Repurpose shutters for functional and decorative use in and around the home.

Projects Using Old Shutters

by Kathy Adams

Rather than relegating old, unused shutters to the curb or as a donation to a salvage shop, you can turn them into decorative or functional pieces for use around the house. Designed to withstand the elements day after day, year after year, outdoor shutters are usually sturdy enough to use as tabletops, shelves and other furnishings around the home -- after a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint.

1. Tables

Turn four matching shutters into an end table by standing them in a rectangle shape, or use three for a triangular table. Connect the shutters to one another with corner brackets, or use screws to attach bracing blocks of wood inside the top and bottom edges. Add a glass tabletop or set an old framed mirror on top of the structure for a reflective surface. A string of rope lighting inside sends rays of light out through the shutters' slats. Turn a long shutter into a console table or sofa table by adding four long legs or spindles from a home improvement store. A glass top over the shutter creates a flat surface for the table, suitable for holding a lamp, vase or beverages.

2. Headboards

Turn four or more shutters into a headboard by attaching them to one another from the back with scrap-wood planks. Additional wood planks beneath the bottom of the headboard secure the structure to the bed frame with bolts. Paint each shutter a different color for a colorful, quirky headboard. Arrange a number of shutters facing in various directions but all touching one another on the wall for a wall-mounted large headboard that also serves as focal point for the room. Weave pieces of colorful fabric through some slats of the headboard for a wood and fabric, soft- and hard-themed headboard.

3. Closet Storage

Mount a shutter or two to a wall inside a closet for a place to store jewelry. Hook-style earrings hang from the slats of the shutters, while small hooks mounted around the shutter hold necklaces and bracelets or belts and neckties. Shelf brackets mounted inside the closet create a support for a shutter shelf that can hold hats, shoes and the like. Large hooks mounted underneath hold several hangers each, providing additional clothes-hanging space.

4. Yard and Garden Use

Hide trash cans or recycling bins by making an enclosure from shutters. Scrap wood salvaged from old shipping pallets provides a free wood source for the support framework. Shutters mounted sideways and painted in vivid colors such as orange, yellow and apple green serve as unusual yet functional borders for flowerbeds or gardens. Add shutters to the sides of a potting bench for added storage space -- set them sticking out horizontally for added shelf or table space for the potting bench, or mounted flush against the surface for a place to add hooks to hang small items such as trowels or garden shears.

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