Shortening Horizontal Window Blinds

Updated: Jun. 24, 2019

It's simpler than it looks to shorten blinds. We'll walk you through it.

FH02DJA_SHOBLI_01-5Family Handyman
Horizontal blinds that are too long look bad, but also create a serious safety hazard for young children. Fortunately, shortening them is easy—all you need are scissors and a screwdriver.

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Disassemble and reassemble horizontal blinds

Photo 1: Remove plugs from the horizontal window blinds

The first step in how to shorten mini blinds is to pry the plugs out of the bottom rail with a flathead screwdriver. Set the plugs aside for reuse later. If the pull cords are threaded through the plugs, cut them off close to the plug. If the pull cords are knotted inside the bottom rail, cut them above the rail to free it. Slide the rail out from the ladder cords and set it aside.

Photo 2: Remove pull cord

Extract the pull cord from the center of the ladder cords, hold it away and cut both ladder cords about 2 in. longer than the final length. Allow the excess slats to drop away.

Photo 3: Restring pull cord on the horizontal window blinds

Slide the bottom rail back between the ladder cords. String the pull cords through the bottom rail and knot the ends. Tuck any loose cord ends into the holes before replacing the plugs on the horizontal window blinds.

Horizontal blind slats that hang below the windowsill are not only unsightly but also a strangulation hazard for young children. Most dangerous are the pull cords. Shortening the horizontal blinds to the proper height will raise the pull cords and make your home a safer place.

The bottom rail runs through the ladder cords, and the pull cords are knotted below the rail on each end. Photo 1 shows how to disassemble the cords from the bottom rail. The pull cords hang between the ladder cords and lift the horizontal blinds up when you pull them. Pull them out and cut off the excess blind slats as shown in Photo 2, then reassemble the bottom rail (Photo 3). If the pull cords still hang low when you’re finished, install a cleat to store them higher, out of kids’ reach.

Required Tools for this Project

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

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
You’ll also need scissors.