Window shades can lend themselves to do-it-yourself holiday decorating projects. Children especially, with a little help from parents, can enjoy making Christmas shades, which can be rolled up after the holidays and used again year after year.
Cynthia Richter designed the shades shown here. To make the bell-decorated shade, buy four packages of rickrack braid - one package each of red and green in medium size, and one of each color in jumbo size. To get the ''cord'' effect, interlock strips of rickrack braid of the same size. Twist one strand around the other, locking the two together where the zigzags meet.
Cut bell shapes from pieces of bright red, emerald, and forest green felt. A shade 30 inches wide needs about seven bells; wider shades require more.
Unroll the plain white shade part way and place on a flat surface that is wider than the shade. Band the shade with the heavier rickrack cord, covering the stitching of the hem. Arrange the lighter cord in a graceful curve, cutting off any extra length.
Place the cut-out bell shapes at intervals along the curved cord so they look as though they are hanging from it. Once satisfied with your arrangement of cord and bells, carefully glue the trimming to the shade, using an adhesive that remains flexible when dry, so the decorated shade can be rolled up for storage after Christmas. Let the shade dry thoroughly before hanging.
The Christmas tree design by Miss Richter utilizes a standard cloth-based room-darkening shade and Prang's textile paints. She cut out the stencil motifs herself, then stenciled the tree design directly onto the shade.
The do-it-yourselfer, she advises, should lay the shade flat, lightly mark in the locations of the motifs, and then tape the stencil in place on one of the marks.
Use a stiff stencil brush and textile paint. Dip the brush, remove excess paint, then work from edge to center until the design is filled in. Don't remove the stencil pattern until the paint is dry. Then clean the stencil and repeat the process.
After 24 hours, apply an iron at low heat for about six minutes, using a press cloth between the iron and the shade for protection.
Pulls can be unbreakable, satin-wrapped tree ornaments.