It’s Not Old, It’s Just Loved. Tips On Repairing, Reusing, and Recycling Worn or Broken Blinds and Shades

So, you are staring in frustration at your broken blinds or shades. You’re probably wondering to yourself whether it is time to throw them out and start over, or if you have any options to restore your window treatments. It is possible to complete some minor repairs on your own before pitching your shades entirely. However, if a few simple adjustments or part replacements are not sufficient to solve the issue, it is usually best to purchase a new product.

bent and broken window blind slats


Fixing Broken Slats

One of the most common ways blinds break is when one of the slats cracks or snaps. To fix the issue, you will first need to purchase a new slat to replace the old one. If you already have additional slats because your blinds were too long to begin with, you can use one of those. Keep your blinds open while you repair the break. Start by unscrewing the plugs that secure the lift strings at the bottom of your shades. A flathead screwdriver should do the trick.


Next, tug the string through the hole and undo the knot. To take out the lift string, pull as high as the blind you plan on replacing and take out the broken slat. Put in the new slat and adjust the base of the blind to make up for any additional space. Retrace your steps and thread the lift string back through again from right to left. Make sure the string is secure at the base and tied off at both sides. Take a rubber mallet or hammer to put the plugs back on again.


Fixing A Malfunctioning Tilter

One other common blind malfunction is when the mechanism’s tilter sustains damage or stops working properly. To try to fix the issue, you should first disengage the blind from the window. Find the metal headrail at the very top of the blinds and identify the metal rod that runs all the way through it. If the metal rod has come loose from its position in the headrail you should be able to push it back into place.


If not, you must replace the tilter. To replace, take out the end caps and metal stiffener, remove the tilt mechanism, and put in a new one. Remember to put the metal rod back in place and secure the end caps and stiffener before putting your blinds back up.


Fun Projects To Recycle Your Blinds and Shades

multi colored paint brushes covered in paint

If you find that you are going to need to purchase new blinds or shades, you still may be able to find some great uses for the old ones. Did you know that you can recycle old, broken blinds and shades into innovative and creative DIY projects that your whole family will love?


With metal, wood, or vinyl blinds, you can take out the slats, paint them, and use them as labels for large containers and bins. If your bamboo shades are on the fritz and you are going to invest in new ones, don’t throw out the old ones just yet! You can cut them into different shapes and sizes, use painter’s tape to design your own pattern, and paint them for wall ornamentations.


You can take the intact slats from broken or torn linen blinds and weave them into a unique headboard design. Damaged mini blinds? Well, with some scissors, a stapler, double-sided tape, and ribbon, you can take the blinds and weave them into a small basket for a cool, unique storage option. One of the easiest ways to repurpose old blinds, if you have an artistic bent, is to repaint them in a unique design or rich color to make the room pop with bold hues. These are just a few ideas, but the options are endless!


Sharing is Caring: Donating Your Old Blinds

donate balloon letters

If you are in the market to purchase new blinds but don’t want to just throw the old ones out, consider donating your old blinds to a charity organization to be used by another family. Check the condition of the blinds. If they are broken in a few places, have tears, cracks, or chips, it might be best to just toss them.


However, if they are in good condition but you simply don’t want them hanging in your house anymore, go to your local Goodwill or other donation centers to see if they will accept them. You never know who might benefit from your thoughtful gesture.


Resizing Window Treatments After Installation

A common question customers have when considering whether to replace or reuse worn, broken blinds is if it is possible to resize window treatments after installation. Most of the time, this is not possible, particularly when you purchase a custom product. Sometimes, you can have the blinds cut down, but most of the time, you would need to order treatments according to the updated measurement specifications.


Final Thoughts

Repairing, reusing, and recycling your old blinds is entirely possible. You need to check to see how far-reaching any breaks are and if they can be fixed with a simple slat or mechanism replacement. If you do need to purchase new blinds, consider what to do with your old ones. Consider using them for a fun DIY project or donating them to your local community center if they are in good enough condition.