Outside mount bamboo shades

December 20, 2012

If you’ve read for a while you know I’m a lover of bamboo shades. Over the years I’ve switched over from our blinds to the bamboo and I just love them. I think they offer more privacy and light filtering (depending on the kind you get), they let more light in (when you want it) and they are just pretty. :) I told you more about our bamboo shades here.

I mentioned the privacy/light thing, and there are some that are a lot more tightly weaved than others. I recently replaced a couple on our main level that weren’t as tightly woven (less privacy) so I had one of the old ones available to install in our guest room upstairs:

This window has been nekked forever and I always feel bad for our guests who sleep in here. This is easily the brightest room in our house – which I’m sure is just lovely first thing in the morning for those who sleep in here. :)

And yes, the walls are still blue, pink and purple. At least there’s a bed in here, OK?

Because this shade is 72 inches long, for our longer, main level windows, it’s way too long for the upstairs window, which is shorter. This allowed me to do one of my new favorite fixes – hang the shade outside the window instead of inside the window frame.

I gathered my tools:

hanging bamboo blinds

I did end up needing a drill too, more on that in a bit. If you install a shade inside your window frame, you probably won’t need any anchors – just screws. The framing around the window is enough for the screws to bite into.

And if you decide to do an outside mount, like this one, if you go right above the window you’ll probably catch something. Because my shade is so long, I went way up, and luckily caught a stud up near the ceiling:

hanging bamboo blinds

I used my stud finder to find out where my studs were. Just for fun, stick one on your husband and let it beep. Hilarious. ;)

Once I knew where I could safely hang the brackets (without them eventually crashing down), I marked where the holes needed to go:

hanging bamboo blinds

If you like to have extra peace of mind, you can put all four screws in. Anymore I only do two or three and they hold up fine.

You’ll want to drill in with a bit to give yourself a good start for your screw:

hanging bamboo blinds

This also helps to determine if you’ve hit a stud or not. If the bit goes right through the drywall, you’ve missed the stud and will need an anchor. If not you’ll feel the resistance of the wood as you drill.

Here’s where my first new “tool” comes in – I found this at my True Value months ago and I LOVE IT:

hanging bamboo blinds

It’s this magnetic arm band thing and you wrap it around your arm with the Velcro. This True Value has an end cap with all this “as seen on TV” stuff on it and this was there. I think it was $20? Twenty bucks of awesome, I tell you what. Especially on jobs like this, I am ALWAYS dropping screws or wing nuts or whatever. This keeps them right where I can reach them and they don’t go anywhere.

I have a thing with as seen on TV stuff by the way. I have an odd fascination with all of it. No snuggie here yet. You? :)

Next up, you’ll need to drill your brackets into the wall. For this I used my next new tool, the Master Mechanic Swift Driver Ratcheting Screwdriver (say that three times fast):

ratcheting screwdriver

This tool is SO much easier than a screwdriver people! I actually find it easier to use than a power drill sometimes – it’s hard to get control of a drill at times -- even I still have it skip out and I dent the wall with the bit. Once or ten times.

This one is a great in between the power drill and a screwdriver – you use your hand to just ratchet it so it turns the screw for you. It’s hard to explain so I took a quick video:


It made quick work of putting those brackets up:

hanging bamboo blinds

I hope you can see from this picture how the brackets are on the wall for an outside mount installation – you want the the metal part that the nut screws on to to be pointing down. Much like an inside mount, but facing out. (For an inside mount I put them sideways.)

Once the brackets are up it’s easy! Just slide your shade on them and use the wing nuts to secure them:

hanging bamboo blinds

And there you have it – a shade on the window, finally!:

hanging bamboo blinds outside mount

Here’s the thing about hanging window treatments and shades really high – I love doing it because it gives the illusion the window is taller than it is. And I wanted this one high because this particular shade is still pretty thick at the top, even when pulled all the way up. So if it’s hung inside the window frame, it blocks a fair amount of sunlight. This way it doesn’t block any.

But I find that when just drapes are hung SUPER high, like to the ceiling, and the shades (if there are any) are hung lower, it can look kind of off. Like you’re trying to make the window look bigger and you can tell. You shouldn’t be able to tell. ;)

Once I get drapes up here it will really make that window look much taller than it is and will block out even more light for my lovely guests. :)

One more thing off the HUGE to do list, it feels good! The list for just this room is a page long…2013 is the year of the guest room, I can FEEL it.

Are you a bamboo shades person like me? Inside or outside mount? Or are you loving your blinds?


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  1. Love the shades and hanging them outside and high is super. I would love to get rid of all of mine. Have a super Merry and Blessed Christmas. Hugs, Marty

  2. I remember when Snuggies came out and I said... no way, those are absolutely ridiculous.

    We now have two - a pink one for me, and a blue one for hubs, of course. And they are actually pretty awesome! haha

  3. I love it! It gives the room a little character. I'm tired of our white wood blinds, maybe I'll experiment with our guest room.

    And I'm really intrigued by that rachet screwdriver. It could be a good stocking stuffer for my hubs.

  4. I love the bamboo shades because it means I don't have to dust blinds! I've hung mine inside and outside depending on the room. I like it both ways.

  5. I love the blinds! Don't know why I never thought of hanging them outside and high just like the curtains. Great idea.
    Speaking of "seen on TV," my oldest grandson is a sucker for those ads. But the best one was when he was watching a reality show with his mom and saw a celebrity with a bowling alley in his house. He was amazed! Right there and then he decided that he wanted to save all his allowances to build a bowling alley in his own house some day.

  6. Lately I'm loving the faux wood blinds, but they are so darn expensive!

  7. Haha! I TOTALLY have a Snuggie. Leopard print. Try to calm your jealousy.
    The shade looks great. :)

  8. I have a leopard print snuggie and I love it!!! I keep mine in our van so when it's cold I can wear it w/ my seat belt on. Yes I'm an ultimate dork!! :)
    Love the idea of hanging the blinds outside the window frame! Boy do I have plans for my window treatments now :)

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this! I live in an older style home with what are now 'non standard' size windows when it comes to buying ready made blinds. I struggled for ages with the asthetic of hanging them on the wall, decided to get over it like a big girl and realised they actually look really good, especially surrounded by curtains. Now I never thought I would say this about a tool...but I love that screwdriver, must have, need it!

  10. Girl--Go get a snuggie. Don't let yourself think about how goofy the people look in them on the commercials. They rock. For reals. I lived in northern IN (north of Ft Wayne--little town Auburn) and I loved every minute in that snuggie in the long winter. I had to psych myself up to "de-snug" to leave the couch.
    Mine was an off-brand gift. Loved it!

  11. It looks fantastic! I saw a post on the Nester a few years ago about hanging shades/curtains high and out to the sides of windows. It blew my mind - it looks so much better than covering the windows up and it totally makes them look bigger!

    Also, putting the stud finder on your husband - that one had me cracking up, haha :)

  12. Just wanted to say that you make me smile :)

  13. I have woven bamboo in almost every room in my house. Most of them are outside mounted, and banded. I also lined mine, since I've never met a bamboo shade that couldn't be seen through at night, especially with lights on in the room. The worst part about that is that they give the illusion of privacy inside, but they might as well be transparent!

  14. Looks awesome! Love bamboo shades, but we have so much wood in our house already that I'm afraid it might be too much...Anyway, my little guy is obsessed with As Seen on TV stuff too. Last year he got me the Eggies now this year he's been talking about the Pajama Jeans! Please help me! Have a great Christmas!

  15. I did a lot of outside mounts in our former home cuz the windows were sorta odd sized. It was easier to just give myself the extra width of a ready-made rather than the pricey custom-sized ones I would have needed.

    LOVED that stud finder line! I've done that too :-)

    One thing to remember: Mounting high is terrrrrrific! Love it.Just make sure the length, when opened, will go all the way to the bottom of the window ;-) I had a client mount their own and then said "OH no! They don't fall all the way to the bottom of the window!" So we had to fix that! Haha!

    I too love bamboo!But our current home's style really fits more with the blinds. Oh..I also LOVE that magnetic arm band! Gotta get me one of those!

  16. I think your post may have a virus or something attached to it. I get your post by email and when I clicked to read the entire post, I was hijacked to a site that told me it was Microsoft (although its URL had nothing about microsoft in it) and it needed to 'clean my computer' because I had viruses. When I got off that page and ran my own scan, I had no viruses. Just wanted to warn you and your readers that this may happen to them and it is not legit.

  17. That arm band is a brilliant idea! I'm forever being poked with screw ends in my pockets and dropping hardware! Do you have a pic with the blinds closed? You have the same windows that I do and I really thinks this looks so much better than my 2" faux wood blinds!

  18. I am loving the outside mount. Unfortunately we had the whole downstairs and front windows fit with inside mount bamboo and they would be high-water if I tried to change them now. However I have several rooms upstairs that are lowes trim to fit as inside mount now, but have some extra length. My question is since my lowes trim to fit are trimmed to fit inside will they look to short(width wise) to mount them outside? If not I think I will at least change those. Too bad I didn't see this sooner I'd prefer the outside mount for the other windows as well, but no way we are getting them re-done.

  19. Thanks for this post - exactly what I was looking for as I'm trying out bamboo blinds in our living room. Can you tell me where you got these blinds? They're exactly what I'm looking for! (The ones I just bought are too loosely woven and lack the privacy we'd like.

    1. I believe I got this one from Lowe's years ago but they stopped carrying this brand. :( I now get them from Home Depot but they are a darker color.


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