Blackout curtains are efficient in keeping heat, noise, and light out in a room. They are great choices for bedrooms. And it’s very easy to transform any pair of standard curtains into blackout curtains. All you need is to get blackout linings for your existing curtains. With the help of this simple trick, you will be able to have blackout curtains without buying a new one. So it is a cheaper and quite functional way to turn your curtains into blackouts. The main material is blackout lining. However, blackout linings can attach or hang very differently to your existing curtains. We can list 5 methods to turn regular curtains into blackouts:
- Using sticky double-sided bands
- Using hooks to attach blackout lining
- Using curtain rings to attach blackout lining
- Using a double curtain rod
- Sewing blackout curtains
Before examining these methods step-by-step, let’s look at some important keywords. They will be helpful throughout the post.
What are blackout curtains?
Normal curtains attached with a densely woven fabric lining or back are known as blackout drapes. The room windows that are covered with blackout curtains prevent sunlight from entering. This can improve your quality of sleep. The drapes prevent UV rays and natural light from entering the room, creating a completely dark space that is perfect for sleeping. They can also reduce your energy expenses by retaining heat inside. They can block hazardous rays, sunlight, heat, and noise to some degree. Blackout curtains are the best options for bedrooms and nurseries.
What is blackout lining?
A straightforward option that can help your current curtains with light difficulties is ready-made blackout linings. Blackout lining is a thick fabric that is needed to be attached to the back of the curtains by using the hooks in the package. There are generally two colors for blackout lining: white and cream. Blackout lining has also thermal properties that assist in blocking drafts and reducing heat loss.
What is a double curtain rod?
A double curtain rod allows you to overlay more than one drapery panel or curtain, although looking quite similar to single curtain rods in terms of style. There are a lot of different double rod options in any hardware store or on websites. You can choose the most suitable one for your curtains among them.
The step-by-step guide on turning your existing curtains into blackouts
We can list 5 different and remarkably functional methods to turn the curtains into blackouts. We have explained these methods step-by-step below. So, here is your comprehensive guide:
METHOD 1: Sticking
The necessary tools are hook & loop tape (sticky back for fabrics like this one available on Amazon), and a blackout fabric that is the same length as your curtain without measuring the top part of the curtain (while the white or black woven fabric is recommended, you can choose any darkening fabric you want).
Lay your existing curtains face down on a flat surface after removing them from the pole.
Take the fabric and put it on your curtain on the ground. Cut the excess with the help of scissors. If there are a lot of fold marks and creases on the fabric you can iron it before attaching it to the curtain.
Get the sticky fabric tapes. To attach your curtain and fabric, cut these tapes into equal strips and paste the tape on the right, left, and middle of the top. Apply the same procedure to the bottom of the curtain, so that the curtain and the fabric will be attached. Now, you can hang your DIY blackout curtains.
METHOD 2: Using the hooks for blackout lining
The second, third, and fourth methods include using blackout lining to turn your curtains into blackout curtains.
The only thing you need for this second method is to buy a blackout lining like this one available on Amazon. The package includes 2 blackout linings and 10 hooks for each panel. You will use the hooks to attach the lining to your existing curtains. So here is your 5-step guide on turning your curtains into blackouts by attaching blackout lining with hooks.
If necessary, begin with ironing your curtain and your blackout lining. It will help you to have a more beautiful result. After opening the lining package, you may realize too many creases. Ironing will remove these marks.
Lay your curtain face down on a level surface. The lining should be placed right side up on top of the curtain.
Select the proper hook position for the curtain pole or track when using standard curtain hooks by firstly inserting the hook into the lining tape, followed by the curtain tape.
Pull the curtain hook towards your direction so that its descending arm will rest over the lining’s face side.
Hang each hook to the eyelets or tabs of your curtain.
METHOD 3: Using clips for blackout lining
The third method is nearly the same as the second method. But this time, you need curtain clips. Using clips will help you to have a more sturdy result than the hooks. Most of the blackout linings don’t include curtain clip rings in the packages. So you need to buy them separately like this one available on Amazon.
However, some brands do have those clips inside of the lining package like this one. If you get one of them, you won’t need to buy extra curtain clips. This is great if you have eyelet curtains: one line ring for one curtain ring.
We will explain the third method according to the first scenario assuming that you need to buy extra curtain rings. So here is your 3-step guide.
Begin with ironing your curtain and your blackout lining. It will help you to have a more beautiful result.
Lay your lining face down on a level surface. And attach the curtain clips on top of the lining at the same distance as the distance between your curtain’s rings.2 or 3 inches may work well.
Get a ladder and your lining. Put the ladder near the curtain and climb it. Hang the lining to the rod by locking the rings one by one. Now, you have beautiful blackout curtains.
METHOD 4: Two rods for two layers
Double curtain rods will help you to hang two curtains over one window. This will also block the sunlight more. You can use blackout lining for the rod in the back and hang your curtain to the front. Double rods are always very useful hardware materials for curtains like this one available on Amazon.
