How to make a shutter-door ironing cabinet

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These louvered and paneled wood beauties can be used to give your home an elegant exterior or as rustic accents indoors.

Tools & Materials

  • Tape measure

  • Pencil

  • Square of Rafter

  • Circular saw

  • Bar clamps

  • Drill/driver

  • Screwdriver

  • Paint brush

Ironing is done in my bedroom and not in the basement laundry room. To keep the board visible, I needed a cabinet that was attractive. Prefab ironing centers cost upwards of $400 so I made my own. I used a $40 salvaged shutter with a swan cutout for the door. The shutter measured 18 by 46 inches and was about twice as high as the cabinet. This added height allowed for an iron rest and a supply shelf. The door has a hanging bar that holds freshly-pressed shirts. Paint, which matches the shutter’s existing finish, unites the old and new wood.

Step 1

Old shutters decorate windows and more

Vintage shutters are meant to be moved, unlike many decorative shutters that are attached to the house in an open position. When not in use, they swing on hinges attached to the window surround. They are also secured with tiebacks (or “shutter dogs”) when not in use. Although the operable shutters you can buy at home centers work in the same manner, it is hard to match the craftsmanship and quality of the originals. You’ll need to go to a salvage yard in order for these shutters to be found.

Remember that shutters from the past are often painted with lead paint. Clear polyacrylic should be applied to the old paint and you can then begin repurposing it.

Shown: These vintage shutters can be purchased for between $25 and $75.

Step 2

Measurement for the Cabinet Frame

To determine the cabinet’s height, measure the shutter’s length with a tape measure. Add 1/2 inch to the shutter’s width for the cabinet top or bottom. These boards will be between the sides.

Step 3

Mark the boards and cut to length

Take your measurements and transfer them to the boards. Next, use a raftersquare as a guide and cut the boards using a circular saw.

Step 4

The Cabinet Frame

Use bar clamps to secure the boards together. Drive the fasteners in place by drilling pilot holes for 1 1/2-inch wood screws.

Step 5

Add the Back

To make the cabinet frame, cut 3/4-inch plywood according to its inner dimensions. Attach the sides, top and bottom using wood screws. Make sure you drill pilot holes before attaching.

Step 6

Create a shelf

To accommodate the cabinet’s back panel, add an interior supply shelf measuring the same length as the frame’s top & bottom but 3/8 inch wider. Install wood screws to secure the shelf by drilling pilot holes.

Step 7

Add the Shutter door

Attach the shutter to the cabinet. Drill pilot holes to attach the hardware’s fasteners. Turn them in using a screwdriver to avoid removing the soft metal. Add a cabinet knob next to the shutter to make it easy to open or close.

Step 8

Install the Ironing Board

Attach the ironing board, iron rest and hanging bar to the back of the cabinet. The rack and iron rest can be attached using the fasteners provided. Upgrade to a beefier 3/4-inch No. 10 screws.

Step 9

Paint the Cabinet

Paint the cabinet to match your shutter door. To avoid any errant brushstrokes, remove the board, door and accessories first. You can iron away by hanging the cabinet with appropriate heavy-duty fasteners for your wall type.

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