meaningful art in bathroom
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Mounted Mason Jar Tutorial | Letterboard Letter Holder

Remember the art I recently added to our guest bathroom? Here’s a little tutorial for the mounted mason jar, if you’d like to make your own. It’s a quick, 1 hour project (not including dry time!)! Let me show you how to make a mounted mason jar to hold all your pretty things!

mounted mason jar

Supplies:

  • Scrap board – any shape will do so long as you like how it looks!
  • Sandpaper – 3 grits, I used 60, 120, and 220.
  • Tack cloth – to remove dust from sanding.
  • Polyurethane – feel free to stain first if you’d like! I had a nice piece of Maple so I decided to just use a clear coat.
  • Paint triangles – to hold your project off the work area
  • Mason jar
  • Pipe clamp

Mounted Mason Jar

Sand the Board

Beginning with the coarsest sandpaper (this is the lowest number, 60 in my case), give the board a good sanding. Then work through the next smoothest (I used 120 grit) and finally, one more sanding with the finest grit (I used 220 for my last round). Rub your fingers over the board as you work your way through the various grits, the board should get smoother and smoother as you go. Stop when the board is equally smooth across the entire surface of the board.

Mounted Mason Jar

Clean the Board

Using the tack cloth, wipe all dust from sanding off the board. It’s also a good idea to make sure your work area isn’t covered in sawdust too. I was working in my garage, so the wind still kicks up any dust in the area as I’m painting. I gave my drop cloth a good shake outside the garage to knock off some of the dust before opening the poly.

Mounted Mason Jar

Apply Two (or Three!) Coats of Polyurethane

The finish coat is subjective, stop when you are happy with how the board looks. I applied two thin coats, and each coat took less than 5 minutes from start to finish. My board is small! BUT dry time is what turns a 1 hour project into a multi-day project for me. The polyurethane I used required 4 hours of dry time in between coats. This usually means I only get one coat per day. I can have the best of intentions to come back in 4 hours, and yet, it never happens!Mounted Mason JarMounted Mason Jar

Attach Sawtooth Hanger

Once the board is dry and able to be handled, mark the center on the back of the board. Center a sawtooth picture hanger on the mark and nail into place.Mounted Mason Jar

Pro tip: Ha, not really, I’m not a pro. This is more like, “Hey-Maybe-You-Don’t-Know-The-Best-Way-To-Do-This-And-Could-Use-This-Tip”

  • Mark the holes for the nails with a pencil
  • Drill pilot holes at the pencil marks
  • Use needle-nose pliers to hold the tiny nail in place while hammering in securely

Complete transparency: Dan told me about the needle-nose pliers. Saved my fingers, he did.Mounted Mason Jar

Attach Pipe Clamp

Flip the board over and mark the center of the front of the board. This is where you will attach the pipe clamp. The distance from the top of your board is up to you. I chose to center my mason jar horizontally and vertically.

The method of attaching the clamp stumped me for a bit. I thought a screw would be the strongest, but I couldn’t get it through the metal clamp. So my first attempt was with a small nail like in the picture below.Mounted Mason JarBut when I attached the mason jar, it just didn’t seem strong enough. So Dan was kind enough to force a screw through the pipe clamp. Apparently it isn’t that hard, you just need to lean a bit harder on the drill! So use a screw and push really hard on your drill!Mounted Mason Jar

Slide in Mason Jar and Tighten

Use a screwdriver to loosen the pipe clamp enough to slide the mason jar into the ring of the clamp. Then use the screw driver to tighten the pipe clamp around the jar. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN! The jar will break. I did kill one mason jar in the making of the project, sorry folks.Mounted Mason Jar

Admire Your Handiwork

Step back and admire your efforts! You made something that has form and function that can be hung on the wall. Look at you! Fill it with something pretty and hang it up!Mounted Mason JarI chose to fill mine with the extra letters for the letterboard in our guest bathroom. Having the extra letters easy to find will hopefully inspire me and my guests to change the message often. However, have you seen this picture before?

Source

It’s so funny because it’s true. It takes for-ev-uh to find all the right letters then get them spaced evenly without crooked letters. My perfectionism only goes so far. I will straighten a few letters, maybe as much as 5 but then it’s however they land on the board. My guest will forgive me, I think…

Where could you use an extra holder of things? Pens/pencils by your desk? Toothbrushes in a small bathroom? Make-up brushed by the vanity? Any fun/practical projects on your horizon? What about any funny quotes for my quote board. I usually like quotes with a bit of sass, how about you?

meaningful art in bathroom

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Fun and Meaningful Art in the Bathroom

Years ago when I was working and an avid Young House Love reader, I was always a bit befuddled by their art posts. They were big believers in making art out of things that are meaningful to you. I loved how their art turned out, but I didn’t know how to do it in my own life. Bit by bit as I work to decorate my home, I am learning what meaningful art means to me. Today, I added some meaningful art to our guest bathroom.

meaningful art in bathroom

The guest bathroom has a large open wall above the toilet and between the toilet and vanity. This space looks even larger and more awkward because the toilet is off-center. I wanted to add some art to distract from the ill-placed toilet and liven up the room. For the longest time, the only decor in the bathroom was a little faux succulent planter I picked up at Target.

Doesn’t he look lonely with that large empty wall above him?

meaningful art in bathroom

Now, that space is filled with pieces that are fun and meaningful to me!

meaningful art in bathroom

It all began with the painting in the middle that I painted with a group of dear mom friends. Have you ever done those guided painting sessions? SO FUN! Before I even started the painting, I knew where it was going to go. The colors were perfect for our guest bathroom!

Shortly after painting that canvas, long-time friends of ours gave us the reclaimed wood Africa. They live in South Africa, hence, the heart! Again, the color scheme is perfect for our guest bathroom!

Cool story behind the Africa art. It was made by the company Busetsa, which means “reclaimed”, who helps disadvantaged people learn wood working to earn a living. Reclaimed wood is used to make all of their pieces. Even cooler yet, the man that made this particular piece used to be part of the foster care home our friends run! How awesome is that?! 

meaningful art in bathroom

The last pieces are totally jumping on the letterboard bandwagon! Since this is primarily a guest bathroom, I thought it would be fun to have a letterboard to leave sweet, or snarky, messages for our guests. I’d love it if they’d return the favor. 🙂 To keep the extra letters handy for such shenanigans, I mounted a mason jar to a scrap board and hung it under the letter board.

meaningful art in bathroom

The guest bathroom is mainly for friends, so I thought it appropriate to use art work that reminds me of or is directly from friends. Even if no one else knows the significance of these pieces, they are significant to me! I am content knowing that.

Working this quick, little gallery wall made me realize a few things about decorating my home.

