Repurpose Old Window Shutters Into A Functional Plate Rack

Upcycling salvaged or secondhand elements can be a beautiful and useful way to augment any space's decor, often bringing in the charm of the past while filling very real in-the-now needs. This is especially true when it comes to wood pieces that seem to only grow in character as they age. Tik Tokker @tinashomestead recently posted how she used a salvaged set of window shutters as a stylish and functional plate rack. The result oozes vintage and upcycled charm while also being eco-friendly, easy to create, and inexpensive.

Their slender size makes shutters a great piece of wood to be reused without much need for painting, sanding, or finishing, mostly created out of thicker cuts of wood to withstand the elements on a home's exterior. Some shutters arrive already covered in a water-resistant finish, particularly helpful if you are installing them in places like bathrooms or kitchens, where they are less likely to warp or bow with moisture.

Shutters as shelves

Because the slats on the shutter can be opened or closed, this option works well for storing plates flat or standing them up between the slats, which form a cozy groove that keeps them from slipping through. When placed over a towel or waterproof mat, it makes make a great air-drying rack for a tight space. Simply secure the shelf to the wall with a set of L-shaped shelf brackets commonly available in hardware stores and online.

Not just for the kitchen, salvaged shutters make great shelves elsewhere in the home. While the L-shaped brackets typically have a lower weight-bearing threshold than other kinds of shelves, attaching them to studs can ensure they won't take a tumble. Attaching or reinforcing your shutter to the L-brackets themselves with screws or bolts can also provide extra stability. Shutters are excellent for providing shelving in garage spaces where they might already be lingering after prior renovations. Since they come in numerous sizes to oufit many different kinds of windows, they can fit in all sorts of spaces, including above windows and doors for some unexpected storage.

Other uses for old shutters

If not already lingering in your garage, attic, or basement, you can find second-hand shutters everywhere from garage and estate sales to architectural salvage shops for very low prices. Many prefer the rustic, painted look they come with, but you can also paint or re-stain them as desired. Even shutters that are more cosmetic and don't actually open, or are painted with so many coats they no longer budge, can make great shelves or decor.

Other cool ideas for old shutters include plant boxes, tabletops, and headboards. You can also make a mail sorter for stashing bills, photos, and mementos by attaching a shutter to the wall and installing small hooks along the bottom for keys, pet leashes, and more. Shutters, since they are already exterior-ready, also make great furniture elements for outdoor shelving, tables, privacy screens, planters for climbing plants, and faux exterior windows. The look of old shutters instantly gives a rustic farmhouse or cottage vibe to a space, while also offering you the chance to create something as sustainable as it is stylish.