When a custom size makes them too expensive to replace

Affordable Options for Updating Plastic Vertical Blinds

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Updating Vertical Blinds

I have vertical blinds that are the plastic PVC type panels. I am changing my room with new paint and carpet. My blinds now do not match and I certainly cannot afford to replace them because they are custom-made (came with the house). They are 95" long and I can't seem to even find a website that sells just the panels as my hardware is just fine. Can you help please?
Bev M.

Cover Blinds with Fabric

I have vertical blinds in many rooms in our home. I have changed their look several times by purchasing fabric to recover the inserts in the verticals. I make a paper pattern and then cut the fabric. I use a hot glue gun to glue down on the insert and then put them back in the vertical casing. A decorator originally did this in our master bedroom and charged me $5 per vertical plus the cost of a designer fabric. I have changed the fabric in the verticals myself twice. It can be time consuming and you need a large table or work surface to cut and glue the fabric panels, but it will only cost you the price of the fabric. I have also found large pieces of decorator fabrics on eBay that were being sold because they were at the end of the bolt. I remove the old fabric before replacing or the insert will become to thick to fit back into the casing.
Colleen in Santa Maria, CA

Related: Updating Fabric Vertical Blinds

Paint Them!

My husband and I were in a similar situation. We painted our perfectly good, but outdated vertical blinds with spray paint made for plastic. We did this two years ago and the paint is still adhering great. I'd recommend this technique to anybody. You just need enough space and drop cloths to take down the individual blind slats and spray them, then let them dry thoroughly before re-hanging them.

Related: Updating Vinyl Mini-Blinds with Paint

Get Creative with Color

Rather than switching out your blinds, consider different ways to change their color. If paint would make them too heavy, glue thin tissue paper or thin wrapping paper on them. Stripes may look nice, but you could also go with dots, horizontal stripes, geometric shapes, and flowers spread across a few blinds to be visible when the blinds are stretched across the window. Just cut the shapes or flowers into pieces to fit each blade of blind to make up the design when the blinds are pulled across and turned to shut out the window.

Also, light curtains of sheer or lace could be hung up on the room side, with the blinds on the wall side. Just pull the blinds shut for serious blanking of light or privacy at night. Pull the blinds wide open and hide them behind heavier drapes, or dummy panels on the sides of the windows. Cornice boards of infinite shapes and textures add color and texture to the window dressings, too. Leave the blinds up, and just work around them.

Do Wonders with Wallpaper

If your vertical blind panels are still in good shape, you can cover them with wallpaper that matches your new interior decor. Find the wallpaper you want to use and cut it to size while leaving a little over each side of the panel. Affix the wallpaper to the panel using 3M Super 77 spray glue. Once the glue is completely dry, carefully trim the extra edges.

Contact Paper Cover

A good alternative to replacing the panels/slats is to just cover them. It sounds somewhat cheesy, but I have seen it done with good results. Just cover with strips of a complimentary color or design of contact paper. You can do both sides or just the side facing into the room. It is economical and fairly easy to do.
Jenny K. in Oregon

Custom Fit Without the Custom Price

How wide are your windows? We have a sunroom with three sets of two casement windows side-by-side and two patio doors, and found that we could get standard patio door size vertical blinds inexpensively (under $20) at Menards, our local home improvement store, so we bought five sets of white ones for under $100. The casement windows are around 60" high. The vertical slats are the type that can be cut easily with an ordinary household scissors, so my husband cut the ones for the casement windows 71" long. For a little added pizzazz, he even made a cardboard pattern to mark each one for cutting at an angle before hanging them. In very short order, we had custom looking window treatments. I then bought sheers to gather at the side of each window, with more sheer fabric draped across the top. We think vertical blinds are the greatest. They are so easy to use compared to horizontal blinds, great for privacy, and a nice clean "minimalist" look that you can dress up with fabric. We also bought another set of patio window blinds and cut the length to fit the wide window in our bedroom too, and then bought extra sheets that match the bedspread to use for curtains and valance.

Reviewed February 2018

Take the Next Step:

  • Use these tips when you need to clean vertical blinds.
  • We can help you save redecorating any room in your home. Just visit the frugal home decorating section of the Dollar Stretcher Library before you begin making over that next room.
  • Could your financial house use some redecorating? The TDS ebook How to Conquer Your Debt No Matter How Much You Have can provide you with the tools you need to rearrange your budget and get rid of debt.
  • Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

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