Take Your Time

Blogs have a way of making a project look effortless and done in a flash. Even when writers try to explain the process, it still feels easy when I read how someone else did it. The truth is this: making a house a home is a process not a one-time event. My tastes will change, and my abilities to create will improve over time. Relax, take your time, and enjoy the process.

Start with One Meaningful Piece

If you’re stuck with what to put on a wall, select one meaningful piece and put it in the room. Not necessarily on the wall, maybe on a dresser or ledge, just somewhere visible. Then let it ruminate in your mind. Do you have other things that go with that theme, color, vibe? Start to pull things from other rooms as they come to mind. I find that things suddenly click for me, and I can go put it all together in a way that I like.

It’s Your Home, No One Else’s

Everything in your home should bring you joy, not your friends, not your extended family. If you like it, have the confidence to display the things you love. I was at a friend’s house last night that had a circus themed room. From awesome original clown paintings to grand-kid’s art work to throw pillows with subtle circus animal embroidery. The theme of circus was subtly or overtly shown in everything she chose to put into the room. How fun is that?! Incorporate the things that speak to you and bring you joy into your home. It’s your home and no one else’s.

How do you incorporate meaningful art into your home? Have you ever been stalled, like me, by other’s apparent ease at decorating? Or is it easy for you to decide what to hang on the walls? Do share!

meaningful art in bathroom

staple shade to board
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Window Treatment DIY | Flat Roman Shade Tutorial

Do you have an area in your home that needs some functional and pretty window treatments? I’d like to offer an outside mount, flat Roman shade for your consideration. Our living room and dining room were in bad need of some protection from the evening sun (see my planning and thoughts on why I made these in this post and the before and after here). Today I thought I’d share how I made these flat Roman shades. Warning: this is a long step-by-step post! If you’d like to make a fully functional, flat Roman shade, read on!


DIY Flat Roman Shade Tutorial

Measure the Window

The first step is always to measure the window accurately. You need to know two things before you measure: (1) inside or outside mount and (2) style of Roman shade desired. This tutorial is for an outside mount, flat Roman shade.

Measure the width of the window, from outside trim to side outside trim, at the top, middle, and bottom of the window. Take the widest measurement and add 1/4″. This is the finished width.

Example: The widest measurement was 39 3/4″ for my window so my finished width was 39 3/4″ + 1/4″ = 40″. I chose to make my shade just as wide as the window casing. Feel free to add more width if you want the casing covered more.

Measure the height of the window, from the top outside trim to the sill, at the far left, middle, and far right of the window. Take the longest measurement and add any additional height to mount above the window. This is the finished height.

Example: The longest measurement for my window was 65 1/2″ and I wanted the shade mounted 6 1/2″ above the window so my finished length was 65 1/2″ + 6 1/2″ = 72″.

Calculate Cut Lengths

The cut length and width for the face fabric and the lining will be different. I recommend drawing each out on a piece of paper to avoid confusion.

Face Fabric

Cut length: Finished length + 4″ for hem + 3″ for mounting room

Example: My window is 65 1/2″ high, and I’m mounting it 6 1/2″ above the window. So for my shade I cut the face fabric 65 1/2″ + 6 1/2″ + 4″ + 3″ = 79″

Cut width: Finished width + 6″ for side hems

Example: My window is 40″ wide. So I cut my face fabric 40″ + 6″ = 46″ wide.

Lining

Cut length: Finished length + 3″ for mounting room

Example: My window is 65 1/2″ high, and I’m mounting it 6 1/2″ above the window. So for my shade I cut the lining fabric 65 1/2″ + 6 1/2″ + 3″ = 75″

Cut width:  Finished width

Example: My window is 40″ wide, so I cut the lining 40″ wide.

Iron Fabric and Lining

The fabric and lining should be as flat and smooth as possible before cutting. If possible, wash, dry, and iron the fabric to eliminate any shrinkage. The fabric I chose is dry clean only, so I ironed it and the lining then proceeded to cutting.

Roman Shade_Tutorial_Iron

Cut Fabric and Lining

After ironing, lay the fabric out on a flat work surface. For me, that was my living room floor. My fabric had an obvious pattern repeat so I chose to center the roman shade on the pattern. This decision made cutting my fabric much harder, but I think the final result is more professional this way.

Quick side note: When making multiple shades for side-by-side windows, make sure to match the patterns. I laid the fabric for the second shade on the floor, right side down then laid my finished shade on top, right side down.

Matching Patterns

Then I carefully tweaked the position of the finished shade to match the pattern with the uncut fabric then I marked the top line of the shade. The sides and bottom will still need to be measured to allow for seam and hem allowance, but you can use the top line from the finished shade as your starting point.

Matching Patterns

Now back to measuring and drawing the rectangle for your shade!

Draw a Straight Line Parallel to the Salvage

Calculate how much excess to trim from the edges of the face fabric by subtracting the cut width from the width of the fabric. (Example: 54″ – 46″ = 8″) Divide the answer by two to get the amount of excess to trim off each side (Example: 8″ ÷ 2 = 4″). For my shade, I wanted to draw two lines 4″ from the salvage (the finished edge of the fabric).

Measure 4″ from the salvage and make a dot. Move down the fabric about 3 feet and make another dot 4″ from the salvage. Using a long straightedge or level, connect the dots to draw a straight line.

Move down the fabric another 3 feet or so, make another dot 4″ from the salvage. Using the second dot and this new, third dot, draw a straight line. Continue until you’ve made a line the cut length of your shade.

Repeat on the other side of the fabric.

Draw a Straight Line Perpendicular to the Salvage

Now you need to make the top and bottom lines to complete the rectangle shape of your shade. Begin with the top of the shade.

Using a T-square, line up one edge with the drawn line on one side of the fabric. Be very precise, make sure the entire edge of the T-square lines up with your drawn line. Make a hash mark/dot along the perpendicular side.

Repeat on the other side of the fabric.

Using the long straightedge/level, draw a straight line between the hash marks, making the top edge of the rectangle.

Draw a Straight Line for the Cut Length

With a straight top line, creating the bottom line for the final cut length should be fairly simple. Using a tape measure, measure the final cut length from the top line and make a dot. Move to the other side of the fabric, measure the final cut length and make another dot. Use the long straightedge/level to connect the dots, making a straight line to complete the rectangle.

Re-Measure the Length and Width Before Cutting

Have you heard the phrase, “measure twice, cut once?” Take it to heart when sewing! Double and triple check your measurements before cutting the shade out.

I usually check the width and length the same way I measured the window in the first step. Measure the width at the top, middle, and bottom. Then I measure the length at the left, middle, and right. If everything is the width and length you were aiming for, cut away! If not, go back to each of your drawn lines to look for the discrepancy.

Repeat for the lining fabric according to the cut length and widths already measured. **Be very careful when switching to the lining. Double check your measurements to make sure you don’t cut out the lining the same size as the face fabric!**

Sew the Side Seams

With the face fabric lying right side up, line up the lining with right side down along the left side of the shade. The lining should be 6″ narrower and 4″ shorter than the face fabric. Leave the 4″ gap at the bottom of the shade (this room is for the hem), line up the tops and the left side (Note in my picture below the tops do not line up. I cut this lining too long. Too long is better than too short! I just trimmed the extra length after sewing the sides).

Roman Shade_Tutorial_SewLeftSide

Roman Shade_Tutorial_HemLength

Pin and sew a 1.5″ seam along the left side.

Lay the shade back on the ground and line up the right sides and top. Since the lining is narrower than the face fabric, the fabric will bunch up. Don’t worry. It will all work out in the next step. Make sure there is a 4″ gap for the hem at the bottom of the shade.

Roman Shade Sew Right Side

Pin and sew a 1.5″ seam along the right side.

Turn the shade inside out so the right side of the lining and the face fabric are facing out. Lay the shade on the floor, smoothing out the seams and iron.

Roman Shade

Hem the Shade

With the shade face fabric down, turn up the face fabric 1/2″ and press. Then turn up 3.5″ and press. Pin and sew the hem using a blind hem stitch.

Roman Shade Hem

Roman Shade Hem

I’ve heard that the method to do a blind hem stitch varies by sewing machine. I recommend looking up a video of your specific machine on YouTube.

The basics are this: put on the blind hem stitch pressure foot and select the appropriate blind hem stitch. Fold the hem under so that about 1/4″ of the face fabric is showing next to the lining. Then carefully sew along the folded edge.

Blind Hem Stitch

The finished hem on the wrong side looks like this:

Blind Hem Stitch_Back

The finished hem on the right side of the shade should look like this:

Blind Hem Stitch_Front

Measure and Sew on Rings

Before making the grid to sew on the rings, calculate the spacing of your rings. I wanted my horizontal folds to be fairly thin, so I chose 6″ vertical spacing of my rows (6″-12″ is standard). I also didn’t want any sagging in between the rings, so I chose 9″ horizontal spacing (8″-10″ is standard).

Based on those measurements, I took the time to draw it all out to figure out how many rows of rings I would need. For this shade, I needed 10 rows with 5 rings each row for a total of 50 rings per shade. The measurements of my shade are charted out for reference in the figure below. Make sure to chart out yours with your specific measurements.

Roman Shade Ring Guide

Lay the shade out on a flat work surface with the lining up.

Beginning at the edge of the hem, mark the position of the rings along the row. I placed the first and last rings 2″ from the edge of the fabric.

mark ring placement

Then mark the placement of the remaining middle rings, spacing them evenly across the shade. The space between my middle three rings was just over 9″.

mark ring placement

Next mark the rows for the remaining rings. My rows were 6″ apart. To do this, measure 6″ above the hem on the left and right side of the shade then use a straightedge or long level to draw a straight line between those marks. Add dots where each ring should go on each line.

roman shade ring rows

Before sewing the rings on, I pinned one pin above each ring dot. I wanted to avoid any shifting of the fabric as I moved it to the sewing machine.

roman shade rings

Then I used my sewing machine to tack each ring in place. This can be done by hand, but it is quick and easy with a sewing machine. Set the stitch to zigzag with the stitch length at 0 and stitch width wide enough to pass over the ring without nicking it.

roman shade sew rings

The result is a clean, neat tack.

roman shade rings tacked

Repeat to attach all of the rings to the shade.

Insert Dowel Rod

Cut a 1/4″ dowel rod to the finished width of the shade minus 1/2″. The finished width of my shade was 40″ so I cut my dowel rod to 39 1/2″. Insert the rod into the pocket of the hem and sew the sides shut using a slip stitch.

Roman Shade_Tutorial_Dowel Rod

Mark Finish Length and Finish Top Edge

Next lay the shade out, right side down. Measure from the bottom hem and mark the finished length across the top. Mark another line 2-3″ above the finished length line.

roman shade finish top edge

Trim the remaining fabric at the top line. Finish the top edge with a zigzag stitch.

roman shade finish top edge

Cut and Cover Mounting Board

Cut a 1″x3″ board to the finished width of the shade. Cover the board in matching fabric, being careful to match patterns so the edges look seamless.

For a flat mount, add screw eyes along the narrow edge of the board, lining up with each cord/vertical ring column. Mount the cord lock on the right side of the board with the brass roller to the outside edge (you can install it the other way, but you’ll be confused each time you try to lock/unlock the shade…ask me how I know…).

roman shade cordlock

Be sure to have a screw eye for the cord closest to the cord lock. Do not just thread the cord into the cord lock. It will fray quickly with the friction caused by the weight of the shade (again, ask me how I know…).

roman shade screw eye cord lock

roman shade mounting board

Pre-Mount the Board

Hang the board with two long screws and drywall anchors. To accomplish this, drill the two screws into the board so they protrude 1/2″ or so out the back of the board. The screws were placed approximately 8″ from each end.

roman shade mounting screw

Mark the bottom line of the mounting board on the wall and use a level to line up the mounting board. Use the bottom of the mounting board because you likely won’t be able to see the stop of the board! Once the board is level and flush with the sides of the window trim, push the board into the wall a bit to mark where the drywall anchors should go.

roman shade level

Insert drywall anchors at the marked spots.

Attach Shade and Cords

Next staple the shade to the mounting board.

staple shade to board

Now thread the cording through the shade. I somehow missed pictures of this step, but hopefully you can figure it out! There should be one cord for each vertical column of rings. Tie the cord securely to the bottom ring and feed the rest of the cord up through the rest of the rings, over through the screw eyes and through the cord lock.

Hang the Shade

The last step is to screw the shade into the drywall anchors.

mounting roman shade

Admire Your Finished Flat Roman Shade

You did it! Step back and admire your handiwork!

flat roman shade

There are many steps to sewing a flat Roman shade, but none of them are terribly difficult. Take it one step at a time. You can do it!


DIY Flat Roman Shade Tutorial

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Window Treatment DIY | Flat Roman Shades Before & After

Things have been a little chaotic at my house with the big computer crash. I am still scrambling to catch up, but in the meantime, I’d like to leave you with a sweet little before and after. The shades in my living room and dining room are completely finished! The whole family is really enjoying dinner time without the baking sun in our faces! Today I’d like to showcase my new flat Roman shades before & after!

roman shade before after

Living room and dining room windows before, all naked and bare…

Roman shades before

And after!

