DIY – Roman Blinds Tutorial

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Finally! I’ve been dreaming of this project for quite sometime now. Since I’ve started blogging my projects, I’ve been motivated to start bigger and bolder projects, and finish them! I am very excited about my finished blinds, and can’t wait to share my experience / tutorial with you!

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YOU WILL NEED:

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  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Lining (black-out material if you want)
  • Eye screws
  • Angle brackets
  • Nylon string
  • Roller blind tape
  • Dowels
  • Wooden planks
  • Staple gun
  • Glue gun (optional)

Step 1:  Determine how much fabric you will need. Measure the window size and make allowances for the hems.  I’ve added about 4cm each side (fabric width = window width + 4cm + 4cm). At the top, the blind is attached over the headboard, so you will need 4cm for the hem plus additional 3cm to go over the header board. Additionally, the blind’s weight (flat piece that goes at the bottom of the blind to keep it down) needs to be accounted for, so 4cm for the hem plus the width of the weight (fabric height = window height + 4cm top hem + 3cm over the header board allowance + approx. 7cm bottom hem).  If you want to blind to hang below the frame, you need to consider that, too.

SAM_2511Note: I bought fabric that was quite expensive, and the total height of the fabric was 260cm. As its pattern had to be upright, my only option was to cut in halfway, and make the blinds with height 130cm, which was a little too short. I made compromises and did not leave the header board allowance. This means upclose you can see the staples, but it’s a small price to pay. I used half the fabric instead of buying additional fabric. Ch-aching!

Step 2: Determine how much lining you will need.  I cut the lining the same size, but hemmed it in 1cm extra.

Step 3: Iron the hems. To make mitered corners, see pictures below. This is also excellent for slipping in weights into the bottom of the blinds.

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Step 4: Once the hems are ironed, pin the fabric and the lining wrong sides facing each other.

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The lining should be hemmed 1cm shorter on the top, right and left sides.

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The bottom hem of the lining needs to be shorter, to allow for the blind’s weight to be inserted.

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That’s the easy part done.

Step 5: Now you need to calculate where to sew the blinds’ tape. This worked for me: 1st strip 15cm (half the full distance between the folds) from the bottom, 2nd strip – 30cm from the 1st strip, and each consequtive one 30cm apart. Pin the strips.

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Step 6: When it came to sewing, it helped to do it in the following order.

  • Sew the bottom hem.
  • Sew one of the side hems, remembering to tuck the edge of the tape in.

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  • Sew the tape on both sides.

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  • Insert the dowels. These should be about 3cm shorter than the finished width of the blind.

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  • Sew the other vertical side.  (Note: I didn’t sew the other end of the tape, instead I tucked it in and used glue gun to seal it. I felt it was less permanent this way, and in case I wanted to give the blinds a wash, I could unseal it and take the dowels out.)
  • Sew the top. Even though I didn’t do this because my material was just enough, I would recommend to do this end last as you could regulate the blinds’ length here – make them a little longer or shorter.

Step 7:  Now the blinds are ready, you can work on the header board. The header board should be also about 3cm shorter than the width of the blinds.  Attach three eye screws to the header board. One in the centre, and two on each side, about 6cm from the edge.  I attched one extra one closer to the edge where all  three strings would gather and extend down.

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Step 8:  Attach wall brakets to the header board.

Step 9:  Attach the header board to the wall. You need power tools here.

Step 10. Using staple gun, attach the blinds to the header board. If you allowed for more fabric to go round the top, great. I didn’t have enough fabric to go round the header board, you can see where I stapled the blinds, but since the pattern is quite busy, the staples are not noticeable.

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Step 11:  String through the nylon cords, tying one end to the lowest tape going through the loops in all the other tapes, through the eye screw, towards the side eye screw and hang down.

Step 12: You could attache an elephant hook to the wall and use that to keep the blinds up. As I try to minimize the amount of holes we drill in the rented accommodation, I opted for a special knot. 🙂

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This is my finished DIY Roman blind!

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DIY – Super Awesome Budget Bedside Table

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Budget Bedside Table

There are some projects that simply come together, and you genuinely wonder why you haven’t thought of this earlier.  I am going to share one such project with you to save you the trouble of wondering the same.

Lying around my house (tucked away behind doors and inside cupboards) I had an Ikea black stool and a black clip folding lamp. Both items just could not find a home.  The step stool was too big for our bathroom, and the light needed to be attached to some furniture, none of which I wanted to alter with holes for the clip.  Then, lightbulb moment, why not put these two together!

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Apart from looking super great, and eclectic  – right up my street – it is way more affordable than any bedside table!  The cost? Ikea stool – 15 euro, Lamp – 15 euro! Total cost – 30 euro!!!

And I didn’t even need power tools!

DIY Origami Wedding Invitations

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Weddings, Christmas and Birthdays – are much anticipated events in the life of Souslova girls. As much as the actual reason for the event, we are always super excited about any hand-crafted contribution.  Hand-made Christmas presents, Birthday cards drawn by children, knitted baby presents – any excuse for a creative outlet.

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My clever sister has made beautiful origami wedding invitations!

What a clever and original way to invite guests!

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And on top of it all, it does not cost you a fortune!  All you need is white paper, some ribbon and lots of mates willing to help.

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Happens… A lot…

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Personal mass-produced hand-made invites

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To view the full tutorial, visit my post “DIY Origami Jewellery Tutorial”.

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Shelves in a small baby room

This is  Charlie’s room.

