During the Guest Room makeover, I took down a vertical blind and asked Beloved to move it to the kitchen. However, not one to make things easy on him, I surged ahead without measuring it properly and although both windows were the same width, I didn’t think to measure the length…
…and ended up with a blind that overhung the sill.
Rather than buy a new blind, I felt sure I could shorten the one we had. Now there’s probably some really nifty tool out there that’ll do the job brilliantly and in double quick time.
But I don’t have one.
So I had to improvise.
That’ll make a nice change, then!
This is what I did…
- Vertical blind
- Sharp scissors
- Tape measure
- Hot Glue Gun
The quick and dirty way to shorten a vertical blind
- Remove each slat from the headrail
- Remove the weight
- Find the back of the slat
- Cut across one side of the pocket, to create one length
- Measure the length and mark where you now want the bottom to be
- Fold your slat and measure the length again, to be sure it’s correct
- Cut off the excess
- Re-insert the weight
- Glue the pocket closed
- Re-hang the slat
Hello perfectly fitting blind!
With 16 slats and no instructions, this project took me about 90 minutes to complete but once I got going, it was actually quite easy. You just have to be methodical.
Methodical, she says…
I can hear Beloved belly laughing from here!
How to shorten a vertical blind
Step 1 – Remove the slats from the headrail by unclipping the hanger and chain.
Rather than remove them all, I worked on a few slats at a time. This helped to keep the chain in position.
Left – the original length
Right – a shortened slat
Step 2 – Remove the weight from the pocket.
The weight in its pocket
Step 3 – You should be able to determine which is the front and back of the slat from the way the joint is glued. It’s not strictly necessary to work on the back, I just found it helped to ensure I was working on the same side for every slat.
Step 4 – Using scissors, cut across one side of the pocket.
It helps to cut close to the join and to cut roughly in the same place for each slat. You’re likely to see the join when the light shines through the window, so the more uniform you can keep it, the better your finished blind will look.
Step 5 – Measure the length.
I used the first slat as my guinea pig, marking it in situ against the sill where I wanted it to hang. I then used that as a template for the length measurement.
Top Tip: Make sure your tape measure stays put, by sticking it down with gaffer tape.
Step 6 – Once you’ve folded your new pocket, measure the length again before you move on.
You know what they say: “measure twice, cut once”!
Do not look at my horrendous nails.
I said do NOT… oh for goodness sake!
Look. I may have become quite at home with the word “pretty”, but I still have a long way to go before I’m a girlie, girl!
Step 7 – When I re-folded the slat, the new pocket was a bit big. I didn’t want the weight falling out, so I cut off the excess to make the pocket fit the weight a little more snugly, just as it did originally.
This was done by measuring with a ruler from the (new) bottom to where I wanted to cut. I did this for each slat, so that the join was pretty much in the same place on every one.
Remember, your handiwork will be clearly visible when light shines through the blind, so it pays to take a little extra care in lining up the join as much as possible.
Measure from the bottom of the slat to where you want your join to be
Discard the excess
Light + blind = everything on show.
By measuring where to remove the excess, I was able to ensure the joins were pretty much level across the blind.
Step 8 – Glue the new pocket. I re-inserted the weight before gluing, as it helped me to ensure the pocket was both aligned and big enough to accommodate the weight.
Step 9 – When gluing, it helps to press firmly to ensure the glue adheres. Be careful not to burn your fingers!
Now that I’ve got the hang of removing and re-hanging those slats, I think I’m going to give the lounge blinds a bath to freshen them up a bit. But that’s for another day.
This was one of my first ever DIY projects at OneandSeventy and it turned out to be one of the most popular posts on the old blog – it seems lots of people want to know how to shorten a vertical blind.
I’ve had loads of questions about how well the blind has faired and I can report that it’s held up marvellously. Almost 2 and a half years after shortening it and despite daily use, in which it’s been opened, pulled and closed multiple times a day, there has been no failing in the glue and the blind continues to work perfectly.
It was a complete success.
Whooooo! Go me.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If so, please leave a comment below to let me know what you think.
A hui hou,
This project first appeared on The World of Suzy Homemaker on 8 September 2014