Pretty roller shades...to fit these old brackets? (see pic)

sarahandbrayFebruary 5, 2009

I have been avoiding getting shades in our old house for a long time because it's SO TOUGH when you want shades, not curtains. I love our original woodwork and don't want to cover it, so I know that I would like shades.

95% of our windows in the house are already outfitted with these brackets for roller shades. Where can I get roller shades that I can just use these with? (The ANNOYING part is that the majority of the windows in this house are 26" wide...and most companies only do ready-made ones at 24" or 27")

left side of the windows

right side of the windows

(and is it just me, or is ordering shades not only frustrating but EXPENSIVE?)

-Sarah from Albany, NY

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acc0406

Assuming the hardware on a new shade fits into the old bracket, you can get vinyl shades cut to size at Lowes. You just buy the next biggest size and give them your measurements. Call first and ask them how to measure and keep your receipt.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 1:47PM
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kimkitchy

I am linking the smith&noble website below. They do custom roller shades. I get their "snail mail" catalog, but I've never ordered anything from them so, I don't know how they are to work with. The website has a pretty neat quick quote feature too.

I know what you mean about not wanting to cover up your wood work! Me either! We have big, drafty (even with storms), mostly unrestored windows in our home. Because we wanted some insulating value we went with the Hunter Douglas triple cell "duette" shades. They have lasted about 15 years now and still look good - but YES they were terribly EXPENSIVE! I am about to order two for a couple of bedrooms and am going to hold my breath for the quote!
HTH.

Here is a link that might be useful: smithandnoble

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 4:07PM
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slateberry51

I just get my roller shades out of the trash and cut them down to size myself lol! It is not hard to do if you have a hand saw. It's fairly easy to cut a straight clean line on the vinyl with regular scissors. If you sew and have a rotary cutter and mat, it's even easier.

OK I bought some at HD once too. Just seems like people are always throwing out perfectly good ones.

The fittings you pictured are quite standard.

Fabric stores also sell kits so that you can iron fabric onto a shade backing, and make custom shades that match your decor. Never tried it but it looks nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: fuse-a-shade

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 7:47AM
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heimert

FWIW, those look like the standard brackets for roller shades that you would buy at Lowes, etc. You could always go there and buy the brackets (50c each or so) to confirm the new shades will fit. As stated above, any place selling roller shades should cut them to length. The sizes are there just so you don't have to cut off say 20 inches.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 10:16AM
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paul4x4

Don't know where you are located, but here in MA I purchased shades at a discount store called "ocean state job lot". They have a metal core which telescopes to the correct width, you then make a cut in the vinyl at the correct width and you just pull and it tears in a nice straight line the length of the vinyl. You then roll it up and place it in the brackets quick and easy. Easy to custom fit each window as you go along. I haven't found any stores that cut them anymore in our area.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 12:37PM
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TACHE

I had that exact situation in an old house in Seattle. I went to the big lake front St.Vincients and bought old shades for almost nothing. I threw away the fabric part and duplicated them in a material that I really liked and starched heavily. I cut them to size myself. Nothing works as well for the slat as the slat that comes with it. I think I may have bought a few extras just to get those. I was really pleased with the results. When we moved away I left them there in the only house I was truly attached to

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 2:46PM
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antiquesilver

My experience is that the shades that aren't made-to-order from a drapery place tend to be junk so I make my own. It's not rocket science - all it takes is a little patience & a place large enough to cut & iron the fabric (a sheet of padded plywood works). An established drapery shop will usually sell the wooden rollers (it's worth it to get the heavy duty, if possible) & the bottom slats & then cut to the correct width. Then you fuse fabric to lining, trim to the correct size, sew a hem on the bottom & insert the slat, & attach to the roller with staples.

It's not the most fun thing I've ever done, but it's a lot cheaper than buying custom & I can pick the exact fabric I want. And they're not vinyl!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 2:49PM
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TACHE

I had that exact situation in an old house in Seattle. I went to the big lake front St.Vincients and bought old shades for almost nothing. I threw away the fabric part and duplicated them in a material that I really liked and starched heavily. I cut them to size myself. Nothing works as well for the slat as the slat that comes with it. I think I may have bought a few extras just to get those. I was really pleased with the results. When we moved away I left them there in the only house I was truly attached to

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 6:33PM
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slateberry51

I just remembered, if you diy your shades, any variation in the angle off of 90 when you attach them to the roller dowel will make for a very crooked hang. When I did mine, I used a staple gun to attach one end to the dowel, then had a partner stand across the room and give feedback while I stood on a stepladder with the shade in its frame, holding the loose end against the dowel with my finger, and making fine adjustments until the shade hung straight. Then I marked and stapled it at that end, plus added several staples in between the two ends for overall strength.

Of course if your brackets are off level, you may want to correct that before you start. I'd compare the center of the rectangular slot to the center of the pin slot.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 9:07AM
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sarahandbray

I would LOVE to make my own...but I am the least crafty person on earth! This is the ONLY project that has ever gotten me to consider buying a sewing machine...just because the cost of shades is so much...and because we have SO MANY windows in this old house. But other than photography (so maybe scrapbooking someday, if I'm bored), I have zero passion for the art of craftiness.

I do love fabric and was hoping to do some really cool shades...just to make it look like I "meant" to do roller shades...not because they were just the cheapest I could find. I guess I don't really want the vinyl ones for that reason...I was hoping for fabric of some kind.

That make-your-own roller shade thing sounds ideal...but how well do they work once you add the fabric onto the backing? Does it make it too "heavy" so they don't roll up too well? I kind of need something heavy duty enough to withstand three little kids running around--not that they ever mess with the blinds we have now...I would just hate the thought of them breaking something I either spent a ton of $$ on or a ton of time!!

Great ideas, though...I'm going to try to figure it out soon!!
Sarah

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 1:45PM
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slateberry51

try posting your questions about fuse-a-shade on the home decorating forum. I bet somebody there has tried them and can give you the skinny. I think in part it would depend on the thickness of the fabric you use.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 8:32PM
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antiquesilver

Sarah, I'm not the least bit craftsy, but sewing became a necessity if I wanted custom window treatments - & I hated most of the ready made stuff in the stores that was also fairly expensive. I inherited an ancient Singer & decided I had little to lose by experimenting with cheap fabric in an unused room. What I discovered is that sewing requires more patience than skill - & if you invest a large amount of money in fabric, believe me, you'll develop patience, LOL!

The shades came later, but the patience thing is what makes the difference in making the end product look professionally done as opposed to craftsy. Just like Slateberry said about making the extra effort to be sure they're stapled at precisely 90 degrees.

I've never used the fuse-a-shade, but instead bought the fusing (is there such a word??) in sheets & applied it between the fabric & a good quality drapery lining (for privacy). It's an iron-on application. Thickness of the fabric is definitely a consideration & starching of heavier fabrics that don't require a backing sounds like a good idea.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 12:05AM
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SuzyQ2

I bought new pull shades in a vintage style from JC Penney of all places. The saleswoman could not have been nicer and called the manufacturer to make sure they would work with my vintage hardware. They arrived and work perfectly.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 11:08PM
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