Easy How to Make a Lockdown Shade

Drills. It’s a part of classroom life. Being prepared makes teaching emergency procedures (like a lockdown drill) simplified to kinders.

Here’s the “how to” so you can easily make a lockdown shade to cover a window on any of your interior walls that don’t have one.

I’ll share why I use it, things to think about and how to pull it together fast. You can easily create one of these in less than 15 minutes.

Easy How to Make a Lockdown Shade for Your Classroom - KindergartenWorks

Here’s my creation of a pull-down shade to cover that odd-shaped window in my classroom door.

Since we have to leave our windows open all day, I need to have something ready to go for in the event of a lockdown.

In the event of a lockdown – I have to do my best to explain to kinders in short statements what I expect of them and do so with calm in my voice.

This lockdown shade helps me “go into lockdown mode”  without the fear… because it becomes simple, a routine thing and allows me to focus on the kiddos.

Things to consider

You’ll want to measure extra height some extra width to completely cover your window.

Choose a bulletin board paper that will not let a lot of light through. The brown is my favorite as you can see I use it everywhere in my classroom. It disappears {{visually}} removing any feeling of clutter.

Create an accordion fold with the paper. Be sure to check the height above your window to the top of the door (when it’s shut). This will determine how large your accordion folds can be. The less folds, the more flat your paper will be when the shade is drawn.

Get some forgiving duct tape {love the stuff} and tape the top edge down. Ensure that when it unfolds like you’d want in a lockdown, that it is high enough for your window to be fully covered, but clears the door jam when the door is shut.

Add a piece of velcro on top of the tape, or above it (if you have additional clearance) to velcro up a clothespin to hold the folds in place above the window for everyday use.

Easy How to Make a Lockdown Shade for Your Classroom - KindergartenWorks

I added a piece of duct tape to the bottom edge of my accordion-folded paper to make it easier to visually see, grab and pull down in an emergency.

Pull the paper down as you’d want in a lockdown event and measure where the velcro needs to go to hold the paper in the pulled-down position

During a drill, you just:

  • pull the clothes pin clip off
  • let the paper fall
  • clip the taped-bottom edge down using the bottom piece of velcro (to attach the clip to the door so the paper doesn’t move once down)

What You Need

Easy How to Make a Lockdown Shade for Your Classroom - KindergartenWorks

To complete this project from start to finish, you’ll need:

  • bulletin board paper {dark/grainy}
  • clothespin
  • duct tape
  • velcro

How to Make a Lockdown Window Shade for Your Classroom

And here are the steps simplified because it really is simple

  1. Cut paper to size and fold it accordion-style to cover your window, (but fold above your window when not in use)
  2. Add duct tape to hold the top and to the bottom make the bottom easy to grab.
  3. Add velcro to the door and a clothespin to hold it in both the above stored and pulled down positions.

Easy How to Make a Lockdown Shade for Your Classroom - KindergartenWorks

Two More Lockdown Tips

I’ve got two more things you might want to consider for a lockdown.

In my absence, I want a substitute teacher to be able to use this window shade and explain procedures to my students as I would. So, I leave examples of what to say and do for subs in a lockdown situation.

I recently found the best solution to having to have my classroom door locked during a lockdown. I never really lock my classroom so I never have my keys on me. But in a lockdown event – the door needs to be locked and quick!

So I felt smart when I purchased a lock smock for my own classroom. It was my quick-fix solution.

How to use a door latch cover in emergency classroom lockdown situations
You’ll see the elastic of this item around the doorknob in my classroom lockdown shade photos above

Here’s why: this little sling slips over your classroom door handles – it allows your locked door to open and close throughout the normal school day.

When you need to lock your door, like in a lockdown, you simply release the sling/elastic band off the handle and let the cover hang.

The door (which was already locked) now shuts tight and you did it in seconds – no looking for keys! (Which is exactly why I love this idea so much)

You’ll see the elastic of this item around the doorknob in the photos of my lockdown shade above.

But – you can easily make your own! Here’s a great door latch cover that is no-sew and this one is a teacher door latch cover tutorial for those of you with a sewing machine.

Do you have a window on the interior of your room? What tips do you have?

If you like what I do here on KindergartenWorks, then be sure to subscribe today. I look forward to sharing ideas with you weekly.

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  1. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but as a School Guardian in my area the lock smock is not a good idea. If a lockdown happens in a real world scenario you deal with denial as the first step trying to figure out what’s going on. Your heart rate will be elevated and will be in state of shock. Will you remember to remove that? If so then great but the most critical time is between the first 2-5minutes. It’s smarter to not use that. It’s an inconvenience to get up and open the door but at least it’s secure. Just helpful advice. Love the window blinds though.

  2. You have great ideas. I love your tips AND Let’s normalize NOT making this stuff- how is this safety item our responsibility? If it is truly a required safety procedure then we shouldn’t be crafting it, it should be part of the planned design. They degrade and disrespect us with a 1000 tiny small cuts. It’s long past time to say no.

  3. I keep my anchor charts near my door. I have a hook above my window and I can easily grab a chart and hang it over the window. It’s scary to have to think about.

  4. Our local police service recommends having something decorative (seasonal, welcome sign) to cover the window as not to alert the intruder that the window is being covered because people are in the room.

  5. An even easier solution is to laminate black construction paper cut to fit the opening of the door. When you trim the laminating material leave at least 1/2 border all. Use bulldog clips with magnets (like those you use on a magnet surface to hang things) to position the window cover. It is very easy to put it into place and move it off to the side when not needed, you are using the metal frame of the window to hold it in place. I also had a little decorative curtain on the door which is not necessary.

  6. We have to have to place either green or red on our window. Green means everything is okay. Red means trouble inside and help is needed. So I have those pieces of construction paper taped to the back of my door so I can quickly move it over to cover the window. I like your concept, though. Wonder if I could make it 2 sided to be ready for an emergency?

  7. I have the same window in my door. I made a panel of fabric and velcroed it across the top and bottom of the window. Then I have a ribbon to gather it together in the middle and tie it in a bow. When we have a drill, I just untie the ribbon and pull the sides out. Really quick.

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