The MacGyver Files: Matchstick Blinds

One of the greatest challenges of living in a rented space is finding ways to customize it without sacrificing your all-important security deposit. How to hang that great framed print without gouging the drywall? How to cover up the fugly fireplace without paint? And how to create privacy without installing curtain rods or mini-blinds?
Just as television's MacGyver could save the day with a roll of duct tape, a bent paperclip, and a stick of gum, so can you solve your decorating challenges with a bit of creativity and a small set of tools.

"Matchstick" Blinds

Issue: I needed a privacy screen of some sort for a narrow louver window in my bathroom that faces onto my neighbor's balcony
Solution: Table-runner "matchstick blinds"
Materials: 1 bamboo table runner, 2 suction-cup hooks, fishing line

The window in question is only about 12 inches wide, so too narrow for store-bought blinds or shades (but definitely wide enough for my neighbors to get a free show). In addition, my über-modern rental house has concrete walls that make it almost impossible to mount hanging hardware.

I decided that something the width of a standard table runner would be about right, so found a great one (for $6.99!) made of woven bamboo sticks that would let some light in while still shading me from the neighbors.

I cut the runner in half, using the strings that wove the bamboo together to tie off the ends so that it wouldn't unravel. I looped a length of fishing line around the top stick, then hung my creation from the "ceiling" (which, as you can see, is a skylight) a few inches in front of the window to allow for opening the louvers. Bye-bye, neighbors.

Another job well done, MacGyver!
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