How to make a balloon shade, Part 2

So many people have come looking at Part 1 of how to make a balloon shade that I’m posting the second half of the instructions. (If you click on the “Part 1″ it shows three consecutive balloon shade posts, starting with the last one first.)I left you with a shade where the width was set, the shade was folded, the sides finished, and the top was cleverly sewn up with a velcro tape.In this part, we set the length of the shade.ashade1.jpgOur list of ingredients includes a roll of velcro tape, blind hardware and wood screws, plastic guide rings, a mounting board and a weight rod.   The velcro, hardware, and rings are from this link, and the weight rod is a heavy steel rod from Home Depot.  I made the mounting board exactly as wide as the window trim (which is exactly the width of the curtain) and cut the weight rod to be 1/2″ shorter than the boardashade2.jpgI’m planning for the blind to be lowered and raised from the left, so the middle and right side get guides for the cords, while the left side gets the brake-and-release gadget.ashade3.jpgYou already sewed the hard hooked side of the velcro to the top of the shade.  You take the soft looped side of the velcro and staple it to the top of the mounting board.  According to experts (not me) the staples should be as shown.ashade4.jpgYou velcro the top of the shade to the top of the mounting board, and lay out the shade and the rings.  Each line of rings should line up with the hardware and be between 8″ and 12″ apart.   For some reason I put these rings 14″ apart, and later changed them to 7″ apart when the resulting shade was too droopy.The finished height of the trimmed window is 62″.  Starting with a length that was 12″ longer, or 74″, I used up an inch for the top seam and another inch attaching it to the mounting board.  By playing with the shade, I see that it’s appropriately balloon-y with an extra 5″ of slack, so I cut the shade to be 69″ long (allowing 1″ for the fold-over on top of the mounting board, 1″ for the bottom seam and 5″ for the balloon).   For a 5″ balloon, the bottom piece should be 5″ deep.ashade5.jpgI cut the scallops very shallow, hoping to have a more masculine profile (to a balloon shade.  Ha!)  You stitch both the lining and the fabric of the curtain, folds and all, to the fabric of the bottom scallops, leaving the bottom scallop lining free.ashade6.jpgHere’s a shot after the pocket for the weight rod is sewn into the base of the curtain (or the top of the scalloped piece, depending on how you see it).ashade7.jpgThe rod pocket is set, all the rings are sewn, it’s laid out on the mounting board and the cords are all strung.ashade8.jpgThe last step is to slip in the weight rod, and sew up the rod pocket.ashade21.jpgThis was the shade when I first made it.  It was unacceptably droopy, so I halved the distance between rings and I halved the height of the mounting board.ashade9.jpgNice shade!

8 Responses to “How to make a balloon shade, Part 2”

  1. 1 Debi

    I’ve been looking all over for this! Thanks so much for posting it! I’m re-decorating my bathroom and a balloon shade fits perfectly. I just wasn’t sure how to do it. You’re a life-saver!

  2. 2 Alice

    Glad it’s useful!

  3. 3 Nicole

    Thanks! I am looking for some nice shades to make for my kitchen and I love these, but was wondering if you had any photos of what it looks like down?


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