Introduction: Lighted Room Divider/Privacy Screen
I created this simple lighted room divider/privacy screen after getting completely frustrated with how pricey these things can be to buy. My parents were coming out for a trip and we planned on them sleeping on a futon in the office but our office had a large entry with no door. This room divider worked out perfectly for their trip out here! I also plan on using it as a privacy screen on my backyard patio when we're entertaining guests. This Instructable requires minimal woodworking skills and no sewing experience! Let's get started!
Step 1: Materials
- 2X2 @ 8 ft. lengths X 7 (cost = $13.09) http://www.lowes.com/pd/Spruce-Pine-Fir-Furring-St...
- Hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks
- 3 packages100 count of white or your choice of colored string lights (cost = $14.37) http://www.target.com/p/room-essentials-100lt-clea...
- Staple gun and staples
- Kreg jig or pocket hole jig and pocket hole screws
- 3 cloth shower curtains 72 in. X 72 in. (cost = $42.72) http://www.target.com/p/room-essentials-waffle-wea...
- Sandpaper (100 grit, 150 grit, 220 grit)
- Matte finish polyurethane
- 6 door hinges (cost = $7.14) http://www.lowes.com/pd/Gatehouse-Zinc-Plated-Door...
- Power drill
- Miter saw, jig saw, circular saw, or hand saw
Total cost = $77.32 (this may vary depending on if you have certain items that were already in my garage like the polyurethane, glue gun, Kreg jig and screws, and staple gun)
Step 2: Framing the Panels
I regret not taking more pictures during this process but I will try to be as detailed as I can be. I wanted to cover a width of about 6 ft. The overall dimensions of each panel are 72 in. H X 28 in. W. Start by cutting 6 of the 2X2s to a length of 6 ft., these will be the sides of each panel. The leftover 2 ft. pieces on each cut will be the top and bottom of each panel. You may have to trim them slightly so they all match in length depending on how accurate they were from the store.
Great! Now we have our pieces cut to size. The next step is to drill 4 pocket holes in each 2 ft. piece, 2 on each end and on the same side.
To create your frame, line up a 2 ft. top piece with the end of 2, 6 ft. side pieces making sure the pocket holes are on the inside of the frame (oriented down if the frame is standing upright) and clamp them into place. Secure the joint with pocket hole screws for each side. Next, measure up 12 inches from the bottom of the legs and mark with a pencil on each side. Line up a 2 ft. bottom piece with the 12 inch marks with the pocket holes facing down and clamp. Secure the joint with pocket hole screws for each side. Now you have your frame! Repeat this process for each panel.
Step 3: Sanding and Sealing
After your frames are constructed, give them a good sanding to get rid of any rough spots and to make them visually more appealing. Start with 100 grit or 60 grit if the wood is really rough. Next, move onto 150 grit. If you want to, you could sand with an even finer grit but I didn't find it would make that much of a difference.
Next, apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane to seal and protect the wood. Sand with 220 grit after the first coat to take out any rough spots. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for drying times and reapplication.
Step 4: Attach the Lights
First and foremost, test your lights to make sure they function properly. When attaching the lights, make sure to leave enough of the cord to be able to plug them into the outlet on one side and to be able to connect to the next panel on the other side. Attach the lights using the staple gun. You have some liberty to experiment and make it look like you want it to but be sure to make the connections taut so they do not hang too loosely. This might cause weird bulges when you attach the fabric later and make the overall appearance look a little strange.
Step 5: Measuring and Cutting the Fabric
Now it's time to add the fabric! Some people may be able to source some cheaper fabric than the shower curtains I used but I found this the most readily available at the time for the size I needed.
You might notice that your shower curtain is a bit wrinkly out of the package. I ironed all three of mine after I made the first cuts. This was really an eyeball thing for me with the basic knowledge that I knew my dimensions on the inside of the frame were 60 in. H X 24 in W. for each side of the panel. Since the shower curtains are 72 in. X 72 in., one will cover both sides of each panel. I made sure to leave myself an extra couple of inches on each side for play and for attaching the tops and bottoms. It helps to make your initial cut a few inches large and then to hold it up to the frame to see where you need to make adjustments. Do not cut exactly to size, you will need at least one inch to create a seam.
Step 6: Making the Seams and Attaching the Top and Bottom
After you have your shower curtains cut to size, you might realize that the ends where you made cuts are starting to fray a bit. Some of you may want to tackle this issue by sewing a seam and making it look all professional but I am no seamstress! I experimented a bit with fabric glue and other types of adhesive but the fastest and easiest I found was hot glue. I simply applied hot glue to the end of the fraying fabric and folded it over about 1/4-1/2 inch. I worked in small sections to control the fold better and make the seam wrinkle free. Work your way all the way up the length to complete the seam.
Once your seams are complete, lay the frame on a table or work space and line up the top of the fabric so it covers 1/2 of the top of the frame. Hot glue the fabric down tight being careful to match the fabric to the side of the interior of the frame. Now move down to the bottom and pull the fabric tight. Mark a cut line that is 1/2 inches past the end of the bottom of the frame on the 2 ft. bottom piece. Make the cut across the fabric and hot glue it down to the bottom. Be sure to stretch the fabric as you are gluing it down for a cleaner appearance to the panel. Repeat this step on the opposite side of the panel with the other section of fabric from the first shower curtain.
Repeat these steps for the other two panels.
Step 7: Attach the Hinges and You're Done!
Attach the door hinges by equally spacing three of them on the frames and marking the holes with a pencil. Pre-drill holes and attach the hinges with the provided screws. For an accordion folding room divider/privacy screen, make sure to attach one set of hinges on the opposite side of the completed frame as the first set of hinges.
Congratulations! You're done! You can go either lights off during the day or lights on at night, either way, enjoy your new room divider/privacy screen. :)
Extra special super bonus use!!!! Bring this portable privacy screen out to your patio for an evening of entertaining in the backyard.