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I have a sitting room-turned-guest room, and with summer going into full bore the room brightens up too early in the day for sound sleep. It has become a problem. The room has several large windows currently with translucent cellular shades (I think that's the right term. One piece blinds, corrugated) and they are not dark enough.

What would be a good temporary solution to this problem? I don't want anything permanent fixed on the wall. What kind of curtains or shades or blinds or shutters can be used over the existing cellular shades? There is no protruding window frames. The windows look like these (my shades are thinner and more translucent)

One row of windows rounds a corner like these

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  • Do you want the translucence to return after summer is over, or is a permanent transformation of the existing shades acceptable? – Huesmann Jul 1 '20 at 19:18
  • @Huesmann I'd like to be able to restore the room to what it is now relatively painlessly when I need to. – Eddie Kal Jul 1 '20 at 19:28
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    Then perhaps you could get some fabric that's either darker color or less translucent, and simply pin it to one side of the current blinds. You could use safety pins or straight pins, pinned horizontally. Easily undone, and would still allow the blinds to go up during the day for light. If that solution isn't too ugly for you, of course. If it'd be too ugly on the inside, you could pin to the outside if you don't care how it looks to the neighbors. :) – Huesmann Jul 1 '20 at 19:39
  • What about just cutting some scrap cardboard into panels and placing those into the window bays? I do that when I work a string of night shifts; easy to remove and store in the back of my closet for the next time I need them, and right in my price range (free). – Jimmy Fix-it Jul 1 '20 at 19:54
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If fashion and sophistication aren't high priorities - in other words, if you're primarily interested in function and controlling the cost - dark-colored flat bed sheets are something to consider.

The existing cellular shades probably have some kind of metal box at the top of the window to contain their operating mechanism. If that box happens to be steel then you can use magnets to hang the temporary coverings. Otherwise, you might consider hanging with tension rods or removable adhesive brackets (3M "Command" brand hooks).

You might also consider something solid like a sheet of thin hardboard, foam insulation board, foam core craft board, etc. These have the advantage that they could be painted to match the wall or in other attractive ways. The panels could be trimmed to fit the window opening so that they stay in place without hardware of any kind. They could be easily stowed behind a sofa, in a closet, or elsewhere to get them out of sight during the day.

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There are a lot of different styles of blackout curtains or panels that would do the job for you. The problem is your requirement not to attach anything to the walls. Blackout panels are lightweight, come in different colors and can be held over a window with velcro strips or magnets.
The other temporary option is to buy blackout fabric which any fabric store will carry and attach it to your blind at the top with velcro or magnets and clip it down the sides of your cellular shades with plastic clips or even plastic paper clips. Light may still leak in at the sides but it should block 90% of the light.

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