Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hand block-printed shades

If you follow me on Facebook, then you know I was featured with six other bloggers (including my blog friends Kathy at My Interior Life and Autumn at Design Dump) in a round up of budget decorating DIYs on the Style at Home website.  My project is an oldie that I hinted at but never shared.

In fact, this project started as a cautionary tale.  When we moved in, this house did not have window coverings in the bedrooms, and since I had no design plan and had not even begun to think about budget, I simply ran to Home Depot and had some white vinyl shades cut to size.  This was basically the cheapest option with good light control.  Fast forward a year or so and you encounter the problem: because we already had window shades, we did not want to buy new window shades.  (The lesson: don't buy "temporary" unless you are okay with it being basically permanent!)

So I needed a fix.  I ordered a carved block used in block printing off of etsy, read tutorials on painting vinyl shades, and got down to business.  Before starting in on the shade, I tested some patterns and colors on large paper.  I quickly realized that a light color would work better than a dark one, like the navy wall paint from the guest room, which showed too many of the irregularities in this process.

So I settled on the wall color from the girls room.  And rather than the climbing vine motif above, I settled on a simple grid pattern.

I taped a tape measure across the bottom of the shade, used a roller to layer paint on the block, and printed every five inches.  (Look closely to see the paint!!)

When it was time to do the next row, I used a ruler to make sure the spacing was even in both directions.

I printed a straight square grid first, then added one stamp in the middle of each square.  I just eyeballed that.

To finish it off, I used a krylon matte sealer and let it cure for a couple of hours before hanging it back up.

These shades have gone up and down at least once daily for about 9 months, and they are still looking good!

Of course, I would still love custom matchstick blinds in there, but for now these are pretty cute, but darn hard to photograph.  In fact, this may be why I never did share the project--that pale pink is sure hard to see, and when you have to shut out the natural light in a room (but don't have professional lighting equipment at your disposal, well, it doesn't look like much.

But tell me: would you ever hand-block print anything?  It actually took way less than an hour once I made decisions about pattern and color and got on with it already!


  1. I've never tried this technique before. Sounds pretty easy and quick, which makes it right up my alley! Congrats on your feature!

  2. Nice post!!! Buy windows Des Moines for your loving home. America’s Best Choice provide all type windows attractive and strong at very affordable price.


Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...