Here is your 4-step guide on how to install a double rod and turn your curtains into blackouts.
Install brackets. Your space will look larger as you mount the brackets higher on the wall. Installing the brackets at least 4 inches above the top of the window frame is a basic rule. For the rods to dangle slightly over the margins of the window frame, they should also be placed 2-3 inches away from the window frame’s sides to create a wider window illusion. Mark the exact spots for each bracket and mount them with screws and a drill.
After installing the brackets, mount the double rod system.
Get a ladder and hang your blackout lining to the back rod.
Hang the curtain in front of the lining.
METHOD 5: Sewing
Sewing a blackout curtain is the most difficult option among those five methods. The necessary tools are two fabrics, scissors, a sewing machine, pins, and a measuring tape.
Select the fabric for your curtain. A lighter fabric, like cotton or linen, or a heavier fabric, such as a densely woven, thick curtain material can both be used to construct blackout curtains.
To guarantee that no light from the outside enters the room, blackout drapes should completely enclose the window. Because of this, it’s crucial to create your curtains long enough to fully enclose the windows. Measure the distance with a measuring tape starting at the curtain rod and ending 6 inches below the ledge. To make a loop for the curtain pole, you will need to fold the top of the curtain over twice, so you will need additional length.
Measure the window from side to side, from one of the outside edges to the other, and allow a small margin for the side hems.
To ensure you have enough fabric to hem the curtains, add 8 inches (20 cm) to each dimension. And then, cut the fabric.
Now, it is time to cut blackout fabric. To cut the lining fabric, use the exact window measurements that you found. If you want, you can add extra 2 inches to the measurements.
If required, iron both fabrics. And then, over the printed curtain fabric, center the blackout material.
To create two panels, cut the two fabric pieces at their centers. After cutting the blackout fabric pieces, reposition them in the center of the curtain fabric pieces.
The curtain fabric’s edges should be folded over the blackout fabric by 2 inches.
Iron the folds. Pin the edges. And then, sew them starting 0.5 inches from the curtain fabric’s raw edges. Use straight stitches.
To make room for the curtain rod, fold the top border of the curtain fabric over by 3 inches. Insert pins and sew 0.5 inches from the hemmed edge. Before finishing, backstitch by about 2 inches. And your handmade blackout rod pocket curtains are ready to use.
What are the benefits of turning your existing curtains into blackout curtains?
Blackout curtains can block light leakage up to 99 percent which means there will be no disturbing light in your room. This may be sunlight or a car light or even a sign light which means you can use these curtains both morning and night.
The light blockage will indirectly help you have a better sleep. Because people sleep more and better in dark rooms. This will also affect your body and mental health in a good way. That’s why blackout curtains are very beneficial both for your room and your health.
The most unwanted thing in a house might be the clangorous sounds coming from the outside of the window. This is where blackout curtains come into action. They can block irritating sounds.
Keeping heat in and out
Even though most people recommend you to use blackout curtains only in winter, you can use them all year round. Such curtains trap the existing heat inside during the winter months and help keep your room warmer. On the other hand, the same curtains help keep your room cooler by preventing the extreme heat from outside in the summer months. In this way, your energy costs will be reduced indirectly, and you will save money. To sum up, blackout curtains are profitable investments.
Blackout linings on Amazon
In this part, we wanted to share some blackout linings that you can find very easily on Amazon’s website.
White Full Blackout Window Curtain Liner Panels Rod Pocket Bedroom Hang with 10 Hooks Microfiber Thermal Coating Room Window Treatment Sets 2 Panels (W48 x L60 x2 inches, White)
This is a white lining that can be attached to your curtains by using the hooks in the package. But, as we said before, you can buy extra curtain clips to attach this lining or use a double curtain rod to hang the lining separately.
You can find it on Amazon.
NICETOWN Blackout Curtain Liners, Curtain Lining for Window, Cold Heat Light Noise Blocking Curtain Liners for Drapes Blackout, Thermal Panel Liners for Sheer Curtains, 1 Pair, 50″ x 92″ Per Panel
This greyish-white blackout lining includes detachable rings, not hooks. So you don’t have to pay extra money for curtain rings if you want to hang them like that.
You can find it on Amazon.
Eroica Black Blackout Drapery Fabric
This last one is not a blackout lining. This is a blackout fabric. If you want to sew a blackout curtain or attach this fabric to your curtains by using sticky tapes, you can buy a piece of fabric like this one.
You can find it on Amazon.
Blackout curtains are very practical and the best choice for a bedroom. And it is not that hard to turn your existing curtains into blackouts. We have mentioned 5 methods in this post which include using sticky double-sided bands, using hooks to attach blackout lining, using curtain rings to attach blackout lining, using a double curtain rod, and sewing blackout curtains. Whichever method you use, you will benefit in the end. The most important thing is finding the most suitable method for you and your curtains.