How to fix broken slats on vinyl mini blinds

by David Lavalley on January 25, 2013

Broken vinyl mini blindAccording to the Humane Society of the US, there are an estimated 164 million pet owners in the United States alone. This means that around one in three people own at least one cat or dog.

If you are one of these people, you have likely experienced the same issue as I have. Even the most behaved pets sometimes allow their curiosity to wreak havoc on your homes mini blinds. Most of the time, it is just the first 4″ or 5″ the break off or crack when your pet sticks his head out to see whats going on outside. If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider replacing your blind slats instead of completely replacing your blinds. If you have multiple damaged blinds in your home and are looking forward to getting you security deposit back, this is an easy way of doing so and it cost absolutely nothing to do. When performing this task, ensure that you have enough extra unused slats at the bottom of your blinds to replace all of your broken ones. Most non custom blinds have an extra dozen or so slats depending on the size of your window and length of blind.

Step by Step illustrated guide for replacing mini blind slats

Before you get started, you will need 3 basic tools that most people should have around their house.

  • Small flat tip screwdriver
  • Flat edge razor blade or pair of scissors
  • Lighter

plug at bottom of blindLocate and remove the three bottom “plugs” at the bottom of the blind

Take a look under your blind and you will see three plug like inserts that are slightly larger than the thickness of a pencil. Carefully remove these plugs with a small flat tip screwdriver by simply inserting the screwdriver between the base of the bottom and the underside of the plug. Work around the plug and it will eventually pop out, exposing the ends of the blind threading. This is the area where  you will begin to work. It is where the ends of the blinds are tied together.

cutting drawstring knotCut pull string knots

Start by releasing all of the tension on the blind. Extend it as far as possible so that all of the slats are exposed. Fish out the 2 or 3 strings from the bottom holes and cut the knot as close to the bottom as possible. This will allow you to unthread your draw strings. Cutting the string instead of un-tieing will make threading much easier in the end. SLOWLY pull the blind cord until you pass all of your bad slats. You will pass several good slats on the way, this is okay.

removing extra slatsSteal replacement slats from bottom of blind

Count the number of broken slats and remove this number from the very bottom of the blind. While doing so, ensure that you do not remove too many, leaving a gap at the bottom of your window sill. The slats will freely slide out on either the left or right side. Remove as many as needed in order to replace the broken ones.

replace broken slats

Replace broken slats

Locate and remove the broken slats by pulling them out from one side or the other. Simply slide in the new replacement slats, aligning them with the others. When completed, your blinds should look as they did prior to your pet or kids destroying them.

 

 

cut out extra loops in blindmelt drawstring endRemove extra bottom loops and prepare the drawstring

There will be a few extra loops at the bottom of the blinds. Cut these out, leaving 1 extra set of loops for the base and one set to tuck back into the holes at the bottom. Pay close attention to this step because cutting one too many will leave you short at the bottom. This can also be a good opportunity to shorten your blinds to make the flush with your window sill. Simply remove as many slats and loops necessary to create the perfect length.

Use a lighter to sear the ends of the pull string. This makes feeding the drawstring much easier and prevents the end from becoming frayed. I like to light the ends on fire for a couple seconds and use something other than my fingers to make a point at the end. In the end, you want your drawstring ends narrow enough to fit through the holes in your slats and the base.

rethreading process

Thread drawstring through blinds and tie off at base

Thread the drawstrings through the slats, ensuring that you alternate between the right side and left side of the loops every 5 or 6 slats. This will prevent the slats from moving completely to one side. This step is perhaps the most time consuming and requires a bit of patients. Pay close attention to what you are doing. It is very easy to miss a hole or thread incorrectly. It is a good idea to first study the factory assembled slats before re-threading. Once you have reached the base, thread the drawstring through the hole and create a double knot at the end.

stuff hole and plugStuff extra loop and replace plugs

Finish the job by stuffing the last set of loops into the base base and using your thumb to replace the plugs that were removed earlier. Test your blinds for functionality. They should move freely up and down when you pull on and release the draw string.

Congratulations, you just saved one of your mini blinds. No go around the house and repair all of your broken blinds. After a couple you will be a pro and it will only take a few minutes. Remember to save any extra slats in case you need to repeat this procedure one day.

repaired blind

Finished product. Note presence of new slat

broken blind slat

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