Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Slade’s bedroom windows are located on the side of the house which receives the full afternoon sun. This means that his room is very bright and very warm. When we decided which room would be his when we moved into the new house, the location of his windows in relation to the afternoon sun was not something that crossed my mind. But it didn’t take us long to figure it out that it was going to be a problem. Like his mom, he is a very hot sleeper. My husband jokes that we both radiate heat when we sleep. So a very warm room is a problem.
First, we had 2-inch wood blinds installed throughout the house (already part of the plan when we moved in). I had hoped this would help in his room since the house only had very flimsy vinyl blinds when we moved in. But his room was still too hot and too bright.

Before curtains.
Next, I applied an extra strength window film (I believe the color was platinum) to his bedroom windows. This was in the fall, around the same time that daylight savings time ended. The window film made a huge difference with the temperature of his room and the end of daylight savings time made his room darker at bedtime.
But as we got closer to the beginning of daylight savings time and the weather began to get warmer, we realized that something else needed to be done. His room was again brighter and warmer than it should be. And Slade started having trouble with his daytime naps at home. And with longer days getting closer, and a baby with an early bedtime (between 7 and 7:30) I began to worry that the daytime napping issues would turn into going to bed issues which would turn into sleeping through the night issues. And no one wants that.
So we decided to add room darkening curtains. I will say that the hardest part of this process was actually locating the curtains that I needed. Of course, I didn’t want just any old curtains. I wanted room darkening curtains. But I also wanted them to be lime green to match his room. Apparently there is only one brand of curtains that met my requirement: Eclipse Twill Thermaweave Blackout Panels. According to the information I found on Amazon, these panels were supposed to block out 99% of outside light and reduce noise (i.e., the neighbor’s dogs). Sold.
Once I identified the ones I wanted, I was unable to find them in the correct size. Since this was for Slade’s room, I only wanted the curtains long enough to cover the windows, hoping that he won’t one day decide to climb them or pull them down. Curtains down to the floor would be way too tempting. I needed 52x63 but the only size I could find was 52x84. So I decided to get crafty. I bought iron-on hemming tape and ordered two 52x84 panels.
When I was ready to begin, I put one of the panels into the dryer with a damp towel to get any wrinkles out. While I was waiting on the dryer to do its work, I installed my curtains rods over each window. Then I measured again to be sure that I had the correct length for the curtains.
Once the panel was wrinkle free, I found a spot on my living room floor that was big enough and spread the curtain out on the floor. Then using a tape measure, I measured out the correct length of the curtain from the top of the curtain (adding two inches to my previous measurement to allow for the hem) and marked it on the curtain. After I had made several marks on the curtains (I needed a lot to help guide my cutting), I used my very sharp kitchen scissors to cut off the excess curtain along the marked lines.
Next, I cut off the appropriate length of the hemming tape to run the entire width of the curtain. Following the instructions for the hemming tape, I made the hem with the tape inside and used the iron to complete the hem. Once I got the temperature correct on the iron (very hot), this part was quite easy. Then I repeated with the second panel. Once both panels were completed, I hung them in Slade’s room. 


They aren’t perfect, but I am quite pleased with how they turned and how they look in his room. And they are definitely blackout panels. I am amazed at how dark and cool his room is even in the afternoon with the full sun on his windows.
Mission accomplished!

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