Busywork

Finding work for idle hands: making, baking and more.

Making a rollerblind January 14, 2007

Filed under: Interiors,Sewing — lauravw @ 2:24 pm


After traipsing round looking at dozens of roller blinds made with boring fabrics, we spotted a small kit to make your own.

The kit includes a roller, a baton (to weight the bottom of the blind down), and a small pull cord. You have to buy fabric, and some PVA glue in a spray/pump to stiffen your fabric and stop the edges from fraying.

Below are some instructions, and on Flickr you can see a before and after picture to give you an idea both of what you’d be letting youself in for, and what the finished results look like.

Instructions

1. Cut your fabric to a size that is a few inches wider and longer than you’ll need in the end. (It shrinks a bit when you spray it.) For the length of the blind, you want to allow for a hem at the bottom, the length of your window, and a few more inches (say 10) to allow for the roller.

2. Hang the fabric so that the reverse side is facing you. Spray it all over with your PVA glue – when you think you’ve added too much glue, spray it all over again and then leave it to dry. (You will get glue everywhere, so either cover the space that’s behind where you’re spraying, or do this in a room with horrid peach walls so that the sprayed on glue is actually an improvement to your decor.) (Or do this outside, so you don’t have to clean anything up afterwards.)

3. When the glue has dried – most likely the next day – take down the fabric and cut it down to the size you really want it to be. This is the size of your roller – so to really measure this properly, you have to have put up your brackets on the sides of the window, and measured and trimmed your roller. (It’s a bit of a fiddly process, but not impossible.)

4. Try not to panic as you cut the fabric. And try to cut in a straight line…

5. Make a hem along the bottom of your fabric – just big enough to allow you to insert the wooden baton. Insert the baton, and if there are screws supplied, use these to secure it in place and to attach the pull cord.

6. Attach the top of the fabric to the roller – our kit used double sided tape for this part. This is a scary moment as you want it all to be perfectly straight.

7. Roll the fabric around the roller by hand, and then put it into your brackets. Raise and lower the blind a few times, and just generally fiddle with it until the tension is correct.

8. Step back and admire your work, and be proud that your next door neighbours can no longer see in.

Updated to add that, now we’ve had our blind up for a few months, there are a couple of stray threads appearing down one side. They are minor though – and I have had similar threads appear on shop-bought roller blinds in the past, so I don’t think it’s entirely possible to avoid this happening. They are easy to trim though. I would definitely recommend making your own blinds rather than buying them, because this way you can choose any fabric you like, and it’s not that difficult to do.

Note: this is an updated version of a post I made on my old website – more info here.

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5 Responses to “Making a rollerblind”

  1. jean Says:

    Where did you purchase the shade kit? Where did you purchase the PVA glue? What is PVA Glue?

    Thanks.

  2. lauravw Says:

    I got our shade kit at John Lewis – this is a very good department store that we have in the UK. They don’t have it listed on their website, but it was a spring loaded roller blind kit – this means it’s one of those that pings back upwards, rather than one where you have to wind it up and down. There are some for sale on this UK-based website: http://www.gbinteriors.co.uk/acatalog/Spring_Loaded_Roller_Blind_Kits_GROUP_C.html

    And PVA glue is (and again, this is me coming at it from my English perspective and so may not make sense if you’re in the US – sorry!) the white gloopy glue used in schools. It’s very safe to use (hence the schools using it) and very cheap. For a project like this you need to be able to spray it, and we bought our glue in the same John Lewis near where they sold the blind kits. If you are in the UK, I can recommend going there: they were very helpful. I’ve looked on Wikipedia’s entry for PVA glue and they list Elmers Glue as a brand name used for it in the US – hope that’s of some help.

  3. Dylan Says:

    PVA glue, or elmers glue, can be watered down and
    put into a spray bottle for this purpose.

    Pretty sweet that it comes that way over there, though!

    Great article!

  4. [...] Filed under: Uncategorized — marialwilliams @ 8:16 pm I found this sweet idea for existing gross roller blinds that everyone had back in the day. Of course, I have them in my bedroom and I’m pumped now [...]

  5. jhen Says:

    amazing;-)


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