Make Picture Frame Fabric Cafe Shutters

Cafe Shutters are an Easy Kitchen Project

Cafe Shutters from Picture Frames
Cafe Shutters from Picture Frames. Photo: PCH

One of the most versatile window coverings, especially for a kitchen, is fabric cafe shutters. These coverings, which provide privacy for the lower part of the window while leaving the upper part open so light can get in the room, can be easily made with simple picture frames and fabric to match or accent your current decor.

The fabric cafe shutters can be closed for privacy while light still gets in the room, or open completely to allow full light.

Many people put a short curtain atop the window so it is not completely bare. You could match that fabric or color to those of your cutters. 

While some cafe shutters are purely slats of wood similar to a plantation shutter, these ones allow you to use your own materials to create a cozy look in your kitchen. Actually, you could make them for a sun porch or any other room where you want a different look and a little architectural interest.

Want to make an even more glamorous look? Paint the frames with a metallic paint and use a delicate sheer fabric to dress up the windows. You can completely tailor this to match the look of your kitchen, whether it is casual or more upscale.

How to Make Fabric Cafe Shutters for Your Kitchen

Here are instructions to help you make cafe shutters for your kitchen, or any other room in the house. 

  • Pick two coordinating fabrics, one solid and one pattern to match the style and color of your decor. Also find some coordinating ribbon for the back of the frame. 
  • Use recycled old matching frames with the mounting hooks and wires and backing removed. If you can't find matching used frames, use new unassembled frames and assemble them according to package instructions, letting the glue dry completely.
  • Using a paint brush, paint the frames with two coats of an appropriate color and let dry completely.
  • For each picture frame, cut one piece of each fabric, solid and patterned, to the size of the outside of the frame about 1/2 inch from the edge.
  • Place the wrong sides of the fabric together and staple both to the back of the frame with the patterned fabric facing the front.
  • Place the coordinating ribbon along the edges of the stapled fabric to cover the edge. Glue it down. 
  • If more than one frame is needed to cover each side of the window, place the frames face down side by side.
  • Fasten the frames together with 1 1/2 inch hinges attached to the back about 1 1/2 inches from the top and the bottom.
  • Use the same size hinges to attach the shutters to the window inside the window frame.