Create top-down blinds for a fraction of the cost of special order blinds!
Step 1: Getting Ready
Why Create Your Own Top-Down Blinds?
My reasons are simple. I live in an apartment. It is temporary housing, and therefore I don't want to spend the nearly $150 per window to purchase custom top-down blinds. I also need the privacy that they offer because of my ground floor apartment.
What is the Cost and Time Commitment?
This particular project was done for under $30 (that includes all three windows). This is a bargain compared to the nearly $450 it would cost to have it done professionally. It also took me only an hour to create and install (not including shopping time).
What You'll Need:
- Make sure to measure your window first!
- One set of bargain mini-blinds per window. You are only going to use the top bar and strings for this project, so the quality of the slats is irrelevant. I found some for $2.50 each on sale, $4 each regular.
- One set of temporary shades*. They should be the kind that have an adhesive strip on one end. I bought the Redi Shades that are "room darkening" for more privacy. These cost me about $6 each.
*(These shades can be substituted for something of a better quality if desired. You will simply need to find a way of attaching the more complex shades/blinds to the top bar of your bargain blinds.)
- A cutting knife ($1.50) and cutting board or hard surface.
- Tape (optional).
Step 2: Start With the Bargain Blinds.
Step 3: Pop Off the Plugs on the Bottoms.
Step 4: Un-knot the Strings.
Step 3: Un-knot the strings on the bottom and allow for about five inches of string. Carefully turn the blinds over. If you are too rough the strings you un-knotted will fall out and you will have to redo them.
Step 5: Cut the Strings.
Cut each of the strings on the top of the blinds. These are what allow for the open/close function of mini blinds, and are no longer necessary.
Step 6: Pull Away the Blind Slats Leaving Only the Strings.
Step 7: Remove the Heavy Bottom Bar From the Blind Slats by Sliding It Sideways.
Step 8: Reattach the Bottom Bar to the Top Bar.
If done correctly the knots will be hidden and there will be no problems adhering the new shades.
Step 9: Measure or Judge the Desired Length of the Temporary Shades.
Step 10: Cut the Shades to the Desired Length.
Step 11: Lay the Shades Next to the Bottom Bar.
Allow for enough slack to move around the bottom bar.
If you bought more complex blinds, you will need to attach the top bar of the complex blinds to the bottom bar of these blinds. You will be able to raise the complex blinds from the bottom up using their affixed top bar, and using the top bar of the bargain blinds you will be able to lower the complex blinds from the top down.
Step 12: Adhere the Bottom Bar to the Adhesive Strip of the Temporary Shades.
Step 13: Optional Step.
The temporary blinds do not have much weight on their bottom. For this reason I removed the metal rod from inside of the top bar (this rod allowed for the open/close function of the mini blinds). I inserted it into the bottom of the shades and taped over the ends.
Step 14: Installing the Blinds.
Remove the existing blinds. Make sure that they are raised prior to removing them.
If you do not have existing blinds, use the instructions that came with the blinds (sorry, I already had some up).
Step 15: Installing 2
The existing blinds may not need to be completely removed. If they are compatible with your new blinds, simply slide the covers from the end and slide out the existing top bar.
Step 16: Leave the Affixed Brackets and Slide in the New Top Bar.
Step 17: Enjoy Your New Top-down Shades!
You may want to keep the existing blinds if (like me) you live in an apartment. Otherwise your landlord may ask you to buy new ones when you move out.
Also, keep all of the pieces that you removed or cut away from your bargain blinds (slats, strings, etc.). You never know if your next apartment will have the same size windows. Because nothing was broken during this assembly, you would be able to reassemble the bargain blinds and use them again in the future.