How to Make Folding Screens

Updated February 21, 2017

Folding screens can be attractive room dividers or placed to add interest to a corner or large wall. You can easily make your own folding screens with a few materials, minimal tools and these simple instructions. Custom-built folding screens can be designed to fit any space in your home; you are not restricted to standard size screens found in department stores. Embellish your folding screens with mirror tiles, framed pictures or decorative painting techniques for added interest in your home decor.

Assemble the materials for your folding screen from your local home improvement store. The materials list for this project will make a folding screen that is 5 feet tall by 6 feet wide, not including the height of the feet that you select. Adjust the measurements as needed to fit your space, and ask the sales clerk to cut your wood panels to size for you. The six knobs are for the feet of your folding screen, so purchase knobs with centre screw attachments.

Lightly sand the surface of the panels to remove any roughness or splinters. Wipe the sanded surface with a damp cloth to remove the debris. Stain the decorative trim pieces, the knobs and the wood panels, including the edges. More than one coat of stain may be required, depending on the look you prefer. Let the stain dry.

Place the panels side by side on the floor. Open the hinges and place them on the surface of the wood where the panels will be joined, 2 feet from the top edge and 2 feet from the bottom edge. The centre panel will have four hinges, two on each side joining the end panels. Mark the places where the screws for the hinges will go and drill pilot holes. Pilot holes make it easier to insert the screws into the wood. Attach the hinges to join the panels.

Place a mark on the bottom edge of the panels where the feet will be attached. Each panel will have two knob feet placed 4 inches from each outer edge. Drill pilot holes and attach the feet.

Run a line of wood adhesive along the outside edges of the folding screen. Press the decorative trim in place and secure each piece with a few finishing nails. You will have two pieces of trim on each end of your screen and three pieces of trim along the top of your screen. Let the adhesive dry.


Add different decorative trim to the top of your folding screen for added height or a more decorative touch.


Wear protective gloves for any woodworking project.

Things You'll Need

  • Stain/polyurethane and sponge
  • 2 5-foot-long sections of decorative trim, 1 inch wide
  • 3 2-foot-long sections of decorative trim, 1 inch wide
  • 3 5-by-2-foot wood panels, ¾ inch thick
  • Light-grade sandpaper
  • Damp cloth
  • Measuring tape
  • 4 hinges
  • 6 decorative knobs
  • Drill and small drill bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood adhesive
  • Finishing nails and hammer
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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.