Louvers used in the installation of louvered window shutters or door shutters are an excellent way to provide ventilation, security, and privacy in homes while allowing the air to surpass freely. They can either be movable or fixed. The louver name was originally used for a turret or domelike lantern set on the roofs of buildings for ventilation. The classification of boards, now known as louver, is the one means of closing the vent of the turret against the weather. 

A louvered window has a louvered construction, either of glass or some other material. While a louvered door has a few parts it filled with louvers to surpass the air when the door is closed. Also, closet doors have louvers. 

In this guide, we will share the steps of how to make louvers for doors and window shutters. While these instructions demonstrate how to make a custom-sized window shutter, the same concept is used for any exterior wood shutters or any interior door. Let’s get started!

Equipment/tools required 

  • Power drill
  • Pencil
  • A blade cutter or chisels
  • Sandpaper
  • Circular saw or miter saw
  • Table saw
  • Larger clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Plunge router combined with ¼” spiral-cutting straight bit
  • Router table accompanied by ⅛” radius round-over bit

Material required 

  • 2 2*4*8’ hardwood or pine
  • Woodworker’s glue or gum
  • Materials for stiles and rails for your particular application

Follow the instructions below

It’s not hard to make your louvered window shutters or door shutters. Through a very moderate skill set, you can easily make louvers for door and window shutters that are very elegant and perfect for ventilation. We are now sharing a step-by-step guide which you need to follow carefully.

Step - 1: Cut the slats, stiles, and rails

Start by making a frame for the slats that consists of two components: the stiles and rails. The horizontal pieces of the frame are rails and the vertical ones are stiles. To decide the size of each, determine how big the louvers opening you want, and remember to leave a 1/8inch of the gap on the top and bottom of it. 

The stiles will just be the width of the window and the length that you desire. The rails will be the height and width of the window of your desired opening, excluding the aforementioned 1/8inch.

Pro Tip 1: Cut little extra slats, as sometimes you need to cull a few pieces which have some knots or other disfigurement. 

Step - 2: Cut the slats for louvers

Since the slat will take one vertical inch of space, so discover how many slats you need by measuring the inches of the opening. As an example for a 20 1/4inch of opening, you will need 20 slats to fit in for the opening. Make sure that the slats must be 1/2inch bigger than the opening as they will have to go 1/4inch into all of the stiles. Now cut the slats and round each one the edges. 

Go for an orbital sander to smooth out the edges. To remove the previous sanding marks, slowly use the finer grits of sandpaper. When you paint your project, a 300 grit final sanding will be enough to remove all the sander marks and will give a smooth surface to paint. For optimum surface, consider a hand sanding of 400-grit sandpaper for a very smooth surface. 

Step - 3: Cut the tenon joints and the mortise

The tenon joint and mortise work out together. To cut out mortises, use a mortise which is a drill press with a square chisel. The use of the drill bit is to remove the stock, and the rest of the part is done by square chisel. If you have 1.1/2 inches of stock, then you’ll need ¾ inch of mortises. Now cut the mortise back for about 1/2inch on every end so that you don’t the edge of the tenon is not visible. 

After the mortises are cleanly cut, now it's time to make the tenons. Use a tenoning jig or saw, cut a tenon to 3/4inch or regardless of the size which you need to make up for the next half of the stock. 

Pro Tip 2: When you are forming tenon joints and mortises, it is advisable to cut the mortises first then start fitting the tenons to the mortises rather than doing the other way around. 

Step - 4: Build the grooves for the louvers

Along with the stiles, make sure to mark along for all your louvers. Leave a space in all of them so that they are 1inch aside and right after the rails, allot them for 1/4inch from top and bottom. To cut all of the grooves, use a router. If you are having an odd number of grooves for cutting, point a mark on every side of the center on every inch until and unless you have the requisite number. If you are having an even number of grooves to cut, mark ½ “ on every side of the centerline, and then a mark on every inch to each side until you have the desired slat number. 

Ensure to clamp the stiles on the table when you start doing this so that nothing moves around. Then, remove the clamp, slide the stile to the next mark, clamp, and now route. Continue this until all grooves are routed.  

Step - 5: Lastly assemble the louvers

Dry fit all of the louvers available into the grooves for the stiles. Put some gum onto the tenons and mortises, and then slip the tenons which you have into the mortises. Take off the excess glue that squeezes out from the joints. Do this whole process for both of the mortises. Move immediately and go from one rail towards the other. Place the slats into the grooves properly. Clamp these stiles together with too long clamps. Keep on cleaning the excess glue along the way. 

Once everything has dried properly, for the final finish you can spray on a few coats of lacquer or polyurethane. 


We hope this guide will help you in making the best choice. With decorative shutters, you will never get disappointed when it comes to practicality, style, durability, convenience, privacy, or easy maintenance! For any help and assistance, you can always call us. We would love to help you after carefully evaluating your requirements.