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How to Make a Pretty DIY Window Privacy Screen

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Making a DIY privacy window screen is the perfect DIY window treatment. If you can’t hang curtains, have an odd-shaped window, or would love to remove the privacy screen to let in light during the day but easily put it back in place at night, then a privacy window screen that you can make yourself is the way to go!

Click here to SAVE this privacy window screen on Pinterest.



Do you remember my excitement when I saw this privacy window screen during a home tour?


How to Make a Pretty DIY Privacy Window Screen - Thrift Diving


How to Make a Pretty DIY Privacy Window Screen - Thrift Diving Blog


I had gone to the DC Design House home tour, and I wrote a post called 10 Ways to Decorate Your House Like the Pros. I was blown away by this idea alternative window treatment idea of using a removable privacy window screen, so I included it on my list as #8!

Usually, I’m obsessed with curtains because I love sunlight and the way curtains on a bare window can expose the whole view.

But the idea of a window privacy screen that can easily be removed or moved up and down was so cool that I decided one day I’d make my own for my master bathroom makeover!


How to make a DIY window privacy screen with just a few pieces of wood, fabric, and glue! Easily adjustable, lets light in, and can be made for only a few dollars. See the full tutorial.



Below I share with you the tutorial, along with some “lