How can I reuse or recycle old window blinds?

plastic slat blindsWe’ve had an email from Rich:

Any ideas about how to recycle faux wood blinds? They are white and made of plastic. There must be some craft to make with them.

I’m presuming Rich means Venetian/slat blinds – of the type being currently battered next to my head as cats fight behind them ;)

So what can be done with them? With plastic ones like Rich or the soft wood ones about to cause me imminent injury?

Since I’m obsessed with weaving odd things, I think I’d been tempted to give it a go with the slats – no idea what the resulting fabric could be used for though ;)

So any thoughts?

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31 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old window blinds?”


  1. Chris C says:

    I’ve heard of cutting the narrow plastic & metal ones into lengths of about 8″ and using them for plant identification markers when you are planting in the spring. You would have to see if pencil or marker worked best to write on them.

  2. Trina says:

    I have never done it before and don’t know how it would turn out, but if you did weave them into “fabric” I think you could possibly use them as place mats for the dinner table. They may be to crinkly for it, or if they are too old they may be brittle and break into a gazillion pieces (which I have had happen to me).

    If you do use them as place mats be sure to put something like felt on the back so that they don’t scratch the table.

  3. nancy says:

    oh my gosh, with a single blind I could make an entire jewerly collection, cover lampshades in interesting woven textures, it is a great source for artists or crafters, thanks for opening the door!

  4. Cheryl says:

    Funny I should run across this post. I just posted a blog on using an old plastic blind to make garden markers with, and they came out pretty good. I plan to use a Sharpie marker to write with. No idea how long they’ll last with the UV rays of the sun, but I’m sure I’ll get one season out of them at the least.

  5. Jaylah says:

    I use them to make flower-garden markers every year. Since I’m not made of money and can’t afford potted perennials or flats of annuals, I start my own plants from seed every year.

    I just cut the slats about every 5-inches, every other cut on an angle, so I get one blunt end and one sharp end to stick in the soil. I use a Sharpie to write on the markers, and I don’t worry about the markers becoming brittle or the writing fading as they only have to withstand one or two years at most. (The ones for annuals only have to last a few months.)

    Being outside and exposed to the elements, the vinyl does become quite brittle. The following spring, I just crumble them up and leave them in the dirt. They act sort of like perlite as far as helping the soil stay fluffy.

    I’m not sure I’d want to do that in a vegetable garden, however. Not sure what, if any, chemicals would leach out of the vinyl.

  6. Chris Smith says:

    Thanks for these tips. I have not thought of these before. Got a couple of old window blinds stock inside my garage. Got some ideas too with the comments of your readers.

  7. Thank you, great tips, I’m looking forward to a project I have in mind

  8. suse40 says:

    The string that is used in most blinds is very sturdy and very long. I have pulled it out of several blinds and use the resulting ball all over the house and yard. As far as the vinyl slats go—I’ve beens saving mine to create some kind of wind sculpture, mobile, yard art, but haven’t done it yet! OUtside in the wind and sun, the vinyl may not last forever, but I was just hoping for something that moved with the breezes. I hope this triggers someone’s fancy to get started on theirs!

  9. Frances says:

    You can take the heavier plastic ones and the wooden ones off the broken perished strings and make frames to fit inside your windows of slightly heavier wood. Then tack the old slats on making lightweight indoor shutters. You can just put these up and down and store somewhere or place below the windows when not in use or you can hinge them and put them up and secure to the ceiling when not required on the windows. You could also arrange for them to slide away. If you hate fussy curtains as much as I do and hate dusty venetians even more, you will like this look. This idea can be used on glass doors too as the slats are quite light. Or if the windows open to a verandah you can put your shutters on the outside.

  10. Lanellsia Hamilton says:

    I am in home mom looking for ways to save! How about taking the blinds down and finishing them again with spray paint, a spray paint that wont finish shiny……

  11. Melody says:

    These were very good examples for crafts. I elieve I will try to make the placemats..

