I loved our neighbors at our old house. They are wonderful people and they have two adorable dogs. Here’s the problem: every time their dogs saw our dogs through the chain link fence, their dogs would bark maniacally at our dogs. We needed something that would block their view of our dogs, without having to replace the fence. We needed a privacy screen.
I knew I needed to find materials for the privacy screen that were big, but also inexpensive. So, I went to the salvage yard. Turns out they had several large plantation-style shutters outside, and they were already connected together in pairs with wood cleats.
Anyway, I asked how much the shutters cost and he said that they were free (!!); someone had just dropped them off there. Free was perfect!
Note: You can often find shutters just sitting at the curb. People renovate or remodel and put these out in the trash heap all the time. You can also find inexpensive shutters like this at a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
I dug a little trench along the fence line to nestle the shutters into and leaned the shutters up against the fence:
Remember how I said that pairs of shutters were connected with wood cleats? Well, I screwed the cleats together to essentially create one large panel of shutters.
I also had some smaller shutters that I had gotten at a garage sale at the start of the summer ($10 for the lot). I figured I could use the smaller shutters to cover up the holes in the larger shutters.
I painted the smaller shutters to add pops of color on top of the darker shutters. I used indoor-outdoor spray paint + primer to paint the smaller shutters, and, when the paint dried, I screwed the smaller shutters to the larger shutters.
I thought this would be a great project to get my (then) six-year-old daughter involved. Also, she REALLY wanted to be involved. I used this project to teach her how to use a drill.
She loved helping and using the drill, and I loved that she is learning how to use tools. It’s important to me that she learns to DIY.
M drilled the screws into the lower parts of the shutters; I took the higher parts she couldn’t reach. We went to Home Depot‘s garden center and got some plants to put in front of it and poof! We had a colorful privacy screen:
The view from our breakfast room window now is not of the neighbor’s dogs, but of bright, happy colors:
Next time you see shutters sitting by the side of the road, at a yard sale, or at a salvage yard, think about turning them into a privacy screen like this!
For more upcycling or repurposing projects, click HERE.
For projects involving salvaged materials, click HERE.