As I was searching for flower box inspiration, I came upon this picture from my favorite show, Fixer Upper. I decided to try and replicate the shutter/window box combo! I made these two 5’4 1/4″ x 12″ chevron shutters for $60.72 or $30.36 each! The big box stores sell shutters for a variety of prices that varied greatly depending on the material used. One website that makes PVC shutters would have charged me well over $500 for just one pair! Spend a ton of money or make something myself? It was a no brainer! I began plotting out my design.
To get started, I measured my window height, and because my window has trim along the bottom and the window box would sit below the trim, I included that in the planned height for my shutters total height of 5’5″. I wanted the shutters to be thin and tall, so I decided to keep them 12″ wide.
Supplies for 2- 1 ft. x 5 ft. 5 in. Shutters:
- 1″x 3″ x 8′ cedar boards 8 total
- 13′ of pine screen moulding for the border
- wood glue
- various stains (I used Minwax Dark Walnut and Classic Gray, Varathane Antique White, and ACE Hardware’s Dark Oak)
- paints (I used Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl, Behr Ultra’s Toffee Bar, and Sherwin Williams’ Grizzle Gray)
- Spar urethane for sealing and protecting each shutter
- miter saw
- clamps 12″ or larger
Cutting the Parallelogram Pieces:
After a rough calculation, I decided I would need approximately 19 pieces for the left side of the chevron and 19 for the right side. I cut 4 of the 8 foot boards with 45 degree cuts leaning one way, and then cut the other 4 boards cut with the 45 degree angle cut leaning the other way. After I cut one board and made sure it was long enough to cover the 6 in. run from the center of the shutter to the side, I used it as a model to measure all the remaining cuts.
I cut out the border for the shutter using the pine screen moulding using two 12″ pieces for the top and bottom and two 5’4 1/2″ pieces for the sides. I used painter’s tape around the corners to temporary set the four pieces together and act as a guide to make my small cuts for pieces running outside of the border.
Cutting End Pieces:
The end pieces need to be cut just perfectly to fit into the border trim. I set my rectangle trim on top of the wood, drew a line with a pencil along the inside edge of the border and made the cuts with my miter saw.
I began staining color by color. I had already plotted out a plan for the colors to make sure I didn’t stain too many of one color. I used one really dark stain, two medium brown stains, and one white stain.
I used a waterproof glue for outdoor use called Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue. I carefully added a bead of glue down the side of each piece and set each board down carefully on a flat area. I glued everything on top of two garbage bags; the glue didn’t stick to the bags. Then I used four clamps to hold the glued pieces all together. I didn’t squeeze the wood too tightly, I just made it so the frame stuck to the sides.
Once I had everything stained and assembled, I felt the colors were too bold and contrasted far too much. I broke out some paint that I’ve used on other projects. I used a flat 3″ paintbrush and barely dipped it into the paint. I then dabbed most of the paint off on a rag before I even touched each board.
At first, I only used two colors: gray owl and toffee bar on the darkest brown the white pieces. I slowly added paint to each piece and then stepped back occasionally to see how it looked. I realized that I needed the shutters to tie more into my dark gray house color, so I added swipes of Grizzle Gray, too.
In hindsight, I found out that exterior stain would have been better for me to use than the interior stains I had already applied, but it was far too late to switch. I looked up ways to protect wood in an outdoor environment, and most people suggested using cedar. Check! But then they also mentioned using outdoor stains (oops!) I found a Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane in a satin finish. I sprayed on two coats. To do this, I grabbed four laundry baskets, placed them in garbage bags and sprayed three coats on the shutters letting one side dry before flipping them and spraying the opposite side.
I predrilled six holes in the shutters. One in each of the four corners, and two halfway up both sides. I then attached each shutter using 1 1/2″ deck screws and viola. My windows are now looking all fancy-pants!
The Finished Product!
Notice the planters by the door? I made those, too. I have new house numbers to put up, and a silver farmhouse light on its way. Everything is slowly coming together! More to come…