Add to PageAsk a Question

Making a Window More Private

Category Windows
When you don't want to lose the daylight coming through your window, there are ways to retain your privacy. This page is about making a window more private.


Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

I have a west facing window I don't have to worry about blocking till July! So, in order to have some privacy, but still let the light in, I did this with some lemonade jars and flooring planks.

I had the jars and often use things like this for shelving support. This time it was "almost" perfect. I would have loved to have had longer planks, but I staggered them so each butted up against the sill, giving them a bit more stability.

Putting what you love on the shelves gives it a unique touch as it did mine.

NOTE: If you have little ones at home, you may want to leave this or a smaller version to a window you know they can't get to.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 3

With simple everyday items: cardboard/box, painter's tape, trash bag, scissors/box cutter, and measuring tape - you could make your own privacy screen for your window.


We have an upstairs bathroom where you can see down to other homes. Even though our home is up higher, it is very uncomfortable to use that bathroom. Here is a tutorial where I made this privacy screen literally for free with items I already had at home. We still get sunlight while having privacy in your own home!

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • cardboard/box
  • pencil
  • clear trash bag
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • measuring tape
  • painter's tape
  • box cutter


  1. Measure your window and see what dimensions you'll need to make your screen.
  2. Once you measure out your dimensions you are ready to cut your box to size.
  3. Determine how thick of a border you would like around your screen. I went with 2.5" all around.
  4. Using a box cutter, cut on the line you just drew out.
  5. Decorate the screen, I just used a double layer of painter's tape (green). You could paint, glue on decorations, or however you would like.
  6. Flip screen over. You will lay trash bag over and cut to size. Secure trash bag with some tape. Note: I like how my trash bag has texture, makes it look nicer against the window.
  7. Screen is ready to go against window! Mine fit right on, but may vary depending on your window (some adjustments may be needed) or you may need a little tape to stick on.
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1

Frosted privacy window film is fairly inexpensive. This film is ideal if you are living in a rental home, do not want to damage the windows or close the curtains.


With the film, you are still receiving natural sunlight.

A window covered with a privacy window film.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 2

Solve a privacy issue in windows using bubble wrap. You will still get the light but the visibility is greatly reduced! You can get it at an office supply store. It comes in several sizes.

Comment Was this helpful? 2

I sleep on a day bed in the living room and while I love the trees and sky, I hate the parking lot with the cars. So, with just 3 things and about 30 minutes, I made it so not only do I not have to see them, the people down below don't get to see me.

Paint Window to Hide Parking Lot - painted window

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I am needing privacy at my downstairs apartment window, which is next door to a public recreational center. You see, since I have only 2 windows on a single side of the apartment, the idea of using draperies would make the apartment appear like a dungeon, much too dark.


And even though I have venetian blinds, I still feel unsafe, because I know for a fact that outsiders could still see images of me moving around inside and could also see inside plain as day if they came close enough to peek through the venetian drawstring holes, during the dark of night.

In other words, I want to be able to see out, but yet have the security of knowing no one could be peeking in. Any ideas other than draperies or Reynolds Wrap?

If you suggest buying something, please share with me of its availability.
Thanking you so much in advance and sending God's blessings your way.

By Lois Jean from Brandenburg, KY


March 15, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you open the blinds the right way you will still be able to see out, but people won't be able to see in. To do this you open them so that the slats point upward inside the room. This is a trick that my late aunt taught me when I was a teen ager. Have you went outside at night and left your lights on and tried to peek throught the drawstring holes? If you see anything at all, I bet it wouldn't be enough to see if you are alone or whatever. If you still feel you need more privacy you could buy sheer curtain panels and hang them to cover the blinds, or else buy tension rods that would fit inside the window frame and hang the sheers inside the blinds. That would kind of filter the view.


I have also heard about spritzing water on the window and putting wax paper on the glass. I have also heard of doing the same with bubble wrap. The wax paper is in grocery departments in the same section as foil wrap and baggies, etc. The bubble wrap is in the stationary department at my local WalMart. You can also buy sheer curtain panels, etc. at WalMart. Before buying anything I would suggest opening your blinds the way I said and then go outside, standing quite close to the windows and see how much you see in. I would also do this at night and try looking in the drawstring holes. Do a little experimenting with how you open your blinds, you might have to make a few trips in and out to get the right degree of opening, but it does work.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 16, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

Another good idea is go to Walmart, and in the stores that have a good sized craft section, you can find rolls of 5' wide plastic ware. You can get it that looks like lace with flowers, etc.


