How to Shorten Horizontal Wood and Faux Wood Blinds

Video ID: 401014


These instructions illustrate how to shorten a routeless horizontal wood or faux wood blind purchased from a home improvement store so that it will fit best in your window. Your blind brand may vary but the operational functions and techniques may still apply.

A Note on Safety

Kids can strangle in blind cords. To make your blinds safer for kids, keep cords out of reach and secure cord and bead chain loops. To learn more, please visit our child safety guide.

Tools Needed

Flathead screwdriver

Parts Needed


Step 1 – Mark your preferred length.

  • Mark the slat at or just below where the blind will stop. This will be the last slat.
  • Note which are the ladder strings and which are the lift strings.

Step 2 – Trim the strings.

  • Cut the ladder strings approximately 6 inches from your marked slat.
  • Cut the lift strings from the blind approximately 6 inches from your marked slat.

Step 3 – Remove the extra slats.

  • Remove the extra slats up to the marked slat.
  • Be sure to keep a few slats for possible future replacement in the event that a slat breaks.

Step 4 – Remove the buttons from the bottom rail with a flathead screwdriver.

  • Remove the strings from the bottom rail.
  • Remove the bottom rail from the group of excess slats by sliding the rail out

Step 5 – Insert the bottom rail below your marked slat.

  • Lightly burn the ends of your lift cords with a lighter.
  • Insert the lift cord and ladder string into the bottom rail.

Step 6 – Use the needle nose pliers to pull the lift cords through the bottom rail hole.

  • Insert the lift cords into the bottom rail, and tie it off.
  • Repeat this step with each set of cords.

Step 7 – Cut the ladder strings 2″ below the bottom rail.

  • Fold and insert the ladder strings into the bottom rail hole.

Step 8 – Insert the bottom rail buttons.

Step 9 – Reattach the bottom rail end caps.

Step 10 – Reattach the valance.

  • Test your repair by raising and lowering the blind with the lift cords.

Recommendations for Child Safety:

  • The lifting cords should be no more than 40% the total length of the blind.
  • Consider installing safety washers on each lifting cord.
  • Leave each cord hanging separately. Do not tie them together.
  • Use cleats to keep cords out of the reach of children.