How To Make Templates For Stair Winders
We specialise in making stair runners for staircases that have stair winders. All we need are measurements and some paper templates of the stair winders. The information below is a step-by-step guide of how you can make the templates for your stair winders. The instructions are aimed to be used as a guide only and we advise that you call us first on 0113 225 9535 to discuss your requirements before you start making the templates.
We understand that not everyone has time to make their own templates, so we also offer a Staircase Winder Template Service. We will visit your home to take the measurements, create the templates and take photos of your staircase. Our Staircase Winder Template Service charges start from just £200. Please call us on 0113 225 9535 for more information.
What you will need before you start
Camera: We will need you to take some photos of your staircase and winders both before you start the templates, and with the templates in-situ on the stairs.
Lining paper: The templates should be made from a robust, thick paper and will require some markings to be noted on the paper. Plain white heavy gauge lining paper is ideal (available at any DIY store from approximately £3.00/ roll).
Masking tape: The lining paper should be taped if you need to join two pieces of paper together, or if the paper rips. White masking tape is ideal as you can write on it with pencil or pen.
Map pins or push pins: Map pins are easier to push in and pull out of the wood than ordinary panel pins as they have a larger head. However, traditional flat headed push pins (eg: brass thumb tacks) are much stronger and will hold the lining paper down better.
Filler knife or metal rule: A filler knife can be used to tuck the lining paper into the edges of your winder treads. This will give you a clean crease/fold line to cut the lining paper to.
Scissors or Stanley knife: The edges of the lining paper must be cut so the paper fits snug to the edges of each step.
Straight ruler and/or set square: Using a ruler or set square will make easy work of marking straight lines on the lining paper and for checking angles.
Flexible tape measure: A cloth or plastic tape measure (similar to those used by tailors and dress makers) is ideal to bend over the stair nosings and into the tight corners of the winders. It is much easier to use than a stiff decorators metal tape.
Pencil and rubber, felt tip/ marker pen, kneeling pad and plenty of time.
If possible, make the templates before painting or varnishing the stairs as the pins will leave tiny holes in the wood which will easily fill during decorating.
Step 1: Taking photos of your staircase before making the templates
Take some photos of your staircase and winders before you start to make the templates. This will help us to see the construction and design of your stairs. The following photos would be ideal:
Please also take some photos of any hall landing area that may be carpeted, including photos of the banisters.
If you cannot get a photo of the entire stairs in one shot, you may need to take two separate photos. Place an object half way down the stairs and make a note of the step number the object is placed on. When you send the photos, we can match up the two separate photos of the top and bottom of the stairs.
Step 2: Organising the lining paper
- You will need to create a single separate paper template for EACH winder, plus one separate template for the straight step above the winders and another for the straight step below the winders.
- Starting from the top of the stairs at the straight step above the first winder, measure the length of each step needing a template (at its longest point) to include the tread and the riser plus an additional 2” for overlap.
- Cut a sheet of lining paper for each of the measured lengths. Each sheet should be long enough to cover each step and riser plus an extra 1” for the overlap at each end of the paper.
- The lining paper must cover the full width of the step. On the winders, you may find one width of lining paper is not wide enough. If so, cut two sheets of paper to the same length, lay side by side, and tape together with masking tape.
- Make a note on each sheet of lining paper, the step number that the sheet has been cut for.
You may struggle to tape the two sheets of lining paper together in-situ on the step or winders. Lay the two cut sheets of lining paper side by side, flat out in a room with plenty of floor space to tape together.
Step 3: Laying the lining paper on the steps
- Starting from the top of the stairs at the straight step above the first winder, lay the sheet of lining paper that has been cut for this step over the step.
- Ensure the lining paper covers the full width of the tread. Mark the width of the step either by pencil and using the tape measure, or by creasing the paper on each side where the step joins the string, using a filler knife.
- Mark around any newel posts or balusters.
- Cut the side edges of the paper at the pencil marks or creases.
- Pin the lining paper in position to the tread of the straight step.
- Gently drape the paper over the stair nosing and down the riser.
- Create a crease where the riser meets the next tread using the filler knife. You should have at least 1” overlap onto the tread of the next winder.
- Pin the lining paper to the step keeping a gentle tension on the paper, by inserting pins just above or below the join at the tread and the riser. Keep the crease line tucked into the join at the tread and the riser.
- Lay the next sheet of lining paper on the first winder, allowing a 1” overlap on the riser of the previous step.
- Gently tuck the paper into the edges of the winder using the filler knife, to make a crease line.
- Mark along the crease line, and again, around the newel post and/or balusters.
- Cut the paper along the marked lines at the edges.
- Once the paper width has been cut, gently drape the paper over the winder nosing and down the riser.
