Minor Ikea hack: rollup curtains with custom printed fabric

Evil curtains match desk

As part of our continuing quest to experiment with every possible fabrication technology, we recently came across an opportunity to try fabric printing services while outfitting our new office with curtains.

Evil Curtains pre-evilization

Roller blinds are a nice alternative to curtains with their simple appearance. However, most roller blinds are rather boring. You can have custom fabric printed at places like Spoonflower with whatever you want on them to replace the boring standard fabrics. (Perhaps the best use of custom printed fabric is the Tetris dress.) TrueUp has a great comparison of fabric printing services. If you prefer low tech fabric printing techniques, check out the round up at The Long Thread.

Roller blind hardware is available from other sources, but it’s hard to beat Ikea for easy and cheap. Their “Enje” blinds are inexpensive and quite hackable.

Evil Curtains extrusion

The bottom weight is extruded aluminum, which is a little different from the usual method of hiding a rod in a fold of fabric at the bottom. One of the plastic end caps will need to be worked off. The plastic seems to have been hammered in, and will need to be pulled straight off. Robogrips are good for this.

Evil Curtains before dismantling

There is a plastic insert to keep the fabric in the weight rod. It is just stapled onto the fabric, so it is very simple to remove.

Evil Curtains dismantling

The fabric is attached to the roller with adhesive, and can be peeled off.

Evil Curtains stapling

Once your replacement material is cut and/or hemmed to the right width, you can staple the plastic insert to the bottom of the fabric panel. In this case, we had lightweight cotton material printed with our Evil Mad Science logo. We hemmed the sides with fusible tape to give it a little more stability. A heavier weight material will roll more consistently.

Evil Curtains rolling it up

The residue of the adhesive on the roller may hold the fabric in place well enough. If not, it can be supplemented with double sided tape, or even single sided tape if that is what is handy.

Evil Curtains end

Insert the plastic piece into the aluminum weight and roll up your blind evenly.

Evil Curtains a bit open

It’s ready to hang! The Enje brackets are straightforward to install.

Evil Curtains open at night

Now we can block out the night! Or the bright, as the case may be.

Evil Curtains closed

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