How to Fix Horizontal Blinds in Under 10 Minutes

Use existing tools and supplies so you don’t have to throw money out the window

Nick P. Cellucci
Written by Nick P. Cellucci
Updated May 4, 2022
A toddler girl looking out the window
Photo: Laura Olivas / Moment / Getty Images


You've got this!

Time to complete

10 minutes

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What you'll need:


  • Flathead screwdriver or butter knife
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Lighter or match


  • Spare slats

Window blinds tend to get a lot of abuse, especially if you have energetic kids or pets who like to look out the window but don’t know how to operate the cord. If you have a few broken or bent blind slats, you don’t need to replace your entire window treatment. With some common household supplies and a few minutes of your time, you can repair worn-out horizontal blinds in just 10 minutes.

How to Fix Broken Horizontal Blinds in 5 Steps

  1. Remove the Plastic Plugs

    At the bottom rail of your blinds, you’ll see a small plastic stopper on the far right and left sides. Pop these off using a flathead screwdriver or butter knife. If there’s a center stopper as well, you can leave it in place. With the plugs removed, you’ll see the knotted ends of each center lift cord that runs through the route holes on both sides of your blinds.

  2. Pull Out and Unknot the Lift Cord

    Pull the knotted end of each center lift cord out of the unplugged holes. You may need to use long, thin tweezers to grab the end of the string. Unknot the center string. If you’re unable to undo the knot, you can cut the cord right above the knot and use a lighter or match to burn the frayed end so it doesn’t unravel.

  3. Remove the Center Lift Cord

    From the height of the topmost broken slat you plan to replace, pull up on the center lift cord to remove it. Pay attention to how the cord is threaded. Repeat this process on both the left and right sides of your blinds.

    If you’re replacing your broken slats with slats from a different set of blinds, you’ll need to repeat steps one through three on that set as well so you can pull out the slats you need.

  4. Remove and Replace the Damaged Slats

    From one side of your blinds, gently pull out all the broken or damaged slats you want to replace. Without the lift cord holding them in place, they should simply slide off the ladder rung strings. Slide the replacement slats into their place so they rest on the ladder rungs in line with the surrounding slats.

  5. Restring All the Blinds

    A professional installing new blinds
    Photo: auremar / Adobe Stock

    With your replacement slats in place, begin threading each lift cord back down through its route holes in each slat. When you reach the bottom rail, insert the lift cord through its hole and tie a slip knot at the end. Ensure the lift cords are even and that the bottom rail hangs straight. Finally, snap the plastic plugs firmly back into place. With that, your blind repairs are complete.

Fixing Broken Blinds DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

You can replace broken slats in your window blinds at no cost if you can use spare slats from the bottom of your existing set of blinds. If you need to purchase a new set of horizontal blinds to pull slats from, you’ll pay about $10 per set for the least expensive vinyl, bamboo, and aluminum styles. Expect to pay more for wood, leather, and some fabric slats, up to $35 per slat.

You’ll need to hire a local window blind repair specialist if you don’t want to perform the repair yourself. According to HomeAdvisor, the minimum total labor cost to repair window blinds is $55 to $75, plus the cost of materials.

Additional Questions

Where do I buy new blinds to replace broken slats?

If you don’t have enough spare slats at the bottom of your existing blinds to replace all the broken or damaged slats, you’ll need to purchase a new set. Find replacement blinds online or at a local home improvement store. As you shop, keep in mind that blind slats aren’t universal. You’ll want to purchase the same kind you have so the holes to run the cords through all line up. 

Why do my window cords break?

Window blind cords may break after becoming naturally frayed, warped, or damaged over time. You can use a few household materials to restring your blinds yourself.

How do you repair torn fabric blinds?

You can repair torn fabric blinds using clear-drying fabric glue. If your blinds consist of fabric cellular shades, you can use this method to fix tears on the surface of the fabric. With a small paintbrush, gently apply a dab of clear-drying fabric adhesive around the edge of the tear, taking care to use as little glue as possible so it doesn’t seep through the fabric.

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