Install These Custom-Width Blackout Window Shades From Home Depot for Less Than $100

If you’ve ever shopped for custom window shades or blinds, you know they are EXPENSIVE: hundreds or even a thousand dollars or more. Most mini blinds don’t completely block out light so they’re not ideal for bedrooms (and they make the room look like an office).

Home Depot Home Decorators Collection blackout window shades
Home Depot Home Decorators Collection blackout window shades

I found these wonderful and AFFORDABLE window shades at Home Depot! They can be cut to a custom width while you wait, or ordered online to your specifications. They don’t have a string hanging down; you simply raise and lower them by pulling on the bottom bar. They look clean and elegant!

My Problem

My bedroom is adjacent to a hallway with a skylight which is wonderful when I’m up, but shines a ton of light as soon as the sun comes up in the morning when I’m sleeping. I wanted to add some sort of blackout covering to the hallway to block this light.

The Solution

So, I made a trip to Home Depot, where I discovered their house brand, Home Decorator Collection “Cordless Cellular Shade“.

They come in several colors and styles. You can get the Light Filtering version which lets a lot of light through, Room Darkening which lets some light through, and Blackout, which is totally opaque. That is what I wanted.

The shade material is thin plastic but totally looks like cloth from the outside (and might have a cloth layer).

You can mount these shades inside your window frame or outside.

There is also a motorized version, but I opted for the version without motor.

Packaging for Home Decorators Collection shades
Packaging for Home Decorators Collection shades
Home Depot Home Decorators Collection blackout window shades

Customizing the Width

The shades come in two lengths: 48 inches and 72 inches. If the shades are longer than your window, there will be just some excess bunched up at the bottom; not the end of the world.

Getting the width exactly right, however, is super important, especially if you’re mounting them on the inside of your frame (like I did)!

If you order online, you can specify the width to the nearest 1/4 inch, which is great! If you’re mounting the shade inside your window frame, I recommend leaving 1/8″ of clearance on either side.

If you get your shades at a Home Depot store, a sales associate can cut the shade to your desired width. How does that work? They have a guillotine-like tool that slices right through the plastic and shade material. There are plastic endcaps that you snap on so you can’t tell it was ever cut! Just be sure you have your measurements right though!

Shade display at Home Depot showing cutting tool
Shade display at Home Depot showing cutting tool


My shade came with 3 metal mounting brackets. As I mentioned before, you can mount your shade inside your window frame or in front of your window. I opted for inside.

Each mounting bracket is held by two screws that go into your window frame or wall, depending on how you want to mount your shades. Now, you’ll want to test what your frame material is by driving a few thin nails. Most window openings have a metal drywall corner between 1 inch and 1.25 inches wide. You’ll want to avoid screwing into that by moving the shade back a little from the front edge of your window opening.

Home Depot Home Decorators Collection blackout window shade mounting bracket
The back side of my blackout window shade showing the mounting bracket

Luckily, most windows have a wood frame, so just past the drywall corner there should be drywall and wood behind that. I drilled a pilot hole then screwed the mounting brackets into the drywall and eventually wood. No drywall mounts were necessary!

If you mount in front of your window frame though, you may need to use drywall anchors.

The Result

These blackout shades have been a game-changer for our sleep! No more waking up at 5:30 AM on a Sunday morning! I highly recommend them! Move the slider below back and forth to see the difference (camera was set to the same exposure settings for each photo).

Home Depot Home Decorators Collection blackout window shadesHome Depot Home Decorators Collection blackout window shades
The shades are pretty much opaque! (move the slider to see the difference)

I mentioned these were affordable. Cost before tax for our Home Decorator Collection Window blackout shade was $92!!! Compare that to the cost of custom blinds or shades which can be hundreds of dollars and take weeks to build! With these shades, I got them at Home Depot and mounted them in a day!

Questions? Please leave a comment below! – Brian

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1 year ago

I just did a brief search on DIY shutters and I came across a site that sells DIY plantation shutter kits. I didn’t get pricing info because you need to enter desired specs.

1 year ago

I can think of two issues with these type of blinds right off the bat. First, you can’t discreetly look out of your window like you can with mini blinds. Second, how do you clean them?

I’ve been thinking about interior shudders as replacements for mini blinds. They will block light better, are easier to clean, and can be opened fully more easily than mini blinds. The only issue is you’d probably have to replace the window molding with level window molding since most installed molding is angled toward the window.

By the way, I don’t think whatever ad service you use is working. I haven’t seen any ads on your site and I’ve been here for about 10-15 minutes.

1 year ago
Reply to  Brian

Vacuum will remove some of the dust, but not all of it. I’ve had the same issue with aluminum blinds.

Custom-made shutters…make your own. ;-)

The issue with ads appears to only occur when I use the LibreWolf browser. I’m still not seeing ads when I use the LibreWolf browser for some reason. I do have an ad blocker (uBlock Origin), but I’ve whitelisted your site in the LibreWolf browser and I’m still not seeing ads.

1 year ago
Reply to  Brian

I wonder if it’s the enhanced tracking protection built into the browser; ref. the Privacy & Security section under Settings. On the other hand, the browser currently isn’t even listed for the last year for browser market share:

I also noticed that the ads on your developer blog are blocked as well when I use LibreWolf.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kurt
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian

Are you planning to do a blog post about your experience with Ezoic? I’d be interested to read it if you do. Ezoic was among the list of alternatives in one of the Google Adsense alternatives posts I downloaded a few months ago.