How to Make Cedar Shutters

In this blog post, we will show you how to make cedar shutters. It is actually a fairly easy project and could be completed in a weekend or two (may have to paint the second weekend).

Here is a picture before: Here is a picture after the shutters.


The exterior of our house was originally cedar board and batten. However, when we renovated a few years ago, we removed the cedar siding and added Hardie board and batten. We saved a lot of the cedar for future projects, including making our cedar shutters.

Below is a picture of our house with the cedar siding. This is the same view as the house picture above (prior to renovating and adding on). Here is some of the cedar for our house: 

Tools/Materials Needed:

  • Table saw (for ripping the width)
  • Miter saw for cutting the length of each board.
  • Nail gun or hammer and nails
  • Drill and screws (length depends on the thickness of your wood); you will need screws to go through the crosspiece and slats (without going all the way through) and longer screws to go through the crosspiece, the slat and screw into the house.
  • Wood glue
  • Paint sticks (use as spacers)
  • Sawhorses or work table
  • Pressure washer or hose and cleaner (we used bleach in a spray bottle) if the wood needs to be cleaned.

Step 1:

Determine the size of each shutter. We had three different size windows and thus we used these dimensions. The size of each shutter is just a matter of preference.

Step 2:

Using a table saw, rip each board the correct width. We used a DeWALT table saw. (As you can see, we recently purchased this table saw, which includes a stand and have been SOOO pleased with it!)

Step 3:

Using a miter saw, cut each board the correct length. We have had this DeWALT miter saw for several years and it still works GREAT!

Step 4:

Layout each shutter on your workspace. Put a paint stick between each board to leave a small space.

Step 5:

Measure and then place the crosspiece.  We marked the location for each crosspiece. Add glue where each crosspiece will be attached … And then nail each crosspiece. Flip over the shutter and then screw from the backside for durability. We used our Ryobi cordless drill, which is an essential staple in our tool collection. Here are the shutters after we assembled them. 

Step 6:

Clean the shutters if needed. We pressure washed because some still had some mildew (Remember, we used reclaimed wood). Allow time to dry.

Step 7:

Use a paintbrush to apply Sherwin Williams oil-based transparent deck stain. This is the paintbrush we used. This is our favorite paintbrush for projects because of the quality bristles and easy-grip handle.

The picture below shows Neal painting the backside of a shutter.

Here you can see the difference before and after applying the stain. 

Allow time to dry and then apply the transparent stain to the other side. Then, allow time to completely dry.

Step 8:

After drying, attach to the house with a screw in each crosspiece (one at the top and one at the bottom). Because our house has board and batten siding, we had to pay attention to the battens (not to screw in the edge of a batten).

And enjoy the result! Several of our neighbors have commented on how much the shutters dressed up our house. We are pleased with the result too. You can also paint these shutters or make out of another type of wood. You can also add shutter dogs or other accessories. For now, we like them as they are because of the casual style of our house.

Let us know what you think of our cedar shutters or if you have any questions.

We have some cedar leftover, what do you think we should make out of the remaining cedar? 

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Author: Suzanne

Blogger and DIYer with my talented husband Neal. I share about our projects and life lessons following Christ.

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