DIY – window screen

My new place doesn’t have any real windows.  Rather, the 2 rooms have glass sliding doors that open up onto a small balcony.  The kitchen has a tiny little window that’s more to help the air circulate than to let in any light.  It’s certainly not intended to be used as window to look out onto any kind of scenery – it doesn’t open far enough!

Ideally I would want to leave this little “window” open all day.  Since I keep the balcony doors closed and locked (Japan may be a safe country compared to most other countries, but I’m just not that trusting), my place is always more than a little stuffy when I get home.  Having that little window left open would help circulate the air a little.  The problem?  It doesn’t have a screen!  The window may not be big enough to open up to any kind of scenery – but it’s more than big enough to let the “skeeters” (mosquitos) in.  So… leaving it open is a definite no-no, especially since summer is coming around.

I decided I needed a screen.

Obviously it would have to cover the entire window, and for a while I toyed with the idea of getting a big sheet of netting and wrapping it around the bars outside (the reason the window can’t open up very wide is because of the bars – they do make the outside of my place look a little like a prison, I have to say…).

However, I decided that was impractical.  I needed something on the inside, something that would allow me to open or close the window as needed.  This meant that I couldn’t just stick a netting on the front and leave it (unless I planned on taking down the netting each time I wanted to open/close the window).  I decided to try sewing a zipper onto the screen.

There’s a large sewing/arts/crafts/knitting shop 10 minutes away from my place and I got a zipper, thread, and needles for about 600 yen.  I got the netting and some magnets from Tokyu Hands for about 500 yen.  It took me a good hour/hour and a half to put it all together… but I did it!

I measured out the size of the netting to match the dimensions of the window and cut it just a little bigger.  Then I took a pair of scissors and made a half-centimeter-thick cut up the middle the netting, just long enough to match the length of the zipper.  Finally, I painstakingly sewed the zipper on (only pricking myself once I might add!).

Once all that was finished, I decided to strengthen the sides of the netting by stapling on some discarded polypropylene strapping I had lying around, and voila – my own homemade screen! 🙂

I hung in in place with a few thumbtacks and now my little window stays open all day! (It does let in more noise, but I can live with it).

no images were found

P.S. You can barely see them in the 4th and 6th pictures, but the little magnets also serve their purpose – I glued them onto the window sill and the staples (that I had used on the strapping) hang on just strongly enough to prevent the bottom of the screen from flapping around and letting bugs in. 🙂


  • July 8, 2009 - 07:44 | Permalink

    Totally brilliant! You ought to patent this 🙂 I think all our crafty ancestors are hovering around whispering in your ear. 😉
    Reminds me of when I was about your age back in Ghana. I made a dress by hand…I’ll never forget that sense of pride of accomplishment. Good for you!

  • July 10, 2009 - 16:03 | Permalink

    I think working with my hands is always fun 🙂
    I’ll probably put up a post at some point for a couple other small things I’ve done, but nothing along the lines of making a dress! I can imagine that took a good long time… do you still have it for memories? 🙂

  • July 10, 2009 - 17:45 | Permalink

    Nope, the dress is history, but not the memory 🙂

  • Comments are closed.