So much more polished, don’t you think? I just love the instant face-lift that window treatments give to a space. The room goes from “we-just-moved-in” to “finished and homey.” Don’t tell anyone that we’ve actually been in the house for five years! Shhhh!

Now that the project is finished, I’ve learned a couple bits of random wisdom I’d like to pass along.

Do not thread the cord directly into the cord lock

Without a screw eye to defray the weight and friction of raising and lowering the shade, the cord will fray quickly. As in, the first or second time raising the shade will fray the cord! Don’t be like me, use screw eyes for each cord on the mounting board.

If this makes no sense to you, a tutorial is coming…

 

Sewing takes time

I always over-estimate the amount of work I can do on projects around the house, but I have other priorities than just making my house look pretty. Take the time to give each step the attention it needs. The finished product will be worth it!

Drawing a straight line on fabric is tough!

Going right along with sewing takes time…take the time to get the lines straight before cutting! The end result will be so much better if the edges are straight! The best way I found is to use a long level, 4′, and use the salvage as the guide. I’m working on a tutorial for flat Roman shades, and I’ll share my tips for drawing straight lines in that post.


Another project complete! Window treatments make our first floor look more finished and homey, not to mention the perk of their function: blocking the blazing sun! Have you noticed the instant bump that dressing the windows can do for a room? What is the latest thing you’ve added to your home?

 

Finished flat Roman shade
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Window Treatment DIY | Flat Roman Shade Reveal

Showing off my new flat Roman shades is what I hoped to post last week, but due to other priorities, that was not possible. I’m happy to report one of my two Roman shades is finished! Underestimating the time needed to complete any DIY project is definitely a problem for me. Even when I’m trying to be very realistic, I tend to be way off. I thought I could get two shades finished in one week. Well, it looks like I can only get one done in that period of time!

As mentioned in this post, these shades are for function and beauty. The dining room window faces west, and the sun in the spring and summer is brutal for the lucky people seated facing the window. The sunshine is downright blinding. For that reason, oh and privacy and needing window treatments in general, I decided to make a flat Roman shade for this window and the corresponding window in the living room.

flat roman shade

Dining Room Window Before

The dining room is not a room I’ve shared on the blog yet, mostly because so much of it is incomplete. Maybe this summer I’ll finish it? Here is a look at my naked window. This poor window has looked like this for five whole years. Five! I’ve never put any curtains, shade, or blinds on it; I guess you get used to things and they seem normal after a while. Right?

window without shade

Dining Room Window After

And now looking much more finished! The folds have not been trained yet, so those will be flatter and more even in time, but I’m so happy with how it turned out! Window treatments add so much to a window and room! As I’m typing this, I keep peaking over at the dining room window to check out the view, and it looks good!

Finished flat Roman shade

Even though the shade is fully operational, it will be open most of the day and likely night. It will only be closed to hide that blasting evening sun during dinner time.

Although perhaps we will start shutting the shade at night. We’ve lived with bare, open windows for so long, I don’t know that I’ll remember to shut them at night! Do you shut your curtains/shades every night? I leave everything wide open on our main floor. Am I the odd ball here?

functional roman shade

To optimize the light from this large window and to match the height of the curtains over the sliding door also in this room, I opted for an outside mount and hung it about 6 inches above the window trim. Hanging window treatments higher and wider than your windows is always a good idea though. It helps the windows look larger and blocks less light when the shades are open, and it tricks the eye into seeing uniformity between all the windows and doors in a room, even if they are all different heights.

For the most part, these flat Roman shades are straightforward to make. It’s just a rectangle with rings attached, no pleats or anything fancy to factor in. However, it challenged my ability to draw a straight line. Who knew it could be so difficult? I drew the rectangle for the face fabric at least 3 times, and I don’t mean a tweak here or there 3 times, erasing-the-whole-thing-and-starting-all-over 3 times. Dan finally helped me see the pattern was printed on the fabric crooked. Ah! Sanity restored! I’m planning to share a tutorial once I get the other shade done, and I think a bit on how to draw a straight line might be helpful. Anyone else struggle with this? Am I alone in this struggle?

One more house project, done! One step closer to a more finished, functional, and beautiful home. Flat Roman shades are a relatively easy DIY project to add color and interest to your room. They block the sun, provide privacy, and add a structured splash of color to liven up your home.


What beauty and function have you added to your home lately, DIY or not? Do you have any Roman shades in your home? Love them or leave them?

flat roman shade

roman shade books
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Roman Shades | Planning and Inspiration

Welcome to Flawed yet Functional! I like to get my hands dirty making my home beautiful, and my next area to tackle is window treatments for my living room and dining room windows. Roman shades are my latest obsession for window coverings. Full length curtains are my first love, but sometimes curtains are just not right for the window or space. Roman shades are great for blocking light and adding privacy while adding a splash of color to a room. Form and function, that’s really what I’m all about!

Planning a Roman ShadeMy living room and dining room have been sporting naked windows since we moved into the house 5 years ago! I think it’s time to make some window coverings!

Roman shades beforeI would prefer full-length drapes on all the windows on my main floor, but the location of the fireplace prevents that. The fireplace was installed by the previous owners after the house was built. They did not leave enough space between the window and the fireplace mantle for drapes to fit without covering part of the window. Roman shades will provide the privacy and light protection needed without encroaching on the fireplace (“Need”, if life has gone on 5 years without it, is it a need? Ha!).

Even though these windows are in separate rooms, they are almost always visible together. My plan is to make matching Roman shades for these windows, and eventually, make coordinating full length drapes for the front window and back sliding door.

Full disclosure: I’m totally second guessing this decision of matching Roman shades. Just so you know, I’m ok with making decor mistakes in my house. If you read this and think, “What are you doing, Emily? That is all wrong!”, feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments! I’m ok with learning through my mistakes and other’s wisdom. I hope to inspire you to take risks too!

Style of Roman Shade

Since the options are limited as far as style of drapery for these two windows, the only options I needed to consider were style of Roman shade and inside or outside mount. Before we explore the styles of Roman shades, let’s talk briefly about inside or outside mount.

The two classic Roman shades I’ve made so far were both inside mount. An inside mount shade is mounted inside of the window casing, so the shade is the same size as the glass part of the window. An inside mount still gives plenty of privacy, but there is a sliver of light that shines through on the sides between the shade and the window casing/trim.

In the dining room, the shade is desperately needed because the evening sun is blinding during dinner. I would hate to go through all the effort to make a beautiful shade only to have that sliver of light still land in someone’s eye still resulting in shifting back and forth throughout dinner. For that reason, I will be hanging these shades outside and above the window casing, even with the drapery rod over the front window and slider door.  I’m hoping having all the window treatments hung the same height in these two rooms will make them look more cohesive and intentional.

