How to Make a Faux Roman Blind~

I meant to finish sharing how I put my laundry room together but life just kind of got in the way. We do have the Olympics happening here and it is just plain distracting. Who can resist watching the television when hockey is on? People need to understand that the love of hockey runs in most Canadians' blood. If you read my post about the real use of my living room you'd understand.

Tonight is the BIG night.

 It is Canada vs. USA for GOLD. Being Canadian I am hoping we win but I do have a soft spot for Americans because I loved living in US, shhh....don't tell anyone here though - my windows might get egged!


Here is how to make a faux Roman blind, just in case you wanted to know...

I love the look of Roman blinds but didn't need one for the laundry room as the window is frosted and privacy is not an issue.  I felt the window was plain and it needed something. After the quickest trip to Ikea ever I came back with the ideal fabric, a thick drapery weight cotton with a wonderful black and white graphic print. I made an ironing board cover with the fabric also, you can read about it here.

What you need:

*meter stick (yard stick)
*L-shape ruler (helps to have one to make square corners)
*lining (if you want - I didn't use any)
*balsa wood stick, preferably flat to mount your blind
*staple gun

*My wonderful sister directed my attention to this tutorial, how to fake a roman blind, at Sunset magazine, a great magazine that focusses on the west coast. Check it out.

The first thing that needs to be decided before you start is whether you want the blind to mount outside your window frame or inside. I chose the inside route. I measured the inside of the window frame and decided how long I wanted the blind to hang. Then I had to decide how many pleats I wanted in my faux blind. I chose to have 3.

When cutting out your fabric you need to allow for 2 inches extra along the sides and top for a hem. You then need to allow for the length to include your pleats and the bottom hem. The bottom hem should be about 2 inches, then allow for 2 inches per pleat. I allowed for the pleat to be inch wide and since you need to fold the fabric under you will need 2 inches for each 1 inch pleat. 

(Are you still following me, or is this clear as mud?

Since I wanted 3 pleats, that was 6 inches (2 x 3) + 2 inches for the bottom hem + 2 inches for the top hem + desired finished length= total length of fabric. (You must be thinking - that  you would never use math again - little do you know that sewing involves math, especially drapery!)

Using a slip stitch hem all the edges, being careful to make neat corners.

After hemming all the edges you need to decide where you want to pleats to start and finish. I just played around, using pins as markers, until I achieved the look I wanted. 

The next step is to tack the pleats down every few inches. To make a crisp looking blind I ironed my pleats. You don't need to, it all depends on how you want your blind to look.

Measure the width of the blind and cut your balsa wood to fit the width. Taking your staple gun, staple the inside of the top hem to the strip of wood. 

Next step is to mount the strip of wood to the top of the window frame using small nails. Just nail through the wood and fabric. Balsa wood is very light and easy to nail through. 

Then you can step back and admire a job well done.

 After mounting my first attempt I realized the blind was a bit plain and need a bit more pop, so I untacked the pleats and added 2 rows of black grosgrain ribbon on both edges. 

Ahh... much better

I am hoping to get my act together and share how I made the window chalkboard. I am also trying to write a few posts that I can share while I am off suntanning, er, working in Hawaii.

Have a wonderful Sunday and may the best Canadian man win!

Linking to: 
SNS at Funky Junk Interiors
Make it Monday at Cottage Instincts
DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land


I would like to thank Kendall at Finesse Your Nest for doing a little write-up and featuring me and my blog on Feature a Newbie Wednesday! If you want great ideas for your home you need to check her blog out. She is great at re-purposing found objects (you won't believe what she finds in the trash) and creating a wonderful home without spending much. 

Thanks Kendall!

I have also had a busy week. I am getting ready to head out of town to Hawaii for a daughter's track team 12 day training camp trip. I was asked to chaperone and well - gosh darn it -  it is a tough job but somebody has to do it. 

I know life is rough.

 Please don't feel sorry for me.

