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Make your curtains BLACKOUT CURTAINS (simplified version)


Since moving to our new home over a month ago, I have had blackout curtains on my “to-do” list.  And while waiting for those curtains to be made……I’ve had blankets and tablecloths hanging from the curtain rods.  Eeek.  My little guy has had a Valentine Tablecloth (with large hearts all over it) hanging over his window.  He keeps asking when his “real” curtains will be ready.  Sorry buddy……the time is now.


I have finally begun making curtains for the kiddos room……and making them into Blackout Curtains.  In a seriously simple way.


Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)



Nothing fancy……just a piece of Blackout Lining added to my curtains.  But really effective.

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)



It stays right in place and unnoticed…………unless you separate the fabric from the lining.

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)



Here’s the difference.  The lining is in place on the left and then is pulled out of the way on the right.  Pretty drastic, right?

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)



The lining is added right up at the top of the curtains.  And hangs perfectly straight, slightly smaller than the curtain dimensions.

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)


And you’d never be able to tell from the front of the curtains.

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)



Would you like to make your own Blackout Curtains (a really simplified version)??


First of all, I bought my curtains from Ikea because I loved the fabric of these grommet curtains.  However, I didn’t want the grommets.  Lucky for me, the curtains were too long so I just cut the grommet section off at the top.


So if you have existing curtains or if you’re making new curtains, you can simply add some blackout lining to the back of your curtains.  Easy as that.


I went to Joann Fabric and found some blackout lining for $6.99/yard but it was half off.  (It comes on a big roll back by their upholstery fabric and you can buy it by the yard.)  So I bought like 12 yards of it so I could use it with all of the bedroom curtains.  And because I bought so much of it, they wound it right back on the roll that it comes on.  Thanks!  (Here’s the kind I bought.)

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)


This blackout fabric has 2 sides to it.  A fabric side and a smoother vinyl feeling side.  The whiter side of mine is the fabric feeling side and I wanted it to face outward and the more beige side (smoother vinyl feeling side) to lay right against my fabric.  I think the unspoken rule to is to have your white curtain lining face the window so that passersby outside only see white.  (By the way, you can iron this blackout lining on a low setting……but be sure to iron on the fabric side.)

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)


If your curtains are already constructed, just cut your piece of curtain lining slightly smaller along all edges, and then attach your lining near the top of the your curtains.  Perhaps right below whatever sort of hem you have at the top.


If you’re making your curtains from scratch (or have cut off the top like I have), hem both sides of your curtains first and then hem the bottom.  Next, fold over the top a 1/2 inch and then another amount that’s big enough to go around your curtain rod.  Iron flat and pin in place.

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)


Then cut a piece of blackout lining that is slightly smaller than your curtain panel (about an inch smaller along all edges).  Next, slide the top edge of your lining under the folded over section of fabric at the top.  I slid mine under about an inch.  Be sure that your lining fabric is lined up all the way around and is still laying inside the dimensions of the curtain panel by about an inch.

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)


Then sew it in place.  And iron your fabric if needed.  (And remember, if you need to iron the lining, use a low setting and iron on the fabric side.)

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)


Then hang your panels.

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)



And enjoy your dark room.

Make your curtains blackout curtains (simplified version)



  1. The Developer says:

    Great idea! When moving in to my new apartment I did not opt for the black out curtains and I already regret my decision, because the bedroom is just too bright for me to take a nap in the afternoons. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sally says:

    Can this fabric be applied to a roller shade

  3. jish says:

    where did you buy the block out lining

  4. Debby says:

    If you are making the curtains, is there any benefit to picking up the black out inside the hems on the sides and into the hem at the bottom?

    1. Lisa says:

      Having worked in a custom upholstery and drapery shop I can attest to the benefit of sewing the lining into the side hems. You can hide the lining from view by cutting it 4 to 6 inches narrower and the fabric the same amount wider then the desired finished width (plus seam allowances). Then you sew the edges together inside out; when turned right side in the seams will be a couple of inches in from the outside edges of the panel with no seam showing on the front. You will have to iron the edges to create a crisp edge. And this must be done before sewing the top of the panel. The bottoms of each material are hemmed independently before the sides are done, and not attached together – they hang nicely when separate.

