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Project

Entryway Organizers

Introduction

Wooden shutters can be just as functional and good-looking indoors as out. This refinished trio hangs on the wall over a hallway console. Their louvers are a perfect (not to mention plentiful) spot to tuck invitations, display artwork, or hang a message pad. Vintage coat hooks also get a new use; they are mounted on a wooden plaque and put to work corralling the daily mail.

Wooden shutters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If using multiples, you'll want them to match in size and style.

Materials

  • For the shutters: Hammer and brads
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Latex paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Mounting hardware appropriate for your wall
  • For coat hook: paint or stain
  • 1/2-inch wood screws

Steps

  1. Step 1

    If shutters have adjustable louvers, lock them in the "up" position by driving a brad through the tilt bar and into the frame.

  2. Step 2

    Sand, prime, and paint shutters; let dry. Use level to mark position for middle shutter.

  3. Step 3

    Drill pilot holes in shutter and the wall; mount with hardware (we used screws and stainless-steel finish washers for a clean look). Repeat with side panels, butting them snugly against middle shutter.

  4. Step 4

    Paint or stain a precut plaque, available at crafts stores. Paint hooks to desired color (we chose the same shade of green paint that was used on the shutters to unify the two elements). Secure the hooks side-by-side with 1/2-inch wood screws. Repeat to form additional rows to separate your mail.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, March 2006

Reviews (28)

  • 30 May, 2013

    Hey, does anyone know what paint is used on this particular shutter?
    Is it one of the Martha Stewart Collection? If yes, maybe someone knows where you order them from Germany?
    Thank you,
    Julia

  • 30 Mar, 2013

    Make a backing, tag board will do, and hot glue every second or third louver to the backing. That way, larger items will slide down farther, but smaller notes will not disappear.

  • 17 Jan, 2013

    Great idea, but I don't think this is appropriate at all for the main entryway of a house.It definitely would need a backing to prevent items from falling through.

  • 28 Apr, 2010

    you can always turn the shutters so they L to R, and slide the notes into them from Lto R...you may only have 1 item into each slot but a bit easier...and i think it would be better for the longer notes. those larger light weight papers have a tendency to hang over if they only have an inch at their base holding them in place......just a thought

  • 28 Apr, 2010

    you can always turn the shutters so they L to R, and slide the notes into them from Lto R...you may only have 1 item into each slot but a bit easier...and i think it would be better for the longer notes. those larger light weight papers have a tendency to hang over if they only have an inch at their base holding them in place......just a thought

  • 14 Dec, 2009

    I agree...it needs a backingso you can just tuck things in the slats. The brad nail is just to lock in the up position and does nothing for the gap between slats. Maybe a backerboard cut to fit inside the frame...

  • 11 Oct, 2009

    It would look great with an old shutter as well, with the paint all crackling if you like that shabby chick look.

  • 20 Sep, 2009

    That will not be enough. You would need something connected to the bottom ridge of each slat, as in a backboard with glue.

  • 19 Sep, 2009

    IF YOU READ THE INSTRUCTIONS IT SAYS YOU PUT A BRAD THRU THE TILT BAR TO KEEP THINGS FROM FALLING THROUGH

  • 2 May, 2009

    I agree. How do you prevent items from falling through the slots?

  • 15 Jan, 2009

    I've seen this done before with paper folders glued to the back to hold items and I alwasy thing it's going to look good and be functional but I've never been able to do it and be happy with it. I wish someone could come up with something better.

  • 15 Jan, 2009

    I guess this is a cute idea, but who wants all that clutter in their entryway?!?! And what's to prevent the items from slipping through the back of the shutters? I do love the use of the coat hooks - pretty!

  • 15 Jan, 2009

    You could also add some decorative hooks on the sides or bottom of the shutters for keys..

  • 24 Dec, 2008

    Careful with sanding and risk of exposing yourself and family to lead pant! If they were painted before 1978 there is chance of lead paint. I know from experience that lead exposure from remodeling doesn't make for fun! You have to drink horrible calcium powder for months to get the lead out.

  • 12 Sep, 2008

    I have shutter doors on my bedroom. I use office supply clips for fabric cover cubicles to clip notes/coupons for the upcoming weekend outings with my mom, who no longer drives. They are out of sight during the day when the doors are open. At night, when the doors are closed, the pages are available to make plans.

  • 10 Sep, 2008

    I would be more concerned about items catching behind the shutter and I don't think the solution would be a backing board. I think a better solution would be to place a spacer between the wall and shutter ... the item would fall out below ... that way you can retrieve the item and not have it stuck behind/between the wall

  • 26 Mar, 2008

    A piece of tag board on the back works well. When I added it, I chose to attach it to the ack all the way around and then across at differen places to keep stff from falling thru.

  • 7 Mar, 2008

    I really love the idea and look of using the window shutter as an organizer. Has anyone had problems with the papers sliding down too far behind the shutter? The window shutter I have to use has the slats that are in a permenant position. The gap is about 1/2" wide. I am wondering if I should line the back of the shutter with something to prevent my papers and pictures from sliding down.

  • 5 Mar, 2008

    Look for shutters at your local ReStore which benefits Habitat for Humanity, or check out freecycle.org for the chapter in your area.

  • 1 Feb, 2008

    I found some shutters in the neighbors trash pile and put them in my car. My husband thought I was crazy, but I knew I would find a use for them. Great idea!

  • 12 Jan, 2008

    This one strikes me as a "must do" project, in my ongoing struggle to get organized. I'm just not sure where I can find shutters for cheap. (Everything I do I have to find a way to do it for cheap!)

  • 23 Nov, 2007

    This works really well. You can use shutters for dozens of crafts. I like to purchase them from a local salvage business. They have a large supply of shutters in all sizes that are in fabulous shape, they have great prices and you are saving them from ending up in a landfill! Way too much landfill space is taken up by construction and remodeling items that are still useful.

  • 17 Nov, 2007

    pannobella - I've used mailing tubes to manage larger sheets of paper. You can use a marker to lable the end of the tubes, and stand them in a corner in a box, basket or other container. Hope this helps (my craft area is a mere corner of the "family" room...)

  • 15 Nov, 2007

    My problem is getting all my art supplies organized, so they're easy to find and use.My little art studio is only about 10'X6'. I wish a fairy godmother named Martha would appear and somehow create a miniature version of her awesome craft room, but I'd be happy to hear any good ideas for organizing paper, drawing supplies, fabric, beads, paint, rubber stamps...I'm buried in boxes and bags! Help !

  • 15 Nov, 2007

    how do u get such a wonderful ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 14 Nov, 2007

    This is also a really cute way to display Christmas cards. One of my good friends does this.

  • 14 Nov, 2007

    This is also a really cute way to display Christmas cards. One of my good friends does this.

  • 3 Nov, 2007

    what a brilliant idea! has anyone done this? can you share your experience here?