Super Simple DIY Shutters

DIY Wood Shutters--Great Beginner Project

Looking to spruce up your home’s exterior without spending a ton of money? Making your own DIY shutters is an excellent way to add some curb appeal!

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A friend of mine is a blogger over at Fun Home Things, and she recently bought herself a “she shed” for her new blogging office.

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So she asked me to make her some shutters for it to give it a little–something extra. I made these from simple 1x4s and it’s crazy how such a simple project can make such a huge impact!

So, I’m sharing a simple formula for making your own simple DIY shutters.  I promise, you will be done in no time ๐Ÿ™‚  And all you need are some 1x4s, screws, glue, and an outdoor finish.  Easy peasy…let’s get started. This post contains affiliate links. See policies for details.

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Looking for more outdoor project inspiration??

To Build These DIY Shutters, You Will Need:

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NOTE: In the photos below, you will see I used regular untreated 1x4s for this project. That will work fine…for a while. Regular spruce or pine 1x4s will last a good while if they are regularly recoated in a good outdoor finish. However, they will eventually rot. So, I recommend using cedar boards for this as they are naturally rot resistant OR using treated lumber for outdoor use.

1. Cut Shutter Boards to Size

Cut three 1x4s the height you want your shutters and two pieces of 1×4 at 10 1/2″ long FOR EACH SHUTTER.  She had three windows, so needed 6 shutters total.  So I cut all the pieces at one time.

wood for shutters cut to size

For shutter length, I don’t know that there is a definite RULE for what they should be, but I’d recommend adding a few inches to the height of your actual window and making your shutters this tall. Determine this height and multiply by 3, then add (2 x 10 1/2″) = 21″.

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That gives you how many feet of 1×4 you need PER shutter. Typically, you have two shutters per window. This will help you determine how many feet of 1×4 you will need per window.

2. Finish the Shutters Before Assembling

This isn’t absolutely necessary, but I think it makes things easier and allows you to cover all wood surfaces for better protection.  I stained these with an outdoor deck stain (Olympic Canyon Brown Wood Toner).  

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We have used this on all our outdoor furniture and I love the color.  Since these shutters will be outside, I suggest you use a good outdoor sealant or good outdoor paint.  I stained before assembling so the stain and sealant would get on all the surfaces and between the boards as well..

3. Assemble the DIY Shutters

I used glue and 1 1/4″ exterior grade screws to assemble these shutters.  I laid out the three long boards and clamped them together.

Long boards for shutters ready for assembly

I measured 6 inches in from each side and drew a mark with my speed square.  This is where I want to line up the short boards.  I put glue on the short boards and tacked them in place with my nail gun.  You could use hammer and nail here.  Basically, you just want to hold this board in place so you can flip it over.  Clamps would work as well.

Glue on stretcher
Tack front stretchers in place on front side of shutters

Then, I flipped it over so that it is face down on the work surface.  Used 1 1/4″ EXTERIOR deck screws and screwed three screws into each short piece to connect the three long boards to them.  PS I forgot to stain the backs of these boards prior to assembly *face palm*.  But, I DID go back and stain them before I hung them up.

Screws on back side of shutters showing how to attach front stretchers

Now these shutters are ready to go.

shutters assembled and stacked against wall ready to hang

4. Add Nailheads to Front of Shutters

For a little extra detail, I added these super cute nailheads to the front of the shutters.  They are actually upholstery tacks.  Who knew, right?  I got mine at Hobby Lobby in the fabric/sewing department.  They have several styles.

Upholstry tacks in package

I simply tacked the nails onto the front of the boards with a hammer.

Hammer nailing decorative nail heads onto wood boards

They add so much detail.  Totally worth the extra couple bucks. You could also use some decorative outdoor and decking hardware to spruce these up a little.

shutters stained with nailheads on front
Close up of nailhead hammered into front of shutter

Now, before you hang them, be sure to stain the back if you haven’t already (looking at myself on that one…).

Step 5: Hang DIY Shutters

To hang them, I used 2 1/2″ outdoor deck screws and screwed them into the siding.  I used 4 screws per shutter. The exterior of this shed was wood, so it was easy to hang. However, depending on the exterior of your own home, you may need to hang differently. If going into brick, you may need to use special screws for brick. Same for vinyl.

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Here is her adorable office before the shutters.  It’s cute even without them.

She shed without shutters on front window

But, then look how much cuteness they add once they are up on the windows?

Shutters hung on each side of she shed front window
Front of beautiful white she shed with natural wooden shutters and yellow front door
Close up of right side window shutter made from wooden 1x4 boards
Shutters on front porch of she shed building--wooden shutters hung on each side of front window

See how cute?!  I know, right?  These simple projects can have such a big impact.

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If you’re looking for more ways to spruce up your home’s exterior, check out some of my favorite outdoor projects:

If you enjoyed this simple DIY shutter project, don’t forget to Pin for later!

These super simple DIY shutters are such a quick and easy project, but will add so much character to your windows!  You've got to check these out!

Until next time, happy building ๐Ÿ™‚

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8 Comment

  1. Cecilia
    July 25, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Adorable! I’ve been after my husband to make shutters for our house…just like these! Going to show him this post! What a difference they made on the shed. Looks great!

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      July 25, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Thank you!! They are so easy to make…maybe you can talk your husband into it soon ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good luck!

  2. Deanne
    October 14, 2016 at 5:17 am

    Where are your mounting screws? They don’t show in the picture.

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      October 14, 2016 at 7:09 am

      I screwed them in with two screws right under the bottom horizontal piece and two screws right above the top horizontal piece. This way they are pretty well hidden.

  3. Robin
    April 13, 2018 at 8:38 am

    So you used plain 1×4’s not cedar?

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      May 3, 2018 at 8:35 pm

      Yes, for this project, I used plain 1x4s (spruce wood) and used an outdoor sealant on them.

  4. Michelle Casto
    May 29, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    What type of sealant did you use? I used minwax stain and am wondering what type of sealant would work best for stained untreated wood.

    1. Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      June 14, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      I always use Minwax Polycrylic. It’s a water based poly so it’s easy to apply, and clean up and it doesn’t yellow over time.

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