How To Paint Ceramic…Drum Stool Redo

Some of you may ‘member that back in early December I shared a mini makeover of my living room and as part of that little re-do I included a new side table in the form of a ceramic drum stool. The stool was originally black (which is, of course, a perfectly fine colour) though it was always my intention to re-finish it in a lighter shade ’cause with brown leather sofas and lots of timber tones I felt the space didn’t really need any additional ‘darkness’.

Ceramic Drum Stool Makeover

So, why didn’t I just buy a light coloured stool to begin with then?

Well…I tend to get ants in my pants which for some strange reason makes me change out my accent pieces fairly often. This means I like to keep ’em reasonably cheap, though I found the going retail price for most ceramic drum stools here in Oz wasn’t really my idea of cheap (don’t get me wrong, they aren’t ridiculously expensive or anything, it’s just that I’m particularly tight :-). Anyhoo, so when I spotted some on eBay for in excess of half the price I’d seen them elsewhere I decided to snatch ’em up (two in total – one for me and one for Mum). Problem was, they were only available in red or black (sometimes, okay, most of the time, being particularly tight means forgoing the luxury of choice, though luckily I’m cool with that ’cause making decisions is hard)!

Ceramic Drum Stools

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

My Aussie readers may also have seen these stools in The Reject Shop late last year for $40 each. Along with red and black they also had white though I bought my stools about two weeks prior to seeing them in the catalogue – go figure! The previous stools all sold out pretty quick smart though the good news is The Reject Shop are currently promoting them again! Sale starts today (Thursday 14 Feb)! Check out the online catalogue here.
Also, for my Melbourne-based readers, in case you miss-out on The Reject Shop’s stools, you can still purchase the red or black ones from eBay (pick up only, no shipping). You can check ’em out here.

I’m well aware there is nothing particularly clever, original or skilled about transforming a piece of furniture (ceramic or otherwise) with some simple spray paint though when I mentioned it in my living room post there was quite a bit of interest, particularly in the durability and glossiness of the finish, so here’s how I did it…

How To Paint Ceramic

STEP 1 First lightly sand the entire surface by hand using a sanding block and some fine-grit sandpaper.
My drum, as with most ceramics, was smooth and glossy. Giving it some ‘teeth’ by scuffing-up the surface helps the paint stick much more effectively. Don’t be tempted to use an overly abrasive sandpaper thinking the more grazed you make the surface, the better the paint will adhere. Heavy-grit paper can cause noticeable scratches. A light all-over scuff is really all that’s required.

STEP 2 Thoroughly clean the item to remove all sanding dust and other residue before applying one or two coats of spray primer.
I used Rust-Oleum Surface Primer (from Masters).
You don’t have to use a primer though it does provide the best base.

STEP 3 Apply three light coats of spray paint, allowing the paint to dry thoroughly between coats. If you’re particularly proper you can also lightly sand between coats though I didn’t bother so I guess I’m not particularly proper.
I used White Knight Squirts Enamel in Gloss Riverstone (from Mitre 10).
Try and use a decent quality paint. In some instances, where it doesn’t really effect the outcome, I’m more than happy to advocate the use of whatever, though in this case a good quality paint does seem to make a difference.
Here in Oz the colour range of off-the-shelf spray paints is pretty limited. Aside from speciality stores (which are scarce) I’ve found Masters to have an okay range though don’t discount graffiti artist and automotive aerosols too. If you’re still really struggling to find just the right shade you can always try a Preval spray can kit or have an automotive shop custom mix and can a colour for you (both kinda expensive options though do-able if you’re desperate). There is also the option of using a standard domestic spray gun though make sure you use a high quality paint and follow the recommended dilution ratio.

STEP 4 Finish by applying two coats of clear gloss spray sealer.
I used Cabots Cabothane Clear Oil Based Interior/Exterior in Gloss (from Mitre 10).
Not only does a clear top coat help create a lovely glossy sheen it also gives the piece a tough and hard-wearing exterior. Do keep in mind that over time most clear sealers will yellow slightly. This doesn’t bother me as my stool isn’t pure white and I’m not opposed to it gaining a bit more warmth though if you want to retain a crisp white finish try to track down and use a non-yellowing sealer.

