The Damsel’s sprogs were funny little people. She’s not sure why, but they adored dropping things out of the upstairs windows. In fact, at any point in 2003, you could walk around her house and find little piles of household objects directly under the 2nd story windows.
The Damsel now wipes a tear away, since the baby-sprog in this picture, so pleased to be smeared with chocolate, is now 11 years old, the one in the red is a senior in high school and the oldest is a missionary. They clearly have no regard for their mother’s diabolical plan to keep them little forever.
The sprogs that have graduated from high school are caught chucking stuff out of windows less often nowadays, but the Damsel suspects they secretly still harbor this unnatural desire. But they’ve wreaked havoc with the window screens. They tried to push their sock bombs or what-have-you out the window whether there was a screen blocking the way or not. Hence rips and tears in the screening.
One of the Damsel’s most favorite things: autumn breezes blowing through her home. One of the Damsel’s least favorite: mosquitos and flies. This means holey screens Cannot Be.
This method isn’t for patching a little hole, but for one bigger than, say, the Damsel’s heaping helping of garlic mashed potatoes. If you have a screen with a still-decent frame, but the screening has a large rip, this is it.
Examine your screen. There should be a ditch around the edge where the screening is held onto the frame with something called “spline.”
Spline looks like thin, rubbery rope. After prying it out of the ditch in one place, you should be able to pull it all out, all the way around, with your fingers.
Check it out. Is it still pliable and in fairly good shape? If so, save it to reuse. The screening will come right out now.
Go to your neighborhood hardware store and buy a roll of screening and a special tool called a spline tool. It looks like a cute little pizza cutter, with wheels at both ends. It’s cheap…the Damsel grabbed one for $5. If your spline was brittle or messed up when you took it out, buy some more at the same time.
Lay the empty frame on a flat surface and unroll the new screening over it. With an exacto knife or box cutter, cut the screening to roughly fit the frame. Don’t fuss. You’ll be trimming after, so don’t measure, don’t get too fancy.
Lay the spline on top of the screening and press it into the ditch with the spline tool, making sure the screening doesn’t get ripply. You’ll see one end of the tool works better than the other…it has a channel in the wheel that fits over the spline. Just press and roll. The Damsel discovered this is quite a bit easier if someone else is holding the spline taut for you, and watching to see that the screening stays nicely smooth. Her dad dropped by at the right moment, and she tricked him into helping. Thanks, Dad!
Once you’ve rolled the spline in all the way around, trim off the extra and tuck the ends in. The Damsel was surprised that even though she used the original spline, there was extra when she finished. She shook her head at that weirdness and pressed forward.
Trim the edges of the screening close to the spline so everything looks nice and neat. The screening cuts easily, a fact the Damsel was unprepared for.
The finished screen. The picture looks freaky, but in real life this is a perfectly normal, reality-based screen.
You’re done! Flies, forget about it.