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Upcycle An Old Wood Shutter to Deck Your Outdoor Halls

Suzanne Urban from SmirkingGoddess shows us a great way to  upcycle an old shutter into something perfect for the festive season.

I am an illustrator and gardener, and like many creatives, I surf Pinterest for affordable outdoor- decor ideas. I soon discovered “Shutter Angels”, an assemblage consisting of an old shutter (angelʼs body), rocking chair runners (arms), and a pot(Head) to create a rustic garden angel. However, trying to find a collection of these items proved too hard, so going back to Pinterest I soon spied “Shutter Snowmen”, the main ingredient needed? Mostly paint, phew! Below is how I made my own Shutter Snowman.

Items Needed:

  • 1 wood shutter
  • Cardboard
  • Exacto Knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Thin Brush
  • Thicker Brushes
  • Acrylic Primer or Gesso
I used the following paint plus some Liquitex acrylics:

  • AmericanaTM All Surface Paint
  • CraftsmartTM Outdoor paint
  • Plaid Modge Podge Outdoor Sealer


Iʼd left the shutters outdoors for a year and the blue paint Iʼd painted them had peeled in some places, so I sanded them down, sanding is recommended anyways as it gives a nice-worn look and the paint adheres better.

After sanding use a damp cloth to clean shutter surface. Let dry.

Cut a piece of cardboard the width and height of the area your snowman will fill. Once cut out, draw a very simple Snowman shape and cut out. You can make a separate nose shape, arm and mitten, these cardboard shapes are your templates to trace around onto the shutter with thin brush and gesso. A dark pencil is used for tracing shapes onto white gesso area.

Once traced, paint in the traced area with gesso or acrylic primer-I used gesso. Let dry overnight.

Paint your snowman. Let dry overnight, in areas where you used non-outdoor paint, coat with outdoor Plaid ModPodge. For more ideas check my Pinterest page on Shutter creations to get your creative juices flowing and feel free to connect with me to add your own creations: https://www.pinterest.com/suzanneurban/snowmen-shutter-%2B-angel-shutter-art/

Care instructions: to preserve the shutter place in sheltered area, and store in attic or basement or garage after holiday.

About the Author: Illustrator Suzanne Urban has two shops on ETSY. SmirkingGoddess and SuzanneUrbanArt.

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