How to Make Craftsman Style Shutters

August 25, 2018

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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A pair of Craftsman Style Shutters will cost you about $160 at Home Depot. A pair of the same style shutters made by YOU will only cost you half of that. But how do I make my own craftsman style shutters? Let me walk you through this 2-tool project and you’ll see just how easy it is…

For my brain, it’s always easiest for me to start off with a drawing. This gives me a guide to go by and allows me to not have to keep so many project ideas swirling around in my head…Because let’s face it–there are always multiple projects I’m dreaming about at one time. 🙂sketch of diy shutters

This is just one of the craftsman styles you can go with. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your cross bars. But for this tutorial, I’m going to show you the style I made for my parent’s home.

Before we really dive into this, it’s necessary to determine the look we want to obtain. Functional shutters span the width and height of the windows when they are shut. Some people, however, prefer for the shutter to span the full height of the window frame. It’s really personal preference. We decided upon the first option…the classic functional shutters.

How to make Craftsman Style Shutters

Materials Needed:

1x5x8 pine boards (quantity needed depends on width of shutter you desire)

Nail gun nails (1.5 inch)

Wood glue

Wood Filler


Polyurethane (exterior)

Tools Needed:

Miter saw (or hand saw)

Nail gun (or hammer)

Step One:

Now that you have your measurements, you are ready to cut your boards to the desired length. Using a miter saw or hand saw, cut your long vertical boards first. Then lay those out to determine how long you want your two horizontal (cross-bar) boards to be. Be sure to remember to put gaps in between each board, if that’s the look you are wanting. You’ll definitely want to account for that before cutting your horizontal boards.

Step Two:

Sand, using a 60-grit sandpaper and then a 220-grit, to give it a nice smooth finish.

Step Three:

Stain or paint.


Because these boards are going to be exposed to the elements (some pretty severe, depending on where you live), be sure to apply plenty of coats of exterior poly on the front, sides and back of all boards. I used 4 coats on mine. You’ll also want to make sure you get a water-based exterior poly. The oil-based tend to yellow your stain/paint. This is the one I like to use…

can of polyurethane

For my stain choice, I used General Finishes Black Gel Stain.

can of General Finishes Black Gel Stain

Step Four:

Assemble. Once again lay your boards out on a flat surface exactly how you want your shutter to look. Be sure to leave spaces between each board (if that is the look you desire). I used paint sticks to separate each of my boards….

shutters being built

Step Five:

Glue and attach vertical board. Using wood glue and a nail gun (or hammer) attach your cross board…glue on board


Step Six: (OPTIONAL)

We ended up choosing not to do this, but you could add decorative metal hardware, such as the picture below…


And there you have it! Your very own “I built this” craftsman style shutters.


Shutters diy standing

Last step of course is to hang them on the house, step back and admire your job well done. Look at what you accomplished!!

yellow house with diy shutters

yellow house with diy shutters

If you want more of these awesome tutorials, be sure to sign up for my newsletter below…

Until next time,

Happy Building!!

More craftsman ideas:

Craftsman Garage Doors–Get the look without all the costs

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    • Nicole Nigg

      Thank you Ashley!! It was actually very simple. 🙂


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