Painted Ceramic Drum Stool Before and After

I’ve spray painted lots of small, ornamental ceramics before though never something large and functional. I mean, this thing was going to be sitting on the floor…in our living room. It would be at the mercy of Charlotte’s wayward glockenspiel mallets, Cooper’s clumsy paws, heavy-handed beer bottle set-downs and my not so un-aggressive vacuuming.

At first it seemed like blind optimism to think it’d hold up okay though now, three months on, I’m super pleased to say it still looks great and is completely scratch and chip free – yay!

How To Paint Ceramic...Drum Stool Transformation

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How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat From Scratch

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat From Scratch

One day I’m sure I’ll attempt a proper BIG upholstery project.

Ya know…an armchair, a settee, a sofa. I mean, really, with a piece of cheap second-hand furniture and some bargain fabric there’s really not too much to lose (possibly bar my sanity) though for now I find the idea kinda definitely daunting.

Proper BIG upholstery projects require certain traits and skills; patience, sewing, the proficient use of scissors and possibly even some mathematics (gulp – none of my strong suits).

So, whilst one day I’m sure I’ll attempt a proper BIG upholstery project, for now I’m happy sticking with the smaller, non-nervous break-down inducing variety…ottomans, benches, bed heads and dining chairs.

Over the past few years I’ve refurbished a small wedding party’s worth of dining chairs, most of them with drop-in seats, and whilst they can be a little fiddly they are by far one of the least complicated of all upholstery jobs – relatively fast, easy and budget-friendly, plus the results are always rewarding.

This tutorial details how to upholster a drop-in seat from scratch however if your seat base is still in good nic, you may simply need to recover one instead. If so, just follow my instructions beginning at step 7.

 

SUPPLIES…

How To Upholster a Slip Seat from Scratch Supplies

1 Chair with a drop-in seat.
Now, I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence, though just in case someone is unsure, a drop-in seat (also sometimes referred to as a slip seat or loose seat) is a fully insertable and removable seat frame which rests within (or is sometimes screwed into) a chair’s frame.
For this tutorial I used the style of chair I always thought was just a fantasy for me – a gorgeous faux bamboo Chippendale armchair (more details on my chair to follow in an upcoming post!).

2 Jute webbing (or similar).
I used 5cm (2″) wide webbing.

3 Small upholstery tacks.
I used 1cm (3/8″) long tacks.

4 Hessian (burlap) fabric.

5 Foam.
Use something relatively thick and reasonably dense.
I used 6cm (2″) thick high density foam.

6 Wadding (batting/dacron).

7 Cover fabric.
Of course you can use anything. The beauty of a drop-in seat is that it can be easily removed and re-covered, which is awesome if you ever want a fast, fresh change (or if one day your husband decides to spill an entire glass of green cordial on it!). So, there’s no real need to agonise over your initial fabric choice.  Thicker, fibrous fabrics with some stretch are easier to work with and more forgiving in terms of appearance though due to their bulk they can sometime be a little tricky to corner neatly.
I wanted a simple, natural look so I used a piece of inexpensive drop cloth.

8 Calico (muslin).

 

EQUIPMENT…

How To Upholster a Drop In Seat Equipment

1 Scissors.

2 Tack hammer.
You can use an ordinary hammer. A tack hammer just makes things a little easier.

3 Web strainer/stretcher (optional).
You can use your strength alone in lieu of a stretching tool though in my experience the webbing won’t be quite as taut (and you will most probably have sore hands and arms the next day!).

4 Staple gun.

5 Electric knife (optional).
You don’t have to have an electric knife though I’ve found it is by far the easiest way to cut foam.

