Asked on Feb 03, 2016

Blackout curtains behind vertical blinds

by Diane

I have two 6' patio doors, and I want to add blackout curtains to keep the sun/cold out. What is the best way to hang them, and what can I use to push the curtains back when not in use?

  52 answers
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Feb 03, 2016
    Hi Diane I would place the curtains in front of the blinds rather than behind them. You can use an extended rod that is deeper than a regular rod and that way the fixture of the blinds would be behind it. If you want the ability to open and close the curtain you can go with a panel that has large grommets or a tab top or use curtain rings to make sliding them open and closed easier
  • CK CK on Feb 03, 2016
    I'd try grommet black out curtains. They're easy to find in many colors/patterns and are easy to push to the side when you want the sunshine in...also easy to open when you want to open the patio door. TIP: Be sure to position your curtain rod to extend on both sides of the door allowing the drapes to be "stacked" back and out of the way when they don't need to be closed. This will most likely require four panels rather than two so they look full when closed.
  • Cindi Cindi on Feb 04, 2016
    I'd use a Traverse Rod, that will easily pull the curtains to one side, or you can have them open in the center, as long as the one side doesn't interfere with the door opening, and definitely put it over, not under, the blinds.
  • Donna Donna on Feb 04, 2016
    I agree with Barbara S about placing them in front of the blinds. I think it will work much better. While we are remodeling our master bath, we don't have a door between it and our bedroom. The opening is double the normal size and light from the bathroom shines directly in your eyes if you're in bed. I hung grommet black out curtains over the opening and it has worked wonderfully. I'm also thinking about attaching a small dow rod to the inside of each curtain to make it easier to pull them back.
  • Diane Diane on Feb 04, 2016
    Thank you everyone.
  • Sandy Sandy on Feb 04, 2016
    If the blinds are mt'd above the door, it will be hard to find rods that project out enough to clear and allow them to function. measure the depth of the inside door, If you have sufficient depth, you can use blk out roller shades, or, a utility hand draw raverse rod that can be retro fitted to the ceiling of the frame. It has clips to hang the drapes. Either way, stay away from grommet tops in your situation, as they have a projection of 5-7" when open, and will rub and catch when opening and closing. Go to JCPenney, and tell them what you need, bearing in mind this advice. They can help you. I work there in Windows, so I know your challenge. Also, It might be just as easy to Order separate insulated vanes and replace the ones you have. It will help. They are 6-8$ each, depending on the sales.
  • Anne Anne on Feb 04, 2016
    We had the very same issue --- cold air leaking/seeping thru sliding door. We bought a set of flannel sheets on clearance (after season clearance) and the following winter, tap nailed it to the molding around the door. It was a wonderful change. It's still cooler near the door but doesn't make the whole room very cold like it used to. Since then, I found "grommets". There are sets at Lowes and we measured out the door and took the King size flat sheet and folded the one end over to meet our door measurements. Then we put grommets in and now, with permanent small nails sticking out of the molding, we simply put it up for the season and take it down afterward and store. The nails are long enough to hang the grommet from but in far enough that they don't interfere with the blinds in off season.
  • Linda Linda on Feb 04, 2016
    I bough two room darkening rod pocket panels and mounted them on a decorative rod far enough above the door to allow it to open when the panels are pulled back. Amazing how much warmer the room is now.
  • Diane Diane on Feb 05, 2016
    Thank you Sandy.
  • Dianacirce70 Dianacirce70 on Jul 13, 2017

    I got some decent darkening Roman shades on ebay for pretty cheap. I think I paid less than $30 for two very large windows. They still give you some control over how much or how little they are open, and tend to look nicer than rolling shades.

  • Sandra Allen Sandra Allen on Jul 13, 2017

    This might seem too simple. but I use black foam board from the dollar tree. I had to tape a little bit on the top to keep all the sun out, but when you live in Alaska in the summer, you do what you can.

    This might cost you .69 per board and they are 20" by 30". Hope that helps.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Oct 23, 2017

    Fabric shop - Ask for Black out Fabric............

  • Angel Angel on Oct 23, 2017

    You could probably use some heavy duty, dark colored canvas.

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Oct 23, 2017

    Black kettle cloth with any color backing should work. Mount them on the outside of the window frames making sure you make the curtains wider than the window. Happy sleep. 😇💞

  • Gail Gail on Oct 23, 2017

    if you can sew, joann's fabric has fabric that has a rubber backing. it's bought by the yard then cut to fit. attach that to a fabric that matches the room's décor. they can be roman style, or just regular pleated style.

