Q. We are redoing our 2-year-old daughter’s room for the long term. It has 4 windows, each about 30” wide by 60” high. As the cost of custom window coverings will be out of our budget, I want to try to make fabric roller blinds that will block the light. Are roller blind kits available in Canada? I have no sewing experience.

— Lise

A. typical roller blind kits allow you to iron your desired fabric onto  vinyl blinds. While cost-effective, they aren’t usually as sturdy or well-made as custom roller shades, and probably will have to be replaced sooner than custom or professionally made blinds.

Blinds To Go is just one company that offers custom-made roller shades in thousands of possible fabrics. For your windows, prices would range from $50 per blind for a simple, solid fabric to $150 for patterned or textured fabric. If you intend on these blinds staying put for quite some time and you want to personalize with fabric, the custom-made blinds are worth the money.

If you don’t have your heart set on a certain fabric, you can buy ready-made blinds and stay on budget by checking out a number of different retailers for fabric or woven roller or roman shades. Your window width is quite common and although you will be limited to their fabric selection, the price is less than custom. One budget-trick for blinds is to choose a stock-ready cream, ivory or white roller shade. add a decorative pull as simple as a tassel, or iron-on surging tape in a contrasting colour along the bottom of the blind for a custom look. Flank the window with economical ready-made drapes (available at many retailers) for an impressive, tailor-made look.

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