How to build louvered shutters

Written by lee foster
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How to build louvered shutters
Shutters (yellow shutters image by Jorge Moro from

Louvered shutters comprise a variety of styles. Each window dictates what size louvre you should use. Create a wider space between louvres for more light to flow. Large louvres may overpower a small window, though, but small or average-size louvres look great on most windows. Building your own louvered shutters requires a lot of time, energy, patience and attention once you decide on the style, but it will be worth it.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Frame pieces
  • Louvres
  • Magnetic catches
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Peg sticks

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  1. 1

    Measure the window from jamb to jamb and buy wood to match those specifications. Any wood will work, though if you don't want to paint the wood, look for a wood that will match your room. The frame pieces will need to match the width or height of the window, and the louvres and peg sticks should match the width of the window minus the width of the frame pieces.

  2. 2

    Assemble the shutter frames on the floor or a workspace. Each piece of frame wood has a diagonal cut that fits like a puzzle piece with the other frame pieces. When the pieces are set up on your workspace you can visualise the finished product.

  3. 3

    Count the number of louvres you're using for your window. Most shutters consist of two panels on each side that open and close. You'll need louvres for four panels. A standard shutter panel holds 12 louvres, though you may have fewer if you chose larger louvre sizes.

  4. 4

    Measure down the sides of the shutter frames for every louvre you have. For example, measure 12 even spaces. Mark these spots with a pen. This is where the louvres will hook into the frames using pegs.

  5. 5

    Pre-drill holes for each spot you measured in the previous step. Use a drill bit that is the size of the pegs you're using for your louvres. Make sure you don't drill the hole all the way through the frame.

  6. 6

    Set the louvres on your work station with the bottom sides up. Most louvres look the same on both sides, so it doesn't matter which side you choose, though if you have an unfinished decide, place that face up. Glue the peg sticks on the back of the louvres, one peg per louvre, so that the pegs stick out about a quarter of an inch on either side. Let the glue dry overnight.

  7. 7

    Glue the ends of the pegs and insert them into the holes on the frames. Let these dry overnight, too.

  8. 8

    When the louvres are secure in the side frame pieces, glue the top and bottom frame pieces to the side frame pieces. Allow a day to dry.

  9. 9

    Drill small holes on the frames for the magnetic catches. You will need a top and bottom magnetic catch for each shutter panel. Starting on the left side, magnetic catches go on the left side of the shutter panel to attach to the unattached piece of wood. Then the catches go on the right side of that same panel to attach to the left side of the next panel. Do this in reverse on the panels for the right side of the window.

  10. 10

    Screw the holes in the magnetic catches to finish the project.

Tips and warnings

  • To cut down the number of days on this project, do Steps 6 and 7 together and let the glue dry on both.

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