How to Shorten Blinds in 10 Easy Steps

Nothing can change the feel of a room as easily and quickly as new blinds. But if you have the ones that aren’t custom-fitted for your windows, you could end up with extra slats hanging below the window or piled up on your windowsill. Not quite the stylish look you were going for.

The good news is that it isn’t hard to shorten blinds that are too long. Keep reading to find out how to shorten blinds and get that custom-fitted look to finish off your room.

10 Steps for Shortening Window Blinds

While there may be some variation between different manufacturers, these general steps should guide you through shortening your wooden, aluminum, or vinyl horizontal blinds. You will need to have blinds already installed in a window.

Step 1: Extend Blinds Completely

Extend your blinds all the way, so that the extra length hangs below the windowsill. It doesn’t matter if the slats are open or closed.

Step 2: Mark New Bottom Slat

Find the blind slat that is even with or slightly below the windowsill and mark it with tape. This will be your new bottom slat. (Not to be confused with the bottom rail.)

Step 3: Take Out the Rail Plugs

Remove plastic plugs or buttons on the underside of the bottom rail (most designs have three plugs). Removing plugs gives you access to the lift cord and string ladders that run up the blinds. The plugs cover holes in the bottom rail, and a recessed space where the pull cord and ladder strings are tied off in a knot or secured with an eyelet or other fastener.

NOTE: If the plugs are difficult to remove, try using a pen or knife to carefully pop them out.

Step 4: Remove the Bottom Rail

Untie or cut off the knots on the bottom of the lift cords and pull them up through the holes. This frees your bottom rail so you can remove it.  

Step 5: Remove the Extra Slats

Under your marked slat, pull up on each lift cord just enough that it is no longer threaded through the slats. Remove extra slats. You will now have extra horizontal cords (ladder cords) and vertical cords hanging below your marked slat.

Step 6: Insert Bottom Rail

Insert your bottom rail through the ladder strings directly below your last slat. Thread the lift cord back through the holes in the bottom rail. Place the bottom rail on the windowsill and open the blinds so the slats are flat.

Step 7: Trim Extra Cords

Cut off the extra strings, leaving two to four inches hanging below your bottom rail. You need enough ladder string to tie your bottom rail back on. Then cut off any horizontal ladder strings below the bottom rail, so that only vertical cords remain.

Step 8: Tie the Knots  

Tie knots at the end of lift cords, or if the plugs were originally secured with knots, slide the plugs back onto the lift cords first, then tie knots at the end of each cord to secure the plugs in place. Don’t worry about the excess lift cords. Raise your blinds partway and the extra slack will be alleviated.

Step 9: Insert Rail Plugs

Tie the extra ladder cords together in knots under the bottom rail. Stuff extra cords into the rail holes. It may help to tie the cords together in knots under the bottom rail. Then replace the rail plugs. If the plugs don’t fit, trim strings as needed.

Step 10: Test

Test the blinds out by raising and lowering them, as well as opening and closing them a couple times to make sure all cords are secured and that the blinds are working correctly. 

Enjoy Your Fitted Blinds

And voila! You now know how to shorten blinds and can fit them to your windows without too much effort. Make your blinds even more effortless by converting them to automated blinds. Smart blinds can save you time, energy, and money. Plus enjoy convenient features like automated tilting, simple scheduling, voice control, and solar charging. 

Transform the blinds you already have into smart blinds with tilt’s simple Blinds Automation Kit and enjoy the next level in window covering convenience.