A miniature roll up reed shade

You can see the construction of the 1" scale Beach House from start to finish on the 1:12 Scale Beach House Page. 

 Today I can show you a working roll up reed shade for the beach house. I still have to make another one for the back window.
I made it out of a reed placemat, which was the inspiration for this project in the first place. The little grass mat is actually a coaster.
Here's a closeup of the front of the shade.
I cut a piece out of the placemat the width of the window and a little longer than the height of the window.
You want it to be a little longer, because the bottom few reeds will work loose and come off immediately. I then glued the loose strings together and to the back of the bottom of the blind, snipping off any loose thread after the glue had dried.
Here's a picture of the back.
First I ran the end of the pull string under the top reed. I used a piece of embroidery floss. I stiffened the end of the thread with glue so I could guide it through the tiny space between the reeds. I then tied it securely to the top reed.
I then ran the thread down the back of the blind, then back up the front, and over the top reed.
If you glance back at the first picture showing the front of the blind, you'll see the string hanging down from the back.
Next I had to hang it.
I cut a strip of basswood the width of the blind, and also several smaller pieces. I glued the small pieces to the strip as shown. I did this so that the pull string could move easily, and also because the original knotted threads of the placemat would have wound up glued to the wood strip instead of the top 2 reeds. This way the shade is more likely to stay put.
You can see what I mean in the picture below. I was just holding it all in place, I hadn't glued it together yet.

Today I also worked on making the roof. I discovered that the house turned out to be slightly off square. It's 1/8" wider at one end than the other. How this happened I have no idea. Anyway, it's causing me problems with my roof panels. I had to keep making little shifts and adjustments to get it to all come out evenly. I glued on one side of the roof, and am hoping to finish the other side tomorrow.
Instead of shingles, I think I might prefer a board roof. On the other hand, if I don't have enough wood to make the roof boards, I may fall back on wooden shingles. I do have a bag of those.


  1. Great looking shade! Great job!!
    :) Kim

  2. I too have used a coaster for a blind except mine is a broken blind and I didn't really have to worry about making it work :).

    Thank you so much for sharing your tips. I will definitely use it when I make proper blinds :).

  3. Thanks for another great tutorial! Very clever way to finish the back of the shade so it would work. :D
    What kind of finish did you use on the floor? I'm looking for a soft sheen like that.

  4. Thanks, all!

    Kathi, the floor is made from a placemat too. I just cut it out to size.

  5. WAUW...This is a beautiful!! Good idea!

  6. What a clever idea. The blind looks perfect.

  7. Esta idea es perfecta para unas persianas que quiero poner en mi casa de verano.
    Muchas gracias.
    Besos Clara

  8. Very nice! I love the furniture too.