Friday, February 26, 2010

Hide that Projector Screen!

Valance hides the retracted projector screen

We are computer TV watchers. We don't own a TV, but I'm not going to brag about that, if only because we watch SO MUCH TV anyway. Hulu. Netflix watch-it-now. Itunes. And so on.

But we were getting a little tired of watching TV and movies on the computer screen. It wasn't a tiny screen, for a computer, but for watching from a little distance, meh.

So we splurged on something we'd talked about getting for years, a projector. We first talked about getting a projector when we lived in an A-frame house with white angled walls. The image would project on the walls and we could sit back to watch would have been lovely if the cost of a projector wasn't approximately one month's salary for us [full-time students] at the time.

Anyway, fast forward to the present. We got a projector. We mounted a screen just inside a big, floor-to-ceiling, bay window. Which was perfect, except the big metal screen tube isn't so pretty, and sitting inside the pretty window it was a bit of an eyesore. So I wanted to hide it when it was retracted, but in a way that didn't get in the way when we pulled the screen down to watch something.

Ta-da! A simple valance. It's short enough that it doesn't block the screen but long enough to totally hide the retracted screen. It was simple enough that I could make it quickly, but it's made with such nice printed fabrics that it doesn't look slap-dash.

Valance hides the retracted projector screen

I started by mounting Ikea's Dignitet curtain wire across the front of the window. I measured the width of the wire (110") because I wanted an unpleated, flat hanging valance. I also measured how far down the retracted screen fell from the ceiling and added an inch for good coverage (7 1/2").

I had a stack of gorgeous fat quarters I had ordered from Anna Marie Horner for a different project (also a valance project, but for a different room. I'd abandoned that valance for reasons I might discuss some other time). I had bought two sample packs of the Drawing Room home decor collection, which included 12 fat quarters. (By the way, if you haven't seen the prints available from Anna Marie Horner, take a peek at her store--she makes flannels, home decor, and cotton quilting fabrics in the most lovely prints.)

I picked 7 prints and from them, cut 11 rectangles:

  • 10 1/2" wide, for 10" plus 1/4" seam allowances
  • by 16" tall, for 7 1/2" height, folded over, with 1/4" seam allowances

I placed them on the floor to get them in a nice order, and then serged them together. I pressed the whole piece in half, lengthwise, and then (with the serger) roll-hemmed the entire edge (i.e., the two side edges and the two top edges. The bottom edge is the fold.)

I used the Digitet clips to hang it, and voila, there it is.
Valance hides the retracted projector screen

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