Discover How To Use The Power of Authority Marketing To Make You Money While You Adventure!

No Experience, Existing Product Or Technical Skills Are Required


We're an affiliate.
We hope you love the products/services we recommend on Just Van Life! So you know, there is the possibility we will collect a commission should you make a purchase via any of our links. This will in no way affect the purchase price. Thank you for your support, we really appreciate it!

More and more people are converting vans into their own living areas that they can sleep in. This allows them to maintain a lifestyle of adventure and exploring nature. It can be highly rewarding as well as immersive. 

It’s no wonder that so many people are creating their own homes on wheels to explore the world from. If you are in the middle of your own DIY conversion process, it could be worth considering how you want to cover your windows. 

When you need privacy, to catch up on sleep, or to block out the world for a little while, it’s essential that you have a way of doing that and blocking the light out. Not to mention, stop people nearby from watching you sleep. 

Because there are so many types of van conversions out there, it can be difficult to purchase certain products that have been mass-produced and expect them to fit your particular needs.

Make The Best Privacy Window Covers – Complete Guide

You may find yourself completing more DIY projects when it comes to making a van that works for you. That is why we would recommend making your own window covers for privacy. 

Privacy is a highly important part of everyday life that is often forgotten when you are on the road. Regardless of whether you want to meditate, have a nap, or read without people looking in, you are entitled to alone time. 

This is a complete guide into making your own privacy window covers that will allow you to recharge your mind and body in peace. 

Why Are Window Covers Better Than Curtains?

While it would be a little simpler to make curtains that are designed to fit the windows in your set-up, they will not block out as much light as window covers. This is due to the fact that curtains are normally made from more lightweight materials that haven’t been designed to block out the light. 

In addition, curtains are less likely to provide complete darkness when needed because they aren’t as fitted to the windows as window covers are. This is because they are usually hung from a rod above the window and left at that. 

Even if you fit another rod for your curtains underneath the window, you will still find that there is more light entering your van or car than there would be using window covers. While these curtains will block out more natural light and deter strangers from invading your privacy, you should consider window covers made to fit your windows. 

Curtains could be advantageous if you have less time and want something that is permanently fixed to your windows. They are lightweight and a little more simple to use when needed. However, it is hard to argue with the amount of coverage that fitted window covers provide. 

Depending on your chosen set-up, it could be fun to make your own window covers as well as fitting decorative curtains so that you can block out the sunlight and add a personal touch at the same time. 


Reflectix is the material of choice for most DIY window cover projects. Like the name suggests, it is highly reflective and stops the most light from getting into your vehicle. Unlike other materials which can be made into window covers, reflectix is both flexible and rigid when it needs to be.

This is what makes it ideal for window covers that are well-fitted to all the windows within your vehicle. 

On the other hand, there are certain qualities that limit the uses of this material. For example, reflectix isn’t as insulating as other materials. This is because it has an air gap between two panels, which is the main insulating method.

While this can be a useful feature in some instances, it is less effective at regulating the temperature of cars and vans. 

Because tires and engines can hold a great deal of heat, it is best to use reflectix for protection from the light rather than as an insulating material when you are making window covers for privacy.

It is largely unmatched when it comes to reflecting the UV and ensuring that the sleeping area of your car or van is kept private and dark when needed. 

Reflectix is also highly affordable because it is normally used in home renovation projects and other DIY tasks. You can purchase in bulk for your next project, or in smaller quantities if you are trying to save money. 

Step One: Measure And Make Templates

When you are ready to make your window covers, it is crucial that you are measuring accurately. Take the time to closely look at the shape and size of every window in your van, and write down the measurements when you are doing this.

A great motto to use during this is measure twice, cut once. This is especially relevant if you are trying to use your material sparingly. 

Once you are confident that you have accurate measurements of each window, it is time to make templates using paper or spare card from an old box.

This is a great way to check that your measurements are correct, and that everything fits correctly. Try to hold your templates against the windows and draw any lines that should be trimmed or even added in some cases. 

