Have you ever ordered a custom window treatment? They are crazy expensive. Especially if you have an odd-shaped window that requires a specific non-traditional size. Maybe you don’t need custom shades but looking online for roman shades for a door is just frustrating. What if you just can’t find what you are looking for and the options you are offered aren’t really something you love and they are especially over budget? What if your budget is really tight?
That’s exactly the dilemma I found myself in. We have a back door that is mostly windows and I liked the ability to look out the window and let light in during the day but wanted the option to close the shades for privacy and especially at night because our back door looks onto our carport and the motion sensor light in there is wonky and stays on half the night it seems. I also wanted something that was not heavy and did not bang against the door when it was opened and closed (the sound of Venetian blinds banging against a door makes me cringe). And I needed something dog and kid friendly that I could keep out of reach of their paws. So I settled on roman shades because I liked the look and functionality for our back door.
The dimensions that I needed were 27″ wide and about 50″ long. On top of the odd length, I also did not have an inset area in which to install the shade so I needed it to be installed on the door itself.
I started researching and found a small selection of boring beige blinds at Home Depot but only 6 fit my dimensions and I didn’t like any of them anyway. Blinds.com has a wide range of custom blinds but for the design I liked they quoted me $178.
I did find some blinds that I liked online and would actually fit my specifications, but these were $88 (though I am almost sold on the velcro removal and washability, someone with kids thought of that I’m sure).
I have a minor crafty side and I like to do small DIY projects around the house so I decided, screw it, I’m going to make these curtains. Plus I didn’t have the budget to buy anything but was willing to spend around $30 to make it myself. Also, I wasn’t loving what I found pre-made anyway.
How hard can it be? Not hard at all actually. It only took me three years and about 6 hours out of my weekend to get it done. For three years we had a towel hanging on our door secured with push pins. Super classy over here right? We removed it when we had people over because it really doesn’t look the best. But we also got used to it
Three years of procrastinating and a weekend with my husband out of town filled with two nap times, a couple episodes of Daniel Tiger, a late evening gluing, waiting overnight for the glue to dry, and a morning of my daughter drawing on the floor and walls with crayons while I hung the blinds. Full disclosure, I did have to get my husband to assist me in installing the brackets on the door since I am a weakling and even with a screw gun I was having a hard time getting the screws into the wooden door.
I followed this tutorial from Simply Mrs. Edwards and it was really easy to do. The steps are simple but I had to make a few small modifications. I bought blinds from Walmart that did not have a fully removable hook for the blind rod and so I had to leave the small hook on but I covered it up fully with the fabric so you don’t notice it.
I really like the end result and I especially like that I was able to use the same fabric that I used to make my matching cafe curtains for my kitchen window, which I made years ago when I got the idea for this project and bought the fabric. It is not the fanciest or most professional-looking curtain and you can see the blinds in the back through the window but it serves the exact purpose I needed. It moves smoothly up and down (for the most part because the string can catch on the blind so you have to be careful), it looks nice, and it provides privacy while also letting some light in.
Here’s the cost breakdown:
Fabric from JoAnn Fabric- $10 (I lost my receipt but I think that is close and I used a coupon)
Mini blind from Walmart- $8.88
Fabri-Tac Glue from JoAnn Fabric- $5.99
Grand total: $24.87
So I came in under my $30 budget!
Here’s the finished result and the matching curtains on my kitchen window.
So what do you think? Have you tackled a DIY project to save money? How did it turn out?