How to Shorten Wooden Blinds That Have a Pulley


Things You’ll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Scissors

Man leaning on front door Shorten blinds by removing slats. Image Credit: Image Source/Photodisc/Getty Images

Wooden window blinds are attractive and give your windows an up-to-date look. They're relatively simple, relying on rope ladders on either side, with a simple lift cord to operate them. If the rope ladder or lift cord has lost tension, or was installed improperly, the bottom of the blinds rub or fail to work properly. Shortening blinds is a routine procedure that involves few tools and little knowledge of physics. Anyone can do it in minutes.

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Step 1

Tip the bottom rail or bottom slat toward your body to expose a series of buttons or plugs. There may be up to four plugs. Pry the plugs out with a screwdriver if they're flat. Pull the plugs out with pliers if they have a head.

Step 2

Pull the knotted cord out of the hole where the button was removed. If you can't get it out with your fingers, insert a bent paperclip into the hole to hook the string or knot. Clip the knot off using scissors. Pull the lift string up and through the hole to release the bottom slat or rail. Repeat for all the strings. Slide the bottom slat out of the rope ladder from one side. Keep it handy.

Step 3

Remove each successive, ascending slat as far up as you need to go to shorten the blinds by pulling the string out and sliding the slats out from one end.

Step 4

Slide the bottom slat back onto the rope ladder in the section or rung below the remaining bottom slat in the stack. Cut the remaining sections of rope ladder off 2 inches below the bottom slat or rail with scissors.

Step 5

Insert the lift cord through the holes in the bottom rail or slat. Pull it slightly to remove the slack. Tie the lift cord off. Stuff the remaining loose ends of the rope ladder back into the holes. Replace the caps or buttons.


Alternate your work from left to right for best results to keep the bottom slat horizontal.


Check the remaining slats when you have the strings loose. If you see any problems, change them now.

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