Putting a roller blind over a window or glass door is a quick, easy, economical and efficient way of keeping outside lights where they belong â€“ outside - and of giving you privacy inside. There is now a wide variety of blind material to choose from, plain, coloured, striped, checked, flowered â€¦..
A roller blind kit includes a plastic roller with detachable end-caps, one of which has a pull-cord mechanism inside, support brackets for each end, a pull cord, two cord knobs, and a plastic lath. The roller itself will have a covered adhesive strip, to which the blind fits once the roller has been put up.
Take the measurements for the roller. If the blind is to be recessed within the window, the roller will be the width of the recess, but if it is to hang across the front of the window recess, it needs to be 4 to 6 inches longer. On a glass door, the roller should be less than the width of the door, so that the blind will cover the glass but will not get caught in the door. It is better to buy a roller that is too long than to buy one that is too short, since you can easily cut it to size, using a hacksaw.
Start by fitting the brackets. Hold the first bracket against the wall at the desired height. With a pencil, mark the wall through the screw holes. Drill pilot holes and then screw the bracket on - this is assuming a wooden window surround. If, however, you are drilling directly into the plaster wall, you must make larger holes and fix rawl plugs before screwing in the screws. Attach the second bracket in the same way. If the roller is going outside the window recess, attach the roller to the first bracket and check that it is horizontal with a spirit level to find the exact position of the second bracket.
Now take the measurements for the blind with a tape-measure. The width of the material should be minimally less than the length of the roller, about 3mm less. It must be long enough to cover the entire window or the glass part of the door plus an additional 200mm, approximately 8 inches. If it is a material that will fray, you also need to allow for a hem allowance of at least 15mm on any raw edges.
Cut the blind to size. Turn up a hem along the bottom to hold the lath. You can either sew this down or glue it down. Stick the top end of the blind to the roller's adhesive strip and wind the blind round the roller. Make sure at this stage that the blind rolls on straight. Wind the pull-cord round the cord mechanism inside the end cap, leaving about a foot of each end hanging loose. With the blind rolled firmly round the roller, lift the roller up to the brackets and fix the pull-cord end cap onto the pull cord bracket. There will normally be a hole on the end cap that fits a pin on the bracket. Let the cords hang down. The other end of the roller will now snap easily into the opposite bracket.
The next bit is rather fiddly but does need to be done to make sure the blind runs smoothly. You now have two cords hanging down a few inches from the roller. Pull gently to find out which cord lowers the blind. Fit this now with its knob (put the cord through the hole in the knob from the top and tie a double knot so that the knot goes up into the knob and the cord cannot escape). Pull this cord gently down until it is level with the windowsill. This will not, however, at the stage, bring the blind the whole way down.
Now take the roller off the brackets again and manually unroll the blind until it is the correct length to meet the sill from the top of the window. Keep it unrolled and put the roller back up onto the brackets. Pull the other cord in order to open the blind, rolling it back onto the roller, and fit the knob to this cord. Make sure that the blind runs up and down smoothly. You may need to adjust the length of one or other cord. (But if you have a cat, let one of the cords hang down to within two feet of the ground â€“ best cat's toy there is!)
Do it yourself window blinds will not only save you money but can emanate your personality within the decor of your home. People that enter your home will not only feel welcome, they will appreciate seeing your personal style within your home. If your unwilling to burn a whole in your pocket, consider a do it yourself job!