Using templates prevents you from wasting excess material if your supplies are slightly scarce. This is also ideal for windows that are a unique shape, such as skylights, because they are easy to trim appropriately. 

If your vehicle has a set of windows that are symmetrical, remember that you can use the same template multiple times. This can save a little time and effort during the process, which you can use to check that everything fits well with little effort. 

Step Two: Cut Material 

Once you are confident with the shape and size of your templates, it is time to mark your reflectix and cut accordingly. It is recommended that you trim the material after cutting the bulk shape.

Remember to write which window they correspond to onto the reflectix with a sharpie or marker. This won’t be visible in the finished product, but make the assembly process much easier. 

This can help you achieve a more accurate fit that provides a complete coverage of your windows. So, it’s definitely worth taking the extra time to check that you have the right amount of reflectix before moving on to the next step. 

For those who are trying to save a little money by only purchasing the material that you will use, it is also worth piecing your templates together to see how much reflectix to buy.

You could pin them onto a large piece of fabric or lay them on the ground, arranging them together so that you will use less material. Then you can measure the amount of fabric or ground covered and decide how much reflectix to buy. 

Step Three: Add Fabric

Depending on what type of finish you want to achieve, you can choose fabric that relates to this. Some people select fleece because it is a little cheaper, whereas others like the seamless look of fabric that has a slightly muted color. 

The great thing about making your own window covers is that you can use bold patterns or more subtle and darker colors to suit your preferences and taste.

It could be worth considering how much warmth the different fabrics will bring to your van’s interior, but it won’t make a huge difference in the long run. 

It is recommended that you place the reflectix panels over your sheet of fabric and draw around this using a fabric marker or chalk. Leave about 2 inches of space between the edge of the reflectix and the end of the fabric shape. This will be used to attach the two materials together, and it is useful to have a little extra. 

Depending on the finish you are looking to achieve, you could trim the fabric so that you will have multiple layers on top of each other. Another option is to add some padding such as synthetic stuffing between the reflectix and the fabric covering. This can be used for filling indents that the windows make and provide a little more insulation. 

Step Four: Connect 

Next, you can begin connecting the reflectix and fabric together. Most sewing machines don’t pair well with this combination because it is too thick to get through. We would recommend using spray adhesive rather than hot glue, because the heat from the engine and tires can cause the glue to melt and lose its adhesive properties. 

Lay the reflectix on top of the correct fabric patches that you have cut out, with the marker showing which window they correspond to facing up if possible. Then, carefully spray the fabric and the other side of the reflectix with adhesive

Carefully attach the fabric to the reflectix panel, and tuck the excess fabric onto the other side of the panel. This can be glued down for now, so that it looks a little more professional.

Make sure that you are making small cuts in the fabric around corners and edges that are a little more challenging to navigate. This helps you achieve a better fit onto the reflectix. 

Step Five: Add Pockets For Magnets

Once you are confident that the adhesive has worked and that your window covers are relatively intact, you can begin making small pockets for the magnets.

These are how the window covers will be secured onto the windows of your van or car in the right place. This means you can rest easy knowing that a breeze or even your dog won’t knock them off when you want privacy. 

You can use leftover fabric to do this, or cut small slits into the excess material on the reflectix side of the panel. Some people decide to make attachable pockets for the panels, whereas others use the material already there for a more seamless finish. Think about what type of finish you want to achieve, and act accordingly.

The most effective way to secure your window covers to your car or van is to use magnets. Small rare earth magnets can be inserted into the small gaps that you have made in the fabric attached to the reflectix. Then you can carefully add your adhesive to the fabric surrounding the magnet to seal it in place. 

It is generally recommended that you install your magnets in every corner of each panel. This can allow a good amount of stability from the window covers without worrying about driving with them in place when necessary. 

Make The Best Privacy Window Covers

(Optional) Step Six: Cover With More Fabric

If you are looking to create a more seamless look which gives the impression of something that you haven’t made yourself, it could be worth covering the reflectix side of your window cover. Using leftover fabric, or even a different color, cut to size before spraying the panel and the fabric with your adhesive. 

