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    Earth Cadets DIY : Black and white striped roll down shades

    My new studio is full of windows, which is so amazing!  My previous basement studio had one tiny ground level glass block that faced another apartment and a window that looked into our enclosed stairwell. 2014 coming up vitamin D!

    The new studio windows face a courtyard and are covered with privacy decals allowing light in. But I have two giant widows that face the alley, and they are not covered so I was majorly lacking privacy at night. (The only back alley neighbor I met is a older man who reminds me of the next door neighbor in Home Alone - scraping shovel and all. While I am convinced we will some day be great friends, he will creep me out until then) 

    I went to pick up some of the Ikea Tupplur shades (which are $5 off until April 2). I chose the white 47" and knew I wanted to embellish them but didn't have a plan in mind. I am trying to keep the accents in the main part of the studio black and white because 1) it's classic and bold and 2) it goes with everything, so they will work great with all the crazy colors that will soon be splattering the floors and printing tables. 

    I highly recommend these shades as a blank canvas. They take latex paint and a roller well but also sharpies, so you could just write a love letter on these puppies and it would look amazing. 

    Here's how I did it myself: 

    Surface: It was really helpful to have my large printing tables to roll these out horizontally, but I think a dining room table would work. Also the shades I used were 47" and these come in a variety of sizes.

    2 47" Tupplur shades, white
    Black rustoleum latex paint
    Painters tape 1.5" wide
    3" mini roller
    mini paint tray
    4 chisel tip black sharpies
    clear 6"w acrylic ruler  

    Project time: 6 hours for both shades 


    Step 1: 

    - Roll out shade on large surface. (make sure you place scrap paper or a tarp/sheet under shades if you don't want to get paint on your table)

    - With painters tape, measure 5" down from the top of the shade. This sets a guide to measure off the stripes. 

    - Based on how thick you want the stripes, mark off with a sharpie where you want the next stripe to be. I used a 6"w x 26" clear acrylic ruler and marked every 3" all the way down.  



    Step 2: 

    -  Place painters tape along the bottom of the sharpie line and make sure the tape is adhered to the shade. I rolled it flat using the tape roll to "iron" it down. 



    Step 3:  

    - Once all taped and ready to go, roll the paint, covering the shade. I applied two coats.  Pull tape off following second coat.
    - Let dry
    - When I pulled up the tape I noticed it was the edges were bumpy and a little smudged. It looks more organic and painterly with the raw edged stripes, but I am a bit of a freak for clean edges. So I followed up each stripe using a fat chisel tip black sharpie and the acrylic ruler and that cleaned up the edges perfectly! But you could go either way and it would take much less time if you are ok with the raw edge look. 




    Step 4: 

    Hang and admire :) 


    Earth Cadets is moving on up!

    So Earth Cadets was born in December of 2008 in a charming, tiny, chilly basement studio. For the first couple of years, EC was a hobby for me. I always had intentions of growing the business but with my full time job and lack of business savvy, I took my sweet time building the brand. It wasn't until 2011 that I made the decision to go full speed ahead and grow to a point where I felt I could leave my day job. With a  birthday and 7 year work anniversary looming I took the plunge - despite my yet cultivated business savvy. It's all a learning process, right? :) 

    This business has become so important to me. I am challenged and rewarded on a daily basis.  And while working in the basement of my home these last years of full employment has been a blessing for sure, it's time to spread my EC wings.  I need space to grow and a space that I can share with stockists, hopefully future students and for open houses. 

    I am taking the month of February to move in and get settled and can't wait to share the space and new adventures to come with you in the next coming months!!