When we bought our new house, all of the window coverings were cheap plastic venetian blinds. There was no covering at all on the kitchen window, but our neighbors gave us a blind that fit that window perfectly. In the bedrooms, the plastic blinds provided privacy, but did little to block light from coming into the rooms. Our son’s room is at the front of our house, and there’s a streetlight at the corner of our property that cast a good amount of light into his room all night long. A few months ago, I sewed two dark sheets together to make a double layer curtain for his room, and it works amazingly well. I spent six dollars on the sheets at the thrift store, and we found a curtain rod for three dollars – his room is now almost pitch black at night, for a total of nine dollars and about an hour spent sewing and mounting the curtain.
Our own bedroom has two windows, both of which also let in a good deal of light at night. I went looking for a solution at the thrift store a few weeks ago, and found a really neat-looking comforter that was big enough to cover both windows. I cut it in half, hemmed the cut edges, and viola – two light blocking, insulated curtains! I spent $15 on the comforter, and it took me about an hour to make the finished curtains.
Window coverings can be very expensive, but they don’t have to be. Look around for creative solutions – you might already have stuff on hand that can be made into curtains and curtain rods, and thrift stores are filled with blankets, comforters, and sheets that are much less expensive than similar amounts of fabric purchased from a craft store.