 

PROCESS…

STEP 1 Remove your seat frame from the chair and, if necessary, completely strip any existing upholstery then place the seat frame right side up on a sturdy work surface.

STEP 2 Cut strips of jute webbing which are approximately 20cm (8″) longer than the widest part of your seat frame. The number of strips required will depend on the size of your frame. To determine how many strips of webbing you need it’s best to lay the strips over the frame in approximate position to gauge their coverage and placement. I used seven strips to cover mine (three horizontally, four vertically).

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat from Scratch

STEP 3 Take your first strip and position it with just the end on the seat frame and the excess to the side then hammer in three tacks (as shown). Fold the strip back over itself and secure it with a further three tacks (as shown).

How To Upholster a Slip Seat

STEP 4 Butt your strainer up against the adjacent side of the frame parallel with the tacked on strip, pull the strip across the frame and ‘fork’ it with the strainer prongs (as shown) then lever the strainer down, stretching the webbing so it is straight and very taut (as shown). It may take a few goes to get the webbing ‘forked’ at the right length so when you lever it down it’s not too tight or too loose. If you don’t have a web strainer you can simply pull the strip as hard as you can with your bare hands though in my experience the resulting webbing will not be as taut.

How To Upholster a Loose Seat Chair Pad

STEP 5 With the strainer still in place, hammer three tacks into the stretched webbing (as shown) then release the strainer, ‘unfork’ the webbing, and fold the strip back over itself and secure it with a further three tacks (as shown). Trim off any excess webbing.

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat

STEP 6 Repeat with your remaining strips until you have covered your entire seat frame (as shown).

STEP 7 Cut a piece of hessian (burlap) slightly larger than your seat, fold the raw edges under then staple it to the top of your frame (over the webbing).

STEP 8 Cut your foam so it is slightly larger than your chair frame (to do this, place the seat frame on top of the foam, trace an outline around it then cut it with an electric knife). Cut your wadding (batting/dacron) so it is just large enough to cover the foam then trim the corners off (too  much wadding can result in the sides of your seat being overly bulky which may prevent it from fitting neatly back inside your chair frame so do take care to ensure any excess wadding is removed). Cut your cover fabric so it is large enough to be easily wrapped all the way around the frame.

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat from Scratch

STEP 9 Iron any creases from your cover fabric then stack your layers on a flat, solid surface, right side down (as shown).

How To Upholster a Chair

STEP 10 Beginning at the top, wrap some fabric around the frame and secure it in the centre with a staple. Do the same with the bottom, pulling the fabric reasonably tightly so it is straight and taut. Finish by stapling the sides (so you have four staples in place – as shown).

STEP 11 Beginning with the top again, stretch some fabric evenly down and towards one corner (I find it works best to pull a large amount of fabric at once by gripping it between your palm and fingers rather than simply pinching a small amount between two fingers alone), then working from the centre out (in the direction of the corner you are pulling the fabric towards), staple it in place. Stop stapling around 10cm (3″) from the corner then repeat with the other side of the top until your fabric is secured across the entire width of the top (excepting the corners as mentioned). Continue with the bottom, then each side, until the fabric is attached to your whole frame (again, corners excepted). You may find you need to remove and reattach staples from time to time if your fabric appears too tight, loose or rippled. Occasionally look at the top side of your seat to ensure everything is neat, straight and firm. You may also need to thin some areas of wadding if it seems too thick.

STEP 12 The corners. Basically, there are three common corner finishes. Determining which one is right for your project will depend on a few factors (fabric weight, seat height, frame shape) along with your preference in terms of appearance.
I created a mock seat (with a foam off-cut and old chopping board!) to help demonstrate the pleated techniques as clearly as possible…

How to Upholster Chair Corners

This technique creates a smooth, rounded corner with two visible side pleats. It’s perhaps the most common corner finish amongst DIY’ers.

1 This photo shows the excess fabric at the corner. I don’t mind working with a reasonably substantial amount though you can trim some off if you think you have too much.

