DIY Window Shades: How To Update Dark Roll-Up Shades
When I go home decor shopping, I roam those aisles hunting for the perfect something, when all of a sudden, angels start singing, a soft haze glows around the thing I just found. But that thing is not the right color. Or the right size. Each time this happens, I know it’s just God preventing me a lifetime of hastily made decor decisions, saving me frustration, sadness, and misery over wasted money. See, God has planned for me to run to TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, or Big Lots, or whatever store I’m near… and hallelujah!!! Sure enough, there is something better waiting for me in perfect color and size right there on the shelf.
Not this time.
This time, I was having a come apart over bamboo window shades. I wanted a lighter color shade, 36″ wide. I tore apart the store shelves, ransacked the internet from said aisle, and decided to just settle for the darker set. They’d still be nice looking in the room, and I had no desire to spend $100 on shades. I mean, $24, you guys. Twenty. Four. Dollars.
Got them home, hung them up, and liked the contrast!
You can see more of them looking nice next to my map frames.
I soon grew weary of those dark window shades. I have been trying to go lighter and neutral in my decor choices, and those window shades just weren’t working for me. I had gone back to Big Lots to see if they had come back, but they had none. The local thrift stores and resale places also had nothing to speak of.
I have this thing about using what you have, and going thrifty and frugal to make your house super comfortable and personal. And there was just absolutely no way on God’s green earth, was I going to pay full price for bamboo window shades, when I had a perfectly good set that only ran me $24.
You may remember last month, I joined a whole band of bloggers for a monthly Thrift Store Decor Upcycle Challenge. Despite getting my window shades at a discount store and not a thrift shop, I simply had to share this project with you because it was seriously one of my more frugal projects.
- Upcycle an item(s) from a thrift store, resale store, or garage sale into a new piece of decor.
- There’s no monthly theme.
- There’s no budget to stick to.
Meet the Hosts
Amanda | The Kolb Corner Maureen | Red Cottage Chronicles Kim | Made in a Day
Dru | Polka Dot Poplars Erlene | My Pinterventures Colleen | Life on Kaydeross Creek Pili | Sweet Things
Shirley | Intelligent Domestications Debra | Shoppe No. 5 Marie | DIY Adulation
Chelsea | The Johnsons Plus Dog Jes | My DIY Envy Lindsay | Crazy Organized
Molly | Just a Little Creativity Ashley | 3 Little Greenwoods Kimm | Reinvented Michelle | Our Crafty Mom
Jeannee | Shepherds and Chardonnay Sue | A Purdy Little House Sara | Twelve on Main
Claire | Pillar Box Blue Chelc | Inside the Fox Den Kim | Farmhouse Made Victoria | Dazzle While Frazzled
Sherry | Savvy Apron Jennifer and Vicki | 2 Bees in a Pod Lora | Craftivity Designs
Denise | My Thrifty House Toni | Small Home Soul Megan | C’Mon Get Crafty Ann | Duct Tape and Denim
Make sure you follow our board on Pinterest for more upcycled decor inspiration!
So those window shades…
I bleached those little stools last month, and they turned out gorgeous. So (literally last night at 6pm), I took the dark shades down, tossed them in my bath tub with water and bleach, and let them hang out.
At first I ended up with some yellowish ombre stripes because they were rolled up to soak.
I unrolled them and let them soak again. After a drip dry, they hung in the windows to dry over the heater vents. This morning when I came down for my coffee, there were angels singing over these things, y’all. A glow. Little tiny birds flying around tweeting.
Lesson learned. Always follow your gut when you’re out shopping. Whether it’s in a big box store, a salvage yard, or thrift store, there will be times of triumph, and there will be times you just settle.
If you just settle for the dark shades, you may find the angels and birds after you add a little creativity (and bleach) to get exactly what you want. For $24.
And now for more thrifty goodness!
Check out what my fellow upcyclers created below!
I am tempted to try and bleach wood. I have a dark table I want to lighten up.
Your blinds look great they remind me of ones we had when I was growing up.
Great find and transformation. Looks perfect in the room. Visiting from Thrift Store Challenge.
The blinds look great! I like your TV cabinet, too 🙂
I would have not thought of bleaching them. The shades look beautiful!
Much better! They match your tv stand and frame perfectly too.
I love that you bleached these. I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to do it if I hadn’t seen it. It looks great in your room.
I can’t believe how awesome these turned out. You are the queen of bleaching all things to the perfect shade!!!!
I thought you were going to paint them, but then you whipped out that bottle of bleach again 🙂 They look great and work much better in your room. Awesome idea!
I feel your pain, I’ve totally grown tired of decor I’ve had for a while. I think the bleached shades look fantastic!
I LOVE how these turned out!!! They look so much better and fit your style more, too. Also – can I just curl up in that big comfy chair and snuggle in with those pillows? I’ll just need a hot cuppa, please. 😉 LOL!
This is such a great idea. I love your decor.
These look so pretty flanking your stunning TV table. Love them.
I can’t believe you bleached these shades too! You are so clever! I will keep this in mind for future makeovers.
What an inspired idea to bleach them! It worked out nicely!
Oh girl….you inspire me to get creative. I love how these blinds look in your living room. Absolute perfection….great job Kim!
They look great and fit in wonderfully with the rest of your living room!
Great idea on making it with what you have on hand! I love the idea of bleaching wood!! 🙂
These look so beautiful!! Great upcycle!
What a fabulous idea! I would have never thought to use bleach to clean and brighten those blinds.
Thanks so much for the DIY inspiration!
Wow I never would think to put the blinds in bleach. They came out great.
Incredible idea!!! Love your entire room!
Okay, I was searching the internet to see if this exact thing was possible and you’ve done it! Amazing. I’m doing it! How much bleach did you use, to how much water? Thanks!
Hi Tiffany!! I literally just filled my tub with enough water to cover the blinds, then started pouring the bleach. I would estimate I used about 2 cups of bleach to a bath tub of water. Hope that helps!
Hi, I just found this post as well because I’m thinking of doing it, so I was wondering how the cords/strings have held up since you did it, or if the bleach deteriorated then at all? Thanks!
Hi Tina! Thank you so much for asking – the shades are holding up awesome! These blinds were pretty cheap to begin with, so I wasn’t sure how great they’d hold up. I’m happy to report the cords are holding up wonderfully. We open and close them a lot in a day, so they do take a beating from myself and the kids.
Hi there, how long did you leave yours in for? Did they lighten any more overnight, after you rinsed and dried them? Curious because mine have been soaking for two hours now with a slight change in the colour (they were very dark orange)
Hi Lana! I left mine in the tub for a few hours, and they did lighten up after they dried! You might be able to get them lighter if you repeat the process more than once!