Kaylee here, and I am excited to share with you my newest DIY home decor project; a charming corner shelving unit made from old shutters. I’ll be honest, this isn’t the easiest project to take on not because of the work, but because it is extraordinarily difficult to find authentic and inexpensive old shutters! Unless you’re willing to pay, it may take a little more than a quick run to the thrift store to find these guys. However, once you have the supplies you’ll find it is quite a simple project. Let me walk you through what I did to create this darling furnishing.
Let’s start with the shutters… If you have real antique shutters they will often be very delicate and should be handled with care! Keep in mind, in a project like this you will use power tools that can be rough on the shutters so make sure you are safe, using the right tools, and taking consistant measurements to get a quality final piece.
Here are 2 out of 3 of my shutters.
We are building a corner shelf which means we will keep the hinges and hardware on the shutters as they are. The hinges will allow us to create a 90 degree angle; an easy fit for any corner without an ounce of added difficulty. When you attach your shelves is when you will have to measure your shutters at this perfect angle.
You can use anything you want to create your shelves, however I cheated and went to the hardware store (Home Depot) to get 2 rounded corner shelves. Whew, that made my life easier! In order to have them fit perfectly in the corner of my shutters, I had to cut them down to the precise measurements of my shutters when at a 90 degree angle. I marked this with a pencil, and with some help, had them cut with an electric saw…
You will drill holes through your shelves and through the top of your shutter to attach them securly.
Now its time to get stacking the shutters on top of one another. I used flat brackets to adjoin my shutters in the back to increase the sturdiness of the furniture. When drilling screws into old shutters, I recommend extreme caution. You’ll want to drill small holes before you take a screw to the wood – I found it splits easily and won’t hold as well if you don’t add this step!
Now its time to…
Note: even though the above picture is of me screwing in the hinges, this same priciple will be used for drilling everything!
I used a total of 4 brackets for my shelving unit; one to adjoin each side of each shelf to one another.
This is what the brackets should look like when finished.
After attaching the brackets, I gave the entire piece a good sanding and a fresh coat of white paint (hence, why this bracket is painted over!)
Here’s what it looked like when it was newly built, sanded and painted!
We could finish here, but that what fun would that be?! It’s time to give this thing a little character and flair 😉 What better way to do that then resand the whole thing! Whip out that sander once more and give this thing a nice antique chic look. Concentrate your sanding more predominately in some areas than others to get that delightfully distressed look. Make sure you sand some areas all the way to the wood – this will allow the wood to soak up our waxy finish.
To add warmth, color, and character to the shutter shelves, we will give a few coats of Danish Oil. Rub the oil on with an old rag, coating it thoroughly and evenly across the shutters. The wood will soak up some areas more than others, but that’s okay! Thankfully, “messing up” looks better on these types of pieces than perfection 🙂 Wait inbetween coats before adding on the next . You can use any other type of stain or wax that you prefer, just make sure you know how it interacts with the type of paint and wood you are using. Can you see the difference between the stark white and the dirtied little beauty?
Time to see the final product in my new apartment…
And you can still move the shutters up and down… How fun!
Feeling at home with my newly zested shutter shelf!
Upon installing my new little shelf, I’m thinking some backlighting would be adorable behind it. What do you guys think? It might make the shutters pop even more than with the natural lighting… But I suppose for now they make a sweet addition to my living room 🙂
Hope you guys got a little inspiration and know-how on how to make your own furniture at home. It doesn’t get better than taking the old and making it gold!
open the shutters & let the light in,