Boho Black Out Shades

7 Materials
1 Hour

I had every intention of doing this project on our master bedroom black out shades. But as luck had it, someone left an old roll of white black out shades right behind out house yesterday (I love our magical back alley!). So this project is a bit of a tester. Because so much of DIY is trial and error, I’m going to do this project on a throw away set of shades and if it goes well ill redo it on our master bedroom ones later on.

A bit of backstory now that you know about my habits of picking up other peoples discarded belongings (which some might call garbage). When we moved into our home, the previous owners left all their window dressings. I really mean dressings, it was as if the house was getting ready to go to the fanciest of balls everyday! Unclear if they were vampires, but they certainly wanted absolutely no light to enter the house at any point! I really do hope they never read this blog! They not only had black out shades on every window but they also had the heaviest ceiling to floor, wall to wall, drapes as well. We took down the drapes right away, but seeing as the house is old, and nothing was built to today’s regulation, we kept the blackout shades. We didn’t want to have to have custom sized shades made.

**They must have opened the black out shades behind the curtains for this shot of the bedroom  You really had to look past the decor to see the potential for this house!**

Fast forward a year later and I’ve had enough of these stark white shades…but still don’t want to pay for new ones. So here is how I converted my stark white basic black out shades to whimsical, soft, boho inspired window coverings. 

Remember my post from last week? Well this is where we are going to use those Natural Tea Dyed Pompoms. 

What you will need for this project: 

-       Blackout shades

-       Non bleached cheese cloth

-       Adhesive spray 

-       Fabric scissors (or any scissors)

-       Trim, I used pompoms

-       Plastic gloves

-       Hot glue gun

Firstly you’ll want to remove the shades from the wall and make sure you clean them. Nothing sticks well on a dirty surface. Once clean and dry, bring all your materials outside. You will not want to do this project inside. The spray adhesive will certainly not just land on your project and you definitely don’t want to inhale it. 

Heres what I started with

Unroll and lay your shades on the ground about 5 inches longer than they ever would be in your home- most shades are made longer than you will need them for, so no need to do this on the entire length of the shades, just on the length you will see. I did this in the back alley, but if you were doing it in your yard I would use a tarp to protect your ground/lawn. 

Spray time! This adhesive dries really fast so be prepared with everything you need. Get your gloves on (things are gonna get sticky!) and spray your shades from about 10 inches away making sure not to hold the nozzle in one place for too long, keep it moving! Once sprayed, immediately lay your cheese cloth. Start at the bottom and lightly brush out the wrinkles with your fingers. Move your way up until all the wrinkles are gone…Or most are gone! I found it dried so fast that I couldn’t make it the entire way. Once it was dry I sprayed the entire thing again and brushed out the remainder of the wrinkles until the entire thing was smooth. I then gave it a good once over spray and left it to dry. Make sure to do light layers of spray adhesive or it won’t dry properly. 

Once fully dry you’ll go ahead with fabric or very sharp scissors, and carefully trim the excess cheese cloth from the edges of your shades. You may need to spray after wards again to make sure none of your sides came up during the trimming.

Once trimmed, measure to see how much trim you’ll need and cut 2 inches longer. It’s easier to trim excess off after instead of gluing it in the exact correct position.

Take your hot glue gun and add glue to the bottom edge, 5 inches at a time. Adhering the trim as you go. Only doing 5 inches at a time will help the glue stay hot until the fabric hits it and give you enough time to get it into the perfect position. Trim the overhand once fully dried. 

Let dry completely. 

And finally hang!…Or in my case, redo the entire project on shades that we can actually hang in our home. Haha.


Yes, that's Matts hand holding it up so I can take a picture without installing the shades!


*If you decide to not use cheese cloth and instead pick a different fabric, make sure that fabric is as thin as cheese cloth. If it’s too thick, the shades will never roll up properly

*Don’t wear gloves when you’re using the hot glue gun, only when using the spray adhesive. If hot glue hits plastic gloves, it can melt the gloves to your finger and it will not feel good!

*Get creative and add as much or as little trim as you like. Or even go crazy and mix and match different patterns of trim.

*Use non bleached fabric for a warmer boho look

PS. How do you take pictures of blackout shades?! Its so dark!

If you try this project, make sure to tag us on instagram for a chance to be featured in our stories. @talldorkandmatching

Resources for this project:

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The Zaitleys
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • DJ DJ on Jun 28, 2020

    I love this! I have a question though. I once used spray adhesive on a project and it just always stayed a little tacky feeling. Did yours eventually lose that tackiness? If so, how long did it take? I'm concerned about it being a dust magnet. Thank you

  • Katie Walling Katie Walling on Jun 28, 2020

    Did you make the shelf beside the blind where your husbands hand is?

  • Kat Kat on Jul 04, 2020

    I really don’t understand what makes this a blackout shade?? What does the cheese cloth do?


Join the conversation

4 of 49 comments
  • Cati Cati on Jul 04, 2020

    Actually I’m writing to see if you have a link for the wood wall hanging with bunches of dried flowers shown in the photo. Thanks

    • The Zaitleys The Zaitleys on Jul 04, 2020

      Hey! I actually dont. Matt made the hanger for me for Christmas last year. Maybe I'll get him to do a tutorial!

  • Melinda Brown Inglesby Melinda Brown Inglesby on Jul 04, 2020

    Just an FYI- you don't have to get shades custom made for odd-sized windows, unless you have extremely long or wide windows. You can have them cut to your width at most big-box home supply stores.