Pallet Screen Door

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Introduction: 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

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

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

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

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

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 :)

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14 Comments

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.

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

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

I made a video, also, at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXPBN91bQ3M

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!

2 replies

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.

Thanks for the comments and the advice!

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!

1 reply

Sounds awesome!! good luck next summer!

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

whole pics would be nice. these closeups arent very informative

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

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

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. :)