I should have called this the "PIY" - "Paint It Yourself" - roller shade project. A few months ago, I ran across this image on Pinterest, and was so taken with the playful trompe l'oeil design mimicking austrian shades, or as they're more popularly called, balloon shades. It looked fun, colorful - and easy to duplicate. And I desperately needed an inexpensive shade for my kitchen. To the Home Depot!

I'm a very impatient DIY-er (as you'll soon see), and I just dashed quickly through the store, grabbing an assortment of brushes and supplies. The shade itself is medium-weight vinyl, for a grand $7.95, and the paint is black tempera craft paint. I purchased several brushes and sponges to try, but the one that worked best was a super cheap one-inch brush. The coarse bristles gave a look very similar to the professional design above. My window was much shorter than the shade, so I rolled the shade out full length, and then marked out six equally spaced marks before painting the full swags. As you can see, I quickly smeared and splattered paint all over - lucky for me, this is not a project that rewards precision.

In about 10 minutes, I had this. 

And there we are:  a sew-free, $15 window shade in the kitchen. All it needs is a tassel! I'll get around to that eventually.

 I just hung up the wall decor too; the green tortoise shell is Nate Berkus for Target, and the green chair print is from Jennifer over at The Pink Pagoda

One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons, clipped from the magazine. I dream about the "Horn of Extra Square Footage" every Thanksgiving.

A few other "PIY" shade ideas - wouldn't snaky squiggles be fun?

Or, free-hand a little greek key, a la Dana Gibson.
/Images/ Blue and white shade, Casa de Valentia/ Black and white shade photos, my own/ Snake painting, Jacques Grange Interiors/ Greek key shade, DecorPad/

Or try wavering stripes, circles, or polka dots! The possibilities are endless. Happy painting!


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