Make Rustic Shutters for Your Windows

What You'll Need
Dry surface for working
Tape Measure
Pen and Paper
Nails or Screws
Nail Gun or Screw Gun
Sand Paper
Stain or Paint

Do you have a rustic farmhouse? Is your home a picture of old country living? Are you in the middle of sprucing up the exterior of your home? If your answers are a resounding yes, you might be interested in making rustic-looking shutters as an accent to your window dressings. Rustic shutters are easy to make and can be painted any color. They can also be stained or left natural. Fit it into the decor of your house and you will be happy you did!

Step 1: Decide on Shutter Sizes

Go around your home and start to measure the windows to get an idea as to how high and wide the shutters will need to be. Start to layout your home exterior on a piece of paper. For each window, write down how many shutters you will need to make and what size they will need to be. Your wimdows are bound to be in varying sizes so be prepared to make different sized shutters.

Step 2: Pull out the Lumber

Purchase lumber at a local home improvement center. Pine, Cedar or Redwood are the best choices for this project. Stay away from any pressure treated lumber, as it will not give you the decor appeal you are going for. Lay the lumber out in a dry protected surface. 

Step 3: Cut the Wood

Based on your measurements, cut your wood boards. A shutter should be made up of at least three verticle slats. Cut the slats in equal parts based on your window measurements. Next, using your saw, begin to cut the horizontal pieces of wood (also referred to as cleats). These pieces will fasten to the top and the bottom of the shutter. Originally they were used to create a sturdy shutter, today they are also incorporated into the shutter design motif.

Step 4: Lay Out Your Shutters

Now that you have cut the wood, begin to lay out the pieces along side one another. As you lay the pieces in front of you, leave a small gap in between each vertical slat to allow for expansion. The gap should be no more than 1/2 inch in width. Carefully lay the horizontal cleats over the shutter.

Step 5: Mark Your Screw Locations and Pre-drill

Using an "X marks the spot" method, mark the wood with your pencil. The marks will be the locations where you will use screws to fasten the cleats to the vertical pieces of wood. Pre-drill the holes in both the cleats and the vertical wood slats.

Step 6: Assemble Shutters

Assemble your shutters using the screws. Use wood glue to reinforce the shutter.

Step 7: Add Wood Filler and Stain

Add wood filler to the holes you have used the screws. Sand the wood filler until it is smooth with the rest of the shutter.

Step 8: Paint or Stain

Using a paint or a stain, give your shutters a new life!