Are you tired of being woken up by early morning sunlight or streetlights flooding your bedroom at night? If so, it’s time to take control of the light in your space and enjoy better sleep and privacy with DIY blackout window solutions. You don’t need to spend a lot of money or break the bank to achieve the results you desire; we’ve rounded up 15 easy and budget-friendly hacks to help you create your own blackout window.
Why have blackout windows?
One of the most important reasons for choosing to have blackout window covers is that it could significantly improve your sleep quality and overall well-being.
Research has found that consistent exposure to artificial light at night can disrupt your circadian rhythm and affect your overall health. Blackout windows help restore your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, promoting better physical and mental well-being. If you suffer from migraines or light sensitivity, blackout windows can provide relief by minimizing exposure to triggering light sources from the outside world. With darkness enveloping your room, your body can produce melatonin, the sleep hormone, more effectively. This results in deeper, more restorative sleep, leaving you feeling refreshed upon waking.
For those who work night shifts or irregular hours, blackout windows are indispensable. They enable you to simulate night-time conditions during any point in the day, allowing for more restful daytime sleep.
It’s not just adults who can benefit from blackout rooms. DIY blackout shades are particularly beneficial for nurseries and children’s bedrooms too. They help establish consistent sleep patterns for infants and young children, making both nap time and bedtime easier for parents.
What are the benefits of creating a DIY blackout window?
Creating a DIY blackout window comes with a slew of benefits that make it an appealing option for homeowners. Let’s delve into the advantages of taking matters into your own hands when it comes to blocking out unwanted light with window blackout solutions.
Cost-effective: DIY blackout solutions are budget-friendly, sparing your wallet from the expense of custom-made window treatments or professional installations.
Custom fit: Your windows are unique, and DIY allows you to fashion a window covering blackout solution tailored precisely to their dimensions, ensuring a snug and effective fit.
Temporary need: When blackout capabilities are only required for specific situations—like sweltering summers, shift work, or a nursery—a DIY approach offers easy installation and removal.
Ideal for rentals: If you currently rent a property, you can enjoy the benefits of blackout window coverings without making permanent alterations to your living space. DIY methods often use removable adhesives, ensuring you can leave your rental in its original tip-top condition when you leave.
Unleash your creativity: DIY solutions let your creative juices flow. You can choose fabrics, colours and materials that harmonize with your interior design decor, elevating the aesthetic appeal of your room.
Emergency preparedness: In unexpected situations, such as power outages or privacy concerns, having a DIY blackout solution on standby ensures you can swiftly darken your room for safety, security, or rest.
Cover multiple windows affordably: Rooms with multiple windows can become costly to fit with store-bought treatments. DIY options offer an economical means to blackout all the windows in a room.
Precise light control: DIY blackout solutions grant you precise control over the amount of light you want to block. You can Ttailor your materials to provide complete darkness or partial shading as needed.
Enhanced privacy: Beyond light control, DIY blackout solutions enhance the privacy of your room. They shield your living space from prying eyes, particularly after sundown.
Satisfaction in creativity: For DIY enthusiasts, crafting your own blackout window treatments can be a satisfying process. It allows you to showcase your creative prowess and handy skills.
15 Practical DIY blackout window ideas
If you’re looking for permanent or temporary solutions to use to create your own blackout windows, here are 15 of the best ways to make a room dark and get a better night’s sleep.
1. Blackout curtains
Blackout curtains are a quick and effective way to block out light. Look for affordable curtains that have a thick blackout lining to ensure maximum light-blocking capability. Ready made curtains come in a wide range of styles and colours, making it easy to find a pair that matches your decor.
Alternatively, visit your local craft or fabric store and purchase blackout fabric to create your own blackout liner to attach to your existing curtains. This versatile material can be cut to the exact size you require and easily attached to the inside of your regular curtains to create diy blackouts. You can either sew them by hand using simple sewing techniques, or use a sewing machine for quickness. Another great solution if you don’t mind sewing is to make your own diy blackout curtains from scratch.
When you are adding extra weight to your curtains, do remember to make sure that your existing curtain rod can hold the weight of the extra fabric.
