Last winter after being cold from our single pane sliding glass door and not having the money to replace it, we bought a large piece of polar fleece to cover the window. (It's an 6 X 8 Foot window, I looked online for the best deal and ordered 3 or 4 yards of 60 inch wide good quality fleece. I think it cost about $50.)
Although it is not transparent (so does give you a bit of a blocked in feeling when closed), it does an amazing job as an insulating curtain both for the summer and the winter. We noticed a big difference. You could also buy a bunch of the little lap blankets when they are on sale and use them for smaller windows or sew them together for bigger ones. The key is to have the fleece at least an inch or two bigger on the sides and top of the window. Fit it close to the window opening so no cold can get through the edges. We used push pins to hang it close to the opening.
When it is sunny, you can tie open the curtains to get some solar heat. You can hang some more decorative curtains over the fleece so it looks better. It definitely cut our gas bill during the coldest part of the winter.
If any of you have done something similar or try this, let us know.
Susan from ThriftyFun
I have the exact same sliding door with the single pane glass, only mine has this added feature: it doesn't fit tight so all the hot/cold air blows in all year long! Sometimes, in a strong wind I even get rain. I sealed up the whole thing with a clear plastic drop sheet, push pins all around the door frame holding it tight and heavy things to weigh down the bottom on the floor. Then I put up thermal lined drapes. The fleece sounds like a great idea and I might put that up under the drapes as well. I get to watch the drapes move every time the wind blows on the plastic but it has worked well. Thank goodness I live in the southernmost part of Canada. Thanks for the tip Susan!
By Joandogs (Guest Post) 10/05/2005 Flag
A friend gave me several pieces of Polar Fleece and I too made curtains for the north and west facing windows. Have replacement doouble pane windows, but found that the fleece kept rooms comfortable. Made a curtain for my Velux window-wide binding tape about 2 inched from the top and a hem on the bottom. Use tension rods to hold it up. Keeps bedroom cool in summer/10 degrees warmer in the winter than without the curtain.
By Patt (Guest Post) 10/06/2005 Flag
Try using light colored fleece so that it won't be so dark in the winter.
Also you might consider making window quilts, and use pulleys so that they can be drawn up easily.
I have been doing somthing very similar to this for a few years now. My house is an old house and it has the old windows in it. So, I always hang blankets under my curtains during the winter. We do this in all of the rooms, it really does make a difference.
That is a good idea. I went a cheaper way a few years back. I bought 2 clear shower curtaints and hooked them on the back of the drapes using the drapery hook already there. It did make a very big difference, and still let in some light. This was in a downstairs room and the drapes were made with a light weight open weave fabric because we wanted more light in the room. It worked so well I hand stiched them to the back of the drape to make it easier to laundry. I'm sure if you used the fleece and the clear shower curtian one would real save. The shower curtians were less than $2. each, so it is a good way to keep out the drafts in like college dorms, or rentals. trashcrafter in Washington state
By Phyllis (Guest Post) 02/01/2008 Flag
For inexpensive polar fleece check at the dollar stores for blankets. Also banana clips make great tie backs for any curtain and they come in so many sizes and colors.
I just read in mother earth news-you can take bubble wrap the size of your window-spray the window with water and place the bubble wrap on wet window. It'll stay put. Leave up all winter, take down in summer reuse next year.
Would some of you please post a photo of how you attached it to the window if there are no drapery hooks? Thanks! These are great ideas!
By Janean (Guest Post) 01/29/2009 Flag
I'm so glad to see your post! I have considered using fleece for making curtains, and I went online to find fleece draperies but could find none. I guess those making curtains and drapes haven't caught on yet. Sure, it does keep out the light so I had also considered using sheets of plastic with sheers. But I think the fleece seems homier. Thanks for letting us know how well it works.
We have insulated, double-pane windows in our house, but during those blustery cold winters, they still need warming up. So I grabbed my "out of season" quilted bedspread, and layed it over the existing curtain rod of our bedroom. I could immediately tell a difference. I didn't use push pins to the sides, but I am sure it would have been even better. I didn't spend a penney, just used what I had on hand. And it worked great for the hot summer days, too, as our bedroom window faces West and gets all the hottest sun. Great ideas from everyone.