How to Fix Broken Blinds

Window blinds in a kitchen

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins - 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $50 to $100

Blinds are a common furnishing for the home. They block the windows and doors to ensure you can enjoy your privacy without nosy neighbors peeking into the home. Blinds are also used to keep sunlight from pouring into the window when all you really want to do is sleep in. Not only do these window furnishings serve a functional purpose, but when care is taken in selecting blinds that match the decor, they can also improve the home aesthetic.

However, bent, broken, or otherwise damaged blinds tend to be easy to spot almost as soon as you enter a room. Damaged blinds are not as effective at protecting your privacy or keeping the sun out. They can also reduce the overall appearance of the room, so it's important to replace a broken slat or fix slanted blinds due to a broken pull cord. Use this guide to repairing horizontal and vertical blinds in order to learn how to fix broken blinds.

Before You Begin

In order to have a better idea of what you need to do to fix the blinds, it's important to identify the type of blinds you have and perform an initial inspection to find out what is causing the problem. Blinds can hang vertically or horizontally, and there are many little issues that can affect the way the blinds hang and rotate. If you are having issues with vertical blinds rotating, check to ensure that the blinds aren't overlapped or hanging backward. Inspect the top of the blind for any signs of damage or obstructions that may be preventing the blind from rotating. Using a lubricating spray can help loosen seized carrier stems, but in some cases, the only fix is to replace the carrier stem or the blind.

Issues with horizontal blinds tend to be more difficult to resolve because the blinds are interconnected with the center, left, and right lift cords. To replace one blind, you need to unthread the three lift cords all the way up to the damaged blind. Then you can remove and replace the blind, before restringing all of the blinds and securing the lift cords with the bottom rail.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
  • Needle-nose pliers


  • Replacement slats
  • Replacement pull cord
  • Replacement blinds
  • Replacement carrier stems


How to Fix Broken Horizontal Blinds

When a slat is bent or broken, you can use a replacement slat or a slat from the bottom of the blinds to make the repair. However, if the issue is a broken pull cord, you will need to purchase a replacement pull cord before proceeding.

  1. Remove the Plugs

    To access the pull cords that are threaded through the slats, you will need to remove the plugs from the bottom rail of the blinds. Use a flathead screwdriver to pop the plugs up and then grab them with your fingers or a set of needle-nose pliers to pull the plugs out of the bottom rail.

  2. Unknot the Lift Cords

    With the plugs removed, you should see the knotted ends of each lift cord that runs through the route holes on either side of the blinds. Use a set of tweezers or needle-nose pliers to pull the knotted ends of the lift cords out of the unplugged holes. Carefully unknot the string. If you cannot undo the knot, cut the cord right above the know and use a light to melt the frayed end to prevent the cord from unraveling.

  3. Replace the Damaged Lift Cord

    If you are replacing a damaged lift cord, you should remove the blinds from the mounting brackets. Draw the slats together, so that most of the lift cord is hanging below the bottom slat. Cut the cord at the fray and pull the cut piece out through the bottom rail.

    Line up the new pull cord with the cut end of the old cord and splice them together by melting the ends with a lighter or gluing them together with hot glue. This will allow you to use the old pull cord as a guide, so you don't have to thread the new cord through each individual slat.

    Rehang the blinds on the mounting brackets and pull the new lift cord through the cord pathway, using one hand to guide the cord up through the headbox. Use the other hand to pull on the old lift cord.

    When the spliced portion of the cord is clear of the headbox, guide the new lift cord to the last bar, then undo the splice and attach the plastic tips to the end of the new cord.

  4. Unthread the Blinds

    For damaged slat repairs, the pull cord will need to be removed from all of the slats below the damaged one. Start from the broken slat you plan to replace and pull up on the center lift cord to unthread it. Repeat this process with the remaining lift cords and make sure to pay attention to how the cord is threaded, so that you can restring the blinds.

  5. Replace the Damaged Slat

    At this point, the slats should still be sitting in the ladder rung strings. Pull the damaged slat out of the ladder rungs and slide the replacement slat into place, ensuring that the pull cord holes line up with the rest of the blinds.

  6. Restring the Blinds

    With the replacement slat in place, you can restring the blinds by threading the pull cord down through the route holes in each slat. Slide the pull cords through the bottom rail, then tie a knot at the end of each pull cord to ensure that it won't get pulled through the bottom rail during normal use.

    Snap the plastic plugs back into place in the bottom rail, then test the blinds to ensure that the repair was a success and that all of the slats were properly threaded.

How to Fix Broken Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds tend to have more issues with rotation, so it's a good idea to inspect the top and bottom of the blind to address any rotation problems. Follow these steps to troubleshoot minor issues, replace carrier stems, and replace broken blinds.

  1. Inspect the Blinds

    When blinds get tangled or twisted, so they hang backward or crooked, it can appear as though the blinds are damaged. For this reason, it's recommended to inspect the blinds to find out what may be causing the issue. If you find the blinds are just twisted, simply untangle them to resolve the issue.

  2. Remove Obstructions

    In some cases, the blinds will not be able to rotate properly because there is something jamming them. During your inspection, if you find any physical objects jamming the blinds, remove the objects to allow the blinds to rotate freely.

    Similarly, if the blinds are just dirty, clean them to remove any dirt or debris that could be obstructing the blinds. You can also apply a lubricant spray to help improve the rotation of the blind.

  3. Replace Carrier Stems

    A carrier stem is the small rectangular piece of plastic that clamps around the top of the blind. If a carrier stem is cracked, warped, or otherwise damaged, it can impact the rotation and overall function of the blind.

    Remove the blind to get access to the carrier stem. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to grip the carrier body, then use your free hand to gently twist the stem away from the body. Twist and pull the stem downward to detach it from the body.

    Insert a replacement carrier stem that matches the size and shape of the old carrier stem. Push the stem into the carrier body until it slides into the hole, then put the blind back on the carrier stem.

  4. Disconnect the Damaged Blind

    If the problem isn't due to a broken carrier stem or any obstructions preventing the blind from rotating, then you are probably dealing with a ripped, torn, or broken blind. Some vertical blinds have a spacer chain on the bottom that runs through a plastic loop at the end of each blind.

    Detach the clip securing the chain, then feed the chain outward from the loop at the bottom of the blind until all the blinds that come before the problem blind are disconnected.

    Once the blind is disconnected from the spacer chain, remove it from the hooks at the top of the blinds. Simply lift the damaged blind up and bend it slightly to detach it from the top.

  5. Install a New Blind

    Lower the new blind onto the empty hook at the top of the blinds. If the blinds have a spacer chain, thread the chain through the holes on the end of any blinds that were disconnected earlier and reattach the clip to secure the chain. Open, close, and rotate the blinds to ensure that they work properly and that the repair was a success.