Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fabric Roller Shades

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Following an excellent tutorial I found at Design*Sponge, I fulfilled a long-held dream of mine and made my own roller shades.

My husband and the kids all had opinions on how they turned out: words like “ice cream,” “marching bands,” “circuses,” “peppermints,” and “Mary Poppins” were offered. I said they make me feel like I’m in a candy store, and my daughter offered the inexplicable “I feel like I’m on a boat.” Well, it’s hard to say whether any of that is good or bad! They look so great in the daytime, when we don’t really need them, when the light filters through the pink and white ticking in such a glowing and wonderful way that I think, Yes, those are perfect! They somehow make people feel like they’re on a boat. That’s cozy!

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Fortunately, these are dead easy to make, and if/when I find a more perfect fabric choice, it is the work of an hour to redo. The most difficult part was getting them to hang right; in fact, the first three times I touched one of these, it fell on me. The spring action in the roller is so incredibly strong that if you pull it and then let go, accidentally or otherwise, it snaps all the way up with such force that it takes the valance with it. Then it falls off the wall. Hilarity! We all had to take a lesson in how to carefully raise and lower these shades.

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They really do look fantastic in the daytime.

When I was a girl, I spent a lot of time at the farm, and so much of who I am today was shaped by those weekends and school breaks spent feeding the sheep and playing with barn kittens and peeling bushels of pears and sleeping in the upstairs four-poster bed in the room with roses on the walls. The windows there had lovely old roller shades, made of fading cloth that let in the most golden, muted light in the world. I really wanted that.

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