Then, you can carefully attach the two together and leave for a few minutes to dry, or longer according to the directions of your adhesive. Similarly, it could be useful to make another panel using another layer of reflectix as a base with this leftover fabric.

Then, attach the two together for a more structurally sound barrier against the light, noise, and weather in some cases. 

Step Seven: Enjoy!

Now is the time to test out your new window covers and check that they all fit into the correct spots within your car or van. Then, you can get a little more creative by finding new ways of storing them and marking each panel to say which window it fits. 

This could be done with a small embroidered pattern or symbol which is different for each window, or a small letter in the corner of each panel. Make sure you find something that works for you and helps keep your set-up as organized as possible. 

Enjoy fitting all of your windows with their new custom covers and appreciate the noise absorption, and light blocking as well as privacy that they provide.

There is something incredibly peaceful about blocking out the world when you want a little peace or time to yourself. Privacy is something that is often overlooked when it comes to living on the road or out of a van, so it can be incredibly valuable to achieve this by yourself. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Cardboard Instead Of Buying Reflectix?

Yes and no, cardboard can be a great alternative that is a little more affordable than reflectix if you have plenty lying around at home. It pretty much does the same thing as reflectix by keeping air pockets for some level of insulation.

However, cardboard is ultimately made out of paper. This means that it is much less likely to withstand regular use as a window panel. When you are sleeping in a vehicle of any sort, it is likely that you will wake up to condensation on the windows.

Cardboard will fall apart with regular use, so it won’t be an ideal choice for these window covers. 

Does Reflectix Keep The Heat Out?

Reflectix isn’t the best insulator when it is used in this way because it requires a certain space for air bubbles to form. This is the main way that this material acts as an insulator, so it is less effective when two panels are stuck together to make these panels.

It could, however, be worth leaving the external facing side of the window cover without fabric on so that the reflectix has a better chance of regulating the temperature in your car or van.

Another way of managing the heat could be to purchase a small portable fan or air conditioning unit that uses solar power so that you don’t have to worry about your energy use on the road as much. 

Why Should I Make Privacy Window Covers When I Can Apply Blackout Vinyl Stickers?

Because it is much easier and faster to remove these covers, and you are able to control the amount of light that is let into your van or car at any given time.

Sure, vinyl stickers can be effective for providing privacy, but they don’t block out as much natural light as window covers do. While it requires a little more effort to make these window covers, it is definitely worth doing for that extra bit of sound absorption and privacy. 

What If I Use Blackout Curtains Instead?

While these will help you sleep more soundly by blocking out more light, you will still get some patches of light coming in through the window. This is caused by incomplete coverage, ill-fitting curtains, or just slight gaps where the material isn’t in contact with the window.

Making your own window coverings puts you in charge, which means that you can decide how thick, protective, or even sound canceling you want to make your set-up. This can be something that contributes to a better night’s sleep in the future. 


Many people find it difficult to come up with ways of establishing privacy and spending time by themselves when they are living out of a van or even their car.

Window covers made from reflectix and fabric offer an ideal solution to this, and allows people to protect their mental health, rest when they need to, and even meditate if they want. 

The great thing about making your own privacy window covers is that you can use a range of materials that work for you.

Whether you want to use a different colored material for each window, or if you want to use some high quality fleece fabric so that the panels can act as insulators at the same time. There are so many possibilities to choose from, that it can be challenging to begin this project. 

Make sure you take the time to carefully measure every window in your van or car, and check that you have the right units and appropriate amounts of materials necessary.

Use the right materials for privacy, blocking natural light, insulating, and even acting as a buffer for external noise. There are no reasons why you should have to compromise your privacy when you are on the road. 

Discover How To Use The Power of Authority Marketing To Make You Money While You Adventure!

No Experience, Existing Product Or Technical Skills Are Required


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll to Top