Introduction: Pallet Screen Door

Picture of Pallet Screen Door

With the hot summer rapidly approaching here in Idaho I was looking for a cheap, easy way to get a better cross-breeze in our house. I had some pallets lying around so I figured why not build a screen door! The total cost of the project ended up being around $17-$25 (it would have been $17 but I had to run out and get more Kreg screws). Anyways, this is a quick and easy project that I was able to throw together in a weekend.

Step 1: Salvage Pallet Wood and Resaw

Picture of Salvage Pallet Wood and Resaw

So the first step is to salvage your pallet wood. Normally I would take the time to carefully remove all nails and get a full board however, with the length of pallet I had I was able to just take a circular saw and cut the nailed down sections off the board. Anyways I just estimated that 3 inches would be a good width for the two sides of the frame so I went from there. *Bonus* My pallet boards were about 5" in width so I was able to use the remaining 2" width piece for the bottom, top and middle.

Step 2: Make Your Joints

Picture of Make Your Joints

The sides of the door are made of two pieces of wood joined end-to-end. All I used was a little wood glue and my Kreg pocket-hole jig. Now if you dont have a pocket hole jig you could easily get some steel mending strips from lowes (like $2 for 4) and in fact I had to use them on one side because I dropped the wood and broke the joint :(

Anyways, just glue them up, Kreg it, and let the joints dry for a few hours (oh and use a wood glue thats good in exterior applications.)

Step 3: Sand Both Sides & Paint

Picture of Sand Both Sides & Paint

This is an optional step. I sanded my door to get a nice smooth finish for paint. But you could keep the rough exterior look. Before I sanded, the door reminded me of the screen doors at the summer camp I went to as a kid. Either way would look good.

We had a little leftover exterior door paint from a recent project so I decided to paint it to match the exterior door but you could just as easily put a nice layer of poly on it.

Step 4: Add the Screen

Picture of Add the Screen

I bought a roll of aluminum window screen from lowes (it was about $7) and I chose the dark finish because I didnt think the shiny screen would go good with our house. It was just big enough to cover the whole door with a little extra on the sides. I stapled the screen with a staple gun and 1/4" staples. I was actually really surprised at how well the staples held the screen to the door! After I stapled the screen I went around a cut off the excess with an old pair of scissors.

Step 5: Finishing Steps

Picture of Finishing Steps

I hung the door with a screen door kit I got from Lowes for $6. It includes 2 spring loaded hinges, a handle, and a hook and eye screw for "locking" the door. As you can see from the picture I added strips of pre-painted window screen trim (about $3 for 8 ft). All in all the door works great! The hinges make sure the door shuts behind you and now I have a great cross breeze in my house!

Feel free to ask questions, this is my first instructable so I might have missed some things!

I know there are pre-made screen doors that you can get for about $20 but making this was so much more rewarding! Also my house is from the 40's so the bottom of the door frame is 1-1/4" wider than the top so custom was the only way to go :)


darn1972 (author)2017-03-01

I have been looking for this kind of idea for some time. Your way is so great! Use of pallet wood and everything else was a wonderful departure from frilly and special carvings. I really think the jig for the screws will come in good not only for this but for any future work. Again thank you great job.

aldotoms made it! (author)2016-09-03

Nice instructable, thanks!

aldotoms (author)2016-07-30

It was a very nice job!
I'm going to follow your steps.

harrison4803 (author)2016-06-19

Great video! Gave me the inspiration to make my own screen door.

I made a video, also, at:

beliakrouser (author)2016-02-11

I did lot of review about wood working plan and I found one of the best website, I am using for my wood working, it contains all woodworking plans include workbench plans, shed plans, chair ... WOODPRIX has the best handbooks and ready instructions.

nytowl520 (author)2015-08-24

Well, I don't have pics, so I can't click "I made it," but I made one from pallet wood years ago, except the bottom half was solid (because we have nosy pets/critters that would end up tearing up screen on the bottom half in no time). It looked pretty good with a nice coat of stain on it!

nytowl520 (author)nytowl5202015-08-24

Oh, and, neglected to mention that your instructable was well-made, though some pics that aren't quite so close-up would help tie together the close-ups so they can be put into context.

skunch1 (author)nytowl5202015-09-22

Thanks for the comments and the advice!

TrickahTreat (author)2015-09-10

Thank you for posting this! We have an old house and need to have everything made custom to WHATEVER project we are doing too! ha. So I feel your pain, but I'm loving having the excuse to make all my own things. . . I'm definitely going to follow your instructions and do this for next summer!

skunch1 (author)TrickahTreat2015-09-22

Sounds awesome!! good luck next summer!

PammaMiranda (author)2014-10-17

Nice. simple and cheap! i LOVE it :) Great job!

Vosnic (author)2014-07-26

whole pics would be nice. these closeups arent very informative

skunch1 (author)2014-07-14

Wow! Thanks everyone! over 100 favorites as of today!

plainandsimple60 (author)2014-07-10

Great idea.

doodlecraft (author)2014-07-09

This is such a great idea! I could use this on my back door right now! :)

jessyratfink (author)2014-07-09

One of the best uses for pallets I've seen so far. I would have loved to have one of these for my old apartment. :)

About This Instructable




More by skunch1:Trash Can Hiding CabinetGory Chemistry!!!Brave Little Toaster Drinking Game
Add instructable to: