How to Make Fence Picket Window Shutters

July 16, 2009

How to make cottage window shutters with fence pickets.

I made new shutters for the back of our house and love how they look! The best part is these are incredibly inexpensive to make yourself.

These DIY board and batten shutters were so easy, I promise any of you could make them:
DIY fence picket shutters
AND unbelievably cheap. This is one of my favorite DIY project in a long time. :)

I wanted them to match the cottagey shutters we have on the front of the house so they needed to be uber rustic. I found the perfect materials -- cedar fence pickets!: 
cedar fence pickets
They were something like $1.68 each and were six feet tall, just slightly shorter than what I needed. 

I used three on each side for the double windows and two on each side for the single window:
fence post window shutters
I just cut pieces of the posts to the size I needed and measured one foot from the bottom and top to attach the cross boards with a nail gun:
I used liquid nails and a nail gun to attach the slats, but you could use nails and hammer them together. If you make your measurements, Lowe's or Home Depot would make your cuts for you. 

To attach these to the house, I used outdoor screws straight through the wood (decking screws would work well). If you have brick you want to use screws and anchors made for stone.

I love the picket detail at the top:
I painted ours with an exterior paint to match the shutters on the front of our house.

These DIY shutters such a great deal and look fantastic! Shutters add so much curb appeal to the front of your house. 

I wanted to show you more of the details of the deck transformation so maybe you can grab some of these deals while you can. 

This is the only good thing about the summer stuff disappearing later in the summer -- clearance sales. Run, don't walk! 

The first deal was the lights I got for the pergola. They were in the Smith and Hawken section at Target, on clearance for $10 a set:
lights hanging from gazebo
I hid the extension cords down the columns by spray painting the cords and then using little bits of cord covers I spray painted as well. No one will never notice them:
cord covers outside I have to take care of the little details like this. It will drive. me. mad. otherwise.

The lighting on the table is simple, 50 cent mason jars from Goodwill filled with sand and votive candles:
mason jars with votive candlesThey had to be Ball jars -- in homage to my alma mater Ball State University!

The deck box is double the size of our old one and was another Goodwill find for $30. That's a lot for a Goodwill purchase for me, but this would be more than $100 in the stores:
large brown deck box Can I mention how perfectly it matches the brown paint? I mean, it was meant to be folks. I did a little happy dance when I found it. 

The rug was $13 at Lowe's -- love it! The warm colors were my color inspiration:
striped outdoor rug warm colorsThe pots I already had and the flowers were in the clearance area because they were about to die. (Check out a few more ways to save on flowers and plants!) 

Did you know you can use stain on plastic planters? You can!:
pink petunias in planterI stained these years ago to make them a bit deeper color and they've held up perfectly. It only took about five minutes each. 

The new porch light was from Lowe's:
black garage light Lowe's

The planters were from Goodwill. Surprised? No? They were $2.99 and started out like this:old outdoor planterI spray painted them with outdoor paint and they ended up like this:
spray painted planter
These metal lanterns were TEN BUCKS each on clearance at Walmart:
metal lanterns Walmart
Our tables are really plant stands. I didn't want to spend much and I didn't want them to be huge. 

These are perfect at $12 each:
plant stands as tableI bought the cork thingamabobbers to put inside for a flat surface and they work great! 

And for entertaining outside, you need plastic that looks like glass to drink cool beverages out of. These perfectly cute glasses were on clearance at Meijer for $1.25 each!:
summer beer recipe
No evening outside is complete without Summer Beer (at least for me this summer) -- it's soooooo good people! Equal parts Diet Squirt, light beer, tequila and one can limeade or lemonade concentrate. 

Amazing! I hate anything diet and detest beer, and this is my most favorite drink ever!

Many of you asked about the furniture and the pergola -- the furniture was from Craigslist and the seller got it through I believe. The pergola was from Menard's, but we only found two left and had to call two stores. 

Never miss a post by signing up to get posts via email.
Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. ~GORGEOUS Sarah!
    Love every-single-detail!
    The new pillows look great and the dollar store glasses are precious.
    ~Enjoy it! :)

  2. Oops! I meant Mejeir. I miss that store. We lived in Ohio for a few years and shopped there alot. We don't have them in NC.

  3. wow. I am so impressed! It looks AMAZING! Do you want to come over do MY deck?? I did some stuff to it when I moved in, but since then...4 years is now a place for the dog to walk through to the grass!

  4. AMAZING! how do you do it!

  5. OK. I've been looking for an answer to that "is it even legal to spray paint cords" question that you asked for a long time, and never found a definitive answer. If your pergola burns down, or anything, will you let me know, so I know not to paint mine. :-)

    Must show hubby your shutters! I have been wanting to do something like that on a few of our windows. You make it look so easy!

    Everything looks fabulous! I can't wait for it to cool down here, so we can enjoy our outdoors again!

  6. Wow wow wow... gorgeous! I'd live out there too.

    How did you attach the shutters to your vinyl siding? They look awesome!


  7. Aghh! I love it all! Makes me want to come over and hang on your deck! I want some summer beer too! I've never heard of that! I don't know what diet squirt is though... is that really the name of a drink or are you being cute? haha

  8. It all looks great! I love the outdoor light (Lowe's) and I would have joined you in a happy dance over the precise color match of the deck storage box. Sometimes the joy is in the details . . . for therapy there is blogging!LOL. Have a great day!


  9. I don't get a chance to comment often on your posts...but this one is one of my FAVORITES!
    We live outdoors in the Summer, and I was looking for a way to make our deck more inviting...yours looks so inviting and relaxing. I can see why you and your friend stayed out there for so long!
    Have a great weekend and thank you for sharing this with us!

  10. I love outdoor spaces and you have done an amazing job with your deck! My Hubs and I built one back in the day on our 2nd and then also on our 3rd houses. Fun!
    For more pillows, Pottery Barn has their outdoor pillows on sale for 15.99 each, not too bad. They are nice outdoor fabric and have some red ones (and also green and blue)if you need.
    I love your frugal-ness!

  11. oooh, I like the idea of the tea lights in the jar w/sand!

  12. Love the deck!! I was wondering if you could tell us the brand and name of the stain that you used. I have a hard time picking stain when at the store.

  13. Everything is just gorgeous! Love it all :) Hope you enjoy many fun times out there! Have a great weekend :)


  14. So, SO beautiful, Sarah! I really reeeeeaaaally hate Wally World too, but I have been finding some not too shabby stuff there lately, esp. from the Better Homes & Gardens line. I got some cute creamy colored paper lanterns (10 on a string) on clearance for $7.

    I am taking notes here! T promised, swore he'd build our deck next weekend. I'm hosting a bridal shower on 8/1 and I want to be able to go outside if they want to. Our deck is only going to start out as a platform type thing (doesn't even need steps, I don't think), but it's better than dirt! ;)

  15. I kind of purse my lips when I consider Walmart myself, but sometimes you do find some interesting things in there for a good price. They actually saved me one time when I needed just one more white wood rod for a client job early the next morning, and I ran in there the evening before.

    Your deck looks fantastic. I can't believe you did those shutters and I love them.

  16. If the backside of my casa looked like this, I might even brave the Texas Gulfcoast heat and humidity to just sit out and admire it! Everything is gorgoues! (And for the record, Casa St. Michael's backside looks like . . . well, a backside! Ahhh, a project for the cooler months!)


  17. your deck looks fabulous! im loving every bit of it!

  18. Thank you for sharing all the details. You know we want the complete scoop. Yum, yum. The whole thing looks wonderful. I'm proud of you! :)

  19. Did I miss it or did you tell us where you bought the pergola? It is perfect for my deck problem.

  20. so inviting and warm! it all looks great! I love the warm glow and simplicty of the tea candles in the jars with sand! I may have to that one, since I have all those items. THANKS for sharing!

  21. sorry... "I may have to do that one"..

  22. Very creative, and you are also a very nice looking woman (but I digress).... I love your ideas, and will now start shopping for items at the Goodwill stores by me... I also have a pergola that needs some lighting, and decorating...thanks for the tip.... and keep smiling....smiling faces are always more attractive!

  23. Can I come hang out on your deck?? It's awesome! We're in the middle of cleaning ours right now, it's a mess. Ours has bench seating around it so I've never put anything else on it (other than a little tykes house!) but I'm thinking of adding some touches like yours.

  24. so cute. could you do a tutorial on the shutters. Love them

  25. Love your deck! I wish we could go outside in the evening, but it is over 90 degrees at 9 p.m. in my neck of the woods (Longview, TX). Will have to try your summer beer recipe. Sounds yummy!


    p.s. We used icicle Christmas lights around our pergola...for those rare nights outside (starting @ October ;).

  26. Oh how I love every part of your space! I wish I could find the stuff you do at goodwill...I go there all the time...thinking what could I do w/ this...but i leave with NOTHING! ahhh.... you are inspiring!

  27. What a beautiful area to relax in and I love your drink idea. I love a "shandy" sometimes, it's part beer part 7-up. It's an English concoction for the ladies...much more refreshing than beer.
    Do you mind if I link to this post? I have an outdoor room blog party at the end of the month and this is perfect for that.
    Have a great Friday!

  28. This looks like the courtyard of my favorite hotel!

  29. I love reading your blog and all of your ideas, but when I saw you went to Ball State I loved it even more! I graduated from there in 2005...go Cards!

