Week 3 of our living room transformation for the One Room Challenge focuses on carpet dent removal and transforming roller blinds!
This week I had so much to share that I ended up splitting it up into two parts! Part 1 is all about carpet dent removal while Part 2 is all about transforming roller blinds!
If you are coming over from the One Room Challenge, WELCOME! Be sure to check them both out and for that matter, be sure to check out what I’ve been doing every week for this challenge! Each week is linked at the bottom of this post!
Can I just say that I was SO nervous for this part of the living room transformation? I don’t know why, they are just blinds, but cutting them made me nervous! I knew these were nice, high end roller blinds and I knew I didn’t want to mess something up and have to buy replacement blinds!
Practice Trimming the Roller Blinds
Luckily I had a roller blind I could practice on, well kind of. You see we have the three roller blinds in the living room I wanted to transform and we also have a very similar blind at the kitchen window. The one at the kitchen window is one that has a cord to pull to raise or lower it. It’s also made out of a different fabric thickness and pattern. But it does have the scallops like the living room windows and that was my main task with this project. I just wanted the scallops gone!
The fabric pattern and texture in the living room I think looks good and with the cost of buying new, I just thought that was silly when I could trim off the scallops. Now the kitchen window is a different story. I do not like the fabric pattern on that roller blind. So a future project will be to attempt to iron on some fabric over the existing fabric. That is another reason I felt totally fine practicing on the kitchen blinds for this transformation. If I did ruin it, it was only one blind, one blind I didn’t like anyway.
This is actually after I trimmed the scallops, but you can also see here the roller blind pattern of fabric that I don’t like in the kitchen.
Removing the Blinds
I knew that this project would be so much easier and a higher likelihood of success if I could remove the blinds to work on them. Cutting on a flat surface seemed like a much better idea than trying to cut while they hung on the window. I did what everyone does these days and I went to Google. Well, actually, first I searched on the blinds to try to find the brand. I found a tag and it said Graber. Then, I went to Google and searched “graber blinds how to remove.”
THIS YouTube video pulled up with directions on how MOST Graber blinds could be removed. I got my flathead screw driver and tried to remove the blinds. I tried, and tried, and tried, and tried. My shoulders burned, I was ready to throw the screw driver across the room and give up. Sat down for a second, scrolled Instagram, and tried again. Like not once, but a gazillion times. I heard ONE out of 6 brackets click. I had success on ONE! But, I couldn’t get the other end to work, so I thought maybe I had popped it out too far, so I pushed it back. Click. It went back in to the bracket. I thought, well I KNOW this one works, so let’s do it again. Tried and tried, and tried…you get the picture. Nothing.
This time I took a break and took the kids to school. Also in this time I had rewatched the video like 10 times. Did more searches only to find out, this is literally the only helpful video or posting about removing Graber blinds!
I come home and repeat this process for like another hour! You laugh, but I was NOT laughing. 2 HOURS later…success! The entire time I was trying to do what YouTube said I was also just pushing and pulling and twisting other things too. Because lets face it NOTHING was working. And then, I got one off. And as soon as I understood the mechanism, I got them all off in about 2 seconds. Annoying, frustrating, a time waster, but I’m glad I didn’t give up!
Turns out YouTube was wrong! At least for the style of blinds I have. You don’t need a flathead screw driver. You don’t need to be on the back side of the blinds. You simply push the clear button/tab and what locks them in place, unlocks! It was so easy once I knew what to do! I had pushed on that clear tab numerous times in the prior 2 hours, but I either didn’t do it hard enough or wasn’t pulling and twisting the blind the right way, while pushing in that clear tab.
On the left side is that clear tab that you push while your other hand holds the blind. The hand the holds the blind pulls the back side (closest to the window) of the blind down as the button is pushed.
Both on the kitchen window and in the living room, the blinds have what I’m going to refer to as a valance. That basically hides the roller blade and blocks the daylight that comes between the window frame and the roller. To remove that, you simply slide the valance down. You must keep the valance parallel to the floor, or even as you remove it, because it is a very tight fit. The 2 pictures on the right, show how that works.
Transforming Your Roller Blinds
- Box cutter with a NEW blade
- Even better would be to have THIS
- Mat to cut on that won’t dull your blade
- THIS set would be perfect. I had a small one that I ended up throwing away in the move. My mom also had one for quilting, so at the old house I would have just ran across the road to borrow hers!
- Straight edge
- I need to buy THIS since I can’t go across the road to borrow my dad’s now that we moved. The yellow fiberglass yardstick I used is not straight and I know this because every time I use my box cutter I end up shaving off some of it!!
- Hem tape
- THIS is what I got. I didn’t want to sew and I didn’t want to iron. The last time I ironed for a project, I melted our carpet!
Measure twice, cut once.
With this in mind, I studied the blind on the table and thought A LOT! Right before I cut the fabric I changed my mind again, and I’m very happy I did. Picture on the left I thought about just lining up my yard stick with the thick bottom rail of the blind. That would be super easy and I would have a straight line.