Flat Roman Shade

The flat Roman shade is just that, flat from the top of the mounting hardware to the bottom of the shade. It raises in neat folds but does not use dowel rods to help create the folds. Since no dowel rod is used, this eliminates the horizontal sew lines. The flat Roman shade has the cleanest, simplest lines of all the Roman shades.

simple roman shade, love the fabric

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Relaxed Roman Shades

Relaxed Roman shades have a dramatic droop in the middle. It is made with one dowel rod at the bottom of the shade to control the swoop, making it look intentional not sloppy. This shade does not have a dowel rod at each fold or drapery rings in the middle of the shade. Leaving these two pieces out allows the shade to droop gracefully. Relaxed Roman shades are lovely and more elegant, in my opinion.

{Inspired By} Fabric Roman Shades

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Classic Roman Shades

The classic Roman shade has a sewn seam to make the rod pocket for the boning/dowel rod at even intervals up the shade. The look is crisp and clean with evenly spaced horizontal seams the entire length of the shade.This is the one type of roman shade I have made personally. I have a classic roman shade in the basement bathroom (second picture below) and the laundry room.

how to make Roman shades -44 - finished Roman shade

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Classic Roman Shade with Pattern

Source: Basement Bathroom

For the living room and dining room windows, I’ve decided to make a flat Roman shade with an outside mount. I love the clean lines. It’s simple and sophisticated, and in a space that is often messy, loud, with lots of activity, I think simple shades would be best. Not having sew lines through the fabric is also a plus. It kind of irked me that the floral pattern in my basement bathroom no longer lined up once the pockets were sewn in.

Fabric for Roman Shade

There are so many fabric options for curtains! It’s hard to choose! I like using sturdy decorator fabric, usually made of cotton. It is thick and doesn’t move around too much, making sewing much easier!

Field’s Fabric is a local fabric store chain in West Michigan, and while their regular selection is good and fairly priced, the clearance section is awesome. Everything in the clearance section is $3.97 per yard. That is a killer price for decorator fabric!

I went into the store just to scope out the new fabrics, and I happened on a fairly large piece of this fabric in the clearance section. Crossing my fingers, I took it to the counter to have it measured. I needed 2, 3-yard sections for my curtain, 6 yards total. It was 4.5 yards. Bummer!

The lovely saleslady said she would send out a request to the other stores to see if they had any remnants. About a week later, one more section was found, but it was only 1.5 yards. Rats! They reassured me to hold out because the request had not made it through all the stores yet.

A few days later, another 3.5 yards was found!

I ended up buying two lengths of 3 yards each plus the 1.5 yard piece for a grand total of $30. Yes, I got 7.5 yards of decorator fabric for $4/yard. Isn’t that incredible? At the time, the cheapest I could find online was $26.99/yard. These windows would have cost over $200! (Now it looks like the price has come down to $10/yard online, but it’s still a significant savings!)

Fabric for Roman Shades

So I’ve got my lovely fabric, and I know the style of Roman shade. Now how to make it best.

Method for Sewing the Roman Shade

Since Pinterest was giving me too many hacks, I wasn’t trusting the information I found. I want to make a flat Roman shade the RIGHT way: no hacks, mini blinds, fabric glue, or iron-on hem tape! I want to use an actual sewing machine to make them legit.

Where do you turn when you don’t know how to do something??? Old school, folks, the library. Say what??

Roman Shades Books

I know this is such a crazy suggestion given our technological age, but let me give a plug for the library. It is a WEALTH of information. The books are free (unless you don’t return on time!). The information is (likely) more sound. I say that with some hesitation, but I believe fewer people publish untruth in a book than a blog. A book is so much more difficult to accomplish. The library is a great resource. Use yours!

There were four shelves dedicated entire to sewing curtains and pillows for the home. So. Many. Books. I narrowed down my selection to three books that specifically talked about flat Roman shades. They each have detailed instructions and pictures which should prove very helpful. Each has a slightly different method, so I plan to compile what I read into a method that works for me and my windows.

If you are curious about my research, below is a list of resources that I plan to use to figure out how to best make my Roman shades.

  1. The Complete Photo Guide to Window Treatments by Linda Neubauer
  2. Waverly at Home: Windows by Waverly and Vicki L. Ingham
  3. Curtains, Draperies, & Shades by Editors of Sunset Books
  4. Addicted 2 Decorating – Blogger Kristi who rocks at many home decor things but especially window treatments

I think I’m ready to start cutting my fabric! I feel confident that an outside mount, flat Roman shade is the best for my windows. The Kelly Ripa Flying Colors Pool fabric is so pretty, not too loud, and most importantly, I’ve learned the best method for sewing my shades. Here we go!


When’s the last time you ventured into your library? Are you a book lover too? What project are you inspired by that you want to tackle the right way?

Roman Shade Planning

Rose Spring Wreath
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Lamb’s Ear and Rose Asymmetrical Spring Wreath | DIY Faux Floral Wreath

Spring is in the air. The lilies in my yard are popping up, and there are buds on our trees! The longest Michigan winter I can recall is coming to an end! Spring home decor has been catching my eye lately, particularly pink and green spring wreaths! Many years ago (12?!?) I took a class on making wedding flowers, so I decided to see how well that translated into wreath making! It really wasn’t difficult, just took some time and patience!


First up, inspiration. These lovely wreaths have been popping up on my Pinterest feed for a couple weeks now. Aren’t they lovely?? Source

Source

Source

The soft, romantic pinks of the peonies and the minty green of the lambs ear is just so beautiful together! My front door is deep blue, which would look great with those colors! I was also struck by the minimalist hoop design too. That is a fresh, new idea which I love. A modern look to the front door wreath! In the end, I blended the looks of the above wreaths and also working within a budget. While I loved the peonies, roses were far more cost effective!

The method of assembly is the same no matter the greenery or flowers you choose. I gave the number of stems I used for reference, but the sky’s the limit on this one! Use the colors, flowers, greenery, and amount of each that inspires you!


Asymmetrical Spring Wreath_2

Materials

  • 19″ metal floral ring
  • Floral wire (26 gauge)
  • Tin snips
  • Hot glue gun & glue
  • Kitchen twine
  • 4 stems of lambs ear
  • 1 rose stem (with 3 rose blooms)
  • 2 ranunculus stems
  • 1 filler bouquet (similar)

wreath supplies

Wrap Floral Ring

Using the kitchen twine, or any twine you’d prefer, wrap tightly around the floral ring. Top begin, I secured the end of the twine with a dot of hot glue so the twine wouldn’t unravel as I wrapped. It is easier to wrap while keeping the twine rolled around the spool, don’t cut off a long length. It will get tangled and make a mess.

Every couple inches, put a dot of glue on the ring and press the twine into it. This will keep the twine from slipping as you wrap.

wrapped wreath ring

wreath ring wrappedSnip Greenery into Small Sections

From making boutonnieres and corsages in the past, I know it is easiest to build a full floral piece with small sections of greenery, filler flowers, and focal flowers. So the first step to building this wreath is to snip the leaves from the lambs ear stem into smaller segments. Only cut a few sections off at a time until you have a feel for how many leaves you like grouped together. I found that number changed as I worked around the wreath.

lambs ear

Make sure to leave some stem on each segment. You will need this to wrap the floral wire around and possibly to bend and shape the leaves on the wreath to create depth and fullness.

Wrap Floral Wire Around Greenery

Cut a section of floral wire about 8-10″ long and wrap securely around the base of the leaves and stems.

Floral Wire Wrap

Wrap and Twist Wire Around Floral Ring

While holding the greenery in place on the floral ring, wrap the trailing ends of the wire around the ring in opposite directions. spring wreath greenThen secure the wire by twisting the ends together (Like trash bag twisties from the olden days! Do they make those anymore???). Snip the excess wire as needed with the tin snips. I left about an inch of wire and bent it up and around the ring back into the flower arrangement to hide the sharp ends.

Twist Floral Wire

Hot Glue Piece in Place

The wire will hold the greenery in place while you tweak the position. Gently bend the main stem or stems of the leaves to position the leaves. For the best looking wreath, position the leaves to point in every direction: left, right, and up. Once you are satisfied with how it looks, add a couple drops of hot glue where the wire is holding the stem to the floral ring.

This photo was taken after the wreath was completed, but if you look closely, you can see the twisted wired and clear/white blobs of glue holding everything in place.

spring wreath hot glue and wireRepeat, Repeat, Repeat!

Repeat these steps for attaching each piece of greenery, filler flowers, and eventually the lager focal flowers.

Greenery and Filler

wreath faux greenery wreath faux greenery wreath faux greeneryFocal Flowers

Add the focal flowers in the middle of the span of greenery. I added 3 pink rose blossoms and 2 white blossoms (I ended up adding 1 more white bud at the end to fill in a gap.). Make sure to surround the flowers with greenery too.

Spring Wreath Focal FlowersAdd Remaining Greenery from Opposite Direction

After attaching the focal flowers and their surrounding greenery, finish the other half of the wreath by attaching greens and filler flowers but from the opposite direction. Start at the right where the greenery will end then attach with stems pointing towards the focal flowers.

There will be a tight space where the two halves of the greenery/flowers meet up that is really tricky to get new pieces in. See the gap by the arrow in the photo below.

Spring WreathSnip off individual leaves and hot glue them one by one to fill in that gap.

Spring Wreath

Mine still looked gap-y so I added one more small white bud next to the pink bud. Experiment with what looks good at this stage. Insert different options (buds, leaves, filler flowers) to see which completes the look. Pick it up off the table too. Holding it up as it will hang will allow you to see any areas that need to be filled in more.

Finished Spring WreathHang it on Front Door

Step back and admire your handiwork! Isn’t it fun to create something beautiful for your home? I find it so fulfilling to create things that make my home beautiful for me.

Hanging this asymmetrical wreath on the door was tricky. I wrapped more kitchen twine around the ring and door hanger to keep the ring from tilting too much to one side. It’s still a little lopsided, but perfection is not what we’re going for, is it??

Faux Rose Spring Wreath Faux Rose Spring WreathThe soft pink of the roses and fuzzy green of the lambs ear is exactly what I was looking for. It gives my front door a fresh new look as the rest of the yard springs to life.

Rose Spring WreathWhat touches of new life have you added to your home lately? Do you change your decor out with each season or do you keep things more “evergreen?”


Asymmetrical Spring Wreath

nailhead trim
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Reupholstered Wood Side Chair | Nailhead trim

If its your first time at Flawed yet Functional, I’m working through my first upholstery project, a wood frame side chair. Today is the final stage, nailhead trim! Here are the first 5 steps to catch you up.

  1. Built the structural elements of the seat
  2. Padded the seat cushion
  3. Attached the top layer of upholstery
  4. Protected the bottom  of the chair with a dust cover
  5. Finished off the chair back with welting

I suspected that installing the nailhead trim would be tricky because I used flexible metal tack strips to attach the top layer of upholstery to the wood frame around the chair seat. The metal tack strips are under the edge of the fabric. I knew hammering a nail through the metal wouldn’t be easy, and maybe not possible at all.

During the research phase of this step, I came across this tutorial for how to make a jig out of cardboard to keep the nailheads evenly spaced when hammering them in. Genius! Or so I thought…

First I made the jig out of scrap cardboard following the tutorial’s instructions.

Nailhead Trim Cardboard Jig

Then I tried to nail the tacks in…things are already looking shaky…

Cardboard Jig for Nailhead Trim

Pull out the jig…

Cardboard Jig Result

Pinterest fail! Ha! That didn’t go as planned! It was super difficult to hammer the nailheads through the metal, especially when they are only held in place by flimsy cardboard. Also, it is hard to hold a nailhead with your fingers and hammer without the proper point-y hammer. My fingers can attest that this is difficult! (Now looking back at that tutorial, I remember she used needle-nose pliers. Ah! Genius!)

Back to the drawing board! How can I get these nailhead tacks hammered in, evenly spaced, and straight through wood AND metal? I pondered for a few days until the light bulb turned on: pre-drill holes for the tacks to go through! A drill bit can go through metal and wood right?

Energized and thrilled at my brilliance, I ran my idea past my hubby. He thought it would work, but he cautioned the bit might tear up the fabric on its way through. So I bought new bits so they would be as sharp as possible. A quick trip to Lowe’s and $3.08 later, I’m ready to rock this nailhead trim!

Nailhead trim toolsQuick note on drill bits, select a bit the same size or slightly smaller than the width of the tack shank so that there is a tight fit. I used a 1/16″ drill bit that can go through wood and metal. Insert the drill bit into the drill so less than the length of the tack is sticking out. The purpose of pre-drilling, is to start the hole so the tack can get through the metal and wood with proper spacing between tacks. The hole should be shorter than the tack shank so the remainder of the tack can be hammered securely into the wood frame of the chair.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Here’s a quick tutorial for how to attach nailhead trim through flexible metal tack strips.

Tools

  • 7/16″ nailhead tacks
  • Tape measure
  • 1/16″ drill bit for metal and wood drilling
  • Drill
  • Small hammer
  • Flathead screwdriver

Measure and Mark

Use a tape measure to make a line 1/4″ from the edge of the wood trim. If you are using a different size nailhead than I did, mark the line half the diameter of the nailhead away from the trim.

My nailheads are 7/16″ in diameter, the distance from edge to edge of the tack head. I was lazy and rounded this to 1/2″. Half of that length is 1/4″ which is the distance I drew my line from the edge of the wood frame so that the nailheads would rest right at the edge of the trim once nailed in.

Make hash marks where each tack should be inserted. The first one should be 1/4″ from the edge then mark every 1/2″ across the section. The end tacks will only be 1/4″ from the arm/leg/corner of the chair because the radius of the nailhead is 1/4″. When making the rest of the hash marks, they should be 1/2″ apart because there will be two halves of a nailhead between each tack shaft.

measure and mark pilot holes

Drill Pilot Holes

Use a drill to make a pilot hole at each hash mark. Make sure the drill bit is shorter than the shaft of the nailhead tack so that you don’t drill too far!

drill pilot holes

Insert Nailhead Tack into Pilot Hole

Using your fingers, push a tack into each pilot hole. Work only 2-3 tacks at a time for drilling the pilot hole and filling it. The fabric quickly disguises the pilot hole, so I found it best not to drill all the pilot holes at once.

nailhead in pilot hole

The tacks won’t look straight yet, but don’t worry, we’ll fix that in a minute.

Crooked Nailhead TrimHammer Completely and Straighten

Using a small hammer and screwdriver, hammer the nailhead tacks completely into the wood frame. Hammer them left/right or up/down as needed to tweak them into a straight line. The tacks are a bit forgiving and will bend. If a tack is way out of line, pull it out and drill another pilot hole. The tacks will only move about 1/8″ in any one direction.

Straight Nailhead Trim

While not perfectly straight, the end result is SO much better than when I tried to hammer through the metal tack strips!

The front of the chair does not have metal tack strips. The top layer of fabric was secured using cardboard. I continued with the same method, and it was a thousand times easier. The metal tack strip made my drill slip and slide, and it offered quite the resistance to the drill bit! The front of the chair was the last section I tackled, and it was smooth and easy!

straight nailhead trim

nailhead trim

Now I need a new home office where my desk faces out into the room because the front of the chair is clearly the best side of the chair!

Final Reveal

After 7 years of procrastinating, this dream to try upholstery on my own has come to completion! Let’s take a look at some before and afters, shall we? Scroll down to see the picture from when I first brought it home to completely refinishing the chair frame and upholstery! What a change! The wood is so much more yellow than I remembered.

Before Re-Upholstery

 

Now for an updated look at my home office area!

reupholstered desk chair with nailhead trim

There you have it, my rather unconventional way to install nailhead trim: measure and mark the insert points, use a drill to make pilot holes, insert tack and hammer in completely. I have not seen a drill pop up in the upholstery tutorials I’ve read/watched, but the result looks good enough to me! Like I said before, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Be creative! Ponder different ways to solve your problems with the tools and resources you have! Not only will you finish your project, but you will get a great amount of satisfaction from using your brain to problem solve.


It feels so good to finish a project! Particularly one that’s been hanging around for 7 years! What have you tackled lately that you finished? Did you let your project hang over your head for 7 years??

Nailhead Trim Tutorial

 

 

Sewn Welting
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Reupholstered Wood Side Chair | Part 5 – Welting

Continuing on with my first re-upholstery project (See Part 1, 2, 3, and 4 here.), I finished the welting/cording around the chair back insert of the chair! I put off this project until almost the end because it intimidated me. Sewing the welting seemed like it would be tricky. The few tutorials I had watched told me otherwise, but I was scared nonetheless. Today I’m going to show you how I put on my big girl panties and just started. Creating gives me joy, and I can let fear of uncertainty take that joy. No more!

Joy and fulfillment in hobbies is something I’ve mentioned on social media a couple times, but I really believe you should do the things that bring you joy. Working on a hobby leads to a fulfilled life. Even if you can only squeeze in a few minutes here and there, do that thing that brings you joy. Read that book. Sew that skirt. Plant those flowers. Paint that wall. Bake the  cookies. Do those fun-filled things and enjoy them!


I’m kicking myself for how I felt about this step. It scared me. I’d never sewn welting before, and I was intimidated. Sigh. It was so easy. Like really, really easy. I didn’t even have to pin the fabric while sewing, and I’m a fairly beginning sewer so I use pins! The upholstery fabric is nice and grippy. It doesn’t slide around so sewing it was a dream. And attaching it to the chair back insert? A breeze. Why did I put this off for so long again? Oh right, I was scared and just didn’t try.

Here’s how I attached welting (aka piping or cording) around the chair back insert on my wood frame side chair.

Measure and Cut Strips

The fabric for welting needs to be cut along the bias or diagonally across the fabric. This leads to lots of waste which is hard for this cheapskate to take, but the end result of a professional finish is worth it! At this point, I’m also glad I bought 2 full yards of upholstery fabric. While I only needed 1 yard to cover the seat and back of the chair, I needed almost the entire remaining yard for the welting.

Using a straightedge, mark two inches in either side of the corner.

Mark Fabric for Welting

Then extend those two starting points to the other edge of the fabric. One, 2″ strip was not quite long enough to go all the way around the seat back insert so I cut another 2″ strip and sewed the two strips together.

Make a 2″ wide strip the perimeter of the chair back insert (the distance around the insert) + 8 inches. The extra 8″ is arbitrary, you could choose any amount, but you do want several inches extra, on both sides of the length of welting, to make the finish seam nice. I made mine 60″ long.

Cut Fabric Strips

Sew Cord into Strip

Fold the strip in half, inserting the welting cord into the fold of the fabric. Put the zipper foot on your sewing machine and sew the cord into the fold as close to the cord as possible.

Sewing Welting

I did not pin my fabric but just sewed slowly making sure my fabric stayed folded in half and the pressure foot tight against the cord.

Wait until you’ve finished sewing to cut the cord to length. There will be extra as you attach the welting to the chair, so a bit of cord hanging out is not a problem. I just left the pile of cord in my lap and fed it into the sleeve of the fabric as I sewed.

Sewn Welting

Staple Welting on to Back Insert

Using 3/8″ staples and a pneumatic staple gun, attach the welting to the edge of the chair back insert.

Stapler

Beginning at the middle, bottom of the chair back insert, staple the beginning end of the welting to the chair. Place the first staple a couple inches back from the end of the welting cord. You will need extra room from both ends of the cord to wrap them together to finish the welting.

