Tuesday, 7 May 2013

DIY Window Tricks and Treatments

One of the main things I notice once the weather starts to improve (apart from how much better I feel) is just how filthy our windows have become. Gone are the days when Secundus used to blow his nose on the curtains, but certainly, our windows were in bad need of a spring clean and spruce up this weekend, so I thought I'd share some tips and tricks I've found useful.

1. Jenni Mullinix, author of Clean Enough, recommends you wipe down your windows with coffee filters (at least, that's what they did when Jenni worked at "a well-known coffee house"), or a squeegee. She uses distilled vinegar to clean glass of all kinds.

2. 1 cup white vinegar and two cups water in a clean spray bottle is what Dana White uses, and it's safe for her kids to use when helping out round the home too, as she points out in Teaching Kids to Clean. Dana labels the spray bottle and lists the ingredients on the outside so she doesn't forget the ratio of vinegar to water when re-filling it. I also add a squirt of dish soap to the mix.

3. There are hundreds of free and downloadable patterns out there if you want to try making your own curtains. Some bright and cheery ruffled curtains like the ones made by Flamingo Toes would bring a splash of colour - have a look at the tutorial here. Or for retro fun, try some kitchen curtains with gingham bows: instructions here. Doris Day would be proud.

4. A neutral-coloured blind, such as these natural roller blinds from Blinds Supermarket is a very cost-effective way of ensuring privacy and stopping the sunlight from bleaching your furnishings, and they can easily be transformed into more of a talking point with this little project from Forbidden Advice

You will need:
  • a roll of wallpaper in a print you like
  • wallpaper paste, a rolling pin and a clean paint roller
  • a blind, 68cm wide or less (this is the width of a standard roll of wallpaper)
What to do:
Beach scene blind. Prices from £170
  • Roll out the blind to its full length and cut out enough wallpaper to fit the width exactly but 5cm longer than the blind's length.
  • Spread some wallpaper paste over the inside face of the blind, using a clean paint roller.
  • Lay the cut piece of wallpaper on the glued surface, letting the extra 5cm wrap under the bottom.
  • Press down and use the rolling pin to smooth out any air bubbles. 
  • If there is any excess wallpaper, trim it away.
Because the blind is made stiffer when the wallpaper is attached, this trick works most successfully on windows where you don't mind leaving the blinds down a bit. 

5. For a completely unique window dressing, create your own personalised blind using your favourite photograph (see above right). You upload your photo file to Blinds Supermarket, give the required measurements and they'll do the rest. That's one way to wake up with Benedict Cumberbatch every morning!  

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