From the BlogSubscribe Now

How People Make Blinds

Thanks to Payless Decor for sponsoring this Mr. Rogers-style field trip and post! Also brought to you by the letter R and the number 6.

Once when Andy and I were newly dating, we somehow agreed to watch the babies and preschoolers in the church nursery together during vacation Bible school. We knew LESS than nothing about childcare. I don’t know what those parents were thinking, leaving them in our care. Every day for a whole week.

I specifically remember one little preschool boy needing to go pee, and Andy and I had no idea how much help a three-year-old needs for things like this. Do we say “adios!” and let him hop off to the restroom alone? Do we place him on the toilet and help him aim? Is he old enough to operate heavy machinery or drink alcohol? Can he eat solid foods? We were clueless.

Andy went with him to the restroom and stood awkwardly in the stall, then watched with horror while the little guy peed ALL. OVER. the walls and floor. Probably the ceiling too. Oops. Ahhh, fun times. Good experience for parenthood, where it turns out, you STILL don’t have any idea what you’re doing.

We did put on a lot of videos for the kids that week. We watched one episode of Mr. Rogers where they talked about “How People Make Candles.” I was fascinated. I probably sat in front of the TV while Andy chased the kids around and pulled them off the chandeliers. I LOVE to see how things are made.

So when the fine people at Payless Decor invited me out to their warehouse to see how they make their blinds, I got kinda geeky about it. I needed some blinds for Weston’s room, so I was pretty stoked about watching OUR blinds get made. Because, by the way, THIS has been happening in Weston’s room:
Sheet hanging over window
THAT is a giant holey sheet hanging over the window. *Hanging head in home-blogger shame.* Here’s the deal: the lighter it is in Weston’s room, the earlier he wakes up. The earlier he wakes up, the earlier I wake up. And when I have to wake up too early, my world becomes cruel and unforgiving and overdramatic. We needed blackout shades.

One day recently, I drove over to the Payless Decor warehouse, which is right here in Atlanta, not far from me. I sat down and had a nice little chat with Seth, the president, Julie, who does their marketing, and Jennifer, who handles customer service.

Julie, Seth, Jennifer and me outside the Payless Decor warehouse

They’re a small company, so they’re super responsive and so easy to work with. You might remember that I ordered my FAB bamboo blinds from Payless Decor a while back:

Seth showed me a few options for blackout shades, like their beautiful bamboo blinds. (Sorry I’m so blown out in this pic, but check out those beautiful blinds!)
I love the way the bamboo blinds look, but for Weston’s room, I wanted something cordless, and I thought these Premium Cellular shades would function beautifully:
Payless Decor premium cellular blackout shades
They’re black on the inside, which keeps out the dreaded kid-wakening sunshine at 6 a.m., but they’re white on the front and back so they’ll look neutral from the exterior of the house. WIN.

Oh yeah, one more SWEET bonus. They’re cellular shades, so they have these little holes on the inside. Those holes make these cellular shades more insulating than an insulated window! Crazy, right? And a heckuva lot cheaper too.
benefits of cellular shades
Once we’d picked out the blinds, we headed out to the warehouse. It’s like the holy grail of window coverings. All those boxes on the right are the blinds, which are then custom-cut to order.
Once we’d grabbed my Premium Cellular shades off the ginormous shelves, one of the women in the warehouse cut mine to fit the width of our windows perfectly.
Then she hung it and cut it to the perfect length too. I thought it was so cool to see How People Cut Blinds. Seriously, it was like Mr. Rogers at VBS all over again!
She packed ’em up with all the hardware I’d need and I took my new prizes home! Inside those precious boxes was MORE SLEEP. Big deal, guys. Big deal.
We got right to work! First, we took the old blinds off Weston’s windows. We had a cheapo blackout window liner UNDER some faux wood blinds and it STILL wasn’t blacking out the sun. It was ridiculous.
Installation of the new blinds was so easy. You just screw these two brackets into the window.
Then pop the shade right in there. It just snaps onto the brackets.
Those are not my hairy arms. It needed to be said.

Once they’re in, you’re done! There are no cords – you just pull the blinds up and down with one hand. It’s magical. It’s SO easy to pull them up and down, and they stay where you put them. We LOVE how easy they are to use!
Let’s be real: cellular shades are not as pretty as bamboo. They’re just not, but they’re so easy to pull down and up, and they close so compactly, that it was worth it to us to go with something super-duper insulating and super-duper DARK.

And speaking of dark? These photos were taken at the same time of day. See how you can barely see the sliver of light around the edge of the window in the second photo? It was still bright out! MUUUUCH better.
Sweeeeet sleeeeeep!!

Oh by the way! Payless Decor has a sale that ends tomorrow night: 40% off ALL ORDERS. HOLY SWEET DEAL, BATMAN!! Just use the code H7XMAS713. Update: Oops! I said it wrong. The code takes an extra 7% off their prices, which are already 40% off, for orders over $100. Sorry for the confusion!

Okay, am I the only one who occasionally geeks out over educational programming? I was that kid on field trips. The one who never learned how to play it cool. #StillAm.

This post was sponsored by Payless Decor.

