5 Things to Do with… Broken Blinds

Don't throw out your old window blinds! Rather, save those shades for one of these creative repurposing projects.

By Jennifer Noonan | Published Sep 26, 2013 6:26 PM

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Nothing lasts forever, and that includes window treatments. Besides the inevitable wear and tear they endure with normal use over time, blinds are also particularly vulnerable to pets and children; both seem to have a gift for damaging vertical and Venetian-style shades. Rather than kicking your window blinds to the curb once they no longer operate correctly, why not repurpose them into something new and wonderful? Here are five of our favorite ideas.



Repurpose Window Blinds - Chandelier

Photo: inhabitat.com

Mini blinds and their translucent slats lend themselves easily to a second life as a lighting fixture shade. Create a variety of shapes and styles by cutting the slats to different lengths or at different angles. You might also cut in patterns to modulate the brightness of the light or cast beautiful shadows on the walls.



Repurpose Window Blinds - Garden Markers

Photo: instructables.com

You can also repurpose window blinds in the garden, where vinyl slats can serve as plant identification markers. They’re super simple to make: Cut a slat to the desired length and form a stake-like tip at one end, then use a permanent marker to label the surface. You’ll never again have to guess which plant is which!



Repurpose Window Blinds - Picture Frame

Photo: domesticimperfection.com

Wooden blinds make for a striking picture frame. Start by cutting slats to varying lengths and stacking them in offset layers. Join the slats with wood adhesive and then let them dry. You can leave the wood in its natural state, apply a stain, or coat with paint (either in coordinating colors or a single hue of your choice).



Repurpose Window Blinds - Basket

Photo: catchingthemoon.blogspot.com

For lightweight storage, repurpose window blinds into a highly portable woven basket. A straight-plaited pattern works best, and it’s recommended that you double the slats for additional strength. Secure the assembly by lashing the top rim of the basket with the pull cord that used to operate the installed blinds.



Repurpose Window Blinds - Roman Shades

Photo: leadingthegoodlife.net

If your blinds have a few broken slats but the mechanics remain safely intact, convert them into Roman shades! With a few basic tools and materials—scissors, glue, fabric, and patience—you can achieve a completely updated, brand-new-to-you look for well under the cost of a store-bought treatment.