Quick Fix Blackout shades

Our master bedroom update is finally getting closer to being finished! After painting the walls dark green and the trim white it was time to replace curtains and blinds. Brad likes to sleep late on the weekends and in the summer when he isn’t teaching and is always complaining about how bright our bedroom is. Before the update we had normal mini blinds in this room thanks to the previous owner. We added curtains but never changed the mini blinds. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money but I did want to block as much light as possible so he can get his beauty rest!

I found these shades on Amazon. The shades are meant to install quickly and can┬ácan be taken down easily with no damage to the window. The material is basically thick construction paper and they can be trimmed to fit basically any opening. I wasn’t sure how I would like the blackout shades so these shades let us see if we like them without spending a lot of money. We install a window air conditioner in our bedroom in the summer which creates another problem. The space on either side of the AC always lets light through and impossible to cover with regular shades. Since these shades are trimmed to fit any opening I will be able to cut away where the AC goes and the shades will cover each side!

How to install Quick Fix Blackout Shades!

Step One: Gather your tools

Quick Fix Shades

The tools you need are pretty simple. I grabbed a tape measure and a utility knife. The instructions that came with the shades are pretty short and easy. Make sure your knife has a nice sharp blade to make cutting the shades easier.

Step Two: Measure

Quick Fix Shades

I measured the opening of my window frame and subtracted about a 1/4″ to give the shades a little wiggle room. I left a little space on either side just in case our window wasn’t square or I didn’t cut totally straight.

Step Three: Mark the shades and cut

Quick Fix Shades

I used a marker and made a mark on the shades where I needed to cut. Double check your measurement before you cut or you might end up wasting a shade! I cut along a straight edge to get the mark started. I pulled away the extra shade as I went so I could reach where I was actually cutting. Don’t try to cut through the whole shade at one time – it won’t work! Smaller cuts will give you a cleaner line when you are finished.

Step Four: Pull back the adhesive cover

quick install shades

I did a test fit with the adhesive cover still on the shade to make sure the length was correct. Once I decided that it fit I pulled the backing off the shade to reveal the adhesive. VERY carefully mount the shade to the inside of the window jamb. We have sliding windows with a handle that sticks out so I mounted the shade as far front as I could in the jamb to get the shade past the handle.

The shades fit great within the opening. If I had cut closer to the actual opening size more light would be blocked but overall I think the shades do a good job.

Here is the before picture with no shade:

quick fix shade

The curtains we chose don’t block a lot of light and you could hardly even see them at the window.

Here is the after picture with the Quick Fix shades installed:

quick fix shades

Much better! The same lights are on in both photos. What a difference!

We have been living with these shades for a few days and overall I am happy with them. I think in the summer it will be much easier to keep the light blocked around the AC unit in the window. The shades block so much light I wasn’t sure what time it was when I woke up this weekend! The room was so dark I thought it was the middle of the night when it was actually 8am!

There is a downside to these shades – no chord to open them. They come with clips (in black to match the shades) that you can use to clip up the extra if you want to leave the shade open. I’m not sure how well this will actually work. The shades will bow in the center and the tape might come off the window jamb due to the weight. I haven’t tried this yet but I’m sure at some point I will! For $5 a window I think I can live with this!

 

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