The blinds are done! I decided to make some myself as I couldn’t find appropriate blinds with the qualities I wanted and without paying an arm and a leg.
I thought about how to attach the blinds to the windows and decided the best way to do this securely would be small earth magnets. After considering gluing them in between the carpet and the insulation I thought the better of it because they would need to be glued in very near the edge. Also, if one of them shattered, which they can do according to the reviews I read, I would have a real job replacing it without completely destroying the blind. I decided on making little pockets, closed with Velcro and sewn into the layers of carpet. To make this straightforward I used Ratchet tie down straps (24567) from Screwfix, cutting correct sized lengths off the straps, making sure I left enough so I could use them later on for something in the van. These would easily fray, though. To stop this from happening I carefully melted the edges with a lighter, which worked extremely well. I did need a few practice runs and I had to do this outside as I didn’t want to breathe in the fumes (it really stinks!). I then bought self adhesive Velcro from Hobbycraft and cut this into 1cm lengths. Even though this was a really fiddly job it worked out really well. Don’t start pinning the Velcro in place however. The glue will ruin your pins! After sewing and gluing everything together, I was really pleased with the result and they fit neatly behind the cupboards when not in use. From the outside, you can’t tell there are blinds blocking the view and obviously, you can’t see anything in the van. The tinted windows of my van just look… reaaally tinted!
After some thought and consideration I decided to make them out of black Veltrim smooth lining carpet from Kiravans and some cans of their high temperature adhesive. I was going to sandwich several layers of YBS Thermawrap general purpose insulation (9691P) in between two layers of carpet but ended up settling on two as this would be enough for fulfilling its purpose in my as yet uninsulated van. I made templates of the windows using cheap wrapping paper I bought in the local supermarket and cut the carpet accordingly using a pair of fabric scissors, which was easy to do. I cut the insulation to the same size, using the templates, and then cut off 2 cm to allow it to be sandwiched in between the carpet neatly, after gluing the edge of the carpet together.