How To: Trim Wood Window Blinds

How To: Trim Wood Window Blinds

Jonathan B.
Jun 30, 2008

Our new house had a pair of wood window blinds from IKEA that were about an inch too long to fit inside the window trim. Rather than throw away what we already had and spend money on an expensive custom set, we cut the blinds down to width. Here's what you'll need to get started:

  • Wood blinds (this method may work for plastic, but it will not work for metal blinds)
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharp pencil
  • Blue painter's tape
  • Sharp hack saw
  • Clamps
  • Patience

Once you have installed the brackets for the blinds, measure for width. Write these measurements down, and remember that even seemingly identical windows may have slightly different measurements.

1. Raise the blinds—you'll need help if they are not already installed—and wrap the cords around like so.

2. Clamp the blinds together firmly at one end. Be careful not to over-tighten; the metal bar on top can bend.

3. Repeat. Clamp the blinds together at the other end.

4. Measure. To keep the cords centered, you'll need to take the same amount off both ends, so subtract the length you wrote down from the original length of the blinds, then divide the result by two. This is how much you'll take off from both ends. Mark the top rail accordingly.

5. Repeat. Transfer the measurements to the bottom rail.

6. Measure twice. Double-check your work. Before cutting, we went back and measured the window again.

7. Connect the dots. Use a piece of painter's masking tape to connect the dashes on the top and bottom rail. Make sure the tape is adhered to the individual slats. Used together with a sharp saw, the tape will help to reduce splintering as you cut the blinds.

8. Tape some more. Also tape the back, checking your measurements to make sure the line is in the right place.

9. Cut. Use light, even strokes; forcing the saw will cause it to wander and the blinds to splinter. You could also use a power band saw, but a sharp, fine-toothed saw and some patience will do just fine. It will be easier to keep the line straight if you use a saw with a wider blade than the one you see here.

That's it! Dab a smidgen of paint on the raw edges of the blinds to protect them from moisture. (It's easiest to do this using a very dry paintbrush while the blinds are still clamped together.)

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