2. Blackout window shades or inserts
For a temporary and portable solution, blackout window shades or inserts are easily obtainable. Often known as travel blackout blinds, these special window blinds can be easily purchased in store or online from a variety of retailers. They come in various sizes and you simply cut them to your desired size and put them directly in your window frame. This can be a more affordable method to use if you need a quick solution or want to try out different ways of blackening your window before settling on a final plan.
3. Aluminum foil
If you’re looking for a super budget-friendly option, consider using aluminum foil. Measure the size of your window and cut a piece of cardboard or foam board to slightly larger than your window frame. Cover the cardboard or foam with foil and place it snugly behind your curtains, securing it with tape if necessary. The reflective surface will bounce incoming light away from your room.
4. Velcro strips
For a removable blackout solution, use Velcro strips. Attach one side of the Velcro to the edges of blackout fabric or curtains and the other side to your window frame. This allows you to easily remove the blackout material when you want to let in natural light.
5. Window film
Blackout window film or tint film is adhesive and can be applied directly to your windows. It not only blocks out light and UV rays, but also provides additional privacy. Plus, it’s easy to remove if you decide to change your decor or move house. When you’re using window film, you do need to make sure you get the measurements right before you cut it to size. One benefit of using film is that you don’t need extra adhesives, as the film is designed to peel and stick directly to the window. It’s also easy to customise it to fit smaller windows.
6. Cardboard cutouts
Cut cardboard to fit your window’s dimensions, paint it black, and position it behind your curtains. This DIY cardboard blackout panel is effective, especially if you have oddly shaped windows.
7. Roller shades
Blackout roller shades come in various sizes and are easy to install. One of the advantages of a roller shade is that it can be pulled down to cover your window completely and rolled up when you want to let in light.
8. Magnetic tape
Attach magnetic tape to the edges of blackout fabric or curtains and secure it to a magnetic window frame cover. This allows for easy installation and removal, making it a convenient choice.
9. Dark-colored blankets
Hang dark-colored blankets or black fabric over your curtain rod. This not only blocks out light but also adds a touch of coziness to your room. Opt for blankets that match your decor to maintain a stylish look.
This is similar to the aluminium foil option, but is the perfect choice if you don’t have any cardboard or foam board of the right size available. Measure the size of your window and cut out a piece of tin foil to use as a blackout insert. Start attaching it to the top of the window, using duct tape, and gradually roll it down to cover the whole window. The reflective surface of the foil helps repel light and maintain a dark room.
11. Draft stopper
Install a draft stopper along the bottom of your curtains. This not only helps block out light but also prevents drafts from entering your room, enhancing energy efficiency and potentially helping to reduce your energy bills.
12. Command hooks
Use Command Hooks to hang blackout curtains or blackout blinds easily. These hooks are removable and won’t damage your window frame or walls, making them ideal and an effective solution for renters.
13. Wooden shutters
This option isn’t such a cheap way of creating a DIY blackout window, but is worth considering for a more permanent solution. Wooden shutters offer a timeless and elegant solution for blocking out light. Depending on your window size, you may be able to purchase ready made shutters to install on your windows, or you may need to have them customised and made to size and shape. When closed, they can create a complete blackout effect, making the room pitch black.
14. Sleep masks
While not strictly a window treatment, we couldn’t not mention the benefits of sleep masks. A comfortable sleep mask can be a quick fix and easy solution for keeping light out while you sleep and before you opt for any other DIY method. Choose one with soft padding and an adjustable strap for maximum comfort.
15. Rug liner
Place a rug liner or rug pad on your windowsill to block any gaps where light might sneak in, such as at the side of the window. This simple addition ensures a snug fit between your curtains and the window frame.
In essence, having blackout window shades in your bedroom window at night offers a multitude of advantages that encompass improved sleep quality, privacy, health benefits, energy efficiency, and convenience. Shutting out all slivers of unwanted light helps create a tranquil, sleep-friendly sanctuary that supports your well-being, ensuring you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.
With these practical, cheap and easy DIY blackout window solutions, you can customize your light-blocking method to suit your specific needs and style preferences. Whether you want your bedroom a bit darker, or want to sleep in total darkness, there are plenty of options to try. Say goodbye to unwanted light and enjoy a more peaceful and restful environment in your home. Happy DIY-ing!0