How to Shorten Bamboo Window Shades

For at least the first month of living in our new place, we had z.e.r.o window treatments on any of our windows. Well…unless you count the curtains I taped up with painter’s tape on our windows.

curtain with tape on windows progress

Not the classiest look in the world. Because of this lack of privacy, I would quickly scamper from the bathroom to the closet to change clothes after getting out of the shower.


Finally, one weekend I decided that it was time to suck it up and come up with a gameplan for window treatments in our bedroom. The rest of the house could wait…but the bedroom windows needed some T.L.C.

Finding a Bamboo Window Shade


I loved the bamboo shades we used in our old place and knew I wanted to add some of these natural shades to our new bedroom window. So I headed to Lowe’s in hopes that I could find a good shade to fit our 35×35 window to the right of our bed.


That’s when I found these. They were a great price, the right color, and even had a little privacy liner behind them to keep streams of sunlight out. Yes, yes, and yes! But the only problem…their size. 36×72. No!

How to Shorten Bamboo Window Shades

I chatted with a Lowe’s employee and he assured me that he could cut the width in-store to my desired size. But he wouldn’t be able to cut the length. He also mentioned that his wife has altered the length of bamboo shades before, and it was definitely doable to cut them to your desired length. With his encouragement, (and a quick scroll on google to make sure I could handle this project) I decided to go for it. I had him cut the shade to size and I left the store ready to add a bit more privacy to our boudoir.


Installing the bamboo shades was super easy. I simply followed the directions and used my power drill to speed up the process. Once they were up and at their full length, they looked like this.


Nice. But definitely way.too.long. I made a mark on the shades where I wanted to cut them and then took the shades off so I could get to work.

Cut The Strings


With the shades laid out on our floor, I was ready to get to work and shorten these bad boys. Not all bamboo shades are made the same, but they’re all very similar. So you may have to tweak these next steps based on your shades, but for the most part, this should give you a good idea of how to shorten them. 


There should be rings on the back of your shades that hold the strings in place. These strings are used to move the shades up and down on your window. I went 1 ring up from where I made my mark on the shades, and cut the string. Then I tied the string onto the ring, double knotting it a few times. I repeated this for all 3 strings until they were secure on the bottom rings. 

Prevent Unraveling With Hot Glue


Then I got out my hot glue gun. Because these shades are made from bamboo pieces and string, I didn’t want anything to unravel when I went to cut the shade. So I got out the hot glue and flipped my shade over to the other side. Knowing that I was going to “hem” the bottom of my shades, I decided on a spot to cut a few inches down from my original mark on the shade.

Cutting The Shade

I glued the string on the front of the blinds above & below the spot where I was going to cut the shade. When the glue dried, I then took out a cutting board and a razor blade and slowly went down the width of the shade to cut through it. 


I then flipped the shade back over, and “hemmed” the bottom. To do this, I simply put a big ol’ blob of hot glue all the way across the shade and folded the bottom up.

My New Shorter Shade

shorten bamboo window shade

And that’s it! My bamboo shades were instantly shortened and looking pretty good…if I do say so myself. 


All that was left to do was re-install the shade and shorten the pull string. To do that I just cut the string and re-knotted it. Whether they’re up…


Or down…

…I am super proud of this DIY project. Who needs expensive window treatments when you can customize budget-friendly ones yourself?!

Before & After


And let’s backtrack to what this window used to look like…


..and now!

Our bedroom is feeling much more complete with these on our windows.

What’s Next?

Augusta bedroom how to shorten bamboo window shades

Now it’s time to tackle the large sliding glass doors in this room (bye-bye makeshift curtains!).  Next week I’ll share the step-by-step tutorial for the blackout curtains I made for our bedroom (no sewing required.) Until then I’ll be enjoying the extra privacy & darkness in our master bedroom.

Spoiler alert: Here’s the full tutorial for those no-sew blackout curtains. They turned out amazing!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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