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 progressNot 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.

1-Window-no-shade-bedroomFinally, 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.

01-bedroom-window-no-bamboo-shadeI 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.

02-natural-wood-bamboo-shadeThat’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!

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.

03-bamboo-shade-bedroom-too-longInstalling 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.

2-long-bamboo-shade-window-bedroomNice. 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.06-pen-mark-on-bamboo-window-shade04-bamboo-shade-on-floor

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 how to shorten them. 07-scissors-cut-bamboo-shade

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. 08-window-string-ring-tiedThen I tied the string onto the ring, double knotting it a few times. 09-three-strings-cutI repeated this for all 3 strings, until they were secure on the bottom rings. 05-hot-glue-gun

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. 10-hot-glue-on-bamboo-shadeKnowing 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. Then, I glued the string on the front of the blinds above & below the spot where I was going to cut the shade. 11-razor-blade-bamboo-cuttingWhen 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. 12-hemmed-bamboo-shade-edge

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.13-cut-bamboo-shade-diy

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

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. 15-bamboo-shades-in-master-bedroom-windowWhether they’re up…16-bamboo-shade-up-on-window

Or down…17-bedroom-window-bamboo-shade

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

And let’s back track to what this window used to look like…master-bedroom-green-augusta-before

..and now!


Our bedroom is feeling much more complete with these on our windows. Here’s an update on this room’s to-do list.


  • New, large rug
  • Replace nightstands with matching ones
  • Hang art or mirror over the bed
  • Change up a few of the bed pillows
  • New bench that is more proportionate 
  • Sell 1 dresser & instead do vanity/work desk area
  • Add personality on nightstands/dresser with accessories
  • Hang art & frames on walls
  • Add bamboo shade to window
  • Add curtains to sliding doors
  • Stain blades of wood fan to match floor color
  • Replace black dresser

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.



The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.