You can't see through it but it does shine in the light. You can also get frosted contact paper in some places. You can also just soap the windows, but it will run off when the condensation hits, so try some things like redhatterb suggested. Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? 1
March 16, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

You used to be able to get window film that was coated so you can see out but people can't see in. You cut it to fit, wet your window then put the film on & rubbed it down. You should probably still be able to get it at a hardware store, but if not, then try an auto parts store.

Also, the blind trick of turning your blinds to point up does work, I've done that with mine for over 20 years now & it makes a big difference.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 16, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I suggest some heavy drapes to pull at night. No one could see through blinds and heavy drapes. In the daytime, tilt the blinds upwards. I wonder how close people come to your windows. YOu might also try cafe style curtains that can be closed across the bottom and opened across the top except for a valance. That would let a lot of light in during the day. Otherwise go to the hardware store and get some plastic that is made to reflect the sun and place it on your panes. It looks like a mirror from the outside but you can see out from the inside.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 16, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you go to the automotive department at Wal Mart, KMart or Target you can find the film that's made to be used on car windows. I use this on all my front windows because here in southeastern NC the sun pours in and really gets it baking hot in here in the summer. My home faces directly into the south sun so I have to do everything I can to keep it out. But like you, I don't like living with that dungeon feeling either.

I get the darkest film they have and apply it to my windows. Voile! I can see out clearly, but even coming close nobody can see in. My husband and I tested it and he had to come almost nose to nose with the window and me almost touching the window on the inside before he could see my silhouette.

I'll admit this film isn't cheap, but it would solve your problem for sure.

Since my problem is only in summer, I take mine down in the fall and re-apply the same film the next year.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
March 17, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I cover my windows with Wax Paper scotch taped onto the window with a one or two inch opening at the tops so that I can see outside...the wax paper stops persons from looking inside and filters the bright sun light from coming into the room allowing a light that can be seen through the was paper only.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

August 25, 2005

I have a window that I would like to have some light come through but I want some privacy as well. It is a garage window. It gets full sun so any curtains I hang up look bleached and awful after about a month. I'm thinking some kind of stained glass look or etched look. Any ideas to give privacy but lots of light? I love this website. So helpful!



August 25, 20050 found this helpful

If you go to your paint supplier and ask about a matte finish by Krylon, I think you would be happy with it. You could spray it on and leave it or....

I use it to coat the top of plexiglass before I paint so that the paint will adhere to it. Now, you could coat it with the matte finish, place a stained glass pattern on the opposite side, so you can see your pattern and then paint away. There are lots of free stained glass patterns on the web that you could use.

I let the matte finish sit for 24 hours. Then I paint/trace the black lines on the matte side of the stained glass picture, making them perfectly neat and the same size. Then I fill in with the colors I am going to use. If the painting is going outside then I use Patio Paints but if inside any acrylic paint would be fine. Since this window is in full sun, Patio Paints would be best since they do not fade in the sun like normal acrylic paints do. Once the colors are filled in then I touch up the black lines once again.

Voila, you are done and most people who look at your painting will think that you have spent a lot of money and bought a stained glass picture. (Little do they know). This project is very easy to do...I am the Jr. Gardener leader for our area and we did this with all the kids as the craft at June '05's meeting.

Good luck, let us know what you are going to do.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 26, 20050 found this helpful

How about white curtains? If anything, they'll look better after sunbleaching.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Wendee (Guest Post)
August 26, 20050 found this helpful

There is a"frosted" look contact paper that I put on windows that I want light through but don't need to be able to see through. It sticks really well to glass and then is easy to remove if you want a change.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Trix (Guest Post)
August 26, 20050 found this helpful

Try going to your local home decorating/hardware store and look for window products (like ones called Light Effects) that are rolls of material that you stick to your windows, giving them a stained glass effect. They usually have many options, including a frosted look, which will give you the most light coming through, or you can opt for a stained glass pattern if you wnat soemthing more decorative.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Answers

I live in a 1st floor apartment with windows an 3 sides of my living room. I would like to be able to sit on my couch at night watching TV or reading and still be able to glance out the window, but not have people walking by on the street able to see in. I also would like to be able to leave the bedroom blind open at night and not feel people are "peeping". What type of product do I need to be able to see out, but will keep people from seeing in? Something that is removable and leaves no stickiness, preferably.