  • Dee Dee on Sep 06, 2015
    If you want 84 inch length that would be a 7 foot drop cloth. You need to take your width and double it to get a full curtain. So the measurements would be approximately 10x7. Use a fabric store coupon or Hobby lobby and buy black out fabric the width of the curtain you are going to make. I usually just put an extra rod in the window and hem the black out fabric on one end. It is very durable and you can just cut it to fit. I make rods using electrical conduit which cost about $3. If you find the right size drop cloth you can use clips or hem the top over and use a rod. You could also buy grommets and do it that way.
    • Patti Patti on Sep 07, 2015
      @Dee Great suggestions which I so appreciate! Never thought of tablecloths, tho I like the color and texture of dropcloth for this project. I will keep that in mind for other rooms :)
  • Dee Dee on Sep 06, 2015
    Try JoAnn's Fabric shop. They should have the information in their drapery department on how much blackout fabric you need and how to sew them. Once you know this you will find out how much drop cloth fabric you need. Try Harbor Freight for painters drop cloths, or some other painters supply store.
    • Patti Patti on Sep 07, 2015
      @Dee Thanks! I don't know why I didn't think of that!
  • Mam1717232 Mam1717232 on Jul 06, 2018

    you can have double rod, or use Velcro on window trim and black out material.they make curtains with black out just hang and open.

    • Jami Wyckoff Jami Wyckoff on Jul 06, 2018

      I do have blackout curtains they don't do anything sadly :( so I'm going to make these to go behind them right up against the window hopefully with no damage :)

  • Millie Millie on Jul 06, 2018

    Have you looked a spring rods? they come in larger diameters to hold heavier curtains and can be put up in a flash. Amazon has them and probably wal mart as well.

    comment photo
    • Jami Wyckoff Jami Wyckoff on Jul 06, 2018

      That is a good idea. I do already have the Blackout curtains and they don't do anything so I'm making these to against the window. When I get home I'll look and see if this is possible)!!!

  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Jul 06, 2018

    If cost is a problem, large drapes, even black out curtains are available at local thrift shops. As your windows are so large you really have to install adequate rods. You cannot Velcro curtains / draperies to hold them up. Another idea is very simple room darkening window shades. They back out a lot of light. By them at a discount store and they are pretty inexpensive. More expensive at a home store.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 06, 2018

    I would get a tension rod to fit as far back into the window as you don't want to hang them on the outside as the light will leak from the edges unless you cut them with at least a 6" past the window frame all the way around. You can use a cafe curtain rod to hang your homemade ones.

    or you could just order some cause your window size is not that large....

    There are more on this page...

  • Oliva Oliva on Jul 06, 2018

    There are different grades of blackout material available at better fabric stores. You can see this in person, at JoAnn Fabric, or better. Place the heavier weight grade fabric behind your top fabric (linen cotton blend or heavier poly blend, and sew them together, placing rings with hooks at top. Use a plain, 1/2" rod that "turns" around corners of window, and pin edges to wall, if needed. Voila... Instant dark! Drapery rod must be hung minimum of 4" beyond each side of window, and minimum 4" above window, to be most effective. Allow overlap of fabric at center, as well.

  • Pegg Macko Pegg Macko on Nov 21, 2017

    I purchased the black out lining from the fabric store and velcroed it to curtain panels that I already had hanging. That way if I want to wash the curtains I can take the black out lining off and put it back on. It was easy. Just measure, cut, and put it on.

  • Put some window tint on the window. There's decorative cling film type products out there too. My neighbor has a light that beams right on our bedroom window, i put up black out curtains and had the same problem, i was really dangerously close to putting cardboard or aluminum foil on the window when I ran across it. They have it at Lowes and home depot.

  • This blog post is super easy to follow and has a great source list. Hope this helps!

    Lauren - The Little Lake Cottage

  • Tuula - Color Me Thrifty Tuula - Color Me Thrifty on Aug 28, 2019

    You might find the tutorial here helpful.

    Tuula, Color Me Thrifty

  • on Sep 14, 2018

    You can buy special fabric glue! You can attach the blackout fabric with that as a no sew option. :)

  • Gk Gk on Sep 14, 2018

    You can use iron on hem tape. Keep in mind that if you wash the curtains a lot it may not hold up to repeated washing.

  • How about good old fashioned stitch witchery? Then you just hang your rod and use curtain clips.

    There is a new no sew option that I saw recently but have not looked into it yet.

  • Within the Grove Within the Grove on Sep 14, 2018

    You can use an iron on adhesive tape that fuses fabric pieces together. I used it in this post:

    Although this is a post about creating no sew pillows, it shows you how to use and apply the adhesive tape.

  • DesertRose DesertRose on Sep 14, 2018

    They make peel and stick velcro now, or you could use fabric glue, or iron in some fabric firmer that attaches when it is ironed (fold over an edge on it and iron, it sticks to both the fold and the curtain), these are 3 ideas to consider. Hope this helps

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Jun 03, 2019

    My reasarch seems to say -buying a premaid blackout curtain liner was cheaper than buying the fabric to make one. It may depend on your size and fabric costs.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jun 05, 2019

    You use black out lining. Add to any fabric you are making your drapes out of. Sold at fabric stores along with drapery patterns. Have fun.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 05, 2019

    Here are several Hometalk projects on the subject:

  • 17335038 17335038 on Jun 06, 2019

    Black-out drapery lining is special lining that has a black insulating layer 'sandwiched' between two layers- a back and a front. The side that shows is usually white although it is also available in silver/grey.

    Black-out fabric can be used with different styles of curtains, attached, or as a separate panel.

    comment photo
  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Feb 03, 2022

    Blackout curtains are fairly inexpensive these days. Walmart and Target both have a good selection.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Mar 31, 2022

    Either place rod in the front of them or simply remove those blinds and replace them with roll outs that are more current

  • I've lined roman shades using a dark fabric. You could do the same with ring clip panels. Use a no sew tape and place them in front of the blinds.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Apr 30, 2022

    You may want to put a stitch every few inches to make sure it doesn't move around or velcro inside the cover. I've had issues with those.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on May 04, 2022

    Lots of posts here on hanging curtains. | Hometalk

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Jul 05, 2022

    You can use something like this on the sides to hold the curtains back when not in use.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 18, 2022

    Have grommet heavy lined curtains amazon has a great selection of lined black out curtains.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jul 30, 2022

    Blackout curtain closest to the window. Use any form of tie or usual curtain hold back that you find suitable. Rope even on to a hook.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Dec 31, 2022

    Use Poles or Wires and attach to above or the doors themselves. Push back with pole or hand and store with Tie or curtain tieback or metal hold back.

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 23, 2023

    We found some long rods at Lowes for less then $10 for a 2 pack.

  • Deb K Deb K on Oct 09, 2023

    Hi Diane, hope this helps. You can get a curved curtain rod and hang the blackout curtains in front rather than behind, they can be opened and out of the way.

    Or you can buy some blackout roller blinds that can fit behind the verticals, but you would need to open them to operate the roller blinds

  • Blindsindubai123 Blindsindubai123 on May 03, 2024

    Blackout curtains behind vertical blinds can be a great solution for maximizing light control and privacy in your Dubai home. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons, along with some installation tips:


    • Enhanced Light Blocking: Vertical blinds, while offering some light control, may not completely block out harsh sunlight. Blackout curtains behind them create an extra layer of darkness, perfect for bedrooms or media rooms.
    • Improved Privacy: Blackout curtains add an extra barrier to outside visibility, ensuring complete privacy when needed.
    • Increased Insulation: Blackout curtains act as an additional thermal layer, helping to keep your home cooler in the hot Dubai climate.


    • Bulk and Stacking: Adding curtains behind blinds can create a bulky look, especially when the curtains are stacked open. Consider choosing a sleek curtain rod and lightweight blackout curtains to minimize this effect.
    • Operation of Blinds: Ensure the curtain rod placement allows for full operation of the vertical blinds. You might need to install the rod further away from the window or choose a space-saving curtain rod design.
    • Overall Style: Blackout curtains can create a more traditional look compared to vertical blinds. Consider if this combination complements your existing décor.

    Installation Tips:

    1. Measure Twice, Cut Once: Measure the width and height of the window area where you want the curtains to hang.
    2. Choose the Right Hardware: Select a curtain rod that can support the weight of the blackout curtains and is strong enough to extend past the vertical blinds for proper clearance. Consider a double curtain rod system if you also want to hang sheer curtains in front of the vertical blinds.
    3. Mounting the Rod: Mount the curtain rod on the wall above the window, ensuring it's level and clear of the vertical blind headrail. Use appropriate wall anchors for secure installation, especially if your walls are drywall.
    4. Hanging the Curtains: Hang your blackout curtains on the installed rod using curtain rings or clips. Opt for blackout curtains with grommets for a more polished look and easier hanging.

    Alternatives to Consider:

    • Blackout Vertical Blinds: Some manufacturers offer blackout vertical blinds that combine light-blocking fabric with the functionality of vertical blinds. This eliminates the need for additional curtains.
    • Double Roller Blinds: A double roller blind system combines a blackout roller blind with a sunscreen or sheer roller blind. This allows for complete light control and privacy while offering the option for diffused light during the day.

    By weighing the pros and cons and considering the installation tips, you can decide if blackout curtains behind vertical blinds are the right solution for your Dubai home. If you prioritize complete darkness and privacy, this combination can be highly effective. However, if aesthetics and ease of operation are your primary concerns, explore alternative options like blackout vertical blinds or double roller blinds.

    comment photo
  • Betsy Betsy on May 04, 2024

    Hi Diane: Have you considered putting the curtains over the blinds? You can use traverse rods and push them back when not in use.