How to Build Interior Window Shutters

One of the more recent projects we finished up from our small bathroom were these interior window shutters. I should have taken a before picture of what we had in there – it was super classy, some linen fabric that I shut into the window to hang. 😂

I really struggle with window treatments. Less is more in my book and really I’d just leave every window in my house bare if I could deal with it, give me all the natural lighting and simplicity. Even though we don’t have neighbors close by, I still feel exposed not having anything covering the windows at night. Maybe it’s because I grew up in town where it was most definitely needed, or too many creepy movies/books, so I fear someone peeking in.

(Although I did have a real life peeping Tom incident at an Airbnb we stayed at…in the woods. 😳 So I guess maybe I can be a little paranoid.) So that’s why it’s taken about a year to figure out what to do with this window in our bathroom.

window with white shaker style interior window shutters half open with plants by window

I wanted something simple, that let in natural light, and gave privacy. This window overlooks our patio, so it definitely needed something that would offer privacy. (The window is fairly high, which is why we didn’t need to worry about covering the top half).

Since a lot of old homes used interior shutters, I felt like it was a good option for our 1835 farmhouse. I like that they are easy to open and shut – I leave them open during the day to let in the light.

I decided to forgo any kind of handle or latch since it’s not needed. I wanted to keep things simple, but you could definitely add them. We decided to make ours folding shutters, since I wanted to be able to leave them open, and I didn’t want a full size door panel swinging out into the room.

hands glueing a small piece of wood to a larger piece of wood
piece of wood with nail gun nailing in a smaller piece of wood


  • 3/4” plywood
  • 1/4” plywood
  • table saw
  • 2” utility hinges
  • wood glue
  • nail gun and nails
  • sandpaper
  • paint (or stain)
  • drill/screwdriver


Measure the opening of the window between the trim or the window jamb; depending on where you will be attaching the shutters.

From that number subtract the thickness of 4 hinges and another 1/16” for a gap where the shutters meet.

Divide the number you are left with by 4, this is the width of each of the shutters.

Measure from the sill or bottom of the window up to the top of the center rail, where the upper and lower window meet. Subtract the amount you want for a gap at the bottom.

Cut your 3/4” plywood into 4 pieces the size of these two measurements .

Determine how wide you want your trim pieces that frame the shutter to be, we made ours 1-1/2”.

Cut strips of this width from the 1/4” plywood, enough to go around the perimeter of each shutter.

Cut 8 pieces the length of the shutter. To figure out the pieces that fit between, lay two strips together flush with the edge of the shutter. Then measure from the opposite edge of the shutter to the edge of the strip. Cut 8 pieces at this length.

Spread glue on the back of each strip and place on the shutter even with the edge. Nail them as you go. When you have all of the shutters done, stack them face down on a flat surface, and place weight on top of the stack and allow to dry.

Sand and paint the shutters.

Attach the hinges to the shutters, which will attach to the window with the barrel of the hinge facing the front. (Pre-drill the screw holes for hinges on shutters and window trim or jamb). Attach the hinges to the other side of this shutter with the barrel of the hinge facing the back of the shutter. Attach the other shutter to this hinge.

Attach one of the shutters to the window making sure to keep the gap at the bottom. Hold the other shutter in position to determine the attachment point to the window. It may not be the same as the other side if your window is not perfectly square. Attach shutter to window.

window with closed interior window shutters with wood beam next to window
window with open interior wood shaker shutters with plants by window


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