A guide to my DIY shutters

You might recall a few weeks back I unveiled my new bedroom décor including the DIY shutters made to get around some difficult curtain decisions.

Read all about my bedroom makeover and how I went all Victorian and sumptuous. I've got the before and after pictures of the walls and the fireplace, and if you're thinking of other options rather than curtains then check-out my DIY shutters

In case you have the same curtain dilemma or just fancy creating shutters of your own I thought I would let you into how I made the shutters for very little money, but a lot of head scratching on Mr Husband’s part: Which way up to they go? Which way do they need to fold? Errh.

Basically they are just panels joined together with hinges….. how difficult can it be? Put it this way there is potential for much confusion and mis-measuring, but don’t let me put you off. My TOP TIP would be find somewhere with folding shutters and take a good look and a few pics of the way they operate and how they are hinged, then use as the basis of your plan.  Measure the space you want to fill and divide into equally sized panels, allowing some space (a few millimeters) for the hinges.  I decided to use 2 panels per shutter for the smaller windows and 3 panels per shutters (2) for the wider central window.

As happens so many times with my DIY project it all started with a sheet of MDF, and I’ve said it before and will say it again I love our local building supplier who will cut the MDF just how you want it and for no extra charge! So the cost of the MDF for my shutters was only £17, total bargain don’t you think?

Where I came into the project was of course the painting the MDF strips (I know my limits). The paint I chose was Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint – Anthracite. Two coats were applied before finishing off with cleat furniture wax. Of course you can customise anyway you like to suit your own decor, imagine them painted flamingo pink! Now there’s a thought.  Not that I’m thinking of changing the colour just yet, it would be easy to do.

shutters 3

I must mention that before any painting started, the holes for the hinges were drilled and there was a dummy run of fixing the shutter panels together and making sure they all fitted and folded correctly. Keep checking as you go along.

Once the painting and waxing had been completed it was a case of putting the puzzle back together again, guided by the hinge screw holes.

There was no way our carpentry or painting skills were good enough to hide the hinges so I didn’t try to disguise and just went for some bold brass looking hinges, which contrast really well with the plain finish of the shutters.  My TOP TIP number 2 is make sure you have strong enough hinges to easily take the weight of the shutters, MDF is quite heavy. The shutters need to swing freely above the window sill and not be resting on it. I used 3 hinges to join each panel of the shutter and 3 larger hinges to fix each shutter to the wall = 30 hinges.

Now I needed to get some decorative knobs, which for the 3 panel shutters would be on the outside when the shutters were closed, if you know what I mean.  This occurred to me when I was taking a bus (top deck of course) through the streets of Edinburgh early one morning when shutters were still closed.  In Edinburgh nearly every house appears to have solid shutters and when looking down from the bus I could see the knobs of the central shutters facing outward for all to view.

Bearing all this is mind I deferred adding the knobs until the shutters were fixed into position and the rest of the room was decorated.  However it was clear there was an immediate need for a few little fixings to aid the opening and folding of the shutter as they are a fairly snug fit with no space to get my fingers in between the gaps.  For this I used a few brass picture hanging hoops, strategically placed at the base of each panel of the shutter and within my reach (I’m not the tallest).

shutters 8

Finding the knobs took longer than making the shutters.  I just didn’t see anything I liked and for a good while the shutters were without.  Then I stumbled upon a stall at a bric-a-brac market in Leek, Staffordshire and rummaged through a box of corroded old dresser knobs. I couldn’t get 4 exactly the same but managed to get 2 large and 2 smaller knobs of the same style. At £1 each I was willing to compromise. They cleaned up a treat and I think they suit the room and the shutters.

shutters 6

Read all about my bedroom makeover and how I went all Victorian and sumptuous. I've got the before and after pictures of the walls and the fireplace, and if you're thinking of other options rather than curtains then check-out my DIY shutters

Well that’s the story of my DIY shutters. Including the MDF, paint, knobs and hinges the total cost was under £50.  What do you think, is it a project you could try? I love the way the sunlight shines through in the mornings 🙂

Read all about my bedroom makeover and how I went all Victorian and sumptuous. I've got the before and after pictures of the walls and the fireplace, and if you're thinking of other options rather than curtains then check-out my DIY shutters

Hope you enjoyed reading about my DIY shutters.  Explore the rest of the blog to find more of my DIY exploits.  Coming up soon will be the big reveal of my garden makeover so do follow the blog and you will be first to hear when the post goes out

take care.

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Categories: DIY, interior design

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