Replace worn cords on miniblinds, pleated shades and other slatted blinds before they fall apart. Use our quick restringing system to simplify the task.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:November 2000
The best time to replace the lift
cord that raises and lowers a
miniblind is when you first notice
it's frayed—don't wait till it breaks.
It's much easier to use the old cord
to guide a new one (you
temporarily splice them together)
and pull it through the intricate
pathway of ladder lines, slats and
headbox hardware than to thread a
new cord inch by inch by itself
through the labyrinth.
Miniblind repair decisions
should begin with the question, ”Is
it easier to fix this or buy a new
one?” If you’ve got a cheap vinyl
that's not a
throw it out.
We chose to
fix our more
slat blind. This
fix works on
lift cord of the
right thickness is tricky; home
centers don't carry it. Look in the
Yellow Pages under ”Window
Coverings, Repair and Cleaning.”
Most places carry stock cord in
white, beige and brown. For pleated
shades, select lift cord that’s .9 mm
thick; for vinyl miniblinds, 1.4 mm;
for wood slat blinds, 1.8 mm. Cord
is inexpensive. To figure
how much cord you'll need,
multiply the height of your extended
blinds by 4 and add the width. (A
blind 3 ft. wide and 5 ft. high would
need about 23 linear feet of lift cord:
4 x 5 = 20; 20 + 3 = 23.)
Miniblind lift cords run from the bottom bar, up through the slats, across the top bar and then become the two pull cords on the side.
blind and take it
to a workbench
for splicing the
of lift cord to
a new cord.
Pull on the frayed lift
cord until the slats are
drawn together. Cut the
cord at the fray and pull the discarded
piece (with the knotted
end) out through the bottom bar.
Splice the new cord to the old by
hot-gluing the tips together and
rolling them up tightly in a 3-in.
long strip of plastic electrical tape.
4 Rehang the shade and draw the new lift cord through
the cord pathway. With one hand guiding the cord
splice through the slats and headbox hardware, pull on
the old lift cord. When the splice is clear of the headbox, draw
the new lift cord to the bottom bar, undo the splice and attach
any plastic pulls on the end of the new cord.
While the blind is still hung
(Fig. A), make the task easier by
studying, sketching or shooting
digital photos of your blind's lift cord
pathways before you begin the
repair. Then take 45 minutes and
follow the steps shown in Photos
1 – 3. Since the cord splice may not
pass through the small hole in the
bottom bar, make it above the bar.
Then drop the loose end of the new
lift cord through the hole in the
bottom bar and tie a new knot
(Fig. B). Keep your slats aligned in a
straight vertical line by weaving the
lift cord alternately in and out of the
Feed the end of the
new lift cord through
the small hole in the
bottom bar and tie
a retaining knot.
Make sure the
bottom loop of
the ladder goes
bottom bar. Tuck
the loose ladder
strings and lift cord
knot into the rail hole
and reinstall the plastic
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
You'll also need scissors.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
New blind lift cord
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