Make a Folding Screen Room Divider

Lead Image
What You'll Need
3 panels 12" x 18" wide and 5' x 7' tall
Decorative Hinges
Finishing materials (paint, wallpaper, or upholstery fabric)

A folding screen room divider is a great way to add privacy to a room that otherwise doesn't have any. These are a great solution for very large rooms that you want to divide. A folding screen divider can also serve a wonderful decorative touch for any room. Here is a fairly simple way to create your own.

Step 1 — Choosing Your Panels

A folding screen room divider will have at least three panels secured to one another with hinges. The panels are adjustable, and should self balance. There are several types of materials you can use to create the folds. A bifold closet door works well, but plywood is the most common material used. You will want to use plywood that is smooth and at least 3/8 of an inch thick. Anything thinner will warp and will not last. Plywood is also easier to work with if you want to create decorative edges.

The height is the other thing you want to think about. The taller the panel the more panels you will need to use to create balance. Most people do not need panels higher than six feet tall.

Step 2 — Decorative Finishes

Once you have the panels picked out you can start to apply the decorative touches you want. If you paint the panel you will want to prime it first. Allow plenty of time for the primer to dry before applying paint. You can choose to stencil designs or paint murals. Many people will wallpaper the panels in coordinating patterns, or even upholster the panels using upholstery fabric and upholstery tacks.

Step 3 — Attach the Hinges

You will have lots of choices for the hinges. Cabinet hinges will work, but piano hinges work best since they are less likely to bend or pull out of shape.

Once you have allowed plenty of time for the paint to dry you can start to attach the hardware. The best way to do this is to place the panels flat on the floor where you will have room to lay them all out with their sides touching. Attach the hinges between two panels, then flip the panels over to attach the second set of hinges. This will allow the screen to fold in a zagging pattern.

Step 4- Place the Screen

With the screen put together you can grab a friend and stand the screen up. The friend comes in handy because you will be able to adjust the screen for balance with someone holding it upright. The panels should be placed in a zig zag pattern so that it will self balance.

That is all there is to it. A custom folding screen divider is not hard to create and will bring beauty and function to any room.