Easily Install Blackout Curtains Over Blinds for a Restful Oasis

Do you crave a darker, more peaceful sleep sanctuary? The bright morning light bursting through the blinds can make it impossible to sleep in or feel fully rested. While blinds may offer privacy, light still peeks through the slats. Adding thick, opaque blackout curtains over your blinds blocks irritating beams for soothing, uninterrupted sleep.

Blackout curtains not only prevent light but also buffer sound and provide insulation. Feel like you are sleeping in a cozy, quiet cave even with the morning commotion outside. Transforming your space into a cave-like oasis is easier than ever with the right blackout curtains and installation method to suit your needs.

Assessing Your Window for Blackout Curtain Compatibility

Will blackout curtains complement your existing window blinds? While most households can accommodate light blocking curtains, always assess your unique space first.

Measure Available Space Around Blinds

Using a tape measure, note the existing space surrounding your mounted blinds. Measure the depth from the front of the blinds to the wall, as well as the height from the ceiling to the top of the blinds. Compare these measurements against the dimensions of blackout curtains you are considering to ensure a proper overlay.

Check for Window Sill Overhang or Protrusions

Determine if any architectural details may get in the way of installing eclipse curtains. Do you have a wide window sill or protruding trim that blackout drapes would sit on? Measure these items too. Usually, having at least 1-3 inches of clearance between the sill and the top of the blinds works well.

how to install blackout curtains over blinds

Consider Window Depth and Curtain Depth

Measure the total window frame depth as well – from front to back when closed. Compare your window depth to the chosen blackout curtains’ hem depth. The curtains should be equal or slightly deeper than the frame depth for full coverage. Deeper pleat depths help the opacity lining better stretch across the window too.

Choosing Your Preferred Installation Method

Once assessed for compatibility, decide on an installation plan. Will you securely drill brackets into the wall around your window or use gentle suction cups?

Drilling Into The Wall

For a classic look, drilling into the walls on either side of your window allows installing a tension rod or standard curtain brackets. This provides a super sturdy base for the weight of thick blackout drapes. It also allows easily sliding curtains open or removing them. Just take care to expertly mark drill points in line with your blinds.

No-Drill Suction Cups

For rental spaces or quick installations, opt for heavy duty suction cups. These attach a lightweight blackout curtain rod directly to the window surface itself rather than drilling anchors in. Use on non-textured windows for the best seal.

While easier to install, evaluate window size and curtain weight limits first. Sheer or light-filtering curtains are best for this no-damage approach. Follow manufacturer weight limits to prevent falling rods.

Necessary Materials and Tools To Gather

Now equipped with window measurements, add suitable blackout curtains and supporting hardware into your online cart or tuck under arm at the store. Ensure your shade dimensions fall within recommended sizes. Here are other essential install supplies:

  • Blackout curtain panels (with or without attached backing)
  • Curtain rod (tension rod or standard pole based on install type)
  • Suction cup grippers if using no-drill hanger method
  • Screws and drywall anchors
  • Power drill with drill bits
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • 4-foot Level

Step-By-Step Process for Installation

Installation will vary slightly depending on your approach, but here is an overview of the full process from start to finish. Refer to specifics below for your chosen install method.

Measuring and Marking Mounting Points

First, decide on your preferred height to mount the blackout hardware. Consider the height of your blinds and window as a guide. Use your level and measuring tape to make a perfectly straight, level line across your marked height points.

Space bracket screw points evenly along this guide line. For outside mounted tension rods, place points equal distance in from the window frame. Mark with pencil so brackets align when screwed in place.

Mounting Brackets and Rod

Now drill guide holes using appropriately sized drill bits for anchors, screws, and wall material type. Gently hammer anchors into the guide holes before carefully screwing brackets into place. For drywall, use hollow wall anchors able to hold around 50 pounds.

After securely installing all brackets, place the tension rod through them. Rotate to lower/raise rod until it aligns evenly with pencil marks according to your measurements. For decorative rods, slide pole through brackets now.

Ensure rod feels snuggly secure in brackets yet still able to slide back and forth as needed. Troubleshoot any crookedness using your level and repeating steps as necessary.

Hanging Blackout Curtain Panels

Mounted rods usually have small sliding clips to neatly hold curtain panels in place. Starting at one end of the rod, feed the blackout curtain header onto the rail by sliding clips along fabric edge. Space clips evenly every 6-8 inches for stability.

For rod pocket headers, slide the rod directly through the top pocket hem. Align outermost edges of panels with ends of rods for optimal wrapping. Ensure panels hang evenly across rod length. Follow specific directions based on your unique header type and design.

Perfecting the Hang

Now assess your hanging curtains. Do they appear even across the length of rod with seams stacked? Any visible gaps letting light sneak in on sides? Do edges graze floor evenly for maximum light blockage potential?

If needed, gently adjust length and panel placement to remedy issues. For floor puddling, raise rod height. Overly long side edges can tuck behind blinds if compatible. Ensure smooth, consistent draping for successful install.

Ongoing Use and Maintenance

Handle freshly installed radiant barriers with care. Lightly vacuum using low suction when dusty. For visible stains or marks, refer to fabric care labeling for specifics:

  • Verify washing machine or dryer safety
  • Handwash gently in cold water
  • Know heat tolerances for drying
  • Assess if bleach is admissible

Take caution with hooks when laundering to prevent tearing. Air dry thoroughly before rehanging for longevity.

Achieving Total Light Blockage

Still struggling with slight exterior light beams? Try tackling tricky bleeding spots by incorporating one of more of the following:

  • Side channels or overlap: Attach coordinating side channels spanning edge to edge or consider wider curtains allowing generous overlapping in problem zones.
  • Seal tape for gaps: Use removable seal tape to bridge any gaps between window trim and panels. Help block stray rays through cracks.
  • Rearrange curtain placement: Adjust hanging positions, overlap percentages, and lengths until finding the ideal layout meeting your needs.

If you have the right curtains installed above the blinds, you can sleep in a cave. No need to stash bedding over head to block sunlight! Embrace the shadowy tranquility optimal for rejuvenating sleep and lazy weekend mornings. You might need someone to drag you out of your newfound shady oasis when it’s actually time to start the day!

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