The Quick and Easy Way to Measure for Window Blinds

Measuring for window blinds isn’t difficult – here’s what you need to know to get the right fit.

Coral X-Benches Create Informal Room Divider

Coral X-Benches Create Informal Room Divider

Trendy coral-colored X-benches serve as an informal room divider in this open-concept living room and dining room. The rooms are united through shared natural elements, like the wood tables, and the complementary designs of the scroll-back chairs and Chesterfield sofa.

Photo by: Brian Kellogg ©scripps Networks, LLC

Brian Kellogg, scripps Networks, LLC

You’ve spent hours picking them for your home and you want them to fit perfectly. Now, how do you measure for window blinds, again?

Inside Mount or Outside Mount

There are two ways to mount blinds, inside the window frame and outside it. For a clean, built-in look, use inside mount. This also allows you to hang other window coverings, like draperies, over the blind.

Use outside mount when you want to make a window look wider and longer, or when you have an unattractive window that you want to hide. It’s also a good option if you have a window that is noticeably off square.

When measuring, use a steel measuring tape and measure to the nearest 1/8-inch. Don’t round your measurements.

Note which measurement is the width by marking a “W” next to it, and note the height with an “H.” Always put the width measurement first. Remember: W x H.

Unless told otherwise, don’t deduct for the mounting brackets or head rail; the factory will do this. Provide the exact window size.

Tip: When using an inside mount, first measure to make sure the frame is deep enough to accommodate the hanging hardware.

Inside Mount Blinds

Once you’ve determined your frame is deep enough for the hardware, take three measurements, one at the top of the window one in the middle and one at the bottom. Use the narrowest width as your measurement.

For the height, measure left, right and center, and record the tallest height.

Outside Mount Blinds

When measuring for outside mount horizontal blinds, start by measuring the window’s width. Then, if possible, add at least 3 inches to each side to ensure you’re covering the light gap and to maximize privacy.

Then measure the window’s height and add at least 2.5 inches to allow the space for mounting brackets and overlap at the bottom of the blind.

Shortening Faux Wood Blinds

There are a variety of reasons to shorten faux wood blinds: you’re hanging old blinds on a new window, you want to correct an accidental mis-measurement, or the off-the-rack blinds you bought are simply too long.

Here’s what you’ll need:

·   scissors

·   flat-head screwdriver

·   needle nose pliers or tweezers

Start by lowering the blind fully. Choose the new bottom slat of the blind by selecting the slat that’s even with, or slightly below, the windowsill.

There should be three cords: a smooth lift cord (that lifts the blinds), a braided ladder cord (that holds the blinds vertically) and a connector cord between each slat, which secures the blinds horizontally.

Count two slats down from the bottom of the sill and cut the ladder cords on both sides of the blind. Warning: Don’t cut the lift cord or the connecting cord!

The slats will fall to the bottom, supported by the ladder cords. Then, about six inches below the windowsill, trim the lift cords and pull out the last two slats, the ones below the new bottom slat.

Tip: Save a couple of the slats for future use.

Use the screwdriver to pry the plugs from the underside of the bottom rail. Slide the rail free from the old slats and cords. Use tweezers or pliers to pull the cut lift cords out of the plughole. Slide the rail onto the connecting cords, just below the bottom slat.

Pull all four of the lift cords out of the last loops on the ladder cord. Then reinsert the lift cords in the holes on the front and backsides of the bottom rail. Pull the lift cords through the bottom holes and double-knot each pair of cords together. Trim the lift cords.

Trim the ladder cords and stuff them, along with the lift cords, into the plughole. Then tap the plugs back in place with the hammer.

Installing Window Shades 01:00

Here are the basics for installing window shades and blinds.
Keep Reading

Next Up

7 Window Treatment Trends and Styles

Find new ideas on how to dress up windows for all budgets and styles.

5 Arched Window Treatments That Are Sure to Please

Browse beautiful arch window treatments, from curtains to shades.

You'll Love These Easy Curtain and Blind Solutions for Bay Windows

Bay windows are one of the most beloved window types – until it’s time to find window treatments. We simplify the process.

Everything You Need to Know About Window Blinds, Including Motorized

Blinds come in many styles and colors, and recently motorized options are available that will make your life easier.

The Most-Efficient, Easiest Way to Clean Your Bathroom

Learn how to make quick work out of cleaning your bathroom, and get tips on the best solutions to use on fixtures, faucets and walls.

Cleaning Brushes Can Be Quick and Easy

Don't put off a paint job because of the dreaded cleanup afterward. Learn these tips that will make cleaning your paintbrushes quick and easy.

5 Easy Ways to Help Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

Check out these tips on how to increase your home's heating efficiency and help lower your utility bill.

Stylish, Affordable Bamboo Blinds Are Sure to Impress

Long a dorm-room favorite, bamboo blinds are finally growing up. 


Breakneck Builds

7:30am | 6:30c

Nashville Flipped

8:30am | 7:30c

Nashville Flipped

9:30am | 8:30c

Nashville Flipped

10:30am | 9:30c

Nashville Flipped

11:30am | 10:30c

Nashville Flipped

12:30pm | 11:30c

Bargain Mansions

1:30pm | 12:30c

Bargain Mansions

2:30pm | 1:30c

Bargain Mansions

3:30pm | 2:30c

Bargain Mansions

4:30pm | 3:30c

Bargain Mansions

5:30pm | 4:30c

Bargain Mansions

6:30pm | 5:30c

Bargain Mansions

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight


8pm | 7c


9pm | 8c


10pm | 9c


11pm | 10c


12am | 11c


1am | 12c


2am | 1c


3am | 2c

Renovate to Rent

4:30am | 3:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.