- Tuck the paper into the join at the riser and the next tread, and pin into position temporarily.
- You will have excess paper at the end of the sheet closest to the newel post, due to the shape of the winder. Using the filler knife, make a crease line along the join of the riser and the next tread. Mark a parallel line 1” from the crease line to allow for the overlap.
- Cut the excess paper at the marked line.
- Pin the lining paper to the winder tread and riser, keeping a gentle tension on the paper as in Point 8 above.
- Repeat the above steps for the rest of the winders and for the straight step below the last winder.
Do not pull the paper around and under the nosing. The paper should have the same fall as your stair carpet runner, which will be straight down from the curve of the nosing to the join where the riser meets the next tread.
Pin the paper to the tread to hold the paper in position whilst marking the crease lines.
Step 4: Marking up the templates
Once the lining paper is pinned in position, you are ready to mark the information we need onto the paper. Starting with the first straight step, and looking UP the stairs, mark the following on each template:
- An UP arrow to mark the direction of the stairs.
- The nose line; this is the point where the curve of the nosing starts on the step.
- Where two sheets of paper overlap, such as at the join of the tread and riser, make a hash mark (#) anywhere across the two sheets of paper. Ensure the mark is across both sheets of paper. This mark will show us where each template/ piece of paper is to be aligned when the paper templates are laid out flat on our workshop floor.
Make the markings by pencil so you can amend any mistakes easily. You can go over the markings in marker pen before the templates are removed from the steps.
Step 5: OPTIONAL - Choosing the width of your stair runner and the shape of the runner on the winders
It is not essential to confirm the width of your stair runner at this stage. We can help you to choose the ideal width after we have received the paper templates. We can make stair runners to fit any width of stairs. Please call us on 0113 225 9535 to discuss your requirements.
However, if you would like consider the width of your stair runner at this point, you can mark the runner edge on the templates in pencil. The following information is for guidance only:
Would you like to fit stair rods?
If you are planning to fit stair rods, you will need to allow at least 2” clearance each side of the stair runner for the stair rod finials. You may need to allow an additional 1” on the winder steps around the newel post for the stair rod brackets to be fitted. Therefore, for the stair runner to be positioned centrally on the staircase, you should allow a total of 3” each side of the runner.
For advice and information on our range of stair rods, please call us on 0113 225 9535.
Choosing the shape of the runner on the winders.
The runner on the kite winders can be shaped to either follow the edges of the winders or to have a straight edge diagonally across the kite winder as shown below:
Standard stair rod brackets do not fit parallel to the carpet runner edges on the stair winders, unless the bottom of the bracket is tucked underneath the carpet on the newel post side. An alternative solution would be to fit single screw brackets such as the Easy Stair Rods range by Stair Rods UK.
Step 6: Taking photos of the templates
With the templates safely pinned in position, please take some photos of the steps. Take as many photos as possible to provide us with plenty of information. Ideal photos would be:
If at all possible, and if it is safe to do so, please keep the templates pinned on the stairs whilst you email the photos to us. This will give us a chance to see the templates in-situ and correct any problems before you remove them from the stairs. If it is not safe to keep the templates pinned in position, please remove the pins and carefully lift the paper templates from each step, working from the bottom step (the last template fitted).
Take care when stepping on the treads where the templates are pinned. Thumb tacks have a nasty habit of sticking into the sole of your shoes! Check the soles of your shoes before leaving the stairs to ensure you do not have have any pins stuck to the bottom of them that could damage other floor coverings or surfaces.
Step 7: Email your photos to us
- Please email the photos of the staircase and landing (taken in Step 1) and of the winder templates on the stairs to email@example.com.
- We will look at your photos and contact you to discuss your requirements. We can offer carpet design advice, edging/ binding recommendations and layout and fitting suggestions. We can also advise you if any alterations need to be made to the paper templates before posting them.
Step 8: Post your templates to us
Please post the templates to us at:
- Stonegate Carpets
- 17b Stonegate Road
- LS6 4HZ
For the templates to arrive to us in the best possible condition, please roll the templates (rather than fold them) and use a postage tube. Postage tubes can be purchased at Post Offices, high street stationers or online at websites such as http://www.coresandtubes.co.uk
If you find your high street shops only stock medium diameter tubes (you may need a larger diameter tube), try asking at your local artist supplies shop or poster shop.
Step 9: What happens next?
Once we have received your templates, our skilled carpet technicians will make your stair runner and the individual winder carpets from each of your templates. We will keep you informed on progress, and as soon as your stair carpet is ready to be fitted, we will contact you to arrange a suitable date for installation. If you have any questions, please call us on 0113 225 9535.
If you have any questions regarding your stair runner or need any help making the winder templates, please call us on 0113 225 9535.