How to String Balloon Shades

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When you dress a window with a balloon shade, you effectively add a light and casual fabric shade that raises and lowers with the help of strings threaded through the fabric. Similar in design to Roman shades, balloon shades are puffier and less formal, often made with floral fabrics. Pull the strings to raise the shades, allowing light and air through the window. Secure the strings to a cord cleat on the side of the window frame to hold the shades up. Release the strings and the shades lower down to cover the window. String balloon shades to install them.

Things You'll Need

  • Eye screws
  • Cord cleat (with screws)
  • Screwdriver
  • Drapery cording
  • Scissors

Install one eye screw for each vertical row of rings on the backside of the balloon shade. Position the eye screw on the inside of the window frame, immediately above where the row of rings will go and screw it into the wood of the window frame.

Install the cord cleat on the right side of the window frame at the halfway point between the top and the bottom of the window. Use the screws included with the cleat and screw the cord cleat into the window frame to enable you to wrap the drapery cord around it.

Cut a length of drapery cording for each vertical row of rings on the backside of the balloon shades. Make the drapery cording lengths long enough to extend the entire length of the window, across the top of the window and over to the cord cleat on the side of the window frame. Add approximately six inches to each length of cording.

Tie one end of one of the lengths of drapery cording to the bottom ring on the backside of the balloon shade, tying it in a double knot. Repeat the same process with the lengths of drapery cording in the other bottom rings of the shade.

Thread the drapery cording through the rings, with each length of cording going straight up the row of rings from the bottom knot.

Insert the ends of the drapery cording through the eye screws located immediately above each row of rings. Thread the drapery cording on the far left of the balloon shade through the first eye screw and then through each eye screw along the entire top of the window, from left to right. Thread the next length of drapery cording through the eye screw immediately above the row of rings and then through each eye screw toward the right side of the window. Repeat this process with each length of drapery cording.

Gather the lengths of cording together at the upper right corner of the window and pull them straight down to the cord cleat. Trim the lengths of drapery cording to make them all the same length as the shortest length of cording.

Pull the cords together to raise the balloon shade and wrap the cords around the cord cleat to hold the balloon shade up. Unwind the drapery cords from the cord cleat and release the cords to lower the balloon shade down over the window.

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