Cutting Bamboo Shades & Thrift Store Chairs

Since our attic renovation cost a pretty penny, any finishes were extremely budget conscious. With 9 windows to cover (eek) and hardly any furniture, I had to improvise.

Customizing Bamboo Shades

I had remembered Jenny from Little Green Notebook blogged about scoring some dirt cheap roman shades from Lowes, so I headed there to see if (over a month later) anything was left. Cut to me stalking the website and store inventory, making orders over the phone and then canceling when they weren’t infact in stock, I finally got my hands on 9 sets of bamboo roman shades for less than $30. Yes, 3-0 dollars. I high-fived myself that day.

Customizing Bamboo Shades

They were on clearance because of a recall with the cords, something about them being a choking hazard. Lucky for me we don’t have any kids yet, and if any come over I’ll just put those babies (the cords) out of reach. I can make that sacrifice for a $3 shade.

The one minor problem was that they were about an inch and a half too wide for the window opening, and a bit too long, so we had to do some DIYing. Because I suck and didn’t take any pictures, I will quickly describe what I did. However, use this tutorial, this tutorial, and this youtube video which follow the same method we used.

To cut them to width:

1. Decide how wide you need them. Mark where you need to cut.
2. Roll them up as tightly as you can. This will help to make sure the shades don’t get shredded and cut as cleanly as possible. We used a combo of bungee cords and tape.
3. Secure the tight role with a few rounds of tape on both ends. We used electrical tape and lined up the tape on the line that needed to be cut. This left us with a clear line all the way around.
4. Whip out your circular saw and get to cutting. Good luck.

To hem the height:

1. Figure out the length that you want your shades to be. Add 2 inches and mark the shade.
2. Lay out the roman shade so you have access to all the mechanicals. Cut the strings so that you have enough room to retire them to the lowest loop once you cut the shades.
3. Cut the shade to your desired length.
4. Re-tie the bottom cord to the lowest loop.
5. Using a hot glue gun, glue and fold the bottom of the shade (it helps to look at the bottom of the shade you cut off for a guide as to how it was finished. Repeat (I found that folding the bottom hem twice gave it a nice weight and finished look. (A quick note about this part, my bamboo shades had a lot of raveling strings. I made sure that I glued the entire width of the blind in order to keep those strings from coming out).

Once you’re done and you can no longer feel your fingers, you’re left with beautiful custom shades!

Customizing Bamboo Shades

Customizing Bamboo Shades

Customizing Bamboo Shades


Customizing Bamboo Shades Customizing Bamboo Shades

I love them. A little too much.

The other small project I tackled was taking off the skirt of some fun chairs I found. I scooped these babies up from the Habitat Humanity ResStore for $25 each. In the store I loved the color and the velvet was in great condition, but they felt ‘meh’. As soon as I lifted the skirt and saw those cute little wooden legs, though, they felt perfect.

Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co.

If you have a pneumatic nailer in your home or can get your hands on one, it is the best way to staple upholstery. not only that, you feel like a total bad ass using it, thought that’s just a perk.

So I went to town inspecting the chair and figuring out how to cut and fold the skirt under so it didn’t look like I just hacked the skirt off. I removed the layers inside the fabric that kept the skirt taught, snipped it in the corners so it would fold under nicely, and stapled the skirt up.  I don’t think there’s any particular way to do this correctly since every chair is different and will need a different technique, so it’s all in trial and error. After some tweaking, we were good to go. Sorry for the blurryness.

Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co. Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co. Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co. Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co. Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co. Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co. Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co. Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co.

Updating Old Chair Skirts | HomeWork Design Co.

Months later and I am still loving both of these little projects. I think the shades turned out great and they work like a charm. Have a great weekend!

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