How to Shorten Wooden Blinds

By Robin Stephenson

  • Overview

    So you've bought your beautiful new wooden blinds, making sure that the width you bought was a perfect fit for the size of your window opening, and you've hung them in place with the supplied hardware. They look fabulous--except for the fact that they're way too long and there are a dozen or so extra slats all resting on top of each other on your window ledge. Since blinds come in standard lengths and window sizes vary greatly, this is a very common occurrence. It's not the end of the world, of course, but it would be nice to have them hang perfectly, with the bottom slat flush with the bottom of the window. Fortunately, it's an easy fix.
    • Step 1

      Extend the blind to its full length and let it hang in front of the window ledge. This way, you can accurately take note of which of the slats lines up with with the ledge. With a pen or marker, make marks on the ladder strings. (Ladder strings are the strings on the outer edges of the slats that hold them in place.)
    • Step 2

      Lift up the bottom rail and turn it over so that you're looking at its underside. Using a flat-head screwdriver or putty knife, pop out each of the wooden plugs covering the pull cords. (The pull cords are the strings used to raise and lower the blinds, and they're usually knotted after they've been fed through a small hole in the bottom rail.) Untie these knots, and the bottom rail can easily be removed.

    • Step 3

      Cut the ladder strings to the desired length (as marked with the pen in Step 1). Make sure you cut below the spot where the bottom slat will sit, so the bottom ladder support string is left intact for it to rest on. Remove the extra slats you no longer need.
    • Step 4

      Replace the bottom rail by sliding it into position on the ladder strings and feeding the pull cords through the corresponding holes in the rail. Tie new knots in the pull cords to make sure the bottom rail stays securely in place.
    • Step 5

      Use scissors to snip off excess pull cord, leaving about an extra 5 or 6 inches or so, just in case you miscalculate and need to make future adjustments. Push the excess cord and ladder strings into the bottom rail, then secure them by re-inserting the wooden plugs you removed in Step 2.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Scissors
    • Screwdriver or putty knife
    • Pen
    • Tip: It's a good idea to save the slats you remove. It can be tempting to simply discard them, but if one of the slats in your blinds gets damaged, you'll always have an instant replacement at the ready.
    • Warning:
    • Small children can die due to strangulation from unsecured cords. If you have children, always keep the cords anchored and out of their reach.

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