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.

wood shutters-4 wood shutters-3

Use exterior wood screws so they won’t rust.

wood shutters-6 wood shutters-5

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.

wood shutters-7

wood shutters-8

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

wood shutters-9

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. 

wood shutters-10

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.

wood shutters-11

wood shutters-12 wood shutters-14

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.

wood shutters-15

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!

wood shutters-16

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

wood shutters-17

Here is the new window installed.

wood shutters-18

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

wood shutters-19

Print Friendly and PDF


Meet the Author: Justin

Check back soon to learn more about this author. Read More


  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.

  2. Jeannie Speakman says

    This exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much for the instructions and photos. I love the look and have been wanting something like these shutters for our log cabin in North Carolina. I’m off to the hardware store tomorrow.

  3. Susan says

    We made the board and batten style shutters for our twice. The first time we used wood. They split after awhile, though. We went to Lowe’s the next time and found some pvc wood boards and made them this time. They said not to use very dark paint on them, though (?). We painted ours a Saltbox blue color and have had no problem after 3 years.

  4. Taylor says

    I almost NEVER comment on help/DIY articles I get from the web, but I this is too good to not thank you for!! You helped me increase the curb value of my home exponentially with a TINY price tag and an afternoon’s worth of work. Thank you!!

  5. says

    I love these shutters. They turned out great , I hope to be able to add some to our home soon.
    I’ve got a question about the new window you installed, did you guys DIY it or have it done professionally? If you did DIY it, I would LOVE to see a how to on that. We’ve got a window that needs to be replaced (we even have the replacement window already) and I’d like to DIY it but am pretty nervous about. I can’t wait to get the new window in so I can add some cute shutters like yours. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Omegamint says

    Thank you! I too had sticker shock over prefab shutters. Your tutorial makes it easy! Plus real wood is much nicer. I’m going to map out this project for my cottage this weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *