Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Return to Sender Window Treatment Tutorial + Freebie

So now that you saw the window treatment, its time to reveal how I did it. The most exciting bit was that it cost me a total of $1 in supplies I didn't already have laying around the house.
2011DSC_0337-EditVintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
First off its a faux roman shade - it doesn't go up and down - perfect for my needs since privacy and light is not an issue in here. I thought about what I wanted in here for a long time - solid was too boring, a geometric print was too mod, a floral print was too fussy. So then it hit me, why not take my love of vintage ephemera and do something more whimsical up there? If you are wondering, you can very easily sew this if you are even a tiny bit comfy with a machine. I just didn't have any matching thread so I decided to glue.
Materials & Tools: drop cloth fabric, fabric glue, a strip of wood, t-shirt transfer paper, iron, printer, staple gun, scissors, hammer, measuring tape, nails, tacks
2011DSC_0255Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Step 1: I started at my desk and did a layout of a vintage letter on my computer until I was happy with how it would look. Lucky for you, I've done that part for you - you can just download the images you'll need at the bottom of this post.
2011DSC_0256Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg2011DSC_0257Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Step 2: Print out all the elements on t-shirt vinyl paper and cut to size.
Step 3: Cut your drop cloth fabric to the width of the window plus 4 inches and about 2/3 the length of the window (the length doesn't need to be exact since you'll be folding it up)
2011DSC_0268Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Step 4: Fold over the ends of the fabric and iron away until you get a nice clean hem. Its a good idea to measure along the way to make sure you've ended up with the right width.
2011DSC_0273Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Step 5: Glue a bead of fabric glue under each hem. While drying, layout tshirt transfers as you'd like them to appear.
2011DSC_0277-EditVintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg2011DSC_0278Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg

2011DSC_0280Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Step 6: Iron on transfers one by one. Perfection is not necessary. Tip: If you remove the transfer while its still extremely hot, you'll get a more distressed result. If you allow it to cool for just a few seconds, you'll get a clean transfer. I used the distressed techique for some and the clean technique for others.
2011DSC_0304Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Step 7: Wrap the short end of the fabric around the stick and staple in place.
2011DSC_0289-EditVintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg2011DSC_0299Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Step 8: Play around with the folds until you are happy with the arrangement and length of the treatment.
2011DSC_0294Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Step 9: Stitch or tack the folds into place. I did both but its not necessary if your fabric is not as heavy.
2011DSC_0307Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Step 10: Nail or screw into the top of your window. Voila. Success!
2011DSC_0329Vintage letter roman shade window treatment.jpg
Its not perfect. I used a pen to mark the transfers - completely unnecessary and impossible to get the marks off. (Word to the wise: don't do that!) I also need to add some skinny dowels to the inside of folds to get them to hang a bit straighter but I didn't have those on hand. That said, I don't mind the imperfections much. Its the little bit of fun it that this space needed.
Ready to make your own? { Download the images here }

75 comments:

  1. Stacy@RedDoorHome9:12 AM

    Another super creative and clever idea!

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  2. Morgane9:41 AM

    it is a great windown treatment, I always loved the old air mail letter, and since those enveloppes are always see through, it really gives the same vibe. Great tut.
    what paint color did you use for this room? I am looking for a grey blue and yours looks perfect. Thanks.

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  3. Jill Stigs9:45 AM

    Whoa..........you are seriously creative. So cool and just perfect for the room. I think you need to re-name it now that the boxes are out of it! :)

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  4. homeroad9:49 AM

    Thank you thank you for this great project and for the download. I too love everything vintage ephemera and I will be trying this project next!
    Thanks again for your help!
    Susan

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  5. Lori and Ethne (wom-mom)9:59 AM

    Great idea. I have done several roman shades using glue and plastic blinds, but I haven't seen this one yet. Definitely going to try it.

    www.wom-mom.com

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  6. Cara Gardner10:37 AM

    very very cool!

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  7. Awesome tutorial, as always! I wish I had a window that needed this. I need a bigger house! :)

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  8. I love this! Thank you for the clip art.

