I gave you a sneaky preview of a project I had meant to complete last weekend but actually completed it yesterday. The only reason I hadn’t finished it was because I had run out of ribbon and it seemed that John Lewis wasn’t getting any more in stock any time soon. So I had to sort of start again which wasn’t a big deal as I hadn’t actually gotten that far.
I had to change the style of ribbon that I used (from a flat satin ribbon to a grosgrain) but the colour was the same, so that was okay. I got such a positive response on my last post (the DIY skirted vanity tutorial) that I thought I’d do another tutorial cuz ya know, I’m generous like that.
I’ve seen a lot of ribbon trim on roman blinds in blogland as well as on Pinterest and figured, how hard could it be? Aside from taking some time in the measuring and pinning bit, and moving around a big roman blind which could be a bit unwieldy at times under a sewing needle, it really wasn’t that difficult.
I imagine you wouldn’t even have to use a sewing machine to be fair. I would guess that ironing tape would probably work just as well (not entirely sure how you would do the corners on it to be fair without cutting the ribbon all up) but I decided to take the rather more scenic route as I like the idea of an (almost) continuous piece of ribbon making it’s way around the whole of the blind. And sewing something seems a more permanent solution than ironing tape or glue. That’s just me though – I’m sure there’s lots of ways to do this, this is just what worked for me.
In terms of supplies, all you really need is your ribbon (how much will depend upon the size of your blind but I ended up using the best part of two spools of 5M), your plain roman blind (I got mine at Dunelm Mill a couple years ago for less than a tenner) and thread that matches the colour of your ribbon. You’ll also need a sewing machine, pins and a (soft) tape measure. I think all in, I spent around £10 because I already had the blind but even with the cost of the blind, you are still looking at a pretty inexpensive upgrade.
The first thing you want to do is unravel all of that ribbon from the spool. I found it was much much easier to create a sort of mirror image working from the middle of the ribbon and the middle of the design outwards.
Once all your ribbon is off the spool, you want to find the middle of it (I just joined up the ends and folded it in half to find the centre point). Then measure the top of your blind and find the centre point of that. Pin the middle of your ribbon to the middle of the top of the blind.
You are now going to work around the blind from this point. I measured 15mm outwards in both directions from that centre point and pinned and then another 15mm and pinned again. You want to make sure your pins are straight vertically (you’ll see why in a second). The outward most pins will mark where your first ‘rectangular’ shape starts so you want to ensure that your measurements are accurate and your ribbon stays nice and straight (I just used the edge of the blind and eyeballed it).
|Ignore the other ribbon pinned on the side there, that was the old ribbon that I’d run out of, I just hadn’t unpinned it yet at that point.|
Your next step is how you are going to do all of your mitred corners. No cutting and joining here, we’re just going to create a 90 degree angle with the ribbon.
Where the last pin is ‘attached’, you’re going to wrap the ribbon back around the front of it (if your pin is straight, it will form a nice straight line to work against). You’ll then create a 45 degree angle with the ribbon by holding the corner and pulling upwards like so…
See how it creates the mitred corner?
Now just pin that baby in place.
Now you are going to repeat that same process on the end pin on the opposite side.
Now you can see how you’ll be working – every time you do one side, you are going to do the exact same thing on the other, working your way around the design.
You are then going to measure from the two mitred corners up to where you want the corner of the box to start. It doesn’t matter the length, as long as it’s exactly the same on both sides. Again, make sure all your pins are straight because you are going to be using it as a straight edge for your mitred corners.
Now you want to kind of eyeball how big the rectangle part of the design will be on both sides. Again, it doesn’t matter the size of them as long as you repeat your measurements on both sides so that the design is totally symmetrical (ie., if you’ve come over 13cm on one side, make sure you come over 13cm on the other).
Once you’re happy with the placement, pin and create your corners again.
Keep going around the design until you end up with something like this.
As you can see in the above picture, I didn’t have enough ribbon to complete the design on the opposite side. That’s okay, you will just unravel your 2nd spool of ribbon and repeat the steps above on the bottom of the blind.
Some more pics of how you make your corners…
This is kind of important: Make sure your measurements (the location, lengths and size of your ‘squares’) at the bottom of your blind match the measurements at the top of the blind.
Once both ends of the design are complete, you’ll have long strips that will form the sides of the design. You want to ensure the ribbon is straight using the edge of the blind as a guide and pin every 20cm or so. Decide on an inconspicuous place for them to join up (I chose just under the top channel). Trim the ribbon so that they just overlap…
And pin straight. You’ll do this on both sides of the blind.
When you are done pinning, it should look something like this…
Before you start sewing the ribbon, make sure you remove all the rods inside the channels in the blind. Otherwise, sewing will be a bitch. I left the top rod in place as it was screwed in and that was difficult enough trying to sew around that.
Now you’re ready to start sewing. Ensuring your coloured thread is at the top, sew along all the edges. It takes a while, don’t let me fool you as there are a lot of angles so lots of stopping and starting again. Good times.
The only thing you really need to bear in mind is NOT to sew over the channels.
Once it’s all sewed, it’ll look a bit like this. You just want to iron it all now to flatten out the edges and the ribbon.
Now go pour yourself a big fat glass of wine and congratulate yourself for getting through all that. Hell, pour yourself a glass of wine for managing to read through all of the tutorial.
Want to see what it looks like in the room? Well, alright then.
It’s much easier to take pics with the blind up, obviously because there’s more light in the room.
However, you can kind of see what it looks like when it’s down, despite the reduced light.
Sorry for the million and one pictures but hopefully you found it helpful enough to attempt your own DIY ribbon trim roman blind.
I couldn’t help taking a pic of my purty hot pink carnations. They just make me smile.
So will you be attempting your own ribbon trim blind? Have you already done it to spruce up your own window dressings? If so, be sure to link up in the comments, I’d love to see how other people have approached it!