2 Pull the fabric from the centre of the corner diagonally across the seat base then staple it in place.

3 Fold in both sides of the remaining fabric to create two even pleats. Sometimes I like to use a blunt butterknife to push and smooth any loose or rippled fabric into the pleats.

4 Holding the pleats in position, staple them in place.

5 Trim off the excess fabric.

6 Inspect the top of your seat. Attach additional staples if any areas require tautening. You should have a nice, tidy visible butterfly pleat.

How to Upholster Seat Corners

This technique creates a neat, angular corner with one visible box-like pleat. It’s my preferred corner finish and the one I used for this project.

1 This photo shows the excess fabric at the corner. I don’t mind working with a reasonably substantial amount though you can trim some off if you think you have too much.

2 Flatten out one side of the fabric, then, in line with the seat frame, tuck under enough of the excess to create a neat, straight pleat on the seat’s base. Staple it in place.

3 Fold up the remaining fabric from the other side of the corner, again tucking under enough of the excess to keep it in line with the seat edge to create a neat, straight pleat on the seat’s side. Staple it in place. Sometimes I like to use a blunt butterknife to push and smooth any loose or rippled fabric into the pleats.

4 Inspect the top of your seat. Attach additional staples if any areas require tautening then trim off the excess fabric as required. You should have a nice, tidy visible tailored pleat.

How to Upholster Corners

This technique creates a flat, rounded corner with no (or very minimal) visible pleats. Whether or not you are able to achieve this type of finish will depend on the height of your seat (padding) and the amount of excess fabric you have at the corners. Some upholsterers consider this the ‘proper’ way to finish corners though I reckon whatever looks good is proper enough. To achieve pleat-free corners, whilst stapling the fabric to the frame, you need to stretch it as tightly as possible towards the corners. This results in less visible excess fabric at the corners which helps eliminate the need for gathering.

Note: Corners can be tricky little munchkins. In my experience, unless you’re pretty much a practised professional upholsterer, there’s no fail-proof process – they all seem to be a little different and just take patience and persistence. Some people might say I’m a tad fussy though each corner usually takes me a few minutes of confused fiddling to get ‘just right’. So take your time and try not to swear (or do swear if there are no little kids around and it will make you feel better :-) And remember, the entire base of the seat will be hidden from view along with part of the lower outer edge (which will be concealed by the cavity lip once it’s in the chair frame) so although you do want as neat a finish as possible some minor gathers towards the bottom of the seat are no real biggie (besides, have you ever looked at the base of a professionally upholstered chair? Chances are it wasn’t perfect).

How to Upholster a Drop-In Seat

STEP 13 Trim off any excess fabric then cut a piece of calico (muslin) so it is slightly larger than your frame, fold the raw edges under and affix it to the bottom of your seat with staples. This acts as a dust cover and provides a nice, neat finish.

STEP 14 Done! Insert your complete seat frame inside your chair then plant your caboose upon it!

How To Upholster a Drop-In Seat from Scratch

A few things to note…
:: This tutorial details how to upholster a drop-in seat from scratch however if your seat base is still in good nic, you may simply need to recover it instead. If so, just follow my instructions beginning at step 7.
:: Some drop-in seats use a solid panel of ply (or similar) in lieu of webbing. This is fine though I find it’s not quite as cushy.
:: Before inserting your seat back inside your chair you may want to scotch guard the fabric first to help repel future stains.
:: If your seat is designed to be screwed into your chair take care during the upholstery process to keep the screw holes clear of fabric, tacks and staples – lord knows, I learned this one the hard way!

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PS I don’t mean to be stingy by not showing the finished chair in its entirety. My intention is to write a dedicated post about the chair makeover as a whole which I’ll try and publish some time next week…oh, and a tutorial for the simple faux grain-sack pillow you can glimpse in the photos too :-)

 

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Master Bedroom Mini Makeover

I first, and last, shared a complete tour of my master bedroom waaaay back in 2010.