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Shelves under the window

This is Charlie’s tiny room. Before Charlie moved in, it was used as my husband’s wardrobe. This 3m by 3m room has a very inconvenient layout. One wall is a wall of  built-in closets, one wall has a window and another has a door.  When we used it as a guest room, we could barely fit in a bed (without blocking the wardrobe doors).  SAM_2423

When converting this room into a baby room, I wanted to use every inch of the oh-so-scarce space.  A baby room for me is not just a place where a baby sleeps and midnight feeds take place. From experience with Lexie’s room, I like baby room to grow with the child, i.e. change it up every 6 months or so, to accommodate new toys, new furniture, etc.  The nursing chair needs to be in the room for the first 6 months, but not when the baby is cruising or toddling.  Likewise, in about a year, baby cot will have to be replaced by a bed that can fit into its space.  When planning Charlie’s room, I wanted a nursing chair/reading nook, where I could enjoy many midnight hours, reading my favourite baby books.  Eventually, “mummy’s reading nook” was modified, but only slightly.  The shelves don’t hold mummy’s books any more but are hosting lots of baby’s books and toys.  The baskets are now filled with plush toys and not muslin cloths and blankets. Eventually, the nursing chair itself will be replaced, too.  Any suggestions?

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All in all, I like these shelves, they have served their purpose, and hopefully will continue to do so over the next few years.

Note: If you don’t have children,  you are probably thinking that only an insane person would think so much about shelves in baby room.  You are right.

DIY – Origami Jewellery Tutorial

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I am finally able to bring to you a tutorial for the most beautiful origami necklaces hand-made by my mum.

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My mother is a remarkable person. I am equally proud as I am humbled to be her daughter. She possesses super-hero craft skill, patience from Heaven and Ninja precision. Here she shares a step-by-step tutorial how to make this origami jewellery.  What a treat!

    You will need:

Washi paper (you could use normal printer paper, but Washi paper does not tear as easily and is durable)

Scissors

Ruler

White glue

Super glue

Pliers (optional)

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Step 1: To make one big flower, you will need three different square pieces of paper, 6.5cm x 6.5cm, 5.5cm x 5.5cm and 4.5cm x 4.5cm.

Step 2: Fold the paper in half, then unfold it. Using the crease,

fold in the corners.

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Step 3: Apply white glue to the reverse side and glue in the corners. Wait for it to dry. If you have paper that has pattern on both sides, you can skip this step.

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Step 4: Fold in the corners again.

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Step 5: Turn the square once more and fold in the corners.

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Step 6: Turn the square around and very carefully, open the corners and pull the tip over and out. Do that to all four corners.

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This is really all the origami you need to know! The rest is up to your imagination!

Step 7: To make flowers similar to my mum’s, you will need to fold the other two squares. Using superglue, attach three flowers together, rotating one 45 degrees.

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Step 8: Glue a pretty bead or a little pearl in the centre.

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Step 9: Pat yourself on the back!

You will need some jewellery making accessories to complete the necklace, but you’ve learned the basics.  This is what the completed necklace looks like, front and back.

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My mum came up with many more flower combinations. If you like what you see or know a special someone who would appreciate this necklace as a present, visit My mum’s online store.

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DIY – IKEA kids’ table hack

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My first IKEA hack!

One of the easiest Ikea hacks is probably the kid’s table make-over. I have seen a 101 ways to remodel it, and I have one more – my take on it.ikea-table-kids-chairs

I didn’t plan to remodel this piece of furniture, however with my wee baby girl loving arts & crafts time so much, it got covered in artistic media pretty quickly. To add to that, and  as a warning to other parents – adults are not meant to sit on the little chairs!  “Goldilocks and the three bears – 2”, where Daddy Bear and Mummy Bear break the Baby Bears chairs…

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It is definitely one of the easiest projects, no sanding, no priming, the table and chairs are not treated in any way to begin with. It is a white canvas! Create away!

All I did was smother it with purple paint and glue some drawer liners! Too easy!

DIY Updating an old mirror

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Among many other projects fighting for my attention, this one took precedence as I am working on projects for my bedroom this month.

I already have a mirror in the bedroom, but its one of those boring mirror tiles purchased from IKEA. Really no joy looking at. I knew I had to get something, but that something had to satisfy my two conditions – it had to be free/affordable and tinkering potential.

I saw this little number for sale on the “BFC Buy, Sell, Swap” Facebook page going for 10 euro. When I inquired about the mirror, I was assured it was solid wood, however when I came to pick it up, it was laminate… As I sold this same guy a bed just a week prior, I didn’t feel right to point out the deception, and bought the mirror anyway. I don’t mind challenges anyway.

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I gave it a try, sanded it down a little and gave it two coats of white paint.

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Two things I’ve learned from this process. First of all, adding the recommended amount of water (10%) to the paint will make it look much better,  although it will require two coats. Previously, I used undiluted paint, and it does not give a coat as smooth. Oh well, I am privileged to learn! Second thing I’ve learned is to use drawer liners to protect the mirror from paint. There was a time in the past when I used paper (wallpaper) layered between the frame and the mirror and that proved to be a messy disaster. The paper was glued to the frame, it didn’t separate well at all and pieces were left jammed between the glass and mirror. The drawer liners were a great idea! Again, I am privileged to learn!

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Without any particular pattern, I drew some 45 degree, some 60 degree lines. The geometrical shapes that this produced were painted in with white paint, very light yellow, bright yellow and grey.

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I remembered a dress my mum used to have with similar pattern years ago back in Belarus, must have been end of 1980s… Made me that bit more excited about the colours I chose.

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All it took was a spare day, 10 euro, some leftover paint and family’s patience.

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I love the end result. Just what my bedroom needed – that pop of colour.

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Looking in a mirror is a JOY now!

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By the way, if you like the JOY letters, you can find a detailed tutorial on my blog here.

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Bedroom mirror – the AFTER