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?

Author: Suzanne

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

42 thoughts on “How to Make Cedar Shutters”

    1. Hi there! These came our great and i plan to do it this way! Could you just tell me the cross peice, should it be the same width as one of the boards in the actual shutter or should it be more narrow?

      1. Gina,
        Thanks for the kind words. The width of each vertical piece (the three pieces on each shutter) is 5 inches and the crosspiece is 3.5 inches. So we did make the crosspiece more narrow. I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes.


  1. I used this tutorial to make a shutter as a decorative piece in my house! Great instructions! Thanks!

    1. LeeAnn,

      I am so glad our blog post helped you. You will have to share what you created so I will be inspired by your creation!

      Thanks for reading our blog!


  2. Lovely blog post with truly fantastic pictures regarding How to Make Cedar Shutters. I got to know many things and some solutions for cedar shutters as well. So keep sharing with us and a good job. Many many thanks to Suzanne for sharing this with us.

        1. Hey Tracy,

          Actually, we did not use a stain. We just cleaned the cedar (pressure washed because it was used cedar) and then applied Sherwin Williams oil-based transparent deck stain. This was the advice of the expert at Sherwin Williams. The deck stain really brought out the natural color in the cedar.

          I hope this helps! Thanks for reading our blog!


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    1. Hey Kaye,
      It is really just a matter of preference. Either a 1×4 or a 1×6 will work. If your windows are large, then maybe use a winder board. If you windows are small, maybe use a smaller board. We used scrap cedar; each board was a little shy of 5″. I hope that helps.

  7. Did you place the shutters on top of the furr strips or did you cut out for the shutters? Also how far do you place the shutter over the window trim?

    1. Hey Jodi,
      These are great questions. We placed the shutters directly over the battens; we did not cut out anything when installing them. Our window trim is 3.5 inches wide. We installed the shutters 1.75 inches over the window trim (basically covered half of the trim). I hope this helps!

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  11. I was wondering about placement -it appears you placed shutters OVER part of the vertical trim of window…?
    Can you explain?
    Thanks ! ( great job by the way )

    1. Hey Susan,

      Yes, great observation! We studied several pictures online of shutters and just preferred this look. It is really just a matter of preference.

      I hope this helps.


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