A few weeks ago I was adding some finishing touches to a clients space. They wanted the warmth of bamboo shades but needed them to be blackout. To get those made for their 3 windows left us with a price tag of around $600. Ewww. No thanks. I asked for her permission to try my own version and she gave me the green light. So, here’s my diy blackout shade tutorial. This project ended up being under $200.
What to buy
I purchased the bamboo shades here (hold on* I had a realization you might want yo know before you purchase*) and also bought a pair of blackout curtain panels. I made sure they were the right length and then the correct width to be cut in half. So for 3 windows, I got a pair of panels, cut them each in half and had one extra half at the end.
Cut and hem the panels
Like I said, first, cut the blackout panels in half. Mine ended up being around an inch narrower than the full width of the shade.
Iron them and sew a quick hem down the cut side. I didn’t even roll the exposed hem over because it’ll all be hidden. I’ll show you in a sec.
Fully extend the bamboo shade and lay it on a flat surface, face down.
Attach the liner to the shade
Plug in your hot glue gun. That’s right. If it’s more complicated than that, I’m not interested.
Next you’ll lay down the hemmed blackout panel, right side up. So, you’re hiding your hem.
Hot glue the top of the curtain panel to the top of the bamboo shade.
The back of the shade has a string that keeps tension and it’s enclosed by a thin fabric sleeve. Once you glue on the outer sleeve, let the black out liner lay on top. It’s very important to keep the hot glue on the outer sleeve only. In other words, don’t press down really hard and smash the glue into the sleeve. If it gets on the string the blind may not open and close as easily as it should. (This happened to me on one of the shades)
Mount the shades
When the panels are fully glued onto the shades, you’re ready to mount them!
Here’s what I’d do differently
Remember I told you to wait before you buy? I really like the cordless bamboo shades but they work using tension. When I added the extra weight of the blackout panel, the blinds didn’t open up as far as I wish they did. If I did this again I’d consider buying shades with a cord, maybe these. They keep their tension a little easier. I think it would work better that way.
And then, again, I remind you to be really careful to not get any hot glue on the cord and only on the outer sleeve.
That’s it though. They work really well and block a lot of light. You can see a little light coming in from the sides but not much.
Let me know if you have any questions! Creating my own version of bamboo blackout shades was so much more cost effective than buying them. 5 stars. would recommend.
Thanks for reading, friends!