 I am still going to post how I made the faux roman blinds and chalkboard window for my laundry room. I know I said I would post last week but life has a funny way of getting in the way! 

Once upon a time....

One of my faithful readers, Alissa from 33 Shades of Green, (you have to check out her site - I love her sewing projects, recipes and photographs) asked if there was a story behind the license plate that is hanging on the wall above my laundry room sink. As a matter of fact there is. 

(my husband made me blur the license plate in case there was some identity thief reading my blog)

Our family had the most amazing experience living in the state of Virginia for a few years. Being Canadian we were skeptical about living among the Americans. We have lived in Canada both on the west coast and on the prairies but moving to the east and another country was a scary concept. We would be far from family and familiar surroundings. To convince the kids we declared this was our adventure and we would come to Virginia not expecting anything but to just embrace what comes our way. My husband and my kids have rich American ancestry, family that settled the Plymouth colony to an American Revolutionary war hero great (a few times over) grandfather, Colonel Timothy Bigelow. (You can read about him here) We used that to our advantage embracing American and Virginian history, realizing that it was our children's history. This enriched our experience.

We fell in love. 

Virginia was a wonderful place to live.

 The people were so amazing and welcoming. Our neighbours were our extended family. It was incredibly heartbreaking to move back to the west and Canada. We miss Virginia daily and would move back in a flash. So instead of handing back the license plates to the DMV we kept them. I mounted them into shadow boxes and wrote about it here. One is hanging in my son's room and the other in the laundry room to remind us of our most amazing time livin' down south with y'all.

Ironing Board Cover How-to~

Making the ironing board cover was super easy. I chose a thick cotton fabric from Ikea. I liked the print and the weight of the fabric. The price point was fantastic, at $6.99 per meter it made it very affordable.

When choosing fabric for an ironing board you need to remember that an iron heats up to a high heat and the fabric you choose needs to withstand high heat. That is why cotton or a linen would make a great choice. Also keep in mind to choose a colour-fast fabric. When you use steam and heat you don't want the print to transfer to the clothing you are ironing.


*fabric of your choice 
*sewing machine
*ribbon long enough to make a
*some patience or strong coffee (I always have a cup on hand)

The fabric was 150 cm wide (60 inches) and was wide enough that the length of the ironing board fit across the width of the fabric. All I needed was about 50 cm length of fabric. I cut out a rectangle about 3 inches larger all around using the ironing board as a template. 

*Note: I use metric and standard measurements interchangeably - after living in both the US and Canada I am totally mixed-up!

Next I traced the curves of the top and bottom of the board leaving an extra 3 inches of fabric around.

After ironing and pinning a hem of about 5/8 ", I sewed a casing for the ribbon to go through. 

I cut a length of ribbon that was about 1 meter longer than the perimeter of the ironing board (never thought you would have to ever whip out the geometry knowledge again - did you?) Using a safety pin I "threaded" the ribbon into the casing. This took a while and you need a lot of patience. Make sure you really secure the safety pin into the ribbon so you don't lose it in the casing and have to start all over like I did. 

Then lay the cover over your board (I placed it on top of the previous cover because it came padded) and pull the ends of the ribbon to cinch the cover over the board. Tie up the ends of the ribbon and then....

...happy ironing!

Rubbermaid Bins Get a Makeover~

My laundry room is not only a place where LOADS of laundry get cleaned but a room where I store craft supplies, sewing materials, etc. For storage I use Rubbermaid bins. I love Rubbermaid bins of all shapes and sizes, they are all over my house. We have moved so many times that a majority of our items that belong in the crawl space or basement are stored in them. The movers enjoy it because they have less boxes to pack and unpack! 

In the laundry room I had a collection of mismatched clear Rubbermaid bins but wanted to unify them. First I switched out the lids to white using other bins that are in various closets throughout the house. As I was rummaging through my paint collection I remembered my pint of chalkboard paint. Why not paint chalkboard labels onto the bins? I had attempted to paint some here, when I thought I could replicate a Martha project. If you look closely at my laundry room photos you will see I spray painted over that. 

