How to Build Your Own Flexible Freestanding Portable Room Divider Partition

Written by elle di jensen
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How to Build Your Own Flexible Freestanding Portable Room Divider Partition
(Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Folding screens are a great way to make a large room more cosy and to divide the room up for multiple uses. You can find expandable room dividers at many furniture stores, but you can make them yourself for less money. Making the room divider at home will allow you to personalise it to your taste, too.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 1 sheet of pine wood, 4 feet by 8 feet, 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large sheet of 120 grit sand paper
  • stain or paint
  • 1 paint brush
  • 1 staple gun with staples
  • 3 pieces of canvas or burlap, each measuring 5 1/2 feet by 3 1/2 feet
  • 6 gold or brass coloured hinges with screws
  • 1 screw driver
  • 1 hammer
  • ruler
  • 12 nails, 3/8 of an inch long
  • 12 nails, 3 inches long
  • 1 package of felt furniture pads
  • Paints, stencils or other materials for decorating

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  1. 1

    Cut the sheet of wood into 12 pieces that are each 5 feet long by 2 inches wide, and 12 additional pieces that are 12 inches long by 3 inches wide. Typically this can be done for you by someone at the lumberyard or home-improvement store where you purchase the wood.

  2. 2

    If any of the edges of your wooden pieces are rough, use the sand paper to smooth them out.

  3. 3

    Make frames using the pieces of wood by laying down two of the 5-foot-long pieces parallel to each other and placing two of the 1 foot pieces between them, one at the top and one at the bottom. Nail the pieces in place using the hammer and 3-inch nails, driving a nail into the outsides of the 5 foot pieces and into the ends of the 1 foot pieces. Follow these instructions to make six frames.

  4. 4

    Paint or stain the front, sides, insides, and backs of the frames. Allow to dry completely before continuing.

  5. 5

    Attach the three pieces of cloth to three of the frames, using the staple gun and pulling the cloth taut as you go. Start at the top of the frames, then move to the bottom, and finish by stapling the cloth to the sides of the frames.

  6. 6

    Place the three remaining frames on top of the cloth, so that the canvas or burlap is sandwiched between two frames. Use the 3/8-inch nails to secure the top frames to the bottom frames by hammering a nail in each of the four corners of each frame.

  7. 7

    Apply the felt furniture pads to the bottoms of your frames to keep the wood from scuffing your floors when you stand them up. Use at least two pads per frame.

  8. 8

    Connect the frames together using the hinges. Screw one side of a hinge to the top of one frame, 1 to 2 inches down from the top and screw the other side of that same hinge to the top of the second frame. You will place another hinge at the bottom of the two frames, again 1 to 2 inches up from the bottom, and one more in the middle of the two frames. Then, working from the back side of the second frame, you'll connect the third frame to the second frame in the same manner, starting at the top, moving to the bottom and finishing with the middle hinge.

  9. 9

    Decorate the canvas or burlap however you'd like, using paint, stencils, family photos, or any other embellishments you'd like.

Tips and warnings

  • Any type of wood can be substituted for the pine.
  • It may be helpful to have another person assist you in the construction of your frames. He can help hold the wood in place as you nail the pieces together.
  • A nail gun is an efficient way to nail the frame pieces together. If you opt for using a nail gun instead of using a hammer and nails, be careful.
  • If you are using canvas and would like to decorate it with paint, you may need to prime the canvas first before you can begin painting on it.
  • Other types of material can be substituted for the canvas or burlap. Choosing a print material to match your sofa or curtains is a good choice and because it is printed, your room divider will need little or no decorating when it is finished.

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