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When one of my mini blinds broke, I thought about what a waste it was. After a time I was repotting plants and needed markers for them. They were African violets. I decided to cut up the slats of the mini blinds. Then as I was planting my garden I realized I could also use the slats to mark them as well. Actually, I have found many uses for those slats and I am still on using the same mini blind. Those slats will last me for years to come. Another use might be as a marker in a filing cabinet, marking rabbit or chicken pens, etc.
By Diane from Pingree, ID
When I used to have a chain link fence, I liked to run the slats from the blinds into the chain link in different color sequences. If you get creative enough, designs and even words can be seen or displayed.
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Hello I need help in the re-purpose/recycle dept. I have some old matchstick roll up blinds. Any ideas on what I can do with them or make them into? I have about 10 or so I would hate to toss them and a week later realize that I should have kept them. The only thing I have thought of is making a few place mats. Thanks for the help.
Connie from Colt, AR
To match the placemats, you can make a table runner (the kind that runs down the center of the table) by cutting the blinds to about a foot and a half wide (or whatever would suit your table) and then stringing together as many as you need to reach the desired length. Using the invisible fishing line type thread is good for tying them together because it disappears visually.
I have also made a freestanding lamp (actually, at first I suspended it from a ceiling hook-- and it worked equally well) by wrapping the matchstick material around a pair of wooden embroidery hoops (for stabilization) that I got for a quarter at a garage sale. I positioned the wooden hoops right at the line where the matchsticks are sewn together-- and then sewed them in place with invisible thread. You could probably use hot glue to do the same thing and it would be much faster, but I didn't want any glue to seep through. (I doubt it would be visible but I'm a bit of a perfectionist.) I did glue a small cross stick across the diameter of the wooden hoop that had a smsll notch cut into the center for the light cord to be pushed into. I initially suspended the lamp by using one of those light bulb socket things attached to a hanging cord with an on/off switch. I scavenged mine, but you can buy them as kits at Target, Home Depot,hardware stores,lighting stores, etc. for about $10. Later, when I used it as a floor lamp, I cut more notches in the crosspiece and hot glued a second notched cross piece to the bottom hoop. I switched to a long string of christmas lights as the lighting source so the light would be more diffuse. I strung the lights up and down the inside of the lamp using the notched cutouts to secure them. Making two or three of these of different heights and circumferences sitting grouped together in a corner would look nice. If you want to ditch the natural look you could also spraypaint the lamp once completed and then add colored christmas lights instead.
I have also added matchstick blinds to revamp a chest of drawers that had recessed inset panel areas. I just cut the blinds to the right size and stapled them in place. I stapled across the string where they are sewn so the staples would disappear. I also saw a version of this done to update cabinet fronts by first creating raised frames smaller than the size of the cabinet front by nailing (with tiny nails!) 1/4th inch square stained lathing strips (but molding could also be used) and then gluing (with wood glue) rectangles of cut-to-fit blinds into the frames.-- you obviously have to take down the cabinet fronts to accomplish this-- so its a little more labor intensive.
My brother and I also used some matchstick blinds to hide the ugly outdoor meters and air conditioning vents that detract from the landscape plantings around his house. We just stapled the blinds to hinged frames --basically making a small folding screen. It has worked well because it can be easily moved to access the meters, but hides the ugly stuff away and the weathered wood fits in with the natural greenery. Obviously, the screen won't last forever outside in Minnesota, but for something created out of stuff scavenged for free, we won't feel bad about throwing it away after a couple of years and making a new one.
I also think you could cut some blinds up carefully and glue them to the front of old frames as a way to update them. I havent done this, but it might be a good way to use up the scraps. (or maybe wrap it around votives or other glassed-in candles and tie it with raffia?)
Finally,I contemplated using some old matchstick blinds suspended from the ceiling in the middle of my living room to create a suspended partial room divider. I see no reason why it wouldn't work, --I just ended up suspending a pre-made World Market beaded curtain type-thing instead because it was visually lighter.
Whew! Just a few ideas. good luck
1) If these were my blinds I can tell you EXACTLY what I'd do with them. (I wish they WERE my blinds!) I'd use them outside. I'd drive some metal stakes or bury 1" x 1" wooden posts into the ground at my fence line, or next to my house or along my garden or anywhere I could use privacy then staple, wire or nylon twine to tie these blinds to the posts to make a sort of "fence" from them, then on the back & the front, I'd spray them with a clear linseed oil deck sealer or an colored stain to keep them safe from the weather. (You can just use a garden sprayer for $12).
