Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am renting a house that has beautiful wooden venetian blinds - that I can not remove or replace - but they are not very effective at blocking the ambient night light that is abundant on my street. This affects my sleep hygiene - it is strongly recommended to sleep in as dark environment as possible.

Now the challenge is:

  • I can not remove the existing blinds
  • I want to keep the room light during day so no sticker or dark foil
  • my budget is limited and I would like to avoid buying and installing heavy curtains

How do I darken the room on a budget? Any DIY tips are welcome.

share|improve this question
    
You can add curtains or drapes. Use some heavy-duty 3M command strips and large hooks if you want an apartment safe installation. If you have enough room in the window "cubby" then a shower rod would also work. Personally, I have Eclipse brand curtains, they were relatively cheap and work great. –  Jason May 9 '13 at 15:26

6 Answers 6

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Buy paper window shades. Specifically the ones that are folded like an accordion and have an adhesive edge at the top. Trim them to the width of your windows. Lay them out flat and paint one or both sides black with spray paint. Stick them up behind the Venetian blinds. If you only painted one side then you can face the white side out if you are concerned about the external appearance.

During the day you can lift them up and clip them in place with those plastic clips that are used to keep chip bags closed. Or if the windows are double-hung you can accordion them up and sit them on the top of the bottom sash.

share|improve this answer
    
This will really work!!! Thanks –  daniel.sedlacek Jul 18 '13 at 14:29
    
Still more work than buying a set of second hand blackout roman blinds which is what I did in my house. They cost us NZ$7.50 each. (about USD$6) –  Matt Jul 18 '13 at 22:02

sheet of cardboard (or similar) cut to fit inside

share|improve this answer

I'm pretty sure you've already considered this, but just in case you haven't...

It may be an obvious option, but the direction your blinds face is pretty important... To block street- and auto lights, you'll want to make sure inside edges turn down, if you're any higher than the first floor.

share|improve this answer

Get a set of second hand curtains from the local second hand shop.

We just did this to our master bedroom. Now we own the house but didn't want to pay a lot of money for curtains and my wife found some really nice second hand roman blinds for $7.50 each. We put them underneath our regular curtains and the room stays warmer at night and significantly darker.

You could the same type of thing.

share|improve this answer

Window Tint. That will let light in during the day and give you better coverage at night.

YOu could go lo-tech and use black sheets. Just pin them up on the wall at night. That is probably your cheapest, albeit, most horrible looking solution. Then again it's just for sleeping.

share|improve this answer
    
Does the color of the sheet impact its level of transparency? –  Tester101 May 9 '13 at 15:18
    
No but it effects the amount of light that is reflected or absorbed. –  Jason H May 9 '13 at 19:34

If you want a cheap easy solution, you can buy fabric and safety pin it to the blinds. If you pin just the top and bottom, when the blinds are pulled up 100% then ~1/2 of the fabric would be seen underneath the blinds. So I'd suggest ~ 4 sets of pin to have the minimum extra fabric seen. I'd also suggest using khaki, it is relatively cheap and thick.

*I'd also suggest pin it to back(window side) of the blinds so it is not seen as much and you can retain the beauty of the wooden blinds.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.