Kids outgrow more than clothes. They outgrow their bedroom décor. One day it’s pink walls and kitty sheets, and the next it’s Justin Bieber posters and peace signs. So while it’s fun to decorate a child’s room, it’s sometimes best to think temporary. Which is another way for saying inexpensive.
My daughter wanted her own room, with her own stuff and style. Window treatments can be one of the costliest items you’ll adorn your child’s walls with. So roller shades seemed alluring. But, big yawn, the white doesn’t have a 7-year-old vibe. A roll of fun wallpaper can change all of that.
The instructions below are for turning a plain Jane roller shade into something colorful and eye-catching by using wallpaper. It’s cheap, quick and even the most beginner of DIYers can do it. York Wallcoverings Factory in York, PA has a great select of wallpaper that is cheap, cheap, cheap. Go upstairs, where the real bargains can be found. That’s where I scored our hot pink with butterflies paper.
- Roller shade, fitted for your window
- Wallpaper, in dimensions that match your shade
- Razor blade or other sharp cutting tool
- Mod Podge
- Ribbon, if necessary
- Hand saw, if necessary
- Small clamps or clips
Begin by removing the shade material from the roller that it’s wound around. You’ll either have a metal or wooden roller. What you have will dictate how you will affix your wallpaper to the roller.
Measure the length of the shade. Cut the wallpaper from your roll to the same length. If you have a straight edge and a razor blade, this is give you a straighter cut than if you use scissors. Place it face down on your work table.
If your wallpaper is not as wide as the length of the roller, as was my issue, then you can always widen it by gluing a ribbon to the edge of the wallpaper on either side. The ribbon should run the entire length of the wallpaper. Pick ribbon that is not too thick and has no wire. In my case, the roller was one inch wider than my wallpaper. So I glued the ribbon with Mod Podge along the length of the wallpaper so that ½ inch was visible. That gave me the missing inch I needed. When doing this, make sure that you are gluing to the backside of the wallpaper.
Once glue is dry, take the wooden stick that was part of the old shade – the bottom part you grip to lower and raise the shade – and use a hand saw to cut it to the width of your wallpaper, if needed. Then, line it up with very bottom of your wallpaper and glue it in place. Once dry, fold over twice and glue into place. Clamps or small clips are helpful here.
Now flip it over so your future shade is face up on your work table. Take the roller device from the old shade and line it up with the top of the new shade. It’s going to lay on the front side. If the roller is wooden, you can use a staple gun to affix to roller. If metal, duct tape will do. Once in place, roll it down the roller the length of the new shade and place it back into the shade mounting that you already installed within your window frame.
Your shade should now be functional.