You can then plant Ivy, clematis or any vine & have it climb & grow up the blind. If you seal them properly, they can withstand the weather. They would make excellent trellis's for your peas or beans grow up too! They could also be use to make a great little privacy sunbathing or temporary courtyard if you use metal posts you can just pound in to your yard then remove them later & roll the blinds back up & store them for the winter season.
2) If you have a chain link fence for more privacy you can zip-tie or wire them to your chain link fence after sealing them (Privacy, privacy, privacy. Can you believe I live in a mobile home area?).
3) On a DIY home decorating show, they took these same blinds & use them to cover a whole peaked ceiling on an indoor porch. (If you're interested I can find the show for you) I've also seen them hung on a wall then framed with thin but rough wooden boards.
4) But the coolest thing I saw was on a Christopher Lowell show. He hung these up on pretend windows then hung mirrors behind them. (In a small room with no windows) the reflection of the mirrors glinting through the matchsticks made it look like light was coming through the windows! It was VERY cool!
5) If you'd like a shorter garden trellis, I bet you could cut them in half with wire snips, sturdy scissors or even a jig-saw.
6) I could also see them cut to size, then framed in to cover up old kitchen cupboards. They could even be painted to match.
7) How about tied around an indoor or outdoor planter with rafia! WOW!
8) As a backdrop for a fountain.
9) To cover the sides of a treehouse or a kids clubhouse.
10) As a last effort when the shades are ready to fall apart, If you live in an area with lots of mud as I do, how about just laying them down on the ground by the front & back door before you step on the porch to stop mud from tracking into the house. I bet grass would grow up through the holes!
11) Lay them under your car when working on it to keep clean.
12) Keep one in your car trunk for traction when you get stuck in the snow or mud.
13) As a rug for outdoor furniture. Or as extra seating, kids can sit on it during a barbecue or picnic.
14) Lay your towel on one when sun bathing
15) If you have an outdoor pool or hot-tub, lay one down in the area when you enter it to stop grass from sticking to your feet before entering the pool or hot-tub.
Does anyone have any uses for old vertical blinds? We replaced a bunch and I feel like there must be something I can do with them. They are the fake wood kind not the plastic.
Donate them to somebody who might use them unless they are broken. In our area, Habitat for Humanity likes household items that can be used for building or furnishing homes and they will send a truck to pick up the items you wish to donate.
I cut the vertical blinds into strips of 6" or so and put them in a coffee can. When my husband and I plant seeds in the spring for our garden, I write what they are on the strip. I also use them when I start new plants from the leaves of my African Violets. I record the date and color, just so I'll know how long it takes for them to mature and flower. When I plant my iris bulbs, I put the name of the iris and put it in the ground so I can learn the names, as I tend to forget them by the time they are blooming.
Just a comment to Eletha,
Vertical blinds made into plant labels work great for a few years. When labeling for inside plants it works wonderful. Lasts for years and years.
Outside plants...unless you push the label right into the ground the sun will deteriate the blind tags and they will go brittle and fade. Please make a map of your flower bed so you will know which iris is which if your tag breaks or fades. I do use the blind tags as a temporary tag until I make a permanent one from tooling copper cut into 1 x 3 rectangles and written on hard enough to leave a permanent indentation of the name of the plant. I have labeled most of my 800plus plants on our acreage this way and have lost the names of only a few of them (because of the blind tags fading and breaking years ago before I started to use copper tooling).
Any plants that I give away I use the blind tags in them for the new owner to identify the kind of plant I gave them.
I also use these tags when I have my annual garage sale with perennials. We write the prices on these tags, stick them into the plant pots and when they are sold, we just pull out all the price tags and add them up for our customers. Each of us at the garage sale use a different color on the blind tags to allocate who gets the money from the plants and at the end of the sale we sort and wash the blind tags in order to store them until next year's sale.
I just shortened 2 sets of mini blinds and have lots of extra slats. Does anyone know of a way to use these?
