How to Build Custom Cedar Shutters

Lend classic appeal to characterless windows with house shutters. These cedar shutters are an easy-to-customize DIY project you can do with a modest budget and a few basic tools.

window box

Give your home streetside appeal with shutters you can build and paint yourself. The shutters are simple to make and completely customizable. Just combine various cedar boards up to six inches wide until you achieve the desired width. Then, paint your favorite shade. We'll show you how to create your own house shutters in just a few easy steps.

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What You Need

  • Tape measure
  • 1×4 cedar boards
  • 1×6 cedar boards
  • 1×2 cedar boards
  • Compound miter saw
  • Hammer drill
  • Kreg K4 Master System
  • 1 1/4-inch coarse Kreg screws 
  • Hand sander and 120-grit sandpaper
  • Brad nailer
  • Paintable caulk
  • Oil-base primer
  • Exterior paint
  • Masonry bit
  • 3/16×1 3/4-inch masonry screws
  • Level

Step 1: Measure and Cut

measuring window

Gather materials. Measure the height and width of your window. For a classic look, the shutter width should be about half the window width. (We used one 1×4 and two 1×6s to make a 14 1/2-inch-wide shutter for our 28-inch-wide window.) Cut the 1×4 and 1×6 boards to the height of your window using a compound miter saw.

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Step 2: Join Boards Together

building shutter

Using the Kreg K4 Master System, drill pocket holes every 6–8 inches across one long side of each 1×6 plank. Edge-join the 1×6 boards to either side of the 1×4 using 1 1/4-inch Kreg screw.

Step 3: Attach Middle Rail

nail gun and shutter diy

Cut the 1×2 boards to the height of the shutter for the vertical rails. Attach them using a brad nailer. Measure the distance between the two rails, and cut three horizontal rails. Attach the middle rail. Caulk all joints.

Step 4: Prime and Paint

painting shutter

Prime and paint the shutter and the unattached top and bottom rails. Let dry. 

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Step 5: Mark and Drill

drilling hole in shutter

Mark the shutter placement alongside the window. Drill pilot holes near the top and bottom edges of the shutter. Using the hammer drill, make a pilot hole in the house.

Step 6: Hang Shutters

nail gun and shutter

Hang the shutter using masonry screws. Check that it's level before securing the bottom. Attach the top and bottom rails, covering the screwheads. Repeat to make more shutters.

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