Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thrifted Shutter Photo Display Tutorial {Thrifty Thursday}

I love the look of shutter photo displays and one of my goals is to print and display more photos in our home. I scooped up these shutters from a thrift store a couple of months ago for just a few dollars. I finally finished this project and I'll show you how I did it! If you don't have thrifted shutters, then you can always purchase some from a home improvement store.

For this project you'll need:

- shutters
- paint (I used house paint, but you could also use acrylic paint)
- paint brush (I used a 2 1/2 inch bristle brush)
- wire
- wire cutters
- photos to display
- mini clothes pins, paper clips or bind clips for hanging photos

This is what my shutter looked like when I bought it.

I got these paint samples from Home Depot. They were pre-mixed and were less than $3/bottle. One is black, the other is a pale blue.

I started by painting a coat of black paint over the shutter. I was going for a rustic look, so I intentionally left areas unpainted and was not "perfect" in my painting. Once dry, I flipped the shutter over and painted the other side. Be sure to open and close the shutter so that the slats don't dry closed and get stuck.

Next, I used a dry brush technique and painted a light, coat of the pale blue over the black paint. To do this, dip your brush in the blue paint and then paint on a scrap piece of newsprint, or a rag so that most of your paint is off your brush before you paint your shutter. Again, I left areas of the natural wood, unpainted, and I left lots of the black showing through to give it that rustic, layered look.
Once that coat was dry on both sides, I attached my wire that my photos would hang from.

I wrapped the wire around the edge of the shutter, and then thread it through the hooks that hold the dowels used to turn the shutter slats. I used three pieces of wire for each tri-fold shutter, so I could hang three rows of photos.

I'm using my finished display as a screen to hide some mismatched baskets that sit on top of my sewing station. You could also do this with shutters that are doors and use it as room divider or a screen to hide a cluttered corner.