How to shorten venetian blinds

Shortening Venetian Blinds is pretty simple and it can be done on your own at home. By opting for made to measure blinds, you’ll eliminate the need to make alterations. However, ready-made blinds are usually a cheaper alternative. With ready-made blinds it is likely that you will have to make some adjustments due to their set sizes.

With that in mind, we recommend you buy a size larger than your window rather than smaller as you can shorten them if they are too long, but you cannot extend them if they are too short. It is important to alter them to the correct length because if Venetian Blinds are too long, they will bunch at the bottom which can ruin the look of the blinds.

You must determine the correct number of slats to remove. Once you know this, it becomes easy. Something to remember however, is that when making alterations to your blinds, it will likely void any warranty you have on them.

A hand adjusting the top of a white venetian blind

Step 1: Install the blinds

The first step in shortening your venetian blinds is to install them. This is the only way you’ll know the correct number of slats to remove. The ideal length of venetian blinds is to have the bottom of the blind about ¼ inch above the windowsill. What helps is making a mark on the cord where you want the blinds to end. You can see which slat is above the windowsill, this will become the bottom of the blind once it has been shortened. Allowing a little space between the end of the blind and the windowsill will prevent any bunching of the blinds.

A hand holding a screw and screwdriver, installing the heading rail of a venetian blind

Step 2: Remove the plugs

If you lift up the venetian blind so that you can see the underneath of the last slat, you will notice that there are small plugs which are keeping the slats in place. In order to shorten the blinds, you’ll need to first remove these plugs. You can usually pry the plugs off with a little help from a screwdriver. Make sure you keep the plugs to one side as you’ll be using them again later.

Light creeping through wood effect venetian blinds

Step 3: Cut the cords

Once you have removed the plugs, you’ll notice that there are knots holding the slats in place; cut the cords above these knots and you’ll now be able to remove the bottom of the blinds. Now cut the cords again where you earlier marked the cord. Cut just above the slat below to allow yourself enough cord to work with.

Hands fixing the bottom of a wooden venetian blind

Step 4: Reattach the bottom of the blinds

The last step in shortening the blinds is to thread the cord back through the bottom part of the blinds and tie a knot; make sure it is even. Once you have managed to tie the knots evenly, reattach the plugs back into place. If you have excess cord, make sure to trim it before pushing the plugs back into place.

Using a tape measure to measure the top of a white venetian blind

Step 5: Check the length

Once complete, extend your blinds fully to check they work and are the desired length; if not you can repeat the process again.

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