Crafts to Make With Old Window Shutters

Cyndee Kromminga
Crafts from old window shutters.

Many people will sell their old window shutters at yard sales or put them on the curb for trash day because they seem unusable, but they have a lot of potential to be turned into new items with a bit of work. Transform your window shutters into beautiful home decor with one of these fun projects.

Primitive Flag Shutter

Whether you are decorating a room in Americana style or just need a patriotic touch for your Fourth of July barbecue, this shutter is a must. There is no construction with this flag and, including drying time, it can be completed in less than a day.

Primitive Flag Shutter

Things You Will Need:

  • Old window shutter
  • Screwdriver, hammer, needle-nose pliers and wire cutters
  • Apple Barrel acrylic craft paints in English Navy, Burgundy and Khaki
  • Paintbrush
  • Craft glue
  • Drill and 3/32" bit
  • 3/4" and 1 1/2" star shapes or patterns
  • Card stock
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife
  • Stencil brush
  • Waverly Wax in Antique
  • T-Shirt scrap
  • Baling wire
  • Ruler

What To Do:

  1. Clean and remove the hardware and the spine from an old window shutter. The shutter used for this project is 11" by 23", but any size can be used.
  2. Choose which side of the shutter you would like to be the front. Lay the shutter on your work surface with the front facing up. Fold all the slats flat and in the same direction. Paint the top third of the slats using Apple Barrel English Navy and the remaining slats in a stripe pattern using Burgundy and Khaki. Paint the outer frame using Khaki. Allow the paint to dry.
    Paint the flag base.
    Paint the flag base.
  3. With most painted shutter projects the paint acts as a glue. Since most of the slats on this project are painted individually in differing colors, the slats will most likely not be held in place with the dried paint. Apply craft glue under the lips of each slat to secure them.
  4. Measure the width and length of one shutter slat. Cut a strip of card stock using this measurement. Use a 3/4" star stencil to trace as many stars on the strip as will fit. Using a craft knife, carefully cut out each star. This is your star stencil for the blue field. Make one 1 1/2" star stencil in the same way. Note: If 3/4" or 1 1/2" star patterns are not available, draw your own stars and cut out in the same way.
  5. Place the star strip stencil on each slat of the blue field and stencil the stars using Khaki. Stencil a 1 1/2" star in each corner of the frame using English Navy. Allow the paint to dry.
    Stencil the stars.
    Stencil the stars.
  6. Measure down 1/2" from the top edge of the shutter. Make marks two inches from each side of the center. Using a 3/32" drill bit, drill holes through the shutter at each mark.
  7. Dip a scrap of t-shirt in Waverly Wax Antique. Wipe and rub the wax over the entire painted surface of the flag.
  8. Cut a 10" length of baling wire using wire cutters. Insert the ends of the wire through the drilled holes from the back to the front. Pull the ends through approximately 1". Bend the ends and the remaining loop on the back of the shutter upward to create the hanger.

Hanging Shutter Wall Display

Shutters are a great backdrop for wall art and this display will highlight a beautiful wreath or straw hat as it hangs from an attached coat hook.

Hanging Shutter Wall Display

Things You Will Need:

  • Two matching window shutters
  • Screwdriver, hammer, needle-nose pliers
  • Latex wall paint in light gray/blue
  • Acrylic craft paint in white
  • Paintbrush
  • Measuring tape
  • 1 x 2 board
  • Jig saw
  • Wood glue
  • Staple gun with staples or drill with wood screws
  • Coat hook
  • Hanging hardware

What To Do:

  1. Clean and remove the hardware and the spines from a pair of old window shutters. The matching shutters used for this project are 11" by 23", but any size can be used.
  2. Lay the shutters on your work surface and fold all the slats flat and in the same direction. Paint the entire top of the shutters and the side edges using a gray/blue latex wall paint. This is a great way to use up paint left over from previous home improvement projects. Allow the paint to dry and apply a second coat. Flip the shutters over and repeat on the other side. The application of paint will "glue" the slats in place.
  3. Place the shutters beside each other and measure across the width of both. Subtract one inch from this measurement. Cut two lengths from a 1 x 2 board using this measurement. These are your braces. Paint the braces using the same paint as the shutters.
  4. Determine which side of the shutters will be the front. Place the shutters side by side on your work surface with the back facing up. Make sure the slats are all turned in the same direction. Apply wood glue to the back of each brace and position one an inch below the top edge of the shutters and the other an inch above the bottom edge. Center the braces between the outer edges of the shutters. Use a staple gun or wood screws to attach the braces. Attach on the ends of the braces and each side of the center seam.
    Attach the back braces.
    Attach the back braces.
  5. Turn the connected shutters over with the front facing up. Dry brush the front and the side edges using white acrylic craft paint.
  6. Measure a quarter of the way down from the top edge of the shutters. Place a coat hook over the seam and attach.
    Attach the coat hook.
    Attach the coat hook.
  7. Attach hanging hardware to the top brace on the back of the wall hanging display, using the instructions provided with the hardware.

Shutter Shelf

The contrast of the cream and black colors turns these castoff shutters into a shelf with vintage, sophisticated flair.

Shutter Shelf

Things You Will Need:

  • Old pair of window shutters
  • Screwdriver, hammer and needle-nose pliers
  • Latex wall paint in cream
  • Paintbrush
  • Two black metal shelf brackets
  • Wood glue
  • Five black cupboard door knobs
  • Drill and 3/16" bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Hanging hardware

What to do:

  1. Clean and remove the hardware and the spines from the shutters. The matching shutters used for this project were 9" by 29" though you can use whatever size you have available.
  2. Lay the shutters on your work surface and fold all the slats flat and in the same direction. Paint the entire top of the shutters and the side edges using a cream latex wall paint. Allow the paint to dry and apply a second coat. Flip the shutters over and repeat on the other side. The application of paint will adhere the slats in place.
  3. Choose which side of the shutters will be the front. Place one shutter on your work surface with the right side facing up. One long edge will be the top. Apply wood glue along the top edge. Stand the other shutter on one long edge with the wrong side facing you. Slide the standing shutter against the top edge of the first shutter. Using a staple gun or wood screws, attach the shutters together.
    Attach the shutters together.
    Attach the shutters together.
  4. Attach the black metal brackets 1/2" from each end of the shelves. Note: Choose brackets that are smaller than the depth and height of your shelf.
    Attach the corner brackets.
    Attach the corner brackets.
  5. Evenly space and mark the bottom frame of the back shutter for attaching five black cupboard door knobs. Drill through each mark using a 3/16" drill bit. Attach the knobs through the holes.
    Evenly space and attach knobs.
    Evenly space and attach knobs.
  6. Attach hanging hardware to the top frame on the back of the back shutter according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Eco-Friendly Salvaging

Reusing and repurposing old pieces from remodeling projects is not only friendly for your pocketbook, it is also eco-friendly. Help keep unneeded items from landfills by visiting salvage centers or asking friends and neighbors for "useless" items from their home improvement projects.

Crafts to Make With Old Window Shutters