Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Return to Sender Window Treatment Tutorial + Freebie

So now that you saw the window treatment, its time to reveal how I did it. The most exciting bit was that it cost me a total of $1 in supplies I didn't already have laying around the house.

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First off its a faux roman shade - it doesn't go up and down - perfect for my needs since privacy and light is not an issue in here. I thought about what I wanted in here for a long time - solid was too boring, a geometric print was too mod, a floral print was too fussy. So then it hit me, why not take my love of vintage ephemera and do something more whimsical up there? If you are wondering, you can very easily sew this if you are even a tiny bit comfy with a machine. I just didn't have any matching thread so I decided to glue.

Materials & Tools: drop cloth fabric, fabric glue, a strip of wood, t-shirt transfer paper, iron, printer, staple gun, scissors, hammer, measuring tape, nails, tacks

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Step 1: I started at my desk and did a layout of a vintage letter on my computer until I was happy with how it would look. Lucky for you, I've done that part for you - you can just download the images you'll need at the bottom of this post.

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Step 2: Print out all the elements on t-shirt vinyl paper and cut to size.

Step 3: Cut your drop cloth fabric to the width of the window plus 4 inches and about 2/3 the length of the window (the length doesn't need to be exact since you'll be folding it up)

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Step 4: Fold over the ends of the fabric and iron away until you get a nice clean hem. Its a good idea to measure along the way to make sure you've ended up with the right width.

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Step 5: Glue a bead of fabric glue under each hem. While drying, layout tshirt transfers as you'd like them to appear.

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Step 6: Iron on transfers one by one. Perfection is not necessary. Tip: If you remove the transfer while its still extremely hot, you'll get a more distressed result. If you allow it to cool for just a few seconds, you'll get a clean transfer. I used the distressed techique for some and the clean technique for others.

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Step 7: Wrap the short end of the fabric around the stick and staple in place.

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Step 8: Play around with the folds until you are happy with the arrangement and length of the treatment.

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Step 9: Stitch or tack the folds into place. I did both but its not necessary if your fabric is not as heavy.

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Step 10: Nail or screw into the top of your window. Voila. Success!

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Its not perfect. I used a pen to mark the transfers - completely unnecessary and impossible to get the marks off. (Word to the wise: don't do that!) I also need to add some skinny dowels to the inside of folds to get them to hang a bit straighter but I didn't have those on hand. That said, I don't mind the imperfections much. Its the little bit of fun it that this space needed.

Ready to make your own? { Download the images here }