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How to Make a Folding Screen Using Old Hinges and Shutters

Link together old shutters for a practical folding screen

screen made from hinges and shutters
Photo by Kristine Larsen

The hardware bins at Olde Good Things in New York City overflow with cool, but very dirty, door hinges in different styles. The challenge for me was in unearthing four that were the same size and style. I wanted to use them to link together three vintage wooden shutters to make a folding screen for my bedroom. After more than an hour of digging, as well as searching for something to wipe my hands on (tip: never wear white jeans to a salvage yard), I finally settled on a matched lot of 3-by-31⁄2-inch steel hinges with curlicue designs and steeple tips. Making the screen was the easy part—to show off my finds, I simply screwed the hinges to the face of the shutters, rather than mortising them.


Steps // How to Make a Folding Screen Using Old Hinges and Shutters
1 ×

Align Shutters

 
Step One // How to Make a Folding Screen Using Old Hinges and Shutters

Align Shutters

aligning shutters to make screen door
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Lay the shutters side by side on a worktable, and align their bottoms using a straightedge. (Shutter heights may vary, so be sure to use the bottoms as the baseline when taking measurements.)

 
2 ×

Position Hinges

 
Step Two // How to Make a Folding Screen Using Old Hinges and Shutters

Position Hinges

position hinges to make screen door
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Arrange one pair of hinges along the gap between two shutters, about a foot down from the top, and the other the same distance up from the bottom. Measure from the bottom of the shutters to the bottom edge of the hinge leaves and mark their locations.

 
3 ×

Transfer Measurements

 
Step Three // How to Make a Folding Screen Using Old Hinges and Shutters

Transfer Measurements

woman doing markings on shutters
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Using a combination square, transfer those marks to the back of the third shutter to position the second pair of hinges.

 
4 ×

Predrill Screw Holes

 
Step Four // How to Make a Folding Screen Using Old Hinges and Shutters

Predrill Screw Holes

predrill holes
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Remove the hinges and bore the holes for their fasteners.

 
5 ×

Attach Hinges

 
Step Five // How to Make a Folding Screen Using Old Hinges and Shutters

Attach Hinges

attaching hinges to make screen door
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Reposition the hinges and drive in the screws.

 
6 ×

Protect Floors

 
Step Six // How to Make a Folding Screen Using Old Hinges and Shutters

Protect Floors

protect floors
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Push soft vinyl furniture glides into the bottom corners of the two end shutters to help level the screen and prevent it from scuffing up your floors when you move it.

 
7 ×

Unfold Screen

 
Step Seven // How to Make a Folding Screen Using Old Hinges and Shutters

Unfold Screen

woman sitting behind unfolded screen
Photo by Kristine Larsen

Set up your finished screen, and kick back with a book.

 
 
 

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