    Thanks

  12. chez says:

    I have re-used the fabric on vertical louvre blinds to make shopping bags by thoroughly washing them first to remove the stiffening, then weaving a few slats together until I get the desired size, machine sew the base and sides and add handles.
    Also can be made into credit card holders/pockets.
    The weights from the bottom of each slat can be strung around a plant pot, using the strong cord from the blind, and hung outside to make a windchime.
    Cut out shapes for place mats, coasters, use for card making, scrapbooking etc……..

  13. Skye says:

    If you sew, the slats from mini blinds can be used when making Fabric Roman shades. One slipped into a long pocket at each fan fold where the loops go ensures that the shades will fold up perfectly.

  14. Kitty says:

    I also found a website where you can buy the elements to put old blinds back into action. It looks amazing. I’ve got 5 old wooden blinds that I would like to fix and give away. Since the old “cloth tape” is shredding, this seems like the best way to repair them.

    http://www.fixmyblinds.com/

  15. Leanna Reece says:

    I’ve attempted to weave with two different types of old blinds- the standard white apartment type and the ones with thin, hollow plastic slats. No such luck with either of them, though they could have simply been too old and brittle.

    They do work perfectly as garden markers, though! Simply make one end into an arrow, pull out your permanent marker, and you’re good to go!

    I do have a couple of other ideas rolling around, we’ll see if they turn out!

  16. Collren says:

    I recycled my window blinds by weaving them into a metal deer fence.
    It acts as a white backround and also creates privacy. Email me if you would like to see a pic came out great!!

  17. chris says:

    I can keep phone numbers and other items on them. You could even put a Recipe on it and give it to a friend, it would always be handy. permanent markers come in all kinds of colors. Send A letter to a friend on your old blind, I sent a ball I wrote on ,and a sandal just make sure the postage is right. I didn’t even wrap the ball or sandal.

  18. Medeea says:

    Balcony privacy

  19. judy says:

    i would use them to make inlays on kitchen cabinet doors

  20. Yvonne says:

    I am replacing my old fabric roller blinds soon and wondered if anyone had any good ideas for reusing the old cream ones. I was thinking of using them for craft and art activities with my grandchildren, but not sure about it!

  21. Cheryl Sanderson says:

    I have reclycled lots of fabric blinds in recent years. They can be made into table mats, coasters, pencil cases, make up bags, spectacle cases etc. or cover plant pots, tins, plastic containers, yogurt pots, ring binders, books, etc with the fabric using PVA. Also to make embellishments for handmade greeting cards. The fabric is much softer (and cleaner of course) if you machine wash it at 30 followed by a short spin. Cut it into manageable sizes first, bearing in mind what you want to use it for before cutting it and allowing extra for any shrinkage. Dry it flat, an outside table or bench on a sunny day is ideal. When dry it can be coloured with emulsion, written or drawn on with DVD pens, stitched with cotton, wool, silk. So many ideas…so little time LOL Hope this helps :-)

  22. Sandy says:

    I have been wondering how to reuse/recycle my wood blinds. The slats are very sturdy and hence was thinking maybe a garden trellis or garden fence of some sort. Any other ideas?

    • Wendy says:

      I have had an idea which am currently working on: I’m going to cut my left-over timber slats into pieces so that the string slots are cut out. Then, I am planning to lay the pieces in parquet fashion on an old bathroom door. Then glue in place and I need to source a product to act as grout and then will finish with a clear yacht varnish. The end result I’m hoping will be my new patio table.??

  23. Diane says:

    I have old metal storm roller shutters that where on the outside of thw windows. How can i reuse them in thw garden. I did think of garden edging. Has anyone tried this.

  24. Addie Shuga says:

    I want to use blinds for htis type of bag garden. http://www.sendacow.org.uk/lessonsfromafrica/resources/bag-gardens

    I think a blind use on end to make an inner and outer containment circle for stones /compost and planting material respectively would be great. The only concern, though, is whether the material would leach chemicals into the food grown. But you could use it for a flower tower and wouldn’t those be fun to have around the yard?



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