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Blinds & Shades Technical Tips

How To Narrow Horizontal Blinds When They Are Too Wide

Have you ever incorrectly measured for a blind and found that when it arrived it was too wide and just didn't fit? If so, this article is for you. These are the instructions for cutting down horizontal blinds to make them narrower.

WARNING: warranty will likely be voided by some of these fixes!

In order to narrow your blinds, you might have to cut the valance, the headrail and the slats. We provide the instructions for cutting down all three.
Narrowing the blind Headrail
Narrowing the blind Slats
Narrowing the blind Valance

Narrowing the blind headrail

To narrow the headrail, you can cut it with either a hacksaw or a pair of tin snips. For the headrail, don't panic if the cuts don't look perfect; nobody will see them hidden in the box type brackets. Here is how to make the cuts:
    measure distance to cut on blinds headrail
  1. First measure how much you need to cut so that the headrail fits, then mark a line. It is best to cut an even length from each side. However, if you need to cut only a very little, you can cut it just from the lift cord side of the headrail.

  2. mark cut line on the blinds headrail
  3. Take the end stiffener off of the headrail.
  4. remove end stiffener from blind headrail
  5. Carefully cut the headrail where you made the marks, bending (carefully!) the cut-away portion with pliers as you cut, to keep the surplus out of your way.
  6. Use your pliers to bend the ends of the headrail back into position when you are done cutting.
  7. Replace the end stiffener you removed earlier into the headrail of the blinds.

Narrowing the blind slats

To narrow the blind slats, it is best to use a powered saw of some kind. You might want to put on a blade that doesn't have a lot of bite, and take it easy, sawing slowly. If you don't have a powered saw, you can cut the slats by hand. A hacksaw is recommended, rather than a regular carpenter's saw. Patience is definitely a virtue here; the quality of the work will depend on taking it slow and being careful. Here's what to do:
  1. Align the slats on the blind, making sure that they are all even. You do not need to remove the slats from the blind.
  2. Align the slats on the blind, making sure that they are all even. You do not need to remove the slats from the blind.
  3. To prevent chipping, wrap the slats with masking tape where you plan to cut.
  4. measure the distance to cut the blinds slat
  5. Measure how much you need to cut off and mark the masking tape. If the mark does not land on the masking tape, put more masking tape to cover that spot. The masking tape should cover the entire area you will be cutting, and wrap fully around.

  6. Lay the blind, with slats wrapped and clamped, on the saw, lining up the blade with the mark you made. REMINDER: Don't forget to factor in the width of the blade!
  7. Make sure that the headrail and the clamp are out of the way, so that they do not impede the blade. The headrail slides sideways out of the way.
  8. place blinds in saw and slowly cut slats. Make sure to move the headrail out of the way of the blade.
  9. Carefully cut through the slats
  10. Remove the tape from the slats, and remove the clamps or rubber bands. The slats should now be the right length.

Narrowing the blind valance

Sometimes it is not the slats or headrail, but just the valance that is too wide to fit within your window frame. Here are the instructions to narrow the valance:
  1. Take a pencil and place a mark where the valance needs to be cut. It should be at 1/8" shorter than the inner width of the window frame.
  2. Lay the valance on the saw and line the blade up with the mark you made.
  3. Now cut. Remember to take it easy to avoid chipping the valance.

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