    2. Wendy says:

      Thank you for this information. I was actually IN JoAnn fabrics looking for blackout lining and your instructions pointed me to the right area of the store. I also appreciate the direction on sewing the curtains. I bought the fabric rather than the already made curtains because they weren’t dark enough.

  5. Jess says:

    WOW! This is great! I have been wondering how to make the almost-see-through curtains in my baby boy’s room! Thank you, thank you for this tutorial! Now I will go see about buying some blackout lining! :)

  6. Rachel says:

    Just wanted to say what a pleasure it is to google “blight blocking fabric for curtains” and find your blog as the third hit – a blog I already know and love (and have followed instructions on before!). Thanks for posting this tutorial. I’ve ordered my blackout fabric which I plan to add to this fabric ( It’s possible that I got the tablecloth as curtains idea from you too…. well done helping me decorate my house! :)

    1. Rachel says:

      one more note to say that I finished the curtains. Here they are: (they look better in person). And I LOVE them! Thank you for a great tutorial!

  7. Kp says:


    I bought some curtains from the store as I was looking for that particular design n color for a long time.they are 54×84 in dimensions and grommet styled.
    I would like to add some blackout liners to these. Could you pls give me an idea on how to do this.I DONT know sewing.I just want to add those liners behind the existing curtains with glue or sticky bband.any ideas

  8. Joy says:

    Thank you! I’m on the third of 3 windows in my daughter’s room, and this “recipe” has been my guiding inspiration.

  9. Jen says:

    I’m tardy to the party here, but this is exactly what I needed! Thank you for sharing your how-to. I bought a gorgeous Crate & Barrel tablecloth (years ago) that I’m (just now) cutting in half and turning into room-darkening curtains. Your method will work perfectly.

  10. janet says:

    Thanks so much. I bought 2 sets of drapes both claiming to be blacout & neither is. I couldn’t find a place to buy the lining and now I have it. FYI-I was just surfing for drapes and Sears seem to be the best buys for that,

  11. Diane @ The Checkered Apple says:

    I recently ordered the blackout liner from JoAnn’s and I’m just about ready to tackle the same job you show here. Thanks for all the tips and pics…very helpful!

  12. Becky Fuhrken says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I converted my existing curtains into blackout curtains, based on your tutorial with the exception of the sewing! I don’t have a machine & if I did I’m not sure I would know what to do with it! I actually hot glued my liner on & so far I LOVE IT!!! And just FYI, I used the link to the JoAnns website & got the liner for half price!!!! Super excited! Thank you!!!!

    1. Kp says:

      Hi Becky,

      I would like to add blackout liners to my existing curtains like u did.could you pls share some pics on how you glued them so I can get an idea for my project and follow your steps.also Wat kind of glue did u use to stick the liners to the existing curtains?

  13. Vivien says:

    Hi Ashley,

    Really can’t thank you enough for sharing this! I’m using all-white curtains in my house and I really love them. The only disadvantage is we can’t snuggle longer in bed while the sun rises too high in the sky.. ;p I think I’m gonna try this so that I can keep my “whites” at home! Thanks again.

    By the way, I’m the first time visitor and I love your site and all your makings! Will definitely come here often.


  14. Min K says:

    What a great idea and seems to work really well ! Thanks!

  15. Joanne says:

    Thanks for this! A quick question: Do I need to finish the edges of the blackout lining? I presume it won’t fray, so I can just cut to size and attach? Thanks!

  16. Nikki says:

    Thank you for the exciting inspiration!! I just lined my Ikea sheers with the blackout fabric and I’m really happy. Commercial black out curtains can be so boring and ugly, not to mention expensive. I never thought to make my own! I have 5 big windows in my bedroom and I can never sleep past dawn. One done, four windows to go! Thanks!

