DIY: Blackout Blinds

DIY: Blackout Blinds

Posted by Erin, guest blogger for Tom’s of Maine, Trenton, Maine

Before our son was born, I spent an inordinate amount of time creating what I hoped would be the perfect nursery. So far, the room has served us incredibly well and all of my well-laid plans have panned out. If there is one thing I would change, though, it is the window treatments. I decided to do a very whimsical cornice over the window, paired with a plain white roman shade.

I went with a light filtering shade on purpose. You see, I wanted our little guy to learn how to take naps in the daylight so that he wouldn’t need complete darkness to fall asleep. And guess what…it worked!

What didn’t work, though, is the afternoon sun that burns through those shades, heating up his room. That particular side of the house gets the sun for most of the day, including the afternoon. Some days last summer the thermostat in his room was reading 80+ degrees…it wasn’t good! As a quick fix, we used a small air conditioner unit in one of the windows, but I knew I wanted a longer-term solution that was more energy efficient.

So, now that the summer is seemingly upon us, I’m getting ready. Instead of buying new blinds, I decided to adapt our current blinds by using a black-out drapery lining fabric that could help keep the sun out in the summer. And my plan was to attach the fabric in such a way that I could move it aside to use the power of the sun in the winter to keep the room warm.

I couldn’t find a black-out fabric that I liked locally, so I ordered some white Roc-Lon Blackout Drapery Lining fabric online. My first step was to take the blinds down from the window (I was able to snap the blind out from the hardware with no trouble).

blinds before

My next step was to unhook the strings that make the blinds operate. This would allow me to access the back of the blind without interfering with the mechanism. The strings pop right out (thanks to the child safety mechanisms) and are easy to put back together, I promise!


With the path now clear of obstructions, I measured and cut a piece of fabric that was just a tiny bit smaller than the blind.


I had picked out a fabric glue for this project without doing any researching, so I was a bit nervous about how it would work. But, I am happy to report that it worked perfectly!


I simply applied a generous line of glue at the very top of the fabric and glued it to the back of the blind. So, the fabric was attached to the blind at the very top.

glue line

Next, I straightened out the fabric and cut slits where the plastic hooks were, and pulled the hooks through. This allowed me to put the strings back in place and, in doing so, allowed the new fabric to fold up with the blind.


Once the strings were back in place, things were starting to look good!


I let the glue dry for an hour or so, then I hung the blind back up in the room. And, voila…it was like night and day!

night and day

I have to admit, I was worried that the blinds wouldn’t operate as smoothly. But after a couple of times, the blind works just as well as before, and looks normal when raised…as seen here!


And because I only used one line of glue at the top, I am planning to roll up the liner in the winter and secure it at the top of the window so that the sun can shine through. It will just be a matter of un-hooking and re-hooking the blind mechanism at the change of each season.

Do you have blinds in your house that could use some liners? Does this seem like a project you would take on?

Erin spends her free time blogging at Domestic Adventure from her home near Bar Harbor, Maine. She writes about finding fulfillment in the simple pleasures of domesticity while juggling motherhood, marriage and a full-time career in fundraising and public relations. She wants to make her cake and eat it too.