If you've ever strolled by those funky vintage shutters leaning against the outside of the antique store or propped up against tables at the flea market, you know how tempting they can be. From sorting your mail to adding curb appeal to your front door, there are so many fabulous ideas for repurposing old shutters that you won't pass them up the next time you see them. Even better, most of these projects are just way too easy not to try.
Make a Rustic Welcome Sign
Old window shutters make a great background for a lettered sign, especially if you add a welcoming message. Choose letters in a color that contrasts with the shade of the shutters. Hang the shutters first and add the sign on top.
You can find vintage shutters for as little as $10 at flea markets and thrift stores. Some large shutters or those with interesting chippy paint can be a bit more, sometimes up to $50. There are tons of styles, so take your time finding one that fits your decorating needs and price point.
Turn a Mirror Into a Window
Need some extra light in your room? You can reflect light from nearby and give the illusion of another window by flanking a mirror with a pair of shutters. This is also a great way to add an architectural feature to a blank wall, especially in a dining room or living room.
Create a Rainbow Focal Point
Give your room a focal point that's pretty and cheerful by painting a shutter with rainbow colors of paint. You can pick up craft paint in small quantities and paint each louver a different shade. Add a message if you like.
Frame Your Front Door
Need to add some curb appeal? Frame your front door with old shutters. Choose shutters that are extra long and hang them on either side of the door. You can also distress them or paint them a bright shade for even more personality.
Hang Plants or Sconces on Old Shutters
You can give your sconces or hanging plants a little more decorating oomph with old shutters. The shutter acts sort of like a frame for the plant or light fixture, giving it more impact on your wall (plus an awesome vintage farmhouse vibe).
Keep Track of Keys and Purses
Repurpose old shutters to help keep track of pesky keys, purses, dog leashes, and other little things you need to hang by your door. This is a super easy project for anyone to DIY - just paint a shutter a funky color, add some simple hooks, and hang it on the wall.
Turn an Old Shutter Into a Shelf
It's always nice to have another shelf to show off your plants, pictures, or collection of vintage toys (we see you, Care Bear collectors). Turning an old shutter into a shelf is simple - just add an extra piece of wood with shelf brackets and hang the shutter on your wall. You can paint the whole thing a pretty color.
Repurpose an Old Shutter as a Room Divider
If you're like most of us these days, you can always use a little more personal space. Divide a room to create a home office or reading nook or add some privacy to a bedroom with a repurposed shutter room divider. Just get three shutters of the same size and add hinges from the hardware store (there are different hinge styles, but they usually have directions to help you install them).
Sort Your Mail and Messages
A vintage shutter makes an awesome way to sort your mail. Pick up a small one at the thrift store or flea market and add a backing of thin plywood cut to the same size. This keeps the mail from falling through the louvers and lets you keep track of your letters or display your Christmas cards.
Create a Farmhouse Chic Chalkboard
Chalkboards are super useful for writing messages to people you live with or making a welcoming sign for guests, but they're even better when they have some style of their own. It's actually really easy to make a chalkboard from an old shutter. Just choose one that's not louvered, but that has panels instead. Sand them smooth with a fine-grit sandpaper and paint them in chalkboard paint.
Organize Your Jewelry
Use an old shutter to organize and display your collection of jewelry and keep it from getting tangled. Add hooks and wire for hanging necklaces and bracelets. You can hook earrings over the louvers in a shutter too.
Frame Your Art With Shutters
Give your art more visual impact by using antique shutters as picture frames. Have your photos or chosen artwork printed on a canvas or on metal and then mount it on the shutter for a super cool rustic look that's perfect for maximizing the size of your art.
Make a Shutter Coffee Table
Repurpose shutters into super funky furniture. It's actually really easy, even if you don't have a ton of DIY experience. Just pick up a sturdy shutter in the size you want and add some hairpin legs (you can find them at the hardware store). The legs come with instructions, so with a few simple tools, you'll be good to go.
If you'll be using a shutter to make furniture or for another purpose that requires it to be sturdy, take a couple minutes to inspect it. Make sure the wood is thick enough to support any weight it will have to hold and that it's not warped or rotten.
Paint an Open/Closed Sign
If you have a business (or just want to hang a sign in your kitchen to tell your kids when you're willing to cook for them), you can make a super cool open/closed sign out of an old shutter. You need the kind with louvers you can move. Just close it one way and paint "open," then close it the other way and paint "closed."
Vintage Shutters Add Lots of Farmhouse Style to Any Home
Vintage shutters may have outlived their original purpose, but there are so many ideas to use them in your decorating or create tools that will help you organize your home. They're a tried and true method to add a ton of farmhouse style to even the most modern apartment, so have fun using them in all kinds of cool and creative ways.