  17. Megan Jewett says:

    Thanks for another great tutorial. I tried my hand at ombre dyeing some curtains I already had and added a blackout liner to them. Total cost for essentially new blackout curtains: $20!

    I blogged about it here:
    I also added a link back to your tutorial–I hope that’s ok.

  18. Katie says:

    I made some of these for my brother when he was going through his sleep-until-2pm teenage years! haha!

    Love that fabric!

  19. Linda says:

    Great idea thanks for directions

  20. laurie says:

    oh my gosh, the dark side of blogging, I had this happen, but my children or grands were not in the photos, thats so sad, when someone lacks skills that they must steal from others, shame shame, beautiful work you do, its good to have friends, thats how i found out my paintings had been stolen too, my blogging friends told me!

  21. Anonymous says:

    oh wow, they look great, perfect when the sun wakes you up in the morning!

  22. Manldy says:

    I am may be in the market for a new sewing machine. Is there one you could recommend that wouldn’t break my budget?

    1. Janie says:

      I bought a nice little Singer from Wal Mart for under $100.00. It has been thru 1 wedding, (bridesmaids dresses) my grandaughter clothes and pillows and I will be using it for my daughters wedding coming up in Oct. It was a great purchase, nothing fancy but nice and did the job. Think I got my moneys worth already !!

  23. Alicia says:

    Wow! Thank you.

  24. Ashley Z. says:

    Thank you so much! We are in the process of buying a house and this is exactly what I intended to do:-)

  25. jenleahlynn says:

    my daughter was just telling me she wanted something more girly in her room instead of the beige tweed blackouts we have now, didn’t know you could buy the blackout fabric to line the fabric of your choice…

  26. Hennahands says:

    Black out curtains for my son’s room is what started my sewing obsession. Since I couldn’t find them in the size I needed, I bought some material, a cheap sewing machine and got to work. They were really wonky but did the job. Now I sew way better and am excited to add these to curtains in my room.

  27. Jan says:

    I am in the process of making Bedroom curtains and was worried my room would not be dark enough. This is perfect and perfect timing. Thank You

  28. DaCraftyLady says:

    For bright days these are wonderful, we have mini blinds in our bedroom, but in my den I would like to add these…thanks for the easy to follow tutorial… didn’t know IKea sold fabric??? ~~Debb

  29. ira lee henson says:

    so simple and the fabric is probably pretty cheap in comparison to store bought black out curtains. and i LOVE the print on the curtains! i guess its a good thing i live so far from an ikea!!!

  30. debbie says:

    perfect timing,, I made drop cloth curtains for my bedroom last weekend and despearately need the blackout lining on them.. I had no idea you could buy it by the yard. Thanks

  31. Claire Harper says:

    This is perfect!! We just moved into a new apt and the sun wakes us up every morning. The blackout curtains from the store are SO expensive. This is probably a dumb question…but how would I figure how many yards I need?

  32. HLM Interior Design says:

    This is a great project! I put blackout curtains in my daughters room and she sleeps so much better. Also blackout curtains can save you money on heating & cooling costs. By the way, I love the curtain fabrics from Ikea.

  33. Ashley says:

    Awesome,simple and cute! That says it all!

  34. AndreaR says:

    I LOVE this tutorial! Thank you so much for posting!! We have been looking EVERYWHERE for curtains we like, but the styles that come already as a “blackout” curtain are really plain and UGLY. Now I can confidently tell my husband that I can make my own!!!

  35. Melissa says:

    Thank you! I didn’t know you could by that fabric. I have more projects in mind now!

  36. Jenny says:

    I have what I need for my daughter’s but was wondering about the sewing machine needle? What kind do I use? One for denim?

    1. Anonymous says:

      I just started using blackout fabric for curtains. I use a needle for mid-weight fabrics but was told that a new sharp needle was the most important thing. It has made a big difference.

    2. Kathleen says:

      I just started using blackout fabric for curtains. I use a needle for mid-weight fabrics but was told that a new sharp needle was the most important thing. It has made a big difference.

