Save Money by Converting Your Existing Roller Blinds
There are many reasons why you might be considering new blinds. Perhaps you’ve just bought a luxury modern sofa and realised that your existing blinds clash horribly with them. Or maybe you are creating a home movie theater, after being inspired by Octane Seating, but you need some blackout blinds to reduce your room’s ambient lighting.
Whatever the reason, you will be pleased to know that you probably don’t have to splash out on a brand new set of roller blinds. If the roller mechanism is working well, simply replace the fabric using the step-by-step instructions below:
Preparations: What you will need
To begin with, you will clearly need to get hold of some replacement fabric. You have two main choices: a simple cotton can be stiffened to form blinds or you can use canvas or a similar fabric which is already stiff. Although other fabrics can be stiffened, the results are not always great.
If you are looking to create blackout blinds, buy some specialist blackout material. It goes without saying that the fabric will need to be larger in size than the existing material so it is best to remove the old fabric first so you know how much you need (see the method below).
In addition to the fabric, you will need:
- Iron on webbing
- Large, sharp pair of scissors
- Blind fabric stiffening spray (unless you are using canvas or similar)
Take down blinds
Most roller blinds are held in place by spring-loaded attachments that fit into wall or frame-mounted brackets. The roller blind itself can normally be detached by simply pushing the mechanism from one side.
Remove the old fabric
Take time to work out exactly how the fabric attaches to the roller as this can differ. Some rollers contain a slot through which the fabric slides, others use screws or adhesive tape.
Next, detach the fabric from the roller in the appropriate way, putting any screws or other attachments in a safe place. Remove the bottom rail from its pocket.
Step 3. Measure and cut the new fabric
Lay the old fabric on top of the new and use this as a guide to mark out where to cut. You will need 1cm extra on either side for making the seam. Leave at least 5cm at the bottom.
Step 4. If you need to stiffen the fabric, follow the instructions on the stiffening spray. Laminating is an even better method for stiffening fabric but can be quite expensive.
Step 5. On a large table, fold one edge of the fabric in on itself by 1cm, making sure it is parallel all the way down (use the try-square for this). When you’re satisfied, create a hem using iron on webbing (place a cloth between the iron and the fabric to avoid the danger of scorching or staining it). Repeat with the other edge.
Step 6. Measure the width and depth of the bottom rail and add 0.5cm. For cylindrical rails, multiply the diameter by 3.5cm.
Step 7. Fold the bottom of the fabric behind until it is the same length as the original fabric. Measure the distance calculated in Step 6 and pin the fabric in place, checking the right angle using the try-square.
Step 8. Hem above the line of pins using webbing. Once secure, trim the rest of the fabric and remove the pins. Insert the bottom rail back into the pocket you have made.
Step 9. Re-attach the fabric to the roller using the reverse of Step 2, taking care to keep the fabric at right angles to the roller.
Step 10. Insert the blind back into the brackets and test by rolling/unrolling. You may need to repeat Steps 9 and 10 until the blind is dead straight.
Now, when you invite your friends to your next house party you can truthfully tell them that you have created your own set of blinds.
Ronnie is a home decor and DIY geek, HGTV addict, writer and blogger. He’s currently writing on home theater seating for Octane Seating, the industry’s number one source for quality products, competitive prices and knowledgeable service. Follow on Twitter @OctaneSeating