When stapling the welting, make sure the welting is flush with the side of the chair back insert and the staple is as close to the cord as possible. To accomplish a tight staple, face the chair back insert with cord side of the welting facing you. Put the nose of the staple gun over the cord and staple tight against the cord.

Pardon the blurry picture! Light was low the day I was working on this!

Staple Welting

Continue around the chair back insert, stapling securely as you go.

When you get to a corner, make a couple notches (triangle cutouts) in the excess fabric to allow the welting to bend more easily and not have extra fabric bulk up at the corner. I made my notches as I worked around the chair back insert.

Notch Corners Welting

When you get back to the beginning, you should have extra welting overlapping your starting point.

Welting Overlap

Use a seam ripper to open up sleeve of the fabric an inch or so beyond the intersection point of the welting. Lay the fabrics on top of one another. Line up the cords and trim to there is no overlap.

Cut Cording Welting

Trim the excess fabric from the outside fabric, leaving an inch beyond the intersection point. Fold the fabric over so that it will have a finished edge.

How to Make Welting Seam

Fold and hold the fabric tightly and secure with staples to finish attaching the welting.

Welting Seam

Notes:

  1. This method of continuous welting around the chair back insert is made up by me. I’m not sure it is an actual upholstery method, but it seemed to make sense to me to create continuous welting around the chair back insert.
  2. I made a mistake and put this seam at the top of my chair back insert! Think through the starting point carefully before beginning to staple!

Trim Excess Fabric

Trim the excess fabric as close to the staples as possible. Use very sharp scissors for this step. My sewing scissors were not sharp enough. My husband sharped them as best he could, but I still was not able to trim the excess nicely. He was kind enough to do it for me. A stronger hand can cut better with my scissors apparently. I need to add a good pair of sewing scissors to my shopping list! Any recommendations?

Re-Attach Chair Back Insert

With the welting attached and trimmed, put the chair back insert back into the chair!

My insert has two prongs at the top of the insert that rest in divots in the top frame of the chair. The insert is held in place by three screws that go into the bottom of the frame and up into the chair insert.

Attaching Chair Back Insert

Step back and admire your work!

Finished WeltingCan you believe the step I stewed and sweated over for so long was really quite painless?! That just goes to show you, sometimes you just need to start. The worrying and fretting get you nowhere! And just maybe the project isn’t as hard as you think!

To attach welting to a chair back insert, first cut the strips of fabric and tightly sew the cord into the fabric. Then beginning at the middle bottom, staple the welting around the insert leaving a couple inches at the beginning and the end of the cord unattached. Finish off the welting with some folding and stapling. Then trim the excess fabric and put the chair back together!


Any other procrastinators/worriers out there? Do you delay the start of the project because you are unsure about how to do it? Any suggestions for sewing scissors? I really do need a new pair…

Attach Welting to Chair Back

Dust Cover on Chair
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Reupholstered Wood Side Chair | Part 4 – Dust Cover

Upholstering my wood desk chair is going swimmingly, slowly, but trucking along nonetheless. The chair was taken apart prior to me documenting, but so far I’ve made the chair weight bearing, built the cushion, and attached the top piece of upholstery. Today, I’ll show you how to attach the dust cover on the bottom of the chair.


After attaching the top piece of upholstery fabric in Part 3 of this series, the chair looked like this. It looks finished, doesn’t it?

upholstered desk chairIt isn’t though, if you know where to look. See the burlap hanging down from the front frame  of the chair? That needs to be hidden behind a dust cover.

A dust cover is a thin, lightweight piece of fabric used to hide the under or backside of an upholstered piece of furniture. It hides structural pieces to give the bottom of the chair a finished look. The dust cover also protects the insides of the chair from dust.

I purchased my dust cover by the yard from Jo-Ann’s. At first, I picked up a pre-packaged dust cover from the upholstery section. It has 5 yards of fabric in it which is way more than I needed for this project. So I opted to purchase a different version from the bolts so I could purchase just the amount I needed. For this project, I purchased 2/3 of a yard, and it was just enough.

The dust cover fabric I purchased was grey. It is usually black. If I were purchasing it again, I would look elsewhere for black. The grey was so thin, it was see-through if not double layered. Perhaps it was supposed to be double layered? No one will see it so it doesn’t matter, but I would like the look of opaque black better.

Cut Dust Cover to Size of Chair Bottom

Just like with the other fabric parts, cut the dust fabric to roughly the size of the chair with a few inches on all sides. I planned to tuck in all the edges, so I didn’t bother with a very precise cut. After cutting the fabric, lay it on the chair to make sure it fits, trim as necessary.

Sizing Dust Cover Fabric

Tuck Edges Under and Staple

To make the edge look more clean and finished, tuck the extra fabric under towards the inside middle of the chair before stapling. Then following the same North-South-West-East pattern, secure one staple on each side. The reason for following this pattern is to keep the fabric centered on the chair. If you work around the chair, you will pull the fabric off center, possibly enough to not have any left to finish stapling at the end of the chair!

Always start at the top (north) then pull the fabric taut and staple at the bottom (south). Go to one side pulling the fabric gently, but not too tight, secure with a staple (west). Finish up by pulling the fabric taut on the other side (east).

I used short, 1/4″, staples to secure the dust cover. This layer is not structural and will not see every day use, so these short staples should be plenty to hold it in place.

Attaching Dust CoverContinue working around the chair in this pattern, always securing staples opposite each other, until the whole dust cover is secured.

Stapled Dust CoverTrim Around Edges of Legs

The dust cover fabric will be bulky at the corners, by the legs of the chair. Trim some of the overlapping fabric before securing the staples. I didn’t follow a specific method for this. Just trim any folded up fabric to thin out the layers and allow the dust cover to lay flat.

Dust Cover at LegSee how thin this dust cover fabric is? I didn’t expect it to be so see-through when I purchased it. In the end, it is the bottom of the chair, no one will see it. However, I like the finished look of an opaque layer though, and if I were doing it again, I’d buy black dust cover fabric.

Dust Cover on Chair

And now a chair with a finished dust cover! No more burlap hanging all jagged from the bottom of the chair! Even though the dust cover is a little visible from this angle, anyone standing up will not see any of it. The solid grey line looks more clean anyway than jagged burlap!

Chair with Finished Dust CoverAttaching the dust cover was probably the easiest, fastest step in finishing this chair. I think it took about 5 minutes, including cutting, stapling, and trimming the fabric. Following the North-South-West-East pattern is key to the fabric laying evenly without puckers or overstretching in any direction.


That’s one step closer to a finished chair! To see the rest of this upholstery project, click on the links below!

  • Part 1 – Structural Elements
  • Part 2 – Build the Cushion
  • Part 3 – Attaching Top Layer of Upholstery

Dust Cover How To