what's the best way to cover my windows?
February 24, 2013 7:09 PM   Subscribe

just moved into a new apartment, yay! but the windows are bare, and i would like them to be covered. no where i've been looking carries the sizes of my windows, so i think i have to order custom blinds/shades/whatever?

need to cover windows in three rooms; my bedroom is the most time-sensitive, since it's hard to sleep with so much light! the living room can wait, and i should probably find a solution for baby's room before baby arrives...
so where's the best place to get custom window treatments without spending too much money?
there are no rods or any hardware installed i have not decided on blinds vs. shades vs. curtains.
posted by sabh to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've used these temporary paper shades before for a stopgap measure, although they really look nice enough to leave up long term. You just peel and stick them to the window frame. They can be trimmed to the correct width or overlap two if you need them wider.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 7:21 PM on February 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

you can always put up curtains. they don't need to fit exactly- they can be bigger than your window. what size are the windows? it's fairly easy to put up curtain hardware [depending on what your walls are made out of].
posted by the twistinside at 7:34 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Lowes and Home Depot will cut regular vinyl blinds to fit. Pretty cheap, depending on the size of your window. Just buy the low end blinds.
posted by fshgrl at 7:39 PM on February 24, 2013

The cheapest easiest thing is to buy these cheapo curtain rods. They expand to any size, and mount with two little pieces of hardware.

Then get some pocket curtains, and you're in business. You can customize the length with hem tape.

You might want to do double curtains with light blocking inner panels for the baby's room. They have a bonus of being washable.
posted by fontophilic at 7:40 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Generally for curtains to look full and block light, you want at least 2x as much curtain width as window and rods that are wider than the window.

I have friend who swears by the blackout rollers at ikea... Cheap & functional
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 7:40 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I love blinds.com. I am a multi-repeat user. I love their cordless shades that you can lift up from the bottom and pull down from the top. LOVE THEM!
posted by michellenoel at 7:50 PM on February 24, 2013

You can use copper plumbing pipe as cheap curtain rods and king sized sheets bought out of the clearance bin for curtains. Use hooks and/or closet rod support hardware to hold it up. You can cover the entire wall if you feel like it. It is dirt cheap compared to custom curtains. Buy clip on hooks to hold the curtains or get a rod pocket sewn by a tailor. Or be cheap and use a seam ripper to carefully open the end seam on the folded area. Voila -- built in rod pocket. But it will tend to fray when washed. It just depends how shaggy chic you want to go. If sewn by a tailor using carefully chosen sheets, this can also look very elegant.
posted by Michele in California at 9:13 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I used a KVARTAL triple rail and curtain panels from IKEA for my odd-sized extra wide living room window set. Two rails put together, opaque panels on back/mid rails, sheer ones on the front rail so I have several options for configuring them based on light/privacy needs. You cut the panels to length so you can work with just about any size window. Relatively inexpensive compared to other custom options for non-standard window sizes.
posted by mikepop at 5:52 AM on February 25, 2013

Response by poster: thanks, everyone, i'm going to look into all of these options, but i'm happy that it looks like i won't have to spend a million dollars right now!
windows sizes:
baby's room: 28.5"x55", 59"x55" and 28.5"x55"
living room: 103"x55"
bedroom: 85"x55"
posted by sabh at 6:41 AM on February 25, 2013

You can get awesome curtains at Ikea, Target and Wal-Mart. You don't need to spend a fortune.

If you're handy with a sewing machine you can whip them up yourself.

I got some pretty curtains at Target 56" wide by 84" Long for $7.21 each. (Clearance)

You'll be amazed at how cheap curtains are, and how much they add to a room.

Also you can cheat a bit on the blinds. A 28.5 can be handled by a 27" blind, there would just be .75 inches on each side, and that won't even be window, it'll be casing.

You can do as much as 1" on each side. As for length, no worries. the extra blind can sit on the sill.

Target has a cheapo blind, 27" X 66" that would be perfect.

For the wider windows, consider using two blinds (especially if there are mullions or a divider) It's cheaper, and can look just as nice.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:16 AM on February 25, 2013

I cannot sleep with light coming into a room. If my windows aren't covered, I wake up with the sun so I've gotten pretty effective at finding solutions.

Free temporary solutions that work well include cardboard and tin foil taped to the windows. Ikea/target/etc have cheap curtains and curtain rods that will work also.
posted by zug at 7:47 AM on February 25, 2013

Look for Clip On curtain rings too-- no need to rip a pocket into a sheet or anything. If the fabric is lightweight enough the clip rings will be fine.

Also consider shower curtains w/ shower curtain rings (the metal ones will look less obviously shower-y). I've done this in the past and it works surprisingly well if the windows are the right size.
posted by travertina at 8:08 AM on February 25, 2013

I've had good experiences with both blinds.com and selectblinds.com, I think some of their products are the same but prices might vary a bit depending on what promos they have going - frequent good deals and sales with free shipping, buy-X-get-1-free, etc. Free samples if you're not sure what colors/materials will look like, and the ordering process is easy as they walk you through measurements.

My favorite look is top-down bottom-up cellular blinds (not my pics but an example). You can get them with a blackout layer and they're very effective in keeping light out.
posted by illenion at 8:10 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older Please help me pick out a bike for myself   |   Keep making progress in a shrinking field, or... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.