    Janie
    Romantic Domestic

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  9. Nancy Carey11:35 AM

    love it!! if you don't mind me asking what type of printer do you use? i'm in the market for one and there are sooo many to chose from!! ugh..since you do a ton of printing and it always looks great I wanted to ask you :) xoxo's nancy

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  10. Beautiful job, Mrs. L. Love the "par avion" design. Perfect for the world traveler in you.

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  11. Nike@ChooseToThrive11:46 AM

    Perfect! Favorite window treatment to date.

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  12. Love it! What a great idea about the transfers! Fantastic that you didn't need to stitch anything!

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  13. Absolutely amazing idea and execution. I am impressed!

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  14. Michelle12:13 PM

    oh.my.gosh! I love it! This may end up being the window treatment in my little boy's big boy room!

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  15. wow!! you totally impress me!

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  16. Kelly @ Bungalow Blue12:37 PM

    What a unique idea! Great job!

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  17. Amanda @ House Revivals1:34 PM

    This is such a fun and unique idea! Wonderful! Thank you for the tutorial.
    ~Amanda

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  18. Barb in CA3:31 PM

    There is no limit to your clever ideas! Luv the window treatment . . . and thanks for providing the templates.

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  19. Rachel4:09 PM

    This is fabulous...ADORE the birdcage, too! By the way, I'm popping over from Vintage Junky.

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  20. MrsLimestone4:28 PM

    Thanks! The color in here is Benjamin Moore Silver Marlin. Its more of a gray green blue than a strict gray blue - but it definitely changes in different lights.

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  21. MrsLimestone4:29 PM

    Hi Nancy - Whenever I do a project like this for myself, I use a cheap inkjet printer (the one Im using cost $100). But when I do a larger printer project, I send it out to a professional printer. You really can't replicate professional printing at home so I don't try to :)

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  22. Funky Junk Interiors7:09 PM

    This is so adorable! I found it on Pinterest and had to race on over to see who it belonged to. Oh my gosh.. it's YOU!! :)

    Facebooked it!

    Donna

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  23. Was it a ballpoint pen? Hairspray will take ballpoint ink off fabric.

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  24. Bambilynnpro7:15 PM

    APPLAUSE!

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  25. Janell Beals7:30 PM

    This is brilliant, looks fun in the room! Janell

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  26. Ohbrooke7:53 PM

    What?!?! You are SO CUTE! This is adorable.

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  27. That turned out SO cute!!! You could use that idea for some really cute nursery curtains as well!!

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  28. RachelShingleton9:23 PM

    OMG.

    THOSE

    ARE

    SO

    CUTE!

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  29. This is awesome - I am sharing on my blog! Thanks so much!

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  30. Rachel10:32 PM

    Wow, thanks SO much for this! the images are fabulous! I'll be linking.

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  31. What a fabulous tutorial! Mrs. Limestone, I can't even imagine anything else on that window! It's so perfect! :)

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  32. Awesome. Thank you for sharing...you are so very talented.

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  33. Morgane7:29 AM

    thank you, I will check it out.

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  34. I am bookmarking this, because it's one project that I will do this summer. It's going to give our space such character. Great idea!

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  35. WOW.. how creative.. love it!

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  36. Onekidlet8:47 AM

    First Class! Fabulous idea... and really great instructions!

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  37. Ms_Bright9:28 AM

    Seriously Stefanie, this project is destined for FAME! It reminds me of the glory days...Blueprint, Domino...It's completely fabulous and SO very you! Such talent and creativity!

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  38. This looks great!

    Just wondering about the pen marks - did you try one of those Tide Pens? I've found that they are magic at would-be-permanent marks on cloth. I've used them a ton on crafting projects where I thought I'd never get a mark out, with great results.

    uglyducklinghouse.blogspot.com

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  39. Pmanes5710:59 AM

    This is just so fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing.
    ~Pam
    pamspaintparlor.typepad.com

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  40. Thank you so much for this tutorial, I am going to try this. Do you think it would work on Osnaburg material instead?

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  41. what a great idea and what a good blog. My wife wants to try this as a project.

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  42. I saw some gorgeous french letter sheets somewhere for way too much money. I'm thinking this will be replicated on some cheap white sheets.

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  43. Loves it! So pretty and unique

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  44. Nancy Carey9:49 PM

    thanks!

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  45. Love this, thank you! :)

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  46. What an amazing tutorial!!! You absolutely rock for sharing this!
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/JulienDenoyer

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  47. Fabulous. Can't wait to try this for my grandson's room.

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  48. Lisa Harrold4:57 PM

    This is so awesome! I love the look x

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  49. Gailkramer7:47 PM

    Love it! Wow! So creative!

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  50. OMG! AMazing! I want to make one right now! Thank you so much!

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  51. How wonderful and clever!

    Dee

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  52. Dewgiesgirl10:59 AM

    Oh my goodness! I'm definitely gonna do this with a letter from my husband while he was still in the Air Force. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  53. Nathalie1:24 PM

    I just love.... thanks for the downloads. I am going to try this for my French Inspired room

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  54. you can use rubbing alcohol to get the pen marks out. Super cute idea!

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  55. laura @ the shorehousechic8:32 PM

    Good gravy that's awesome. I just a drop cloth day today...friends of mine are doing a table design for a Long Branch foodie competition and they're rolling out a drop cloth table cloth. So far it looks so good I'm fairly sure I'm heading to Lowe's tomorrow. :-) Question: Transfer on to the drop cloth = easy? Easy-ish? I've never done fabric transfers.

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  56. Jennifer11:10 PM

    SOO great!!

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  57. What a wonderful accent for a small window... absolutely love it! Well done!

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  58. What a wonderful accent for that room! I absolutely love the way it turned out... well done!

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  59. Super LOVE this idea. Very fun. I may need to borrow this idea. Someday. :D

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  60. Wow .. very creative! I love it!

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  61. I really like your idea for window treatment but this is temporary. I think blinds are the best permanent treatment for window.

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  62. Inspire Me Heather7:57 AM

    I still love this post, your mail shades are just gorgeous! I linked it to my project: roman shades post too today, for inspiration!

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  63. Broo20004:38 PM

    Just check out this website they got some roman shade made out of strings check the portfolio page www.nywindowtreatment.com

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  64. Susan2:32 PM

    I just saw your tutorial at Apartment Therapy. What a great look for little money!  And thanks for including the transfer images!!

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  65. I just made a drop cloth curtain with the intention of using iron-on transfers to gussy it up. Is there a certain brand of transfer paper you like?

    Great tip about fusible liquid for the hems. I used hem tape and it's already starting to peel at the rod pocket. 

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  66. Your window treatment is such a great idea! 
     That's exactly what I need to cut the glare from one of my window in my art studio.  
    Thanks for sharing this.

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  67. Kathleen1:06 AM

    What a great idea!  It looks great and it's giving me all sorts of ideas...  Would you mind telling me what font you used for the address?  I've been searching for  something like that!

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  68. This is such a cool idea!!! It would be just as cool to do some kind of a post-card theme around the whole house. It's definitely a super unique idea, too, I never would have thought about doing this. Thanks for sharing with awesome pics!
    - Auto Accident Lawyer

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  69. Kristin11:39 PM

    This is so awesome! Found it on pinterest and LOVE it. thanks for sharing. 

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  70. Distractedincedarburg6:34 AM

    I Love This! I am going to do this soon. Thanks so much for the tutorials and down loads.

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  71. Something I can really get excited about! I have never done transfers. Can you tell me again what kind to get?

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  72. THANKS for your generosity - what a great idea!  Since I'd like to make 3 panels (1 for each of my not-so-wide bay windows), would I just 'reduce' the images before I copy them onto the transfer paper?  thx, Sue

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  73. Pinacolada9749:38 AM

    AMAZING!!! I LOVE IT ! Thank you SO SO MUCH! 

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  74. Can you tell me what font you used for the address? I want to make this but I want to use my address when I lived in London. Leiaposkey@gmail.com

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