Outside mount bamboo shades

Hello hello! I’m back today to share a quick DIY project and a couple new tools I’ve started using lately. It’s been Christmas decor 24/7 around here and I gotta be honest, it was great to get something off the DIY list and use a tool for a change. (Insert tool man (woman?) grunt here.)

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.

And it’s soooo fashionable too, be sure to let all the cool people see you in it:

That’s my attempt at a tough face. Failing.

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

The True Value folks sent me one to try out earlier this year and I have thoroughly enjoyed using it. It is SO much easer 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:


Master Mechanic is the brand name for True Value and I have at least three tools from this line and love them all. Really pleased. The only thing is I wish this screwdriver was magnetic so the screws stuck on it on like my drill.

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?


I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.