After thinking about the hemming process though, I decided that that wouldn’t leave me with enough fabric. You see, I would have to fold the end to make a clean edge and I just wasn’t sure that would look very professional. The wide rail piece on the shade would be followed by a tiny piece of fabric after I made my fold.
Then, in the middle picture you will see that I lined up my yardstick with the top of the scallop. I thought that seemed easy and straight and I was ready cut. Then, I decided that this might not be the best idea for a straight finish. So I paused and tried to figure out if I had anything else straight I could put inbetween these to pieces, the rail and the yardstick or, was there something wider I could use to line up next to the rail.
What I found was a random scrap piece of a very long board that the previous owners had left in the basement. Somehow I lucked out and it fit perfectly between the rail and the yardstick and it gave me confidence that I was getting a straight edge.
Now it’s time to actually make the cut. I did add a new blade to my box cutter in the hopes that it would cut a smooth, crisp line. Just to make sure I didn’t need to stop and go purchase THIS cutter, I made a slit in one of the scallops. It worked fine, so I proceeded.
I also should mention that I am working on my kitchen island to trim the roller blinds. I did not have a cutting mat, so I laid down a layer of foam board that I had saved in case the kids needed something last minute for school. On top of that I had another layer with a piece of cardboard I use kind of like a drop cloth. I gauged the length of the blade to make sure I wouldn’t cut through to my counters!
One thing I did notice was that the blind in the kitchen and the blinds in the living room not only worked differently, the one in the kitchen you open and shut by pulling a chain, but, the fabric was also different. The living room blinds had a fuzzy layer on the back. Maybe to help block out more light or to provide a little insulation. Either way that fabric did seem to fray as I cut. Another explanation for that is the fact that I was cutting into cardboard instead of on a cutting mat. The card board could have been dulling the new blade.
The hemming tape I used was basically just heavy duty double sided tape. And let me tell you it was sticky!
In preparation of hemming, I decided it would be helpful to draw a straight line to use as a guide for laying down my tape AND for folding the hem to get a straight edge. The first couple times I pressed down firmly with a pencil that did not have lead sticking out of it. I was hoping that I could make a groove in the fabric that would make it easy to fold after I added the hem tape.
Initially, I also lightly drew a line with pencil. After hemming the kitchen roller blind I realized that I could draw a line with pen because no one would ever be able to see it.
I used the line as a guide to lay down the hemming tape. When you peel the hemming tape off of the roll, one side will be sticky, while the other side is covered with thick paper. The tape was very easy to line up on the line. After it was lined up I used the yardstick end and sometimes the scissor handles to apply a lot of pressure onto the tape. I wanted to make sure it was sticking very well before I peeled off the paper backing.
To remove the paper backing, you simply start in one corner to get the backing loose and then pull. The double sided tape will stay on the roller blind.
It may be hard to see in the pictures, but the pencil line is still visible and we also have the line of adhesive to guide us where to fold the roller blind fabric.
I started at one end and then worked my way to the other end. Grabbing the end of the roller blade I would fold at the line in each hand, with maybe 4 inches between. Once both hands had folded fabric, then I would apply pressure with my left hand to engage the adhesive tape and then I would work my left hand towards my right until that section had a nice hem. I continued that process all the way across the bottom of the blind.
Then just like when I applied pressure to the paper backing of the adhesive to make sure it would stay in place, I used a flat surface like my yard stick and applied pressure to the hem, making sure the tape had a good hold and also smoothing out any wrinkles in the hem.
Around this time it occurred to me that you would be able to see this hem from the wrong side of the blind if you were outside of our house. I debated folding the hem over another time to make an even cleaner, more professional edge, but I opted not to. It would be very easy to do, so if you are transforming your roller blinds and unhappy with how your hem looks, folding it again gives you another option.
The pictures above show you the difference between one fold and two. On the left is what mine look like after one fold. In the middle and on the right I am holding the hem in place to show you what it would look like if I folded it a second time.
I hopped outside to make sure I was happy with how they looked from a guests view. This was why I didn’t worry about rolling the hem a second time.
This was my first attempt at hanging the finished roller shade. Note that the chain used to raise and lower it, got hooked on the faucet!
One Room Challenge
Want to see more participants in the One Room Challenge? Check it out HERE.
Living Room Makeover Game Plan
Week 3 – Tackle the Carpet & Transform the Window Treatment
These posts were long, so I split them up into two parts.
Part 2 – Trimming the Blinds, which you are currently reading.
Week 6 – Built-Ins *fingers crossed this gets done in time
I think my carpenter finally has a game plan for the faux cabinet drawers! Wood should get ordered this week, although I am still under the assumption that they will not be finished before the One Room Challenge is over. Oh well! I will still be finishing and completing this room as soon as I can!
Week 7 – Staining the Built-Ins
Week 8 – Adding Decor
I need to get thrifting for this as well! I want to incorporate some old vintage wall paper that has been my inspiration for this space. I plan on framing it and I need 3 matching frames. I’m on the hunt for simple sleek frames with lots of matting! Wish me luck!
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