By Louise from PA
They make amazing siding for doll houses & indoor birdhouses. You can also use them to cut fimo & cookie dough. Also, remember how we'd take playing cards & using clothespins attack them to the spokes of our bikes so they'd make noises when we road? These would work even better that playing cards. I bet you could make some wonderful hanging mobiles as well! I bet they would work wonders to keep mice & cockroaches out of cupboards & drawers. We have a crack the runs along ours where mice were getting in & I placed a plastic ruler along this crack keep tiny critters out, but a mini blind would have worked better.
Come to think of it, you could use them as makeshift "rulers" to draw a straight line with. But unlike a ruler, because they're bendable you could use them on curved surfaces like on pillars, rocks, spheres, etc. If they are flat you could cut little them into squares then use them as "mosaics", by first spray painting, then gluing & "grouting" with craft glue or a dimensional sealer. etc.
If you cover them with copper tape, you could attach it with double-sided tape, tacks or tiny screws to areas where you need to keep slugs or snails away. I had some blinds that were made of wood & I wove them through my chain-link fence for added privacy after spray painting them. I'm sure aluminum would work even better. You usually weave them at an angle, but if the blinds are super skinny, you can sometimes weave them vertically.
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.good luck.
I have used them for book marks. Most can be cut with either scissors or a craft saw. cut the ends rounded, then let the kids paint them, use markers, etc. I have let them use crayon to decorate, then cover with waxed paper. Use an iron on low setting to lightly go over them. colors meld together - every piece is different! Have fun!
I have lots of old venetian blinds that I no longer use and really don't want to see them go to the landfill. Any ideas of things to do with these would greatly be appreciated.
We recently used the 'slats' from old blinds as garden markers for individual plants and for row markers.
Worn out mini blinds can be repurposed and used for garden and plant markers. This is a guide about vinyl blinds for plant markers.
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I am looking for a craft idea using broken window blind slats for children who range in ages from 2 1/2 to 8 years old. Thanks.
Dee from Charlevoix, MI
Window Blind Slats? I wish I could help. I will tell you what I do when I run into the question of making a craft or reusing something.I take the item into my hand and think of possibilities. I haven't seen a window blind slat in years. I remember as a child finding one in the trash and breaking it apart. I remember the sound they made how I would listen to the click like sound when I swung it and it folded a bit I remember I got a scratch after I kept bending the slat until it broke.
I would guess you could make a kind of wind chime. You would have to paint the slats to prevent rusting and that might change it's sound. After the base paint coat you could go create and drawer little characters on the one side and give the other side a different color of paint on it's second coat. Somebody is going to have to use tin snips to cut away the string hole at the bottom and still keep it from being sharp. Or from those same holes you could string and attached little bells.
No, I haven't done this, but the possibility is there.
One other possibility is to paint and line the slats into a wind wheel. Now when I say a wind wheel I mean picture a large tin can sitting on a table now the top and bottom part you install your slats into. Again there is a lot of cutting, painting maybe a bright color and also paint a moving design on the slats so as the wheel spins around the design looks like it moves.
The only other possibility I can come up with is using those slats as hills for Hot Wheels cars to get up speed from? Perhaps a side by side Hot Wheels starter hill racetrack attach them to a card board box base decorated. At the top design a barrier which can be moved to start the Hot Wheels at the same time. In fact you could even fence in this racetrack using painted and decorated slats. I find with the use of imagination almost anything is possible.
The children you have still use their imagination a pity most of us seem to throw ours away as we get older.
I hope I help and I hope others will come up with even better projects.
Mr Thrifty (07/01/2006)
I purchased plants from a garden club and they used the plastic slats from blinds as tags to identify the plants. They cut them in 6 inch lengths and used a permanent marker to write on them. The kids could plant seeds? Depending on how many blinds you can access. I would think you could have the kids weave them into placemats. Or they could use them to make tic tac toe grids or hopscotch patterns on the floor. (07/05/2006)
How about making bird houses. You could use cardboard for the structure and use the slats for the "siding" and roof. (07/09/2006)
The birdhouses are an excellent idea. You could even buy preassembled wooden houses from a local hobby store and use the slats as "vinyl siding". I just moved into a new house and had to buy blinds. Adjusting for the length of the windows has left me with a plethora of excess slats. This will be a great idea to use them rather than put them in the trash. (07/29/2007)
Some are made of wood, some are metal and some are plastic. Depending on what kind you have. Do what you can with popcycle stick art, but adjust for the width of your slat. (11/13/2008)
By Grandma J