DIY Wood Shutters For Under $40


Once we had our old windows replaced, we thought that we needed to dress them up a little bit more, on the outside.  We decided that they really needed wood shutters.  We priced out what it would cost to by new shutters and found out that it was going to be over $100 to $300 a pair.  That was way too much money for us (and i am assuming you feel the same wa?, am I right?).  So, we started designing instead, to come up with a cheaper alternative.

The design that we came up with, is actually called “cottage style board-n-batten wood shutters with a Z bar”.  We decided that we could build a pair of wood shutters for under $40.  That was more like it!  A lot cheaper than the alternative of buying shutters.

DIY wood shutters


Here is how they turned out.

wood shutters  

We have had many requests to make a tutorial on how we built our wood shutters, so here it is.

Build Your Own Wood Shutters Tutorial

front and back shutters



  •  These are instructions for one wood shutter only, one side of the window.  Adjust your material quantities for the number of shutters that you need.
  • Screw the boards together through the back, in order the hide all the screw heads from view.  Be sure the buy screws that are less than the thickness of the material screwed together and weather resistant so they don’t leave ugly rust stains on your wood.

Tools Used

  • Miter Saw
  • Drill
  • Hammer Drill – For installing on brick or concrete surfaces.
  • Saw horses (optional) 

Material Used (enough material for two shutters around one window)

  • (12) 6′ Cedar Fence Planks – About $2.50 each.  This will give you a couple extra just in case!

wood shutters

Cut Sheet  for 45″ Shutter (length x width x thickness)

  • (3) Boards – 45″ x 5 1/2″ x 1/2″
  • (2) Front battens – 16 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 1/2″
  • (2) Back battens – 14 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ x 1/2″
  • (1) Z bar – 27 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ x 1/2″

Construction Steps

wood shutter tutorial step one

wood shutter tutorial step two

wood shutter tutorial step three

This is how I spaced the battens.  I used a scrap piece of cedar plank which was 5 1/2″ wide to offset it from the top and bottom.

wood shutters-2


wood shutter tutorial step four

Use clamps to hold everything together when you have the pieces in place.  Then flip over the wood shutters and screw them together.  This way you don’t see the screw heads on the front side.  Just make sure that the screws are short enough not to poke through.

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Use exterior wood screws so they won’t rust.

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Now, in step five, you can screw on the back battens to offset the shutters from the wall slightly.wood shutter tutorial step five

When we made a set of these wood shutters, we thought that it looked best to have the right side a mirrored image of the left, just like you see below. 

left and right  Z bar shutters

Staining and Installing the Wood Shutters

We wanted to make sure we liked which way the z bar was oriented, so we did a couple of test shots.

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Now it was time to apply the stain.   We picked a dark chocolate color stain called, Kona.

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Just apply with a foam brush and wipe off with a clean rag.  The cedar wood soaks up a lot of stain, so plan on using a little more than one pint per shutter. 

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All ready for install now.  Ours are installed on the concrete foundation walls, so I needed a hammer drill to drill holes for the concrete screws.

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Use a block on the bottom to set the shutter to the right height, when installing.  This is great if you don’t have another hand to help hold it up.

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I used (4) 3″ concrete screws to hold the wood shutters to the wall.  Because the screws were blue, I took a cotton swab and applied a little bit of stain to camouflage the blue screw heads, worked like a charm!

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Here is what the original window looked like, before being replaced.

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Here is the new window installed.

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And here is the new window installed with wood shutters.  I think it looks so much better, don’t you?

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  1. says

    Those turned out fantastic! If you really want them to look real, you should add some decorative vinyl shutter hinges and s-holdbacks. They still won’t be functional, but they give the impression that they are. You can find a set for two shutters on amazon for $14. That’s what we’re planning on doing when we finally get around to making our shutters! BTW, great idea putting the two pieces on the back. We hadn’t thought of that.

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