Fixing the Lift Cord on a Miniblind

Replace old cords easily and quickly before they break

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

TIME

One day

Allow about 1 hour for the first blind and 30 min. for others

COMPLEXITY

Moderate

No special skills needed, but work carefully and patiently to pull the new cord in.

COST

Under $20

New blind cord is inexpensive.

Step 1: Evaluate your blind and buy new cord

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 miniblind that's not a custom size and color, throw it out. We chose to fix our more expensive faux-wood slat blind. This fix works on pleated shades as well. Finding replacement braided nylon 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.)

Figure A: Miniblind Anatomy

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.

Figure A Miniblind parts and cord path
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Step 2: Replace the 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 ladder rungs.

Caution: Leave the ends of the two lift cords untied. Small children have accidentally hanged themselves on tied cords that formed a loop.

Figure B: Bottom Rail Detail

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 around the bottom bar. Tuck the loose ladder strings and lift cord knot into the rail hole and reinstall the plastic plug.

Figure B Tie a knot in the cord end
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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Plastic electrical tape
  • Hot melt glue gun

You'll also need scissors.

New blind lift cord