I just wasn't completely sold on the pattern. But one day, while at Ikea I fell in love. It was the typical girl meets fabric, fabric is great, girl thinks fabric is too expensive, fabric can only be bought in full yards, girl doesn't remember how much fabric she needs situation. I was about 60% sure I only needed 3 yards, but decided on 4 yards just to be sure. Within a couple of days, I had kitchen curtains!

This fabric is from Ikea and is from the Fredrika series, it goes for $6.99 a yard. Sorry, but I couldn't find it on their website.

I only needed 3 yards of fabric to make the curtains, but I wanted the pattern on both panels to match up so I bought 4 yards just in case. I ended up using only 3 yards. The most difficult part about making these shades was getting the pattern to match up. As you can tell I hit the nail on the head with the length, but I failed with the width. All I can suggest is to measure about 2 million times and cut once.

The tutorial suggests cord pulley's, but for the life of me I couldn't find any. Instead I used screw eyes. I used cord condensers to minimize the amount of cords dangling at the side and used rope cleats from the hardware store to tie the cord when the shade is pulled up.

Rope cleat doing it's job.
Cord condenser doing it's job.
I bought both the cord condenser and cord drop here. At the time I bought them, this place was the cheapest I could find.

Because we still wanted for there to be some natural light in the kitchen we opted for Rain-No-Stain lining instead of blackout lining. We also figured that the kitchen window would be the window with the highest probability of being accidentally left open, so in case of rain the fabric is protected.


  1. I love that fabric!! It looks great!

  2. Thanks! I have a ton of fabric leftover, so stay tuned for a ton of pillows! lol

  3. Like the fabric, and paint colors. It doesn't even look like the same spot. Great makeover, great job on the shade, and great decorating the wall around the window. I think it turned out great. I would love to have you post this, along with any other project you'd like to share at my NEW link party. Come on over, I would love to have you share this with my readers. Thanks again!

  4. Don't worry. Those yellow, flowerdy curtains made me upchuck, too.
    Thanks for sharing that tutorial link!

  5. Some of my neighbors actually have curtains like that.... I hope they aren't reading this... lol