I am renting an apartment that comes with blinds - that I can not remove or replace - but they are not very effective at blocking the light in the morning.

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.

Someone suggested pinning fabric inside the blinds but I am not sure how effective that is? What kind of fabric should I buy to try this? This is for a baby room, so he doesn't wake up with the sunrise :)

  • Babies wake up in response to sunlight? My daughters' sleep patterns seemed to be completely unrelated to the amount of light in the room. Or any other cycle I could identify, for that matter.
    – Joel Keene
    Apr 16 '15 at 2:45
  • That's the beauty of kids, they are all different! Mine wakes up and screams the sun is up! Go figure...
    – Mika
    Apr 16 '15 at 12:14

A sheet of cardboard cut to fit the window frame tightly. With a small finger hole or notch cut out so you can pull it out easily. Thick cardboard would be best so it doesnt bend.

Practically free, blocks all light, does no damage, and can easily be removed in the morning and put back in at night.

  • 3
    The large boxes that home appliances come in are particularly useful for large, flat sheets of cardboard. Is there an appliance store near you? They'll probably give you a discarded box for free.
    – Dave Tweed
    Apr 16 '15 at 2:40

What I've done in the past is use Command Adhesive hooks to hold a curtain rod, then hang a curtain from that. This is rental-friendly, as there are no permanent hangers installed, and it can be moved as needed. It's a bit more expensive than cardboard, but should have a better appearance.


Walk into a fabric store and ask for advice on making "blackout drapes". They'll sell you something suitably heavy for the purpose; this is a fairly standard request. Adding that behind a cheap set of drapes,or getting a more attractive face fabric to sandwich it with, will do a pretty good job of blocking outside light; not completely but you did ask for a budget solution. This does imply doing at least enough sewing to hem the material, of you want it to last, but again you're trading lower cost for spending some time and effort on them.

I'm still using a set of blackout drapes my mother made 40 years ago.

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