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How Do I Blackout Windows? (And 4 Inexpensive Ways to Do It)

How Do I Blackout Windows? (And 4 Inexpensive Ways to Do It)

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If you’re like me, you are not a morning person. At all. The sun makes you want to hiss like a badly-mannered cat or a vampire waking from a 3,000-year sleep.

I’m definitely a night owl. I’d much rather be up till the wee hours of the morning than get up at the crack of dawn. So to compensate for my late nights, I would sleep in in the morning and wake up gradually.

Enter stage left. Baby.

Baby who does not care that Momma doesn’t like getting up early. Six a.m. (or earlier!) seems like a glorious time to wake up and play! And naps? Who naps?!

It was time to overhaul our routine. Earlier nights for Momma and working on regular naps for baby.

One big problem. Glorious summer days with bright warm sunshine spelled death to naps.

How to fix this problem? Curtains and blinds weren’t cutting it. The worst of the light was blocked, but my picky child wanted darkness.

Cue a ding and a giant lightbulb above my head. Black out the windows!

How Can I Black Out my Windows?

With a variety of products on the market right now, I had plenty of options on blacking out my windows. My first option was actual blackout curtains.

There are many different brands out there for blackout curtains. I had (heck, I still do) an obsession with Target, which is where I got them for baby. They are the Pillowfort brand.

The Amazon brand of blackout curtains seem to work as well as the ones I got from Target. I purchased a set for our room after seeing how great blackout curtains worked for our baby.

Sadly, I sold them to a friend after changing up the color scheme of our room. I need to get another set!

Blackout curtains consist of a normal curtain with a rubber-like backing on them. Some brands advertise their curtains as being “blackout”, but they are really just “room darkening”.

You can test if yours are actually blackout by turning on your cell phone’s flashlight and putting it behind the curtain. If it shines through, then you have “room darkening” curtains.

If you already have curtains or can’t find blackout curtains that you like, you can always make your own! Visit your local fabric store to find blackout fabric, and attach it to the back of the curtain to cut the light.

While they are an easy way to cut down on the amount of light in the room, a drawback to blackout curtains is that you are most likely going to have a ring of light around the curtain.

This is due to not being able to get close enough to the wall to block the light around the edges. This didn’t bother us, but if it does bother you, you can try to use velcro dots to adhere it to the wall.

There are also other ways to black out your windows!

Are There Other Window Treatments That Black Out Windows?

If blackout curtains aren’t quite your thing, you can also look into blackout cellular shades or blackout roller shades. These are going to run a little harder on your pocketbook, but if money isn’t an issue, they are good options.

Cellular shades are made of fabric and feature a honeycomb design. They are offered in both light filtering and blackout fabrics.

Besides the ability to filter or block light, cellular shades are also useful to regulate temperatures in a home. They are efficient at blocking air from coming in or going out.

They also do not have a cord like normal blinds do. This is a good preventative measure for those with children, as it takes the choking risk right out of the equation.

Roller shades also come in light filtering and blackout fabrics. They offer an even larger variety of fabric patterns than cellular shades do. 

Hanging cords are also not a problem with these shades, as they roll up without the assistance of a long, dangling cord. 

You can purchase either of these options in custom sizes, which allows you to get the shades as tight to the window as you can to block the light. Be aware that this could bring the cost up as well.

Are There Any Inexpensive Ways to Black Out Windows?

There are always do-it-yourself ways to black out windows, though it may not look as professional and clean as purchasing curtains or shades would. If you are on a tight budget, you could try one of these hacks to black out your windows.

1 – Black Sheets

This is especially inexpensive if you already have black sheets you could use. You could put the sheets on the back of current curtains or blinds, or you could simply use velcro dots in the corners of the window to hold the sheet up.

If you want to get really fancy, you can attach magnets to the cloth and then stick it to a metal window frame.

2 – Black Shelf Liner

An anecdotal story in the DIY section of stackexchange.com states that they purchased black shelf liner and cut it to the size of the window. They then used spray adhesive to attach the shelf liner to the window, and cue eternal darkness!

3 – Paper Shades

These inexpensive shades are accordion-folded and customizable in width and height. You need only to cut the shades to the size of your window. 

They’re peel and stick at the top, which allows them to be put up in mere minutes. They also have clips included to keep the shade up or to whatever height you desire.

4 – Face Mask

You could also always go the route of blacking out things for yourself instead of for the whole room. A face mask that adequately covers your eyes could cut way back on the light, and you could easily find one of these at your local big-box store (like Target!).

Final Thoughts

I have another little one now. He’s over a year old. This kid sleeps like a champ in his room, with his blackout curtains. It’s a struggle if we’re in the living room, where light is king!

If you have a little one that can’t handle the light, or if you yourself can’t, blacking out your windows is a great option. Sleep is a very important part of your health, and if that’s what it takes to get better quality, then go for it!