First I taped off rectangles onto the bins. Using a disposable foam roller I painted an oil-based chalkboard paint over my marked area. I had to paint about three coats to cover the plastic. After letting it dry for 24 hours they were ready to be used. 

I am not sure if this would work with latex paints, it might not adhere to the plastic. I know Rustoleum carries a spray-on plastic primer that would then make the plastic surface accept latex paint.  I considered using that for the lids and spray painting them black but the weather turned on me and I didn't feel like waiting for a sunny day.  

Later this week I will share:

How to turn a window into a chalkboard
How to make a faux roman blind
How to make an ironing board cover
The story behind the license plate (someone asked!)

Linking to:
DIY Day at A Soft Place To Land
Power of Paint @ Domestically Speaking
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk
Make it Monday at Cottage Instincts
* edited Feb 26 :Frugal Friday at the Shabby Nest

Laundry Room Reveal~

I am finally finished the laundry room. 

Truth be told I was waiting for some sun to take some photos and to finish my 6 loads of laundry. I started this room a few weeks back when my plans were waylaid by a sick child. What is a home-bound girl going to do? 


My oldest daughter had walked in and asked "Why the laundry room? No one sees it"

 My response:

 a) I am procrastinating in finishing your room darling.

b) I had the uncontrollable compulsive urge to paint something (do you ever get that?)

c) I tend to do a lot of laundry (ask my husband - he is always commenting on the never-ending laundry) and I need a pretty room to do it in.

 I do live in a rental home but I can still have a lovely laundry room.

My goal was to spend nothing.

I did end up buying fabric for the ironing board cover and faux roman blind at Ikea and new knobs for the cupboards - cost me $13.00 for the fabric and $1.99 for the knobs.
Using leftover Benjamin Moore Buttercream paint from the family room I painted the 90's away.
Everything else was re-purposed or re-arranged. Love what spray paint and chalkboard paint can do to a room!

So here it is.

Before in all it's peachy loveliness...


This week I will share some of the details of how I made or improved the items that helped bring this laundry room to its final glory.

Linking to:
*edited March 30: Beneath My Heart
*edited April 9:

Peony Painting~

A while back the kids and I had a fun night of painting. I had bought several canvases and we whipped out my acrylic paints and paintbrushes and just experimented with the medium. The results were fantastic! I am in the process of framing one daughter's art from that night. 

This is what I painted. I love peonies and took photos of some last spring. My  goal is to to paint a few more for the oldest daughters bedroom. She really wants bright pink accents to go with her apple green walls. It was cheap, just the cost of the canvas. So whip out those paints and have fun - you never know what you can come up with!

I am redoing the oldest daughter's room at a real snail's pace. We have differences of opinion (she is almost 16 - she keeps reminding me of that fact - therefore she knows everything). She wants bright pink everywhere and I would like to tone it down. I also need to address her bed issue (she is a gorgeous 6 foot tall girl) and I keep putting it aside. 

What I need to do is focus on one project at a time and finish - the laundry room is almost done, I am just finishing up sewing. Hopefully the sun will stick around so I can take some great photos of the space, it can be quite dark. If I can get my act together today then hopefully I can reveal the laundry room later this week!

This painting is going to visit:
DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land
Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking
Transformation Thursday at the Shabby Chic Cottage
Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous
The Inspired Room

Fabric Find~

I visited Ikea today in what would of been my fastest trip to that store ever. I was in and out in 30 minutes - quite a feat for me. I have been looking for fabric to make a faux roman blind for my laundry room and finally have found what I was looking for. You also can't beat the price for the upholstery weight cotton: $6.99 per meter.
I love the print. 
I bought 4 meters, way too much for what I need but I am a bit of a fabric collector, you never know when inspiration hits and you might need some fabric. So I will be busy sewing this weekend and hopefully finish the laundry room.

Stockholm Blad in White