  37. Melanie says:

    I had to do this a few weeks ago in my sewing room… I loved the soft white light through my unlined curtains, but when you are a western facing window in an Arizona summer… it was getting soooo hot in there. The liner cuts out light, yes, but also heat!

  38. Bailey C says:

    This could not have come at a better time. Decided on Saturday I’m going to be making my own curtains for my bonus room I just painted. I discovered I had the perfect fabric in my stash to match the room, only I have 1/2 yard and need to find 5 yards. I asked for some pointers on facebook about easy ways to make curtains and this technique was suggested…your explanation/instruction is great!

  39. Rachael says:

    Ahhh – if only this had been posted a month ago! Oh well. I’ll have a different house that needs different window treatments someday though, so I’m still pinning it. :)

  40. m @ random musings says:

    I made my first curtains with blackout liner last year and will not settle for anything less. An absolute must for any household with migraine-sufferers.

  41. Jenni says:

    I wish I knew that they sold drapery lining at JoAnns!!! I just made curtains and bought plain white cotton to line them, hoping another layer of material would help with the darkening affect! Oh well. I still have to make curtains for my daughter’s room, and I’m definitely going to find this liner material. THANK YOU so much for sharing this!

    1. Becca says:

      I made lined curtains for my daughters apartment and then we realized how much light came in her window. So I went back and added blackout liner to the curtain. Not hard to do and was worth the extra effort.

  42. Kristin says:

    I love this idea! We have silly little fabric curtains in our room and we are getting ready to cut down a tree and will have more sun than we’d like in the morning.

  43. Meagan Briggs says:

    THANK YOU!!!! I ordered black out liner over the weekend and I was planning on making the curtains this week. Seriously, you were inspired for me. I just know it! YAY! I am thrilled because this looks MUCH easier than what I was thinking I had to do!

  44. Rachel says:

    I did this in my sons’ room, but after about a year the blackout fabric started to curl on me and won’t lay flat anymore. I’m trying to find a solution for it . . .

    1. Gretchen says:

      Rachel, try drapery weights. They’re usually small, purchased at a fabric store and can be sewn or lightly tacked with thread onto the corners/bottom of the drapes. The weight keeps them from curling up.

    2. Rachel says:

      Thanks! I’ll try that.

    3. Becca says:

      You may also be able to use sinkers (found at Wal-Mart in the fishing section). Not sure which is cheaper. :)

    4. Teresa says:

      My grandma used to just sew pennies into the bottom hem of her curtains to give them the needed weight to keep from curling.

  45. Carole says:

    The only drawback I see to this is when you want to launder the curtains. You don’t want to have to rip the seam and resew it. What about curtain rings with clips? Lay out everything the same way as you show but clip the rings onto the curtain and the liner? I wonder, could a heavy white shower liner work the same?? I’d think it would be cheaper. Great idea though; one I’ll pass along!

    1. Laura G says:

      I did a similar project but used a dark brown flat sheet to line existing curtains. It was cheap, doesn’t show during the day,and is as effective as a black out liner. No problems washing or ironing that way.

    2. Karyn says:

      Great idea!!!
      Plus cheaper than the blackout curtain liners!
      Thank you

    3. denise says:

      If the sun shines really brightly,the sheet does not work.I made to seperat curtains and hung them.Bty black out material can be washed and dried. Cuts way down on ac bills also.

    4. Lauren says:

      I added a blackout curtain to a tension rod behind the curtains in my daughter’s room. Obviously wouldn’t work for larger windows but it worked for her smaller one. It keeps a lot of heat out too!

  46. Emily says:

    What a fun print for curtains! I sewed some on my curtains pretty similar to this after your first post about making curtains. :) (my curtains were lined so I just sewed the liner to the outside of the existing lining (no stitches show through on the exterior).

  47. Lyndi says:

    Perfect! I have been needing to make these for my baby’s room! This tutorial will make it so much easier. Thank you!

  48. Patrice says:

    Hey! Thanks so much for this! We have blackout curtains in our bedroom that are soooo early ’90s (light blue) and I need to make some new ones. Didn’t know really where to start. Now I have a starting point! :)

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