How to Replace Drums and Cradles on a Horizontal Blind

Video ID: 141008


Drums and cradles are used in horizontal mini, wood, faux wood, and Venetian blinds to rotate the string ladder that opens and closes the slats. The cradle simply holds the drum in place, while the string ladder is directly attached to the drum. Cradles are only available in plastic, while drums are available as metal or plastic. These parts are part of the tilting system of horizontal blinds.

Tools Needed

Tape Measure
Needle nose pliers

Step 1 – Measure the old drum and cradle.


  • Remove the blind from the window before beginning this project.
  • Measure the old drum, cradle, and headrail. Compare these to the measurements on to determine the correct replacements.
  • Keep in mind that replacement drums and cradles may not look exactly the same as the original parts.

Step 2 – Remove string ladder, end stiffeners, and tilt rod.

  • Set the end stiffeners and tilt rod aside to reuse.

Step 3 – Remove the drums from the cradles.

Step 4 – Remove the tassels and safety washers from the lift string.

  • Pull the lift string through the cord lock.
  • Pull the lift string down through the cradles and out of the headrail.
  • The slats should now be separate from the headrail.

Step 5 – Remove the old cradles and install the new cradles.

  • Make sure the new cradles are secure and seated in the headrail.

Step 6 – Thread the lift string back through the headrail.

  • Bring the lift string back up the headrail taking care to thread them through the cradles as shown in the first two pictures above.
  • Use a wire restring tool to pull the strings through the cord lock.

Step 7 – Thread the ladder string through the headrail.

  • Bring the ladder string back through the headrail and cradles.
  • Tape the string ladder to the outside of the headrails.

Step 8 – Install the new drums.

  • Slide the tilt rod through the drums.
  • Snap the drums into the cradles, and slide the tilt rod into the tilt mechanism.

Step 9 – Secure the ladder string to the drums.

  • Lift up the metal tab on the drum.
  • Insert the ladder string into the hole on the top of the drum.
  • Push the tab on the drum back down to secure the ladder string.

Step 10 – Reattach the end caps, safety washers, and tassels.