How to make cheap privacy screens

Written by bibiana da silva
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Privacy screens are not just a decorative flair for your dressing room. You can use them to separate areas in a small living space, such as a work desk in a dorm room or a storage corner in an apartment. Privacy screens come in various sizes and prices, but you can make your own with a recycled cardboard box.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Set a 15-inch by 15-inch by 48-inch cardboard box on a flat surface so it stands 48 inches tall. Use a box cutter to make a 48-inch cut down one of the box's corners, splitting the box open to form a bent sheet of cardboard with a set of panels on top and another set on the bottom.

  2. 2

    Cut off one set of panels. If the box had two different types of panels on the top and bottom, remove the set you find least attractive. The remaining panels will help support the privacy screen on the ground.

  3. 3

    Bend two of the panels so they bend in alternating directions along the bottom. For example, leave the first and third facing the right side of the screen, but bend the second and fourth so they lie flat, facing left.

  4. 4

    Paint the privacy screen the colours of your choice. You might paint the panels the same colour as the surface where you will stand the privacy screen to make it less noticeable.

Tips and warnings

  • Use clear tape to join more boxes if you need a privacy screen longer than five feet.
  • Carve designs in your privacy screen to make it more ornate. Use a pencil to draw the designs first, then use the box cutter to cut out the shapes before you paint the screen. Avoid excessively large designs so the screen is not easy to see through.

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