It was a time when I still ignored the kid’s department in Kmart, thought ‘twitter’ was simply the sound a bird made, could wear a white shirt and keep it clean all day long, and had no idea how to use my DSLR camera (not that I really know how to use it now)!

Anyhoo, since then my decorating tastes, and I’d like to think my photography skills too, have evolved somewhat so over the past few months I’ve been refreshing my bedroom and thought it was finally time I made the bed properly and shared it already!

As with most of the spaces in my home, small proportions and some funny angles make it a little tricky to capture with a camera though hopefully you’ll get the general gist :-)

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover

I know that to some people it’s mundanely practical and somewhat boring, though throughout my home I purposefully use a predominately neutral scheme and fairly timeless main pieces for a few reasons; one) to ensure I don’t tire of my surroundings too quickly, two) so things aren’t out-dated in five minutes, three) to make refreshing my spaces easy, fast and affordable – some different wall art, a throw pillow or two, fresh décor accents and a new occasional piece is sometimes all that’s needed to rejuvenate a room completely.

Well, my logic may just have worked in the master bedroom where I’ve created a renewed look with some extra depth and interest more in-keeping with my current eclectic(ish) farmhouse(y) style without touching the neutral canvas and main furnishings. I’ve simply added a distressed green bench seat, charcoal ticking sheets, some new décor accents and different wall art.

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover Before and After

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover Before and After

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover Before and After

When I originally posted about my bedroom a few years ago, the framed coloured maps (which are actually sheets of gift wrap) were a pretty popular feature, and whilst I did really like them, in the overall scheme of my bedroom, to me, they always seemed a little too competitive – I wanted my framed map of Paris to be the star and set the tone. So, whilst the map gallery would make a lovely feature elsewhere, for the bedroom I decided to switch it out for something more simple and subdued.

Card File Drawers, Fern Fronds and Glass Bottles

At the moment I’m kinda obsessed with indoor greenery. Ferns are my main weakness though I’m also loving the simplicity of cut fronds and foliage. For me their natural presence always imparts a fresh, homey feel, and plunged in water they can last for up to four weeks. Most people have free and easy access to at least one appropriate tree or shrub which also makes them obtainable and super thrifty!

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover

Along with the greenery I’ve also included more gold and brass accents to tie-in with my DIY headboardy-type thingo. And there are little clusters of vintage books and a smattering of glassware – two of my go-to décor elements…they just seem to work so well wherever they land!

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover Green Farmhouse Bench Seat

I know that to many people the changes may seem fairly insignificant, though the subtle updates have contented me (for now!).

I still have plans to add some new curtains (I’m thinking either something linen-y or green-ish) and perhaps in the future even a timber framed bed, though we’ll see.

If you’re after information on any of my bedroom sources or DIY projects check out the ‘At a Glance’ section below.

Hope you like my little updates :-)

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How To Keep a Rug in Place on Carpet

I should have titled this post “My Slightly (or not so slightly) Weird and/or Crazy Out of Desperation Experiment on How to Keep a (bleep-ing) Rug to Say In Place on Carpet” though that seemed a little excessive so for now I’ll stick to my neatly summarized one.

Anyhoo, I recently placed a jute area rug beneath the desk in our soon-to-be-complete home office to help define the space and add some natural texture.

How To Keep a Rug in Place on Carpet

Note: I have a new desk chair awaiting refurbishment and the one shown above is just temporary. It’s my great-grandmother’s old kitchen chair and to be honest I’m surprised I haven’t fallen through it yet!

The rug is layered over our carpet, which I thought would be fine in terms of movement given it’s anchored by two heavy cabinets, though between the cabinets where the desk chair sits (and is shuffled in and out daily at Guinness World Record rates) it still creeps uncontrollably on the carpet, causing it to shift and bunch with ease, which not only looks unsightly though, if I’m honest, also kinda makes me twitch.

I trialled a few of the conventional rug-on-carpet solutions to get it to stay put though nothing worked, so out of desperation I finally decided to try something a little more innovative (that is, as mentioned previously, possibly weird and/or crazy).

I purchased a sheet of thin MDF (I contemplated using something softer though decided I needed the rigidity, other alternatives were stiff rubber or thick cardstock though I figured I’d try MDF first), cut it with a jigsaw to fit snugly between the two cabinets and just short of the front edge of the rug, then slipped it underneath, butting it right up against the rear skirting board (so it basically takes up the entire square cavity space).

Stop a Rug from Moving on Carpet

I had no idea whether this would look strange, feel weird or even work, in fact based on my past failed attempts I was more than prepared for another strike-out, though to my surprise and relief it seemed to do the trick!

Far from looking strange, the MDF panel is actually completely concealed by the dense jute, and whilst there is a subtle hardness where it sits beneath the rug there’s certainly nothing weird about the feel of it at all (no different to having a rug over floorboards or tiles).

In terms of movement, having the MDF panel alone made a huge difference though for some added staying power I also used a few small strips of strategically placed strong adhesive velcro.

Keep Your Rug in Place on Carpet

Now, not only does the rug stay neatly in place – even with the desk chair being shimmied back and forth twenty million times a minute – though you would never even know the MDF panel was there (and my growing baby bulge is increasingly grateful for the cessation of all my previous stooping and straightening at ground level – hey, it’s a long way down when you’re at 32 weeks gestation!).

Granted, this kind of solution is not really suitable for all rug-on-carpet scenarios though if you have a situation similar to mine it might just be the answer for you!

Oh, and about the home office reveal…I just have one more DIY project to complete then I’ll finally be sharing it – promise! Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when after a six month lead-up it leaves you feeling a little underwhelmed :-)

And oh, just in case you’re wondering, the rug is from Floorspace. It needed to be a pretty specific size and unfortunately I couldn’t find anything ‘off-the-shelf’ though to save on the usually extravagant cost of anything bespoke I arranged to have it custom-made from an old off-cut they already had.

 

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DIY No Sew Rolled Window Valance

No Sew DIY Rolled Window Valance

In our newly appointed home office space (which is almost finished and soon to be shared!) there’s a floor to ceiling double sliding windowed door (as briefly blogged about here). The natural light it affords the space is lovely. The blinding summer sun and frosty winter coolness which occasionally penetrates the glass…ummm, not so lovely. This was never an issue previously as the room was used as little more than a walkway, though now that it’s actually a functioning area there was need to install some sort of practical window treatment.

My usual solution in this type of scenario is a simple, off-the-shelf, black-out roller blind. They are cheap, effective, light blocking, climate controlling, easy to use and readily available, though on the unfortunate down-side, they are not particularly pretty. The blind itself I find discreet enough – a neat roll when up, a neat panel when down – though the visible plastic end caps, mechanism and chain kinda burn my eyes.

Roller Blind Plastic Mechanism and Chain

Previously, I have simply hung curtain panels to hide the ugly ends of my roller blinds though this particular window-slash-door isn’t really suited for drapery. However, it is easy enough to install some kind of pretty valance to conceal them instead. Though, of course, you don’t need the excuse of concealment to install a window valance, they are a lovely way to dress-up any window regardless.

I’ve called this a ‘no sew’ valance though it’s entirely up to you whether you choose to use fusible webbing (hemming tape) or a sewing machine – either will work equally well.

Note: the following tutorial is based on my particular requirements and the specific materials I used for my standard window (180cm wide x 210cm drop). Depending on several factors (window size, fabric weight, desired appearance, etc, etc) you may need/want to tweak the process slightly.
Measurements provided are predominately metric. If needed, for quick and easy conversion you can go here.

