Window shades
Robbie Caponetto

Windows That Wow

Want the pizzazz of custom window treatments without the designer price tag? It's easy with a trip to the craft store and a little ingenuity. Check out our quick ideas for giving plain roller shades -- even the bare-bones $12 model from K-Mart -- an eye-catching makeover.

Find It Fast
• White Fit-At-Home shade (37 1/4" x 72"), $11.99, by Roomscapes, from Kmart (Check for stores.)

Heavy-duty shade (necessary for project #3 and may be helpful for project #2, depending on fabric weight) with Loop Control (27" x 72"), $74, by Smith + Noble,

Window Shade
Robbie Caponetto

Painted Shade

Write a personal message on your window shade with graphic tape and stencils.

Adding a simple border of tape to your shade lends dramatic visual punch; place the tape evenly five inches in from the bottom and sides.

Gather the Goods
• Roller shade
• Tape measure
• Scissors
• Gaffers tape (many colors available at
• Ruler
• Floating medium primer
• Small paintbrush
• Acrylic craft paint
• Foam alphabet stamps

Painted shade

Painted Shade How-To

Make the shade your own with a phrase or name that's of special significance to you. Paint primer in the message area; let dry. Apply acrylic paint with a foam stamp. Try to center each word, but relax -- imperfection just adds artistic charm.

Window Shade
Robbie Caponetto

Fabric Shade

Have you found a gorgeous fabric, but lack the time or skill to turn it into curtains? This easy project lets you buy your floral prints and hang them too.

Gather the Goods
• Window shade (either White Fit-At-Home shade by Roomscapes, or Heavy-duty shade with Loop Control by Smith + Noble)
• Approximately 2 yards of fabric (per shade)
• Tape measure
• Scissors
• Heavy-duty craft glue (we used E6000)
• 1-inch-wide paintbrush
• Heavy books
• Small button
• Needle and thread
• Tassel

Window Shade
Robbie Caponetto

Fabric Shade How-To

Measure and cut fabric to fit the shade (make sure to iron fabric first to eliminate creases), leaving 2 extra inches on each side.

Starting at the bottom of the shade and working up in 6-inch increments, apply adhesive with a paintbrush and firmly press fabric to the shade. Smooth out any wrinkles with your hands, then let the glue dry for about 30 minutes. (To prevent puckering, we placed a few heavy books on the fabric while it was drying.)

Flip the shade over and trim excess fabric from the sides with scissors.

Window Shade
Robbie Caponetto

Fabric Shade Finishing Steps

Wrap the extra fabric around the bottom of the shade, and glue to the back. Finally, sew a button about 1 inch above the shade's bottom slat and hang a small tassel to use as a pull.

Window Shade
Robbie Caponetto

Wallpaper Shade

Try that daring wallpaper you love on a window instead of an entire room.

This project works best on shades 27 inches wide or less (the width of a standard roll of wallpaper); otherwise, you'll have to match the print exactly where it meets at the seams. The shade will be difficult to roll up and down, so use this technique where you can leave it down -- perhaps to mask a less-than-inspiring view.

Gather the Goods
• Heavy-duty shade
• 1 to 2 rolls of wallpaper
• Scissors
• Tape measure
• Sponge roller (available at any paint store)
• Wallcovering adhesive (available at most paint or wallpaper stores)
• Rolling pin
• Heavy books

Window Shade
Robbie Caponetto

Wallpaper Shade How-To

Cut the shade evenly on both sides to fit your window (shade hardware adjusts), and center the wallpaper motif on the shade. Measure length of shade and cut wallpaper to fit, allowing an extra 2 inches at the bottom.

Cover the shade (and at least 1 inch up the back) liberally with wallpaper adhesive using a sponge roller. Lay wallpaper over your goo-covered shade, with an extra 2 inches of paper wrapping under the bottom of the shade; use a rolling pin to smooth and eliminate air bubbles. Trim any excess wallpaper.

Pile on several heavy books, and leave overnight for the glue to dry completely. When you hang your stylish new shade, you may congratulate yourself for both thrift and invention.

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