How to make saloon doors

Saloon doors are a simple addition that can liven up a plain doorway. They can be as plain or as fancy as you want to make them, and are easy to install with swinging hinges. If you want to bring a little bit of that Old West feel to your home, you can make your own wooden saloon doors to go across any doorway in your house. Kitchen entrances and closets are popular spots for saloon doors.

Measure your doorway. Your doors will need to fill most of the space with a gap of 1 to 2 inches between the doors.

Draw a pattern for your door on craft paper. Saloon doors come in numerous styles. Some doors are just rectangular. Others have a more intricate arched style at the top. Decide what type of door you want, and draw a full-size pattern. If your doorway is 30 inches, you will want each of your doors to measure about 14 inches wide. The height of your doors is up to you, but saloon doors usually start about knee-height and are only 3 to 4 feet high. Cut out the pattern.

Trace the pattern onto wood. You will need to trace it twice to make two doors that are exactly the same. Cut the doors out with a jigsaw and sand all rough edges.

Install swinging door hinges in the doorway. The placement of your hinges depends on the height of your door. You should use two hinges on each door, one 1 to 2 inches from the top and one 1 to 2 inches from the bottom of the door. Once you have determined how far apart your hinges need to be, you can make sure that your top and bottom hinges are lined up across from each other in the doorway by measuring down from the top of the doorway on both sides and making a mark at the same point. Then you can measure the same distance down from the first mark on both sides and mark the position for the second screw. Center the hinges by first measuring the width of the hinge. Then measure the side of the doorway and find the midpoint. The middle of your hinge should line up with the midpoint of the doorway. If your doorway is 8 inches wide, the midpoint would be at 4 inches. If the hinge is 2 inches wide, 1 inch should fall to each side of the midpoint, so your hinge would be between the 3 inch and 5 inch points. Hinges generally come with their own screws for installation.

Attach the doors to the hinges. To make sure you get the doors even, measure the same distance down on the side of each door and make a mark. Line the top hinge up with that mark and your doors should sit level.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Craft paper roll
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • 1-inch thick wood
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper
  • Swinging door hinges
  • Screwdriver
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About the Author

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.