Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Lining a Ready Made Roman Blind with Blackout Fabric

Otherwise known as a really boring post ;o) 

Except that, when I was pondering this project and did a little googling, I couldn't find anything with specific instructions.  A few suggestions and "what ifs" but nothing that said "this works". 

Anyways, thanks to


this has been an increasingly necessary To Do.  Like most mutts, they are light sleepers and the blinds in our room are made from beautiful, light, linen blends.  As the days get longer, they wake up earlier and waking up earlier = get on the bed with Mum and Dad.  At the moment any time from 2.30am onwards seems to be fair game and we seem to spend more time lying in our bed sternly saying "Bed!" than we do sleeping.  Never mind the beautiful, soft light flitering through our light linen blends; blackout blinds were needed.

Adding blackout fabric to ready made Roman Blinds posed two issues: how you add the extra layer without completely dismantling the blind and what will that extra layer look like when the blinds are pulled up as blackout fabric can be very bulky.  I was lucky to find a lovely fabric, at a local store that specialises in upholstery fabrics, that is very lightly sprayed; just a hint of coating rather than the usual thick rubbery underside.  It's lighter and far more flexible than your usual lining.

Adding it to the blind proved far easier than I expected to; such a simple, if slightly dull, job!

So, this is how you do it, just as Montell would have sung.  Sorry, its been going round my head all day...

Take your blind down and pull the cords out of the rings, but leave them tied to the bottom one.
Lay the blind on the blackout fabric and cut the blackout fabric 2" larger all round.
Now lay the blackout on your blind, wrong side to wrong side (i.e. the rubber coated side to the side with the dowels and rings). 
Starting from the bottom of the blind tuck in the blackout lining and pin.  At each side, fold in the lining until you reach the first dowel.

When you get to the dowel, run your finger along the blackout fabric until you can feel the cord ring.  Taking a sharp pair of scissors, carefully make a SMALL cut in the fabric.  The size is important, if the cut is too big the rings will just slip through; it needs to be a bit of a struggle to get the ring through the slit in the fabric to ensure that it will stay put afterwards. One bonus of blackout fabric is that the cut won't tear any further and can take quite a bit of pressure as you push the ring through.  As this is the bottom run of rings, with the cord attached, you need to pull the cord through too.

Repeat this process all the way up the blind, rethreading the cords as you go and ending with a fold at the top of the blind.  I then slipstitched the  blackout fabric to the blind as I didn't want another visible seam line.  You could make this a no-sew project and velcro or bond the blackout to the blind.

And you have one lined blind and, for all my complaining, this blind (which is approx 80cm x 120cm) only took 40 minutes, from start to finish.

And here it is, back up in front of the window.  No longer see-through, tucking up nicely and I'm pleased with how nice the back looks.

The second blind is much bigger and Megs decided to help!

Finn, more sensibly, watched from a safe distance...

But, after a fair amount of grumbling about slipstitching and early mornings and annoying mutts, I was done and equally pleased with how good the blind looks.

And they work....

That faint slither of light is faked purely for something to look at in an otherwise very black photo ;o)  Even better, the dogs slept straight through to 6.20am this morning!  We'd have appreciated it more if we hadn't both been waking up constantly to admire the new darkness, wonder if the dogs were alright, wonder what the time was, admire the new darkness...  Hopefully, tonight, the novelty will have worn off a bit and we'll all sleep through!

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