Let's connect


  1. Mr. Rogers scared me to death but I was all over some Fraggle Rock!

    • Uncle Mike says:

      When and if you stain the deck, i think it would be cool with two shades of stain, maybe do 3-4 boards one colour and 3-4 a different comlimentary colour. It would look like your bathroom floor kinda. It would be not boring.
      love, untlemike

  2. I hear you on the sleep thing! Once upon a time I did the same thing – keeping the sun out! But now my kids will sleep till 10 and sometimes 11 no matter how bright it gets in their room – trust me the day will come for you too! The older they get the more they see the benefits of sleeping in 🙂

  3. I think those hairy arms, match the hairy leg in my last post, and I also think it’s funny we both felt the need to clarify they didn’t belong to us. Do we have issues?

  4. MarieRoxanne says:

    Nice black out! When working nights, I sleep during the day. I have some upholstery fabric with black underlining to block out the sun. So my entire room is pitch black.
    Are you going to add some curtains to get rid of the “eclipse look” of the window?

  5. Sometimes function must take precedence! Luckily, I don’t really need to block out the light in the room that I just ordered three bamboo blinds for from Payless. Seriously. Just placed my order — thanks so much for the coupon code!!!

    🙂 Linda

    P.S. See you soon!!!!

  6. I am BLOWN AWAY at the side by side photos of the black out shades and the “make shift” blanket on the window. Hard to believe they’re the exact same time of day! incredible how much light the black out shades prevent from coming into the room! Wow! Great post

  7. I’m glad I’m not the only one who loves factory tours. Loved the Hershey’s factory tour when I was a little kid and I still have fond memories of my Industrial Microbiology class (what a geek!) because of our visits to a paper mill, winery, water treatment plant, the Molson brewery and Seagram’s distillery!

  8. These are fantastic! I have the same problem with my three-year-old. He is up with the sun. I have curtains lined with blackout fabric, but light still comes in around the edges.

  9. HUGE Mr Rogers Fans. HUGE. 🙂 Fun post! Glad those hairy arms aren’t yours.

  10. So sheets-for-windows are out then… Ok 😉 It was short-lived, but I enjoyed it while it lasted 🙂 Seriously though, what a difference! I love that they are cordless too!

  11. Rick adored Mr. Rogers–especially those factory tours! Cellular blinds are our go-to because of the insulating and cordless factors.

  12. Very cool! I love that there aren’t any cords especially for a kid’s room. Fingers are crossed this means more sleep for everyone!

  13. Erin @ DIY on the Cheap says:

    I definitely need to invest in some of these for my boys’ room! More sleep is a must!

  14. Speaking of sleeping kiddos, I have one on my snoozing on my chest right now and I swear I about woke him up three different times laughing out loud to your post! lol! So funny! The pee hitting the walls is something I know all too well potty training two boys. :/ There was one time when our oldest came into our bedroom because he had to go potty and we told him to go ahead and use our bathroom. We laid there in bed and listened…both of us knew by the sound that it was NOT going anywhere near the toilet. It was hysterical until I had to clean it all up. Ugh…boys. 😉

  15. Mr. Rodgers was a Presbyterian Minister. I keep telling Morgan to buy a red sweater..haha!

    Those blinds look fantastico! And I think it would be super fun to see how they are made… I’m a total “how it’s made” dork-oh.

  16. I really appreciate this post as I almost bought those cheap target “black out” blinds! I did however just try to place an order and the discount code definitely doesn’t take 40% off…more like 10%. Whats the deal? weird…

  17. My house needs new window coverings BAD. Thank you for this! Going to check out Payless Decor now…

  18. Holy Moly! Those blinds are AMAZING and I WANT THEM!

  19. So nice to have darkness at night! You will totally appreciate the improved sleep

  20. Nicole S. says:

    I ordered some cellular shades a couple months back from Payless Decor, and their service was great! I needed a pretty wide blind, and they suggested two separate blinds on one rail. I LOVE IT! Easy to install, easy to use, looks great! I will order from them again for sure.

    • Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I thought it was such a smooth process too and we are IN LOVE with ours.

  21. Julia @cuckoo4design says:

    Those are some great darkening blinds! I hung black out blinds and black out curtains on my kids’ windows and then on top of it I used to duct tape the blinds to the wall so no sliver of light would come into their room, LOL.

  22. Wow! How cool that you got to go to the warehouse and see blinds being made. I so remember Mr. Rogers’ many outings to factories and warehouses…he had the coolest job ever. Anyway, with a hubby who works night shifts, we’ve become well acquainted with blackout shades. When done right (like Payless Decor does them), they work wonders! In fact, the ones you got look very similar to ours. Hope you have a beautiful day in the neighborhood, my friend.

  23. Kids (me too) are like parrots – the moment light hits the room, they’re up. Blackout shades have given us so much more sleep – they’re necessary in our house! Hairy armed person to put them up, optional. 😉 Good to know about Payless Decor, will keep them in mind if I have window covering needs.

  24. Those are some amazing blinds! Anything that’ll get me more sleep is good in my opinion!

  25. Do you think the mounting brackets could be installed into the “ceiling” part of the window opening as opposed to the “back wall” part?

  26. Wow the transformation in the two pictures is unbelievable! Can’t believe how much darker the room in the second image is, blackout blinds really are so effective.

Speak Your Mind


Back to top          Privacy Policy          Copyright © 2013 View Along the Way. All rights reserved.          Contact Me