  30. Great job on finding all of these bargains! I'm working on finding things for when my husband and I find a house in the next year. It's so exciting to know that these bargains are out there! Thanks!

  31. Enjoy every precious moment you can get out there on that deck! It looks FAB

  32. Deck looks great! We live in Vegas- no deck :( Major bummer. We drink summer beers, ahem..a lot(my mil can't read your comments, right?) Anyhoo, our drink of choice for the summer is very similar. 1 large glass, 1 shot vodka, bit of light beer, fill to top with lemonade. They are yummy-the neighbors come running to the house when it's hot out!

  33. I'm so jealous! Our deck came with the house & is coming apart. No money to rebuild it yet but I'm saving. We don't have a Menards down here & I haven't seen anything like in any stores in the area (Houston).

  34. I'm so jealous! Our deck came with the house & is coming apart. No money to rebuild it yet but I'm saving. We don't have a Menards down here & I haven't seen anything like in any stores in the area (Houston).

  35. LOVE the decor re-do! Amazing transformation! I tagged you on my blog.

  36. Thank you SO much for all the details, especially on the shutters! We have shutters on the front of our house (but not the back) and I've been wondering about doing something like this ourselves, now I'm inspired by yours because they look so fantastic!

  37. looks great! i love hanging around outside in the evenings during the warm months and this is the first year in a long time i have an area in which to do it! i've been using a plant stand as a table too...but couldn't find anyting to fit inside. where did you get the cork thingamabobby, do you know? i know i won't get everything i want for my deck this year, but you've inspired me to check goodwill & clearance aisles, just in case!

  38. I love everything. If I had a deck like that, I'd spend a lot of time out there too! :) I have a nice patio area off the back door that I want to decorate. You are very inspiring. Thanks!

  39. Brilliant what you did with the "shutters" - I am totally floored, I mean fenced, by that. LOVE it. And I have to run out an by the supplies for that cocktail you featured cause it looks goooooooooood.


  40. Oh gosh! I just LOVE those shutters. I tell ya I'm in love. My poor hubby is thinking I'm just crazy with all these new ideas I keep finding. Keep em coming!!!

  41. Your deck is my new inspiration! I really need to do something cute with my plain concrete patio and you've given me some great ideas! Thanks!

    Just stopped in from SITS to say hi

  42. Love your deck! Great deals, I must hit Target tomorrow!
    AND Wow! You went to Ball State?? My husband is an alumni, too! So are you from Indiana? I'm guessing you don't live in the midwest now, just with all the fabric on your deck.
    Love your blog!

  43. The fence post idea is brilliant!!! Your deck is gorgeous.

  44. Looked up Diet Squirt...on the internet, it is something we do not have in Canada...what would be like it in a soft drink?
    The summer beer sounds really good...
    Love your deck and everything you did, wonderful!
    Thanks CarolAnn

  45. Love all the details and I lover your blog! Ive been wanting to put lights on our pergola but didnt know what to do about the extention cord. Spray paint is perfect. And as for the summer beer I think I need some of that as its was around 115 here today. Could you explain a little more how you make them? You said equal parts but how much? And do you use the whole can of limeade? Thank you :)

  46. THANK YOU for sharing how you made your shutters. I think that is definitely something my hubby and I can tackle!

  47. This deck gets better with each passing photo, really a masterpiece!

  48. Those lanterns from Wal-Mart will look great during the holidays sitting among greenery.

  49. LOL!

    #1 everytime I say to someone "guess what..." or "you're never going to believe this..." or "i feel sick to my stomach..." they always respond with "you're pregnant!" so your last statement made me giggle!

    #2 i can't believe you found that awesome deck box at GOODWILL! i have never found anything that good there; i am so jealous! we REALLY need one for our backyard, but i can't bring myself to drop that much cash on one!

    kudos to a beautiful job on your deck.

  50. Wow, what great finds. I love the shutters and those laterns. I've held back on buying any, but I'm afraid all the summer laterns will be gone if I wait too long. Your deck looks gorgeous.

  51. What a great space! Love your DIY shutters.

  52. You are my hero. I love the shutters, and our plain white siding desperately needs some. I thought I'd be waiting forever to afford to have someone put some up for me. I'm going to make yours, thanks so much! Can I ask a stupid question? How do you put them up on the actual siding? Do you just nail them into the siding?

  53. Hi Sarah I had to come by and visit your blog via Rhoda. I wanted to see your shutters also!! Your back deck looks wonderful and so inviting. I can see why you and your friend spent so much time back there. It is fun being mentioned on Rhodas post together. Nice to find your blog. I am going to go and look around, so far it looks great!! Happy Wednesday,Kathysue


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!