No Sew Window Valance Supplies

1. A roller blind (if applicable).
If you don’t actually require a usable window covering as I did, then this rolled valance can be effectively used purely for decorative purposes. I used a standard off-the-shelf block-out blind.
2. A length of timber to form the pelmet.
I used a 2.5 meter (8 foot) piece of 70mm (2.7″) wide x 18mm (6/8″) deep pine. Ensure your timber is longer than your window frame and slightly wider than your roller blind (if you are using a roller blind).
3. ‘L’ brackets.
4. Fabric.
I used a lovely mid-weight charcoal ticking I found online here at No Chintz, which I was fortunate to purchase at 50% off. The fabric was 137cm wide and I purchased 2 meters.
5. Fusible webbing (for the no sew method) or cotton thread (for sewing).
6. A fine dowel rod.
I used a piece of 2 meter (6.5 foot) long x 5mm diameter dowel.
7. Ribbon (or similar).
I used around five meters (5.5 yards) of 16mm (5/8″) wide natural linen herringbone I found here on Etsy.
8. Buttons (or similar).
I used rustic timber buttons.

DIY No Sew Window Valance

1. Mount your roller blind (if you are using one) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Position it inside, on or above your window frame as desired. This will form your guide for pelmet depth. If you are not using your valance to conceal anything then the window frame itself will be your depth guide.

DIY No Sew Rolled Window Valance

2. Cut your pelmet to length.
To get the length for your pelmet, measure your window at its widest point (frame to frame) then add around 5cm. This will ensure you have a slight overhang at either end.

Because my window sits on an intersecting wall…

Floor Plan

…the side of it (at the kitchen end) is clearly visible from elsewhere in the house so I also used a small off-cut of timber to form a little cap at this end to hide the roller blind when viewed from the side (this does create a nice finish though I wouldn’t have bothered with it if the side of the window wasn’t easily viewed).

DIY Rolled Window Valance Pelmet

I simply attached my end cap with some wood glue and two counter-sunk screws. I then filled the screw holes and painted it, along with the center of my pelmet where the two valances would meet, to co-ordinate with my existing architraves (of course you could choose to paint your entire pelmet though most of it will be covered by fabric).

Easy No Sew Rolled Window Valance

3. Measure and cut your fabric to size.
Basically, you’re simply after a panel (or two) of square or rectangular fabric. For my window I created two individual valances, hence I needed two identical panels. My pelmet was around 190cm long so each piece of my fabric needed to be about 95cm wide (once hemmed) to cover the pelmet entirely and, as I decided, around 100cm long to allow for ample ‘roll’ (though the length is not crucial). I allowed 5cm at each side for hemming so both of my un-hemmed pieces of fabric measured 105cm wide x 100cm long. Of course the size of your fabric panel/s is dependant on the width of your window and your desired amount of ‘roll’ (which can easily be experimented with). If your fabric is particularly thin or flimsy you may want to back it first for some added rigidity and opacity.

Easy No Sew Rolled Window Valance

4. Hem your fabric.
As already mentioned, you can do this with fusible webbing or with a sewing machine. Fold each side under twice (so the cut edge is concealed) in a straight line at the hem width you allowed for then press your hems into place with a hot iron to create firm creases. Pressing them in first not only gives you a distinct line to follow when actually sewing or fusing, it also allows you to double check that all is fine dimension wise prior. Once both sides are pressed, measure your fabric width and if you’re happy it is correct, actually fuse or sew your hems into place. Finish by hemming the bottom (this should naturally ensure you create a narrow pocket which is needed for step 5 – refer to photo above) then iron your valance panel/s so they are wrinkle-free and ready for hanging.

DIY Rolled Window Valance Dowel

5. Trim and insert dowel.
Cut your dowel slightly shorter than your panel/s and thread it inside the pocket you created in the bottom hem (as mentioned in step 4). I found that dowel was rigid enough to help give a nice, neat finish (and counter any floppiness, particularly at the ends) though also flexible enough to allow for some softness. Depending on many factors (the weight of your fabric, amount of roll, thickness of hems, look you’re after) you may not need it. Adversely, you may choose to use something larger and/or stiffer to create a more defined roll. It’s all just a matter of experimentation.

Easy No Sew Window Valance

6. Attach your valance to the top of the pelmet.
Place your pelmet on a solid surface (I just used the floor), position your fabric panel/s in place on top and attach away! You can use a staple gun or upholstery tacks or, for a less permanent solution, something removable such as velcro strips, double sided tape or even masking tape (I used double sided tape). This may be handy if you have plans to take the valance down frequently (for washing etc.) or if you like the idea of creating additional valance panels in different fabrics which can be easily interchanged! Although it’s not visible, for a neat finish I folded the raw top edge under before attaching it.

Rolled Window Valance Ribbon Loops

7. Create your ribbon loops.
Determine how long you want your valance to hang down, double the length then cut your lengths of ribbon a few cm’s longer. I wanted my valance to hang down around 35cm, so I cut my lengths of ribbon to 80cm each, which allowed for hemming the ends and overlapping the join. I hemmed my ribbon with a sewing machine though you could use fusible webbing. I joined my ribbon lengths to create the loops using rustic timber buttons which I simply hand-stitched on.

DIY Rolled Window Valance

8. Roll up your fabric and slip the loops over.
Place your pelmet with the fabric right side down on a large clear surface (I just used the floor) then roll up your panel/s, reasonably tightly, almost to the top. I rolled my fabric to the back though you could certainly choose to have your roll/s at the front (though just make sure you adapt the method for creating your panels so they are reversible – you could even use different complimentary fabrics front and back!). Slip your loops over the pelmet and rolled fabric then shimmy them roughly into place then. If desired, you can pick up your pelmet at this point to see how it will look once mounted. The fabric rolls should fall to rest within the ribbon loops. If needed the position of the loops and neatness of the fabric can be adjusted later.

Easy No Sew Rolled Window Valance Brackets

9. Attach your ‘L’ brackets to your wall.
Your pelmet should be reasonably lightweight though it’s best if you can position your brackets in wall studs. If not, plaster plugs are fine. I used two ‘L’ brackets which I positioned just above and inside each end of my roller blind.

No Sew Rolled Window Valance Underside

10. Place your pelmet on top of your brackets and screw it in from the underside.
You should have clear enough access if you lift the fabric valance/s out of the way (though you may need to dismount your roller blind). My soft pine pelmet required no pre-drilled holes and was easy to attach in situ. You may need to mark and pre-drill if you have difficulty. In the above photo you can clearly see how everything ‘goes’ together. The roller blind sits in under the pelmet and behind the fabric panels though can be easily lowered or raised without effecting the valance.

11. Done! If needed, re-mount your roller blind, smooth your valance/s and neaten your ribbons, then stand back and admire you new window dressing.

DIY Rolled Window Valance

I’m really happy with how this ‘experiment’ turned out and I especially like the informal, cottagey look of it. As mentioned above, the now concealed roller blind sits under the pelmet and behind the fabric panels so can be easily lowered or raised without effecting the valance one bit.

DIY No Sew Rolled Window Valance

I think the combination of timeless ticking fabric, natural linen ribbon and rustic timber buttons helps with the overall unpretentious feel, and the subtle curves seem to impart a gentle softness.

DIY No Sew Rolled Window Valance

Oh, and about the plastic chain (which can be seen in the photo for step 1 hanging down the left side of the window)…I completely hid it by anchoring it alongside the window frame using two small screws – one screwed into the side of the frame toward the top (which I tuck the chain behind) and one screwed into the side of the frame near the center where the chain ends (which I loop the chain around). Sorry, though it’s pretty much impossible to get a decent photo of this given it’s hidden behind a bookcase so I hope my explanation is clear enough.

DIY No Sew Rolled Window Valance to Conceal a Black-out Roller Blind

AT A GLANCE
SOURCES
Roller Blind – Spotlight ($35 on sale)
Ticking Fabric – No Chintz ($22 a meter on sale)
Linen Herringbone Ribbon – Etsy ($7 for six yards)
Rustic Timber Buttons – Spotlight ($5 for six)

 

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