Monday, November 26, 2012

DIY Action Squad Day Is Here

Hello! Young House Love has opened their own book related link party and DIY Action Squad's own Kenz was featured in their post! We are so proud!

Thanks for stopping by, and please link up to your project here if the spirit moves you!

The first project day of the DIY Action Squad is here! A quick recap: Kenz, Emma, Stephanie and I all met, more or less, through the Young House Love comment section. And, as I'm sure anyone who would read an even sorta kinda DIY blog already knows, a certain book was recently published to some acclaim (if, you know, you count making The New York Times best seller list as acclaim).

So to celebrate Young House Love's amazing success, and have a sort of official reason to start trying some of the awesome projects from their book, we decided to each give a project a go.

As soon as a I flipped through the book I knew I wanted to tackle the painted window shade. We have many difficult windows here at Casa MCM and I'm always looking for a budget friendly attractive solution (which sometimes don't work out). We don't use a window covering on our bathroom window (shocking!) during the summer because we don't really have a near neighbor on that side of the house, and we have a stand of trees right outside of the window which attracts mad birds. It's nice to watch a nature show while you brush your teeth. But now the leaves are gone, and we are feeling a little exposed. 

So I picked up a $5 roller shade (as my Twitter followers already know). Then I got out my beloved Frog Tape and our so old it's not really level level. We stretched out the roller shade on our dining room table and got busy.

J, bless his heart, helped me. Sherry and John did a couple of simple vertical stripes. I decided to complicate matters by doing ALL horizontal stripes. We made them as wide as the level to keep things simple and marked it with a pen on each side to help keep it level. (If you are going to do this project, having someone who is OCD is very helpful. Thanks, honey!)

Then we put down the tape. It was definitely easier to do with two people. One of us on either side of the shade, making sure the tape was positioned over the pen mark helped ensure straight lines.

Emily stood on J's shoulder the entire time we did this, silently judging us. I don't know how we'd ever get any project done around here without Emily's constant, dedicated supervision. Yes, my coat is laying on the back of the sofa, and no, I have no idea why I left my jacket there. Also yes, I had no idea where my jacket was the next morning. Taping off the stripes went faster than I thought. We spent around 20 minutes doing it.

Here's where I accidentally stopped following Young House Love's instructions. After reading the instructions, I was absolutely certain I was supposed to use spray paint (why would I think Sherry Petersik would design a project around spray paint? So perplexing!). Yeah, I wasn't. I was supposed to use regular latex paint and apply with a paint roller. Whoops!

However, it worked. It was easy. After carefully spraying the shade with constantly moving, even strokes I pulled up the Frog Tape while it was still wet.

Then we had a little bit of fail. There was some bleeding. I was super upset. J figured out where we went wrong. We taped up the shade at night. Then the next morning we just took outside and sprayed away. In the extreme cold. Our living room is also pretty cold at night. So the tape probably drew up during the night, letting some paint seep through. It's not awful. I think I can take a whiteout pen to clean up a few edge issues.

The finished project! Naturally, we haven't hung it up yet. We tried. Oh, how we tried. But naturally this house also manages to foil me. The drywall in the bathroom is apparently made of sawdust and fairy wings, and J didn't like how it acted when he tried to put up the brackets. Of course none of the anchors we have on hand worked and we couldn't find the ones he wanted when we went out yesterday. We'll get it up tonight, hopefully.

The project was super, super easy. Even after I made it more complicated and lost the ability to read! It was quick, the instructions I messed up were easy to follow and very clear (it was a Middle Class Modern reading fail, not a Young House Love writing fail). It was also cheap. The roller shade was $5. We already had the paint and Frog Tape on hand. Taping the stripes took a little bit of time, but painting the shade was fast. Taping the stripes would've been less time consuming had a done YHL's simpler stripe design.

I actually like that I didn't follow the instructions. Stay with me here. The YHL book is stuffed with great projects, and you could recreate the projects exactly and be super happy. But it also works as inspiration, and gives you the basic tools you need to personalize the different projects or go in a completely new direction. Painting a roller shade honestly never occurred to me.

So it up, baby! Link up your YHL project (book, blog, or otherwise) here. Then go visit Emma, Stephanie, and Kenz, and link up on their site! Even if you don't have a blog, just upload a picture. We want to creep on your project and see how they turned out! Please link up to our blogs, though, on yours if you join our party!

You can also find this post on Homemade Ginger, Homework, and Sugar Bee Crafts!


  1. Your roller shades turned out great! I think anytime taping is involved there will be a small element of bleeding that happens. But I still think the shades look divine. I can't wait to see them up :)

  2. I like the stripes! what, out of curiosity, were you supposed to use? ( I haven't gotten that far...)

  3. can't wait to see how they look hung up!

  4. Thanks, guys!

    Emma, I was supposed to use regular latex paint and a roller. I swear, though, my mind did some YHL=Spray paint equation. No matter how many times I looked at that page I kept thinking I was supposed to use spray paint.

  5. All linked up! Here's a great tip on no-bleed stripes
    Pretty sure the concept would work well on any striping project. :)

    ~Dee @

  6. Sawdust and fairy wings made me laugh so hard!

  7. I have always wondered how painting curtains would turn out! I have seen them on different blogs, but have never had the nerve myself. I like the grey--and how you did a thin strip, very West Elmish. :D

  8. Thanks, Katie!

    Dee, thanks for the tip! I've bookmarked that tutorial for next time!

    Melly, I'm glad it make you smile!


Thanks for commenting (it makes me feel less like I am just over here, talking to myself!). Comments are approved as quickly as possible. Seriously, I am trying to teach Emily to approve comments.


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