How to Restring Blinds and Fix Blind Cords in No Time

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated January 31, 2022
Dog sitting on a couch looking out the window
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Don’t turn a blind eye to broken blinds

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Difficulty: 2/5 — Flex your DIY muscles.

Time: 1–2 hours

Your pull cords play a vital role in helping lower and raise your blinds. Unfortunately, you may notice they become frayed, warped, or damaged over time, which usually warrants replacement. Instead of installing new blinds, which costs around $700, tackle the project yourself with just a few household materials and a new set of blind strings.

In this guide, learn how to restring blinds and troubleshoot a few common blind cord problems in seven easy steps.

What You’ll Need:

Tools

  • Tape measure

  • Scissors

  • Pliers

  • Lighter

Supplies

  • Blind string (sized accordingly) or blind string replacement kit

7 Steps to Fix Blind Strings and Cords

1. Assess the Blind’s Current Issue or Damage

This guide assumes your blind cords have minor damage, like frayed strings or pull cords still attached but not working effectively.

Take an assessment of your blinds. If the headrail is also damaged or your wooden horizontal blinds are cracked or chipped, you may need to take further steps or reach out to a local blind installation company for a quote.

Also, some horizontal blinds use two types of string. During the inspection process, look to see which kind yours use so you’ll know whether to replace your blinds or order two types of string.

2. Measure Your Blind Strings

Blind strings generally come in four different sizes, so you’ll need to measure or match the ones currently on your blinds to the new ones.

Blind string measurements typically come in:

  • 1.4 millimeter diameter

  • 1.6 millimeter diameter

  • 1.8 millimeter diameter

  • 2 millimeter diameter

The measurement you’ll need is the length and width of each blind. Twice the length of both is how long your replacement blind strings need to be.

Use a tape measure to determine the length of string needed. Blind string replacement kits (which cost about $15) usually come with 20 or 30 feet of string, plus you’ll need an extra 5 to 10 feet to ensure it hangs down. Write these measurements down so you don’t forget.

3. Cut Your Blind Strings to the Necessary Lengths

Cut one length of cord for each blind string you’ll be replacing. Have all of them ready to go so you can tackle the whole project at once.

If you’re struggling to figure it out, you might see if your manufacturer makes pre-made kits for the specific model of horizontal blinds you have in your home. If your blinds need a ton of work, consider replacing or repairing your blind cords.

4. Lower Your Old Blinds, Then Remove the Old String

Bring your blinds down to cover the window. Lift the bottom horizontal blind up and turn it over. A rail button or cap should be underneath, which you can remove with your fingers. Inside, you’ll find the knot holding your blind cords. Cut this knot.

Caps, washers, and knots are often used (sometimes in conjunction with each other) to hold your horizontal blinds up from the bottom. Along the old blind string, use your pliers or a pair of scissors to cut these off and set them aside. You’ll need them again later.

5. Fuse the Old Strings to the New Strings

Handyman installing new window blinds cord
Photo: JodiJacobson / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Note: You’ll need to use a lighter here, so be careful and make sure nothing flammable is nearby while you work.

Line the frayed or damaged cord end up with the new cord you’ve already cut, then strike your lighter to both tips to melt them together. Carefully touch the two pieces of string together to help guide the welding process so they fit snugly. 

6. Guide the New String Through the Blind, Then Tie It Off

Using the other end of the blind string, pull your new string through the blind until it reaches the proper length. Thread it through until your old cord has removed itself from the blind and been replaced by the new one. Then, cut the old blind cord.

Double-knot the new cord at the bottom, and add the washers back in if they were there to begin with. Place everything back inside the capped area and press the cap in to seal.

7. Raise Your Blinds Carefully to Test Your Work

Hand adjusting window blinds cord
Photo: brizmaker / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Now, the moment of truth: Gently pull on your blind cord to test them.

If they aren’t raising all of a sudden, make sure you haven’t hit the cord lock mechanism while working, which comes standard on many models.

Finally, you can use the extra cord you gave yourself to determine how long you want your blind pull cord to be; 5 to 10 feet of extra length is standard, but it may be a good idea to cut this a little shorter if you have small children.

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