April 12, 2011

Lisa: I couldn't find a pun about blinds that didn't make me cringe

I have to admit, I kind of love watching Get It Sold. We're not selling our house, so I don't need to follow all the advice about neutralizing and depersonalizing, but a lot of the updates Sabrina does are very inexpensive but make a big impact on the overall look of the house. And when I say inexpensive, I mean stuff that real people could do--in a weekend--not a $20,000 budget for a glorious HGTV bathroom. It's also a great reminder that the unfinished projects you've been putting off/living with forever don't really take that much time or money to finish, and they can make a real difference in how happy you feel in your house.

Naturally, we had one such project hanging around that I decided to give the Get It Sold treatment. We have white wood-look vinyl blinds in our bedroom. I don't know if you're intimately familiar with the workings of these babies, but the top of the blinds (which is metal and holds all the mechanisms for tilting, raising, and lowering the blinds) is supposed to be covered with a decorative strip of vinyl molding. This strip is held on with two or three little plastic clips. Unfortunately, these clips are really brittle (especially after a few years), and it's almost impossible not to crack or break one as you take the molding off (or put it back on) when you're removing the blinds to wash them. At some hazy point in the past, the broken clips from all over the house got replaced with ones from the (admittedly more hidden away) bedroom, and we didn't put back those molding strips. Now, I'm sure you can just buy more clips wherever vinyl blinds are sold. The bad news is that the molding strips themselves (not sold separately and custom-cut to the size of our windows) got thrown away or lost somehow when they weren't attached to the window. DUN DUN DUN! The good news is that this was even easier than I thought it would be to fix. Photos and easy-peasy instructions below!

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1. I carefully measured the length we would need the new molding strips to be.
2. Blake and I went to Home Depot, hoping for the best.
3. The regular molding area didn't have anything like what we needed, and after asking around a bit we headed back to where they sell blinds.
4. The blinds guy first told what we didn't want to hear, that those pieces are not sold separately. Then he thought for a minute out loud about how Home Depot custom-cuts them to size when people buy new blinds. He motioned us back to the area with the cutting saw.
5. Sitting right there out in the open next to the saw were two fairly long strips of vinyl molding, left from an earlier customer's sale. The blinds guy picked them up, measured them, and asked if they would work for what we needed. THEY WOULD!
6. We crossed our fingers and asked how much Home Depot would charge to let us take those off their hands. WHAT'S THAT? WE CAN HAVE THEM FOR FREE? Awesome.
7. We stopped in one more aisle for a pack of industrial-strength Velcro. I knew I wasn't going to mess with those stupid clips any more if I could help it.
8. When we got home, I cut the molding to the exact dimensions we needed with our trusty miter box and saw.
9. Then I applied one side of the Velcro pieces to the metal top bar of the blinds (a strip at each end and a piece in the middle of the longer section), and the corresponding other side to the back of the molding. This way you can get the molding off with a good tug, and the metal clips holding the blinds into the window frame aren't impeded in any way. BAM.
10. Press the new molding into place.

And that's it! No more visible metal bars with stickers listing the dimensions and previous owner's name! Pretty, finished blinds for only the cost of a pack of Velcro. We're not mentioning the paperclip situation for now. Ahem.

Posted by lisa at April 12, 2011 02:42 PM
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