What to do with Mangled Blinds?
September 2, 2015 9:10 AM   Subscribe

When my wife and I bought our house two years ago, almost all the windows came furnished with custom, wooden blinds of high quality, and I assume, high price. Our lil' devil cat made short work of most of them, however, systematically chewing all the bits of connective string he could get at. Now we have a bunch of half-ruined blinds and loose wooden slats. I'm not sure what to do with this mess.

Most of the blinds have been taken down and relocated to my garage, where they're taking up a lot of room (and we have very little storage space to begin with). I'd like to get rid of them, but I wince at the idea of throwing away what is probably hundreds of dollars worth of blinds. My question is twofold:

1) How much does it generally cost to restring blinds? All the other components of the blinds are intact and I could hang on to them for now. The cat is not going to change his ways and he's young, so it might be awhile before I can do anything with them, but if he croaks early (not that I'm wishing this on him) or we want to sell the house, maybe it's worth it to repair the blinds? If it's too great an expense, then it will make it that much easier to get rid of them.

2) If I do get rid of them, is there any charitable organisation that might have use for such a thing, where they could repair and resell them? Or do I just have a bunch of flimsy wood fit only for the dump?

P.S. Yes, we tried the spray-on cat deterrent. I am the only one who suffered from it though, getting that awful flavour in my mouth accidentally as I removed the blinds. The deviant cat wasn't bothered by the taste at all. Cat 1, Human 0.
posted by picea to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't know about number 1, but for 2, ReStore is a national (I think) branch of Habitat for Humanity that sells used building materials. You can search for "salvage building materials" if you want to try and find a more local organization.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:21 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wait 10 years. Restring with carbon fiber nanotube reinforced hemp cord. Profit.
If you restring them, I would seriously look at some of the more robust cord options. Thin hemp cord is the most durable natural fiber I know of, but there could be others that are better for this application.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=u95RlGKMUnU for the how to nitty gritty details
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 9:23 AM on September 2, 2015

You don't mention what type of blinds they are, but assuming they are venetian-style, you may be able to restring them yourself in the course of a day or even an afternoon. My mom taught herself how to restring cheap plastic venetian blinds, pre-youtube diy videos, and it didn't seem that difficult - just a bit precise and fiddly.
posted by muddgirl at 9:25 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

If you're going to donate, gotta second the Habitat for Humanity suggestion. They do awesome things - an organization well worth supporting.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 9:26 AM on September 2, 2015

Do you do your own home improvements? Ever need to fix random things? Have any hobbies? Stay tuned...

Our house a lot of wooden blinds, which I didn't want because, frankly, I think they are ugly. So I took them all down and stored them in the basement. They were in pretty bad shape as well, with some cracked slats and tangles. I didn't think they were good enough to donate, and I was ready to throw them away to clear out storage space.

Instead, I realized that the slats were perfect for some projects I was working on. So I cut all the strings and stacked up the slats near my work bench, and I've used them several repairs and projects. Granted, I probably have more than I will ever use, but in those times when I need a good thin slat of wood for a project, I'm all set. (This puts me one step closer to my grandfather who kept every scrap of everything in case he needed it someday.)
posted by The Deej at 9:30 AM on September 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

If your kitty is a chewer, you need to know about Bitter Apple spray if you don't already. It's wonderful.
posted by amtho at 9:42 AM on September 2, 2015

Not sure about restringing the entire blind, but my parents recently restrung the pullcords for most of their blinds because their cat similarly destroyed them. I think they found a video on youtube; they said the first one took a long time to figure out, but after that it wasn't too awful.
posted by gatorae at 10:00 AM on September 2, 2015

We can't answer this question without a picture of the cat.
posted by Melismata at 11:02 AM on September 2, 2015 [5 favorites]

Heat with wood or have a fireplace? Those slats will be excellent kindling.
posted by beagle at 11:54 AM on September 2, 2015

Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I ended up just shoving them all into a very tall narrow box, so they're at least more out of the way. Sadly, the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore doesn't take blinds. I was hoping that would be the solution. I may yet make an art project out of them, but inspiration has yet to strike in that direction!

amtho - that bitter apple spray is what we fairly coated the blinds' strings with. When I was moving them around yesterday, I got another awful dosing of it. The cat was impervious to its putrescence.

Melismata - Here is a photo of my boy, Quill, in his true form.
posted by picea at 5:26 AM on September 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

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