Building your own set of shutters can be one of the easiest projects your likely to happen on in a long time. This simple project requires a minimum of power tools and can easily be done by a beginner woodworker. The entire project will take just a few hours to complete and costs very little.
First and foremost, you need to measure your window opening. You will need a horizontal and vertical measurement. It’s best to measure each corner of the window in case imperfections in the window trim cause a slight difference.
Now that you have the measurement of your window, you will need to buy materials to suit your project. In this particular demonstration, I will use the window in my project as a reference.
Since my window opening on the outside is 36×36, I needed to purchase two 1×12’s at eight feet long. I bought some white pine since it is the cheapest at my local home improvement center for my four piece heart shutters. Since I plan on painting my shutters, this worked out perfect.
Once the material was in my shop, I cut my eight foot 1×12’s into four, three foot pieces. Then I took each of these four pieces to my table saw. I ripped each one down to nine inches. This way all four pieces of material now measured 36″. Now I just needed to glue together a few pieces.
Take two of the 9×36″ pieces of your shutter and glue them together with some wood glue and a few screw clamps. I like to use Gorilla glue but any other wood glue is acceptable. Moisten each edge of the shutter pieces with a damp cloth before you add the wood glue. This way the wood wicks up the glue for a better bond. After the glue is applied to each edge of your shutter pieces, immediately clamp each piece with a screw clamp on each end. Do the same with the remaining two pieces and leave them overnight to dry.
In the morning, remove any excess glue with a chisel and some light sanding. Now you should be ready to cut out the heart shape in the center of your shutters. You can get creative and cut any shape out you may want. Lay the two shutters together and square them up using a framing square. I cut my heart shape out in the center of my shutters, but you can really place your cut out wherever you want. After I found the center, I traced a small heart shape out from a photocopy from a book since I’m no good at free hand drawing.
After my heart shape was marked on my two shutters, I separated them and cut out the heart half on each shutter using a jig saw. You can also hand cut out intricate designs using a coping saw. Once the cuts were made, I sanded down each shutter using a small palm sander. I also used some sandpaper by hand for the inside of my cut.
After some sanding and paint, my shutters were ready to hang. I used some simple brass hinges to hang my shutters. To make it a little easier to hang my shutters squarely, I taped my shutters together using blue painters tape and hung them at the same time. It took me and a helper only 3 hours to buy, cut and hang the four piece heart shutters. Good luck!