How to make a blackout drapery liner

Updated April 17, 2017

If you have light-coloured curtains, getting a full night's sleep can be all but impossible. Between street lights and sunlight, sleeping until noon --- let alone at night --- can be a difficult task. Blackout lining is an easy and cost-effective way to block sunlight without purchasing new curtains. Not only does blackout lining traffic light from coming though your windows, it also preserves your privacy from peeping neighbours. If you are not an expert seamstress, lining your curtains can seem like an overwhelming task, but blackout lining can be added easily to premade curtains or drapes.

Take your curtains down from your window and off of the curtain rod. Measure the length and width of your curtains to determine how much fabric you will need to purchase; blackout material is usually sold in a 54-inch width, by the yard (36 inches). Figure the amount of fabric you will need before heading to the fabric store.

Purchase the blackout material. This can be found in the home decor lining section of most fabric stores and it is usually white or cream.

Using a pair of fabric scissors, trim the blackout lining an inch shorter than your curtains along the width. Measure your curtain length starting at the bottom of the metal rings, eyelets, fabric tabs or pockets the curtain rod slides through. Trim your fabric ½ inch shorter than your measurement along the length. You will not need to hem the blackout lining because it is rubber-backed and therefore does not fray.

Pin the blackout fabric to the backside of the curtain, only along the top, placing a pin every three to four inches. If your curtains have a pocket, pin the blackout material along the stitched seam of the bottom of the pocket. If your curtains have fabric tabs, pin your fabric along the top seam of your curtains, below the fabric tabs. If your curtains have metal rings or eyelets, pin your blackout material ¼ inch below where these end.

Draw a line along the back side of the blackout fabric, ¼ from the top, with a pencil and a straight edge. Cut a piece of thread about the length of your full arm span. Then thread your needle, and meet both ends of the thread. Tie a knot in the thread so it cannot be pulled through your fabric.

Starting on the back side of your fabric and moving from one end to the other, sew through both the blackout material and the curtain with stitches that are ¼ inch or smaller in length. Follow the line drawn along the blackout material all the way to the opposite edge of the fabric. Because of the weight of the blackout fabric, you might need to use the thimble to push the needle through the two layers of fabric to avoid injuring your hand. If you run out of thread, leave enough room to tie a knot in your thread and thread a new needle. Start where you left off. When you have sewn the entire width, tie a knot in your thread, and trim the excess.

Things You'll Need

  • Blackout lining fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil, pen or erasable fabric pencil
  • Multipurpose cotton in the colour of your curtains
  • Hand sewing needle size 6 or 7
  • Straight pins
  • Metal or leather thimble


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About the Author

Savannah McDermott is an instructor of English as a second language in Zafra, Spain. She has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and international studies from Indiana University. She has been writing since 2000 and has extensive experience in both academic and journalistic writing. McDermott has been published in the "Senator" and the "Indiana Daily Student," her high school and college newspapers.