Blinds are the main alternative to curtains and can be made from a variety of different fabrics. Try to balance decorative and functional requirements, and assess to what extent a blind will need to block light or provide privacy. If you want to use blinds on the windows of your house, you can do it yourself. For this purpose, you first need to make some decisions, make some choices and then apply them. The tips on this page will be helpful for you to choose the appropriate blind and install it to your windows.
Styles of Blinds:
Blinds vary in shape and size as much as any other kind of window treatment and may be left plain or decorated extravagantly, depending on your own preferences and practical requirements. These factors affect both the material you choose for your blind and the hanging mechanism you will need.
- Roller: Roller blinds are the most functional and require the least amount of material.
- Gathered: Gathered blinds use more fabric and suit a more opulent atmosphere.
- Roman: Roman blinds consist of subtle, gently folded layers of material.
- Venetian: Venetian or slatted blinds can be made of plastic, metal, or wood.
Measuring for Blinds
- Techniques: Measuring techniques for blinds depend on whether you prefer a flat blind or one that consists of folds of fabric. The surface area will be determined by whether the blind will hang inside or outside a window recess, as well as by the size of the window itself.
- Measuring for Blinds and Fitting Attachments: Before taking measurements for your blinds, decide on the position of the blind and fit the pole or track. Doing this first will result in more accurate calculations.
- Recessed Windows: When calculating the amount of material needed for a recessed window, it’s better to err on the side of generosity and overestimate. It’s easier to trim excess material than to start over because you don’t have enough.
- Measuring a Recess: For a roller blind outside a recess, measure the width including a 1.1 inch (3 cm) overlap onto the walls and the length to below the sill. Add 2 inches (5 cm) for attaching the fabric to a dowel. For a blind inside a recess, allow for brackets in the width measurement and calculate the length above the sill.
- Width: Tape the end of a long length of string to one corner at the top of the window frame. Take the string along the frame to the other corner, forming a number of scallop shapes. Measure the length of the string to give you the width of the blind, including ruched folds. Add an extra 8 inches (20 cm) for side turnings.
- Measuring Length: Add 12 inches (30 cm) to the basic height measurement to allow for the depth of the scalloped edge when the blind is down.
- Scallops: When counting scallops, bear in mind that an odd number of scallops creates a more balanced look than an even number.
Making and Fitting Blinds
- Choosing Fabrics and Assessing Suitability: For flouncy blinds with gathers, choose lightweight materials such as moiré or soft cotton, which will ruche well. Heavier fabrics will not gather well.
- Squaring Corners and Making Angles: Use a large set square and tailor’s chalk to draw accurate guidelines and ensure the smooth running of a roller blind. Cut precise, 90-degree angled corners.
- Finishing Edges and Preventing Fraying: Use a stiffened fabric for roller blinds. This can be cut to an exact size and will not fray. For lightweight fabric, stabilize the edges with a zigzag stitch.
- Attaching Material: To make a casing for a wooden dowel at the bottom of a blind without sewing, iron in some fusible web. Secure the material firmly to the roller at the top of the blind using a staple gun.
- Avoiding a Roller System: A mechanical roller system is not essential to pull a blind. Attach a dowel at each end of a blind and a hook in the wall at each end at the top. Rest the lower dowel over the hooks to let light in.
- Spraying Paint: To give old Venetian blinds a new lease of life, wash them thoroughly, allow them to dry, and then spray them with aerosol paint.
- Stenciling: Transform a plain blind by stenciling it with fabric paints. Make your own stencil by picking out a design from fabrics or other decorations within the room.
- Dyeing: If a blind remains in good condition but has become discolored by light, use a cold-water dye to completely transform its look. Choose a color to match or tone in with other decorations within the room.