DIY Shutter Tutorial

I just recently shared our Outdoor Deck Reveal with you last week and mentioned that we made these Board and Batten Shutters.  Today I am sharing our DIY Shutter Tutorial so that you can make some too if you are interested.  They are unbelievably easy.  If you are looking for an easy, first time building project, this would be a perfect one to start with.

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I literally made these shutters in less than one hour.  And I did it at night, right after getting the littles in bed which is why my pictures are kind-of blue-ish in tint do to low light conditions.

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I picked up 6 cedar fence planks from Lowes.  They were each 5 feet in length.  I measured my window and determined that it was 36.5 inches including the white window casing and inside of the window frame.  You want your shutters to be the same height as your window frame.

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I wanted to have three planks side by side for the width of my shutters and then I wanted 2 strips to lay horizontally along the top and bottom of the shutters. 

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I cut 6 vertical strips each measuring 36.5 inches in length.  I laid three strips together and measured the width where I wanted the horizontal strips as the wood can vary slightly.  Cut 4 strips…mine were all about 11.5 inches give and take a bit.

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Then I simply glued the horizontal strips of cedar 5 inches from the top and bottom of the shutter.  Then added some staples with my nail gun in 6 places on each strip…one staple at the top and bottom for each board.

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You can stain or paint your shutters.  I wanted mine white.  I used some Outdoor Solid Color Waterproofing Wood Stain in a white color base.  This stuff is great and we used it to seal and paint our white posts on our Outdoor deck.  It holds up and protects from the elements much  better than an outdoor paint will. 

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Then you will need to hang your shutters.  We decided NOT to drill the shutters into our brick.  Now the reason we decided this was that we are not sure we want shutters on our whole house.  We have several windows and that we be a big undertaking AND several of our windows are really high.  And since our porch is well protected by the side wall and the roof we rarely get wind or the elements any where near the window.  So we knew we could get away with using these handy dandy Brick Hangers. 

They don’t look like much.  But they really do work well.  I picked them up in the nail and picture hanger aisle at Lowes.  We finagled them a bit and drilled them right into the back of the shutter after determining where to place them so that they would line up correctly with the grooves in the brick mortar.

Brick-hangers

It ended up working out pretty good.  Now the only thing I have to worry about is if we have another freak 100 mph windstorm again.  If we do, you can bet I will go out there and pull those babies down along with everything else on my back porch.

These shutters cost very little to make and I LOVE the added impact they give the deck.  The brick wall was a bit expansive and needed to be broken up a bit and I am happy with the way that they seem to finish off the entire space!  Yay for last minute projects that are fast and easy.

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To see the entire deck reveal go here:  Outdoor Deck Reveal

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On a side note–We are in full swing Spring Break here and we decided to have a stay-cation at home since our weather was supposed to be fairly nice.  Well it rained yesterday and I let the kids built a blanket fort (against my better judgment).  Then they begged to sleep in it…which I allowed (against my better judgment) but it we were enjoying a stay-cation.  And today I am dealing with cranky, over-tired kids…(sigh)!

Here is hoping the rest of the day runs smoother than our morning did!  Now we are headed out to play some more, now that the weather has cleared up!  Do any of you have any great stay-cation ideas for us?  We came up with a fun list but would love more suggestions!

Outdoor Deck Reveal

I am so excited to be able to finally share with you our newly updated Outdoor Deck. When I was given the March Lowes Creator challenge, I knew I would finally be able to finish off our outdoor deck just in time for Spring.

This has been one of those projects that takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to finish.  We have wanted to update our back patio for a long time, but had always been one of the many projects that had to sit on the bottom of the to-do list.

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When we first looked through this house when we were searching for a new home 11 years ago, the back porch was one of our very favorite things about this house.  We have always enjoyed being outdoors as a family and we could see ourselves sitting on this porch for BBQ’s, summer evenings and for entertaining family and friends.  Summer evenings in Utah are really pleasant and we were excited for how large this extra space was.

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But, it has seen better days.  The deck was covered in an outdoor carpet that was torn and worn out in several different areas.  We knew it had some amazing potential and that it would just take some time and hard work to get it to where we were envisioning.

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We were planning on doing the deck remodel ourselves.  But as we looked closer at the overall deck and the construction of it, we became concerned that there was a bit of wood rot and we were worried about the overall safety of the 30 year old deck.  So, we ended up hiring someone to rebuild the deck in August of 2011.  And thank goodness we did, because there was a lot of structural damage and some of the main structure had almost completely rotted out.  I will share a bit more of that process in an upcoming post.

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About 7 years ago we bought some patio furniture on clearance at the end of the season and picked up this set for about $350 which is a great deal.  I could only find these pictures of my little family eating pizza out on the deck about 4.5 years ago.  Awww…I miss those babies!

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But after 7 years and little kids, the cushions were pretty beat up.  The cast iron furniture was still in great condition.  I had looked into sewing me some new cushion covers, but the price of good fabric had me hesitating.  Then, I saw that Lowe’s carries some awesome Outdoor Deck Furniture cushions and I knew it was the perfect solution.  So I picked some up in this awesome neutral Linen color.  I am in LOVE!!  I love how it stands out next to our darker brick color.

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Then I hit the flower section of Lowe’s and picked up some Spring flowers that love the cold weather since in Utah we can get a freeze all the way into May.  I also picked up a couple of flower pots and some potting soil and gave the deck some needed Spring color with several potted flowers.

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I also immediately fell in love with this cute white pot and made that a focal point on the patio table.

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Some Lowe’s locations also carry some cute and trendy decorative pillows.  I picked up the green pillow, and an orange one that I put on my front porch, from a Lowe’s while I tagged along on my husband’s business trip to Vegas this past weekend.  We found them in the St. George, Utah Lowe’s Store.

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This table and chair set is also from Lowe’s.  I actually picked this one up last fall for a steal at the end of the season clearance sale with some leftover Lowe’s gift cards that I had saved up.  We LOVE it too and have eaten dinner outside as a family several times already!  The floor rug is also from Lowe’s.

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I picked up the three wall clocks at my local thrift store last summer when I was shopping for the DIY Blogger house…and get this…the big one was $4 and the other two were $3 each.  Pretty awesome right?

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We painted the walls and trim to give it a fresh and clean look and filled in several large cracks that had never been filled in from when the original owners added the moldings.  It makes a world of difference and makes our deck feel like another room in our home.

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The table centerpiece box was made and shared in an earlier tutorial and I think it has now found its permanent spot.

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And last, but not least, we built these simple shutters with some wood which I also picked up at Lowe’s.  I am so happy with how they turned out and I think they were the perfect final addition.  The brick wall look a bit barren and I love the crisp, fresh look and texture they provide.  They were super easy to make and very inexpensive.  I will share the tutorial in a later post….so be sure to stay tuned if you are interested.

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So, I realize that this post contains a lot of different stages of work on our back deck.  In summary, for this month’s Lowes Creator Challenge, we did the following:

Added updated Outdoor Furniture Seat Cushions

Painted Wall and Trim

Added Green Décor Pillow

Added Flower Pots and Flowers

Built Wood Window Shutters

Looking for more creative ideas for your home?  Sign up for Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine.  It actually has a lot of really great and creative ideas that you can and would want to do.  Go ahead and check it out!

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*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card to showcase a project this month as part of their Lowe’s Creative ideas Bloggers team.  However all opinions and statements are mine.