Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
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. When you finish, you will have a beautiful fence, giving your yard "privacy" while recycling at the same time.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
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.
Maybe a rug for the patio or deck or porch. Doesn't have to be huge.
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
perhaps covering an ugly wall...or making a pattern on the wall by cutting them up into smaller sections and alternating their direction or as a privacy screen or many cities have a website called www.freecycle.com. There will probably be someone who is interested.
you can offer them on free cycle .some one can always us them.hope this helps
Oh, I just love those type of blinds. I have used them as shelf liner (or paper) on the metal cabinet in my laundry room. The shelf was starting to look rusty, but my addition made it like new.
Also, I've often thought I'd like to have some of those blinds to line the backside of my book cases or perhaps the drawer fronts of an old dresser. I think the color is great and they add texture to wooden pieces.
Are you sure you dont have unadorned windows in your basement or garage where you can hang them? It would make the house look nicer from the outside.
I"d try to think about using your blinds as a framed photo on the wall. You know what I mean? A picture. OR I'd see if I could figure out a way to cut them and make the mat for a picture to hang on the wall.
I think your blinds would add a lot of texture to a bathroom which can be sterile, hard, and cold. Wood accents add warmth.
Tear apart and make a dollhouse or use for other kids or craft projects.
Thanks for all the great ideas. They really do have a nice look and feel. Thanks again connie
I have used matchstick blinds as a headboard. I removed all the hardware and layed them flat. I measured how big I wanted the headboard and cut them, then had them framed and attached to the frame of my son's bed. I used three blinds for a twin bed.
What about a runner to put by your door, as a shoe or boot collector? If you put clear contact paper on the bottom, it will be somewhat waterproof.
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.
A small, placemat sized matchstick piece with strings or ribbons on the ends makes a handy carrier for artists' brushes. If the bristles of the brushes are damp, the stiff rolled up and tied matchstick thingy keeps the bristles from drying crookedly. I forgot to say that you lay the matchstick thingy on the table, place the brushes on the matchstick and roll it up and tie it. The ones you buy in the art supply store have pockets to hold the brushes. If you buy it in the store, it might cost $3.
If going outside, be sure to stain them with exterior fence stain, if not already painted/stained natural..? If going on the floor, use epoxy but paint them on newspaper outdoors.
If going in the bath, remember that they are perfect for roaches to live behind and they are BIG dust
catchers. I used them in several places when we lived in Hawaii. If yours are already old, they might be made better than current ones, but if new, beware that they might not weather well, nor take foot traffic without splintering.
If using for a lamp, keep the diameter at least 10-12 inches away from ANY size bulb. The larger the bulb, though, the farther from the VERY flammable "matchstick" blinds the blinds need to be.
I'm just a practical grandmother, thinking of all the angles! lol
God bless and help you. : )
In order, I would use them as they aged:
1. Window coverings for rooms I use frequently, but probably not for a truly formal room if I had one.
2. Window coverings for basement windows, workout room, laundry/utility room, work shed, kids' playhouse/treehouse if I had kids.
3. The walls of a sukkah for the festival of Sukkot (look it up, Wikipedia is your friend).
4. Floor mats for the sukkah, or for lining the walk between house and pool/hot tub, or for lining underneath a sunbathing towel.
5. Car trunk for traction on snowy, icy, or muddy days.
6. Kindling while camping or in a fireplace.
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.
In most areas they have freecycle on the yahoo. You can give them to someone that needs them..Go to yahoo groups and type in freecycle and you can find if there is one in your area.
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.
A friend of my sister used them to make christmas ornaments.She first diecut them into gingerbread men then painted them . Last, she punched holes in the tops to hang them. I'm thinking of doing something similar but I thought I cut a slit on the tops of wooden dowels and make plant pokes, or mobiles,I may even string them with wire and beads to make suncatchers. I hope I helped in someway Be creative, I'm sure there are lots of cool ideas.
If they are thin and flexible enough, you could paint them with Krylon Fusion spray paint in colors to coordinate with your interior colors, or leave color as is, since yours is a "natural" color which is a trend now. Then cut them to size, weave them to form a checker like pattern; "frame" edges with another strip and cover with cut acrylic. Use to decorate tabletops, a dishwasher top, etc. This works well with vinyl clothlike blinds.
I cut yogurt containers into 2" strips with pointy ends as tags for garden use. This is my first year using it, and I would think that being plastic, it will not turn brittle in the sun.
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
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.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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