Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to Build Shutters to brighten a Small Space

 Have a Small space that needs a little brightening?  I built these shutters for our Laundry Room and love how they turned out!!

Materials I used were:
3 1/2 in wide MDF boards
construction adhesive
Brad or finish nails
Hinges to hold shutters
Latch to place in the middle

Brad or Finish nailer
Tape Measure
Miter Saw
Table Saw

 * Please note, All windows are going to be different than the measurement of my window. So the measurements I give in this tutorial are for my window space and for demonstration. :)

I first Placed moulding all the way around my window.  The Moulding will serve to help hold the shutters flush with the moulding when you hang them.  I measured and cut all 4 pieces of moulding on 45 degree angles.  I used 3.5 in wide mdf for the moulding.  You can use whatever you would like as long as you can anchor hinges to it to hold your new shutter doors. :)

Once the moulding was placed and painted.  I next built my shutters.

I measured the distance or width and length of the window that the shutters were going to cover.

My window distance measured 23 3/8 inches wide.  I divided the distance in half to get the Width for each shutter.  Each shutter will be 11 1/2 inches wide to cover the distance of the entire window width.

In order to reach 11 1/2 inches for each door, I laid out my boards.
I used 3 1/2 in wide mdf boards.  To make the distance I needed 3 boards at 3 1/2 in wide, but I still had a little bit more distance to cover, so I took one more board that was 3 1/2 in wide and ripped it on the table saw down to 1 inch wide to cover the last bit of remaining space.  

In the image below: A, B, & C are the 3.5 in boards. D is the board I ripped down to 1 inch wide to cover the remaining space. I also placed it closer to the end of the door to be more discrete.

I cut my desired length for the doors to fit the length of my window at 35 inches long using the 3.5 in wide and 1 in wide boards.  

I cut two boards for each shutter that would serve as my cross boards. My cross boards were cut smaller to allow for the hinges and room for the shutters to close.  So my cross boards are 11 1/8 inches long using the same 3 1/2 mdf material.

Here is the picture of the cross boards: The cross boards are going to hold the longer shutter boards together. They go on the inside of each shutter door.

Once I cut my length at 35 inches of the 3 1/2 inch boards, I laid all of them next to each other and made sure they were good and square.  I next clamped them together..

Next I figured out where I wanted my cross boards to go.  If you can, place them where your hinges are going to be screwed into from the front so you don't have any problems with screws going through the width of your shutter door.  Some of my cross boards do not line up with my hinges, it wasn't a huge deal.  

Place glue under the cross boards and nail them across the longer boards.  Be carful not to use too long of nails or brad nails or they will shoot through to the other side of your shutter and show.  We don't want that to happen.

Here is a picture of the finished cross boards nailed to the longer boards....

Your shutters are built!!! Next I painted my shutters.  When they were dry, I hung them.  I found some cute vintage hinges along with a latch for the middle of the doors.

I first figured out where I wanted the hinges to be placed and screwed them into the front of the doors first.

Once I had them in place, I screwed the hinges into the moulding I previously placed around the outside of the window... 

By  placing the hinges on the outside of the moulding, this serves to hold the shutters closer to the front of the window to allow room for the cross boards on the inside of the doors and to allow the shutter doors to close...

I placed my middle latch on...

Project complete!!!

I love to open my shutters. It really brightens up this space.  I stand here and do crafts sometimes too, so it is nice to have them to open and look outside as I work!!  

Some other views..

If you do build some shutters, I hope you enjoy them and they make your space more cheery.   I smile every time I open mine! 

Good Luck!

With much Love & Gratitude,

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  1. Michelle I love this alternative window treatment. I have an aversion to fabric drapes & shades so your shutters are perfect. Pinned for future hopefully sooner than later, use. Thank you.

  2. Really informative they produce the best quality shutter door

  3. love it! I was curious what the blue color on the wall is?

  4. I am LOVING your blog and I have only scratched the surface! This is so cute! You are amazing and I am now following you!

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  6. Can you please share where your hinges and hardware where purchased. I have been in search of them to no avail.

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