DIY Folding 3-Panel Screen for < $40

DIY Folding 3-Panel Screen for < $40

This past summer Jim challenged me to build a 3-panel folding screen for under $40.  Actually, it started with him searching online for an affordable screen for the corner of the bedroom.  He was asking me “how about this one?  Or this one?” and I was like “they look like discount store dressing rooms!”.  All white plastic and beige fabric.  Woof!  The nice ones were all at least $100.  He was like “I’m not paying that much”.  And I was like “Why don’t I just build one!” and he was like “if you can build one for < $40, you’re on!”.  So I did 🙂

I went to Home Depot and bought the cheapest wood I could find.  9 8-foot 1×2″s for $1.28 each!  Total wood cost:  $11.52.  I used my miter saw to cut them into 6 6-foot lengths and 12 15-inch lengths:

       

Then I put on 2 coats of primer, which I already owned, with cheap brushes which I already owned:

        

For the finish I chose Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover in semi-gloss black, which cost $4.98:

I painted on 3 coats of black with a Wooster shortcut brush which I already owned:

       

Then brought the wood upstairs and used my Kreg Jig [set to ½”] to cut pocket holes in each of the 12 cross-pieces:

       

Then screwed the frames together with Kreg screws [already owned]:

       

Instead of using fabric [which cost waaaay too much money, at least the black and white patterns I was looking at], I took the advice of someone online and used fancy contact paper from Amazon.  I bought 2 rolls of peel-and-stick for $7.68 each.  Total cost of “fabric”:  $15.36.

I made marks on each frame with a grease pencil so I’d know where the cross braces were.  Then staple-gunned the contact paper to each frame and cut off the excess [I did not remove the backing of the contact paper]:

       

I bought 3 2-packs of hobby hinges for a total of $8.01:

I marked where they should go, then carefully drilled them into the panels [with pilot holes first]:

       

The folding screen was DONE!  Of course, the wood being so cheap, it cracked pretty fiercely along the top and bottom edges:

       

But you can’t see the cracks when the screen is upright, and they don’t affect the stability.  The screen folds up small, and then opens up fairly wide:

       

Success!  Total cost = $39.87!!!

Therefore, it’s totally possible to build a beautiful DIY 3-panel screen for < $40 🙂

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3 Comments

    1. Nine Dark Moons

      Thanks, D’Arcy! This was a fun project! I don’t usually budget when doing projects, so it was fun to squeeze as much as I could out of my $40 🙂
      I hope you and Eric & your zoo have a wonderful holiday! And then we can all kiss this cursed year goodbye!!!

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