Introduction: Repair Damaged Pull Cords on Horizontal Blinds

If you live with a cat, chances are the cords on your horizontal blinds have been used as a chew toy. This damage may even have rendered your blinds unusable as either the cords are now too short or there are knots that block it.

I had five sets of blinds with this problem and set out to fix them rather than having to buy new ones. And I'm gonna show you how I did it. This may sound like a daunting task, but it is easy and worth it to repair shades that have nothing else wrong.

Step 1: Supplies and Tools

Replacement Cord
we searched several places looking for suitable cord. Lowe's and Home Depot didn't carry any and suggested the Blind specialty store which we avoided because they'd probably charge a bundle for it. We eventually went to Joann Fabrics and checked their upholstery/decor fabric section and found some polyester cord in the right size. It was white and didn't exactly match the color of our blinds but we don't care.

Pull Ends
Use the ones from your old cords. If you lost them, you can use pretty beads or decorative knots or a combination of these. They add weight to the bottom of the cords so that they hang right and provide a grip for pulling.

Scissors
They cut things.

Lighter
For sealing the ends of the polyester cord

Paperclip Hook
Used for pulling the cord in tight places. So much easier to use this then try to thread the cord.

Pliers/Nail file
Used for popping the end buttons off. You can use regular pliers, I just happened to have channel locks handy.

Step 2: Step 1: Prep

Take down your shades. Set the turning wand and any hardware aside.

Set the shade on your work space and use the pliers and/or the nail file to pop the bottom buttons off. A twisting motion helps. These buttons hold the ladder tape in place and cover up the knot of the cord. They vary depending on your model of blind.

Pull the knot out and clip it off. Do this for all runs of cord. You can then pull all the old cord out.

Step 3: Step 2: Threading

Use the lighter to seal one end of your new cord.

Start at the run furthest from the little locking mechanism.

Thread the cord through the little hole in the bottom rail. I like to thread the cord through the slats in bunches, it saves time but it can be difficult if your slats aren't lined up correctly. I learned on my last cord run of my last blind that my paperclip hook could be used to line up the holes. I also like making sure that the ladder tape is on the inside of my cord. This is purely for aesthetics and it doesn't really matter to the operation of the blinds.

Thread all the way up.

Step 4: Step 3: Thread the Cord Into the Header Bar.

Tie a loop into the end of your cord. I like using a bowline knot but any loop will do as long as the knot isn't too bulky. 

The goal here is to thread the cord through the opening and over the little metal bar. this bar keeps the cord positioned right and from wearing on the plastic. This is where the paper clip comes in. I tried several times just to thread the cord in on it's own, but the cord is floppy and doesn't like to cooperate, so I bent a paper clip into a hook.

Slide the hook into the hole, making sure it's above the metal bar and the hook is passed where you're gonna fish the loop you tied into the hole.

Stuff the loop into the hole (as pictured) and try to snare it with the hook. This can be the most frustrating step, but keep patient you'll get it eventually and it gets easier with practice.

Once you've got it hooked, pull it through and thread it through the other holes as well all the way to the locking mechanism.

Step 5: Step 4: the Locking Mechanism

once you're at the other end, untie the loop and thread the end through the locking mechanism. Make sure that your cord is on the back side of the bar.

Step 6: Step 5: Measure

Pull the shade open. The locking mechanism should keep the cord from slipping back. 

Make sure you have enough to tie a large knot at the end and then cut the tail, sealing the ends.

Tie a regular square knot in the tail close to the end and stuff it and the excess ladder tape back in the hole and pop the button back in.

Pull the blind closed and repeat steps 2-4 on the other runs. This time to measure the cord length just measure it against the first one.

Step 7: Step 6: Finishing

Slide the Ends on if you have them. And tie a large knot to keep them from slipping off. I like the monkey's fist knot.

If you lost your little cone thingys, you can tie a decorative knot, like the monkey's fist, or use some beads to finish it.


Put your blinds back up. Make sure your cords are long enough and tie a knot in them to keep them together.

Voila. You have repaired your shades.

Comments

author
AnaV54 (author)2017-05-03

What size/radius did you use for the chord?

author
Radist2000 (author)2016-11-28

This is what I did:

1. Let the blind all the way down, tilt the blinds into horizontal position

2.
Remove the bottom rail button, cut off or untie the knot on the old
cord you want to replace. Let its end hang loose below the bottom rail.

3.
Use superglue to glue the end of the the new cord to the old one.
Overlap them by a few millimeters, try to make the connection as tight
as possible. You can reduce the size of the joint and make it tighter by
rolling it between your gloved fingers (use thin disposable glove) when
the glue begins to thicken.

4. Once the glue is dry, verify the
joint is solid and wrap a small piece of thin scotch tape around the
joint starting from the old cord just above the joint. This will ensure
your cord will easily glide through all the openings in the blinds and
through the mechanism. Don't make multiple wraps, the tape is only there
to ensure smooth gliding of the joint through all the openings and the
mechanism, not to bear any load.

5. Carefully pull on the old
cord at the other end, pulling the new cord into the blind, while
feeding the new cord in and gently helping the joint go through the
holes in the blinds, then into the top rail.

6. Once the joint
appears out of the upper rail on the other side, you are done. Pull out
the length of it to make it even with the other cord, tie the knot at
the bottom rail, replace the button, repeat with the other cord if
necessary (it was in my case, even though the other cord was not
damaged: even slightly dissimilar cords may not work properly in the
locking mechanism).

The whole exercise took me about 2
minutes to glue and a few seconds to pull the cord in for each side of
the blind. Hope it helps.

author
3366carlos (author)2016-09-25

awesome, I just fixed mine, I looked at a video in youtube and used thin paracord instead.

author
Brewest (author)2016-06-10

Any instructions on repairing pull cord on vertical blinds?

author
AnnP16 (author)2015-09-12

author
asmak1 (author)2015-09-06

thanks, its really help full and money saver !

author
newengresearch (author)2015-05-19

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