By gayle from Rochester, NY

Read More Answers

September 2, 2016

You can create a sense of privacy without adding shades or curtains to a window. Get a frosted glass look using contact paper. It is an inexpensive way to create a privacy window in a bathroom or any other window you would like some privacy but not loss of light.

contact paper shapes being applied to small window

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? 2

October 1, 2019

If curtains that won't stayed closed or breezes that cause them to flutter open bothers you, try using a clothespin or a clip of any sort to keep them closed.

A woman closing curtains in a large window.

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 5, 2009

We just bought a new home and I would like to cover the windows by my front door. They are 7 1/2 inches by 34 1/2 inches. I just don't like people looking in my house especially if it is someone I am trying to avoid, like annoying relatives.



Ideas for Covering Windows

They make a window type cling that looks like stained glass. It comes in great artistic designs. You can find it at most home improvement stores and craft stores. The product lets light in, but keeps noisy neighbors and relatives out. :) (12/18/2008)

By xoxo13

Ideas for Covering Windows

My mom went one step further and made stained glass windows to fit. Very classy looking and added to the value.
She does all kinds of crafts. (12/20/2008)

By karen

Ideas for Covering Windows

I once had windows like this on each side of my front door. I put a short rod at the top and at the bottom of the widow and put up a sheer curtain with pockets on each end on it. The light could still come in, but nobody could see through it. Since I used a sheer very close to the color of the walls, it was very unobtrusive. Hope this helps. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! (12/21/2008)

By Pat Giles

Ideas for Covering Windows

Had windows like that. There is an self stick for bathrooms that let light in but can't see through you can apply. Also for one of the windows I used rigid insulation cut to fit the opening and covered with fabric. Looked good and helped with heating/cooling. (12/21/2008)

By Dakota

Ideas for Covering Windows

Good ideas, all! I especially want to avoid people after dark, as I am a property manager who lives on site. They make a wonderful plastic you can't see through that has lace effects in it. You can get it at Walmart in the craft area, on rolls 5 foot wide. You pay $3.98 per yard, so it's really cheap.

Or, if you have craft paint, you can simply dab some paint on the windows like a sponge effect. It comes off when washed, so it's not permenent. You can also get stained glass paint, and have some fun there, too. (12/21/2008)

By Sandi/Poor But Proud

Ideas for Covering Windows

When my kids were small, we lived in a basement apartment. To protect our privacy, I would put colored paper or inexpensive wrap over their window to block the bright light and give a nice glow to the room.

Good luck. (12/21/2008)

By Awana Reese

Ideas for Covering Windows

I've used the window treatment that clings to windows, too, and it's awesome! I chose a plain off-white opaque so the sunlight would still shine in brightly and didn't even have to close my curtains at night if I didn't want to ;-) Actually, I am considering putting it on my apartment kitchen window cause I get tired of having to have the blinds closed so that nosy neighbors aren't constantly peeking in as they walk by ;-)

Practice on a small window or glassed photo frame first !!! The only tools you'll need are an X-acto knife or razor blade and a squeegee :-) Oh, and if you decide you don't like it, it's easily removed :-) (12/21/2008)

By Deeli

Ideas for Covering Windows

This is for TedsMOM, I really want curtains but can't find rods to fit 7 1/2 inch windows. (12/21/2008)

By Mary

Ideas for Covering Windows

I use that space to post notices to anyone who comes to the door. One is "Please leave packages at this door." Another one is "Dog in training" - sorta permanently, she likes to rush up barking and scare people. And there's also "I (heart) Jesus". Good for you for thinking about security. (12/22/2008)

By Kim Churchman

Ideas for Covering Windows

I'm like you. I hate people looking in! (of course I live in a trailer will lots of unsavory neighbors all around me!) Anyway, If it were me and I had the money I'd buy some of that Mirror-Tinted window film they sell at Home Depots. This window film also makes your windows more efficient when it comes to using power, especially in the summer by reflecting harsh light. So it will pay for itself in the long run! It's a bit pricey, about $20 or so per window.

A second idea that you could hang up with (or without) your window film is a set of mini-blinds. As far as window treatments go, mini blinds are some of the least expensive! and the best part is, you can open them to let in light, and if they are at the right angle, people still can NOT see in (even when they're open!). They come in 2 types; slightly transparent for light to enter or totally opaque, and the opaque ones cost a bit more. There are 3 other kinds of blinds you can buy "Verosol" blinds which are pleated blinds that open from the bottom or top and unlike mini-blinds, these you don't need to dust. They dust themselves each time you open them.

For more insulation, you can spend more and get the honeycomb type of pleated shade. But as I said in the beginning, of all of these, mini blinds cost the least with the exception of "Roller Blinds" Roller blinds roll themselves up (they're the old fashioned kind). These come in 3 types of thickness. Some you can not see through at all,and some you can see through just a little. You can also hang curtains in front of blinds for more privacy. In one or 2 layers, read below:

For even more privacy, over the blinds and/or the window film, you can add draperies. You can first put a layer of shear or lace draperies, then over those you can hang a double curtain rod and put thicker draperies. If you had a sheer set, then you can open up the thick set and have the sheer set not open. The sheer ones will stop people for being able to see in during the day (but not the night) and also let light in.

Drapes usually cost more than blinds, but pay for themselves eventually in energy efficacy. You'll use less power with them if they are thick enough and If you know someone who sews, they are fairly cheap to make if you get the fabric on sale. Of course in a pinch, you can always use a sheet or blankets and several thumb tacks for temporary curtains! The best (and most costly) curtains are "Blackout" curtains. They let no light in, and no one can see in either.

As a cheap temporary measure you can do what I did. On some of my windows, I simply went to the dollar store and bought plastic shower curtains (or shower curtain liners) that matched the color of the outside of my mobile home, then I cut them to the size of my windows with a box knife or scissors. You'll need no tape to stick them up because the moisture on the windows this time of year will hold them to the windows. They will block out your neighbors and most of your light. After the shower curtains, (inside my window sills) I hung rigid Styrofoam insulation and now my craft room is SUPER insulated!

To hang curtains,especially for easy or temporary duty, you can buy "spring rods" these telescope in and out and will fit most window-wells with no hardware at all needed. They just fit inside the windows with springs. They come in many sizes that adjust bigger and smaller and they are super-cheap! You can find them at Walmart, Home Depot, and many other stores!

* Our front door is made of metal, so we used magnets to hang a piece of fabric over the window. You can buy smaller curtain rods that are made to go above and below the window on doors. You hang a curtain in between the 2 small rods. They have screw-on or magnetic rods. You can also hang pleated shades that are opaque. I think people can still look in with the Window film (if they are close up) unless you buy the kind that looks like a stained glass window. Why not make your own "stained glass window" with permanent markers on plastic film, you can put tin foil behind it for added beauty and privacy!

For any questions about window treatments and privacy, write me here on ThriftyFun.

By Cyinda

Ideas for Covering Windows

As far as finding rods to fit a 71/2" window, you won't find one. But here's an idea. You could get a wooden dowel, cut it to fit less maybe 1/2 - 1/2". Then take an inexpensive tension rod, take the rubber ends off and put them on the dowel. Then push it into the space. The rubber should keep it in place. If not, then you could put attach small plastic container lid to the wall on either side and that would definitely keep the rubber ends from sliding off. You can find tiny containers at Wal Mart or the dollar stores, and a lot of them are clear so wouldn't show much either.

Personally though? I'd stick with the peel and stick stuff! It comes in so many pretty patterns now and you can do so much with it!

Another idea would be the window darkening peel and stick stuff they sell to go on car windows. Then you'd still be able to see out but people couldn't see in. I use this on my house windows during the summer, then take it off for winter and reuse it the next year. I buy mine at Wal Mart. It's much cheaper than getting it at Home Depot. (09/23/2009)

By Cricket

Ideas for Covering Windows

Hey, Cyinda! Where is she supposed to find mini blinds or shades only 7andfrac;" wide? You had some fine ideas, but the lady has extremely narrow windows that she's asking about. Shades, blinds, even drapes wouldn't be available in her widths! (09/23/2009)

By Cricket

Ideas for Covering Windows

I used wax paper on my front door, it has a small narrow window in the middle and I don't like people looking in so I cut the wax paper to the size and I doubled it so no one can see through it. I used Elmer's glue only around the edges of the glass to stick it to the window and you can not even tell. It looks just like the cling on stuff but is cheaper. I even put it on my daughter's bedroom windows, works great! (09/23/2009)

By kathy

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Home and Garden Home Improvement WindowsDecember 12, 2012
Halloween Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.

Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2019 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Generated 2019/10/06 11:30:18 in 3 secs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!