Easy, Illustrated Instructions on How to Remove Extra Slats From Window Blinds


If you buy your blinds at Home Depot, or off the shelf at a home store, there is a chance that you installed them yourself, and that you never removed the extra slats at the bottom of the window.



In addtion to the unusual appearance, the extra slats add a bunch of weight to the blinds, making them more difficult to hoist into an open position.

Before you continue reading these instructions, I should point out that there are different types of hoirzontal blinds, based on the location of their suspension strings. Horizontal blinds have two sets of strings: suspension strings and ladder strings. The suspension strings control how far up or down the blinds are. They are controlled by pull strings with a knob.

The ladder strings control the pitch, angle, tilt of the slats, flipping them forward, flat or backward. They are usually controlled by a thin rod.

Both kinds of blinds have suspension strings and ladder strings. The difference is the location of the suspension strings. Here are the two types:

  1. Blinds with suspension strings on the outside of the slats.
  2. Blinds with suspension strings through the center of the slats.



If your blinds have holes in the middle, with strings going through, these are probably not the instructions you should be reading.

With outside-suspension strings, you can just clip the right strings and extract a big chunk of excess slats. That's what these instructions are for.

The first step is to let the blinds down, all the way down past the bottom of the window, so they are hanging down the wall.


Figure out which slat should be the last slat in the blinds and mark it with a piece of masking tape. Writing "last slat" on it is optional.

You will be removing all the slats below this one, except for the bottom rail.



The next step is to use a flathead screwdriver to remove the plugs at the bottom of the bottom rail.


These plugs hide the knots and the ragged ends of the strings.

You'll have to cut the ladder strings to take out your extra blind slats. The knot for the suspension strings are also hidden under these plugs, but if you follow these instructions you won't have to touch those.

You can pull the knots out of the holes for now, but other than that, leave them alone. You'll cut the ladder string knot in a minute.


Cut some strings

The next step is to cut out the excess ladder strings which are holding in the excess slats. It is important to avoid accidently cutting the suspension strings. In this photo the suspension string is the one hanging top to bottom, futhest to the right. It is the string which is pulled tight, because it is bearing the weight of the blinds.

I think all window blinds have at least three suspension lines, one per ladder.

Again, you are cutting the ladder strings. Those are the one which have cross-strings which span the width of the slats.


Measure about three inches down from where your final slat is sitting. Cut the ladder strings there. You will need this three inch bit to tie the new knot at the bottom of the bottom rail.


There are two cuts for each set of ladder strings.


When you are finished, only the suspension strings will be holding up the bottom slats and rail.


The next step is to cut every little string which is holding this unwanted chunk of slats in place.

Cut the knotted ladder rail strings at the bottom of the bottom rail.


Cut all the tiny connecting loops which hold the ladder strings to the suspension strings.

Here is a closeup detail of the photo above.

The pink strings are the ladder strings, which you have already cut at the top and bottom. The orange string is the suspension string, which will not be cut. The yellow strings are the tiny connecting loops, which you should cut now.


Cutting up through the tiny connecting loops. Don't cut the suspension string.


After the tiny loops have been cut, only the suspension strings remain intact.

Here's another photo showing the suspension string pulled away from all the cut string next to the unwanted slats.


The chunk of unwanted slats is now free, and you should be able to slide it out.


Throw away the excess slats. If you have kids, you might save one of them in case a slat gets broken in the future.

Now the blinds have a big gap between the lowest slat and the bottom rail, but you just pull the strings at the top to "open" the blinds and this excess string will be pulled into the mechinism at the top of the blinds.

There should be a little leftover ladder string how hanging below the bottom rail.


Tie them together in a little knot.

Push them into the little hole.

And press the plugs into place.

If the plugs don't press on, you may have to cut out some of the extra string tucked into this hole. Don't cut the knot though.

When all the plugs are in place, you are finished!


Oh, wait, don't forget to remove the "last slat" marker.

Bask in your accomplishment. They look great!

If you have kids or kids visit your house, you should be aware of how long the blind strings are. Kids die every year from being strangled in blinds strings. I know Mike Tyson's infant daughter died that way, and my own 3 year-old had a harrowing experience with them as well. Even if the strings don't reach the floor, kids can climb beds and chairs to get the strings around their necks. Figure out how long they need to be, cut off the extra length and rethread the little knob on the end.

Additional Information
A more typical method to remove slats is to cut the suspension strings and the ladder strings, and then to re-thread the suspension strings back through the holes in the bottom rail. That gets a little tricky because you need the bottom rail to be level, and the knots have to tight at the precise height to keep that bottom rail level.

If you accidently cut one of the suspension strings, it isn't a disaster, it just means you'll have to switch plans to a "cut all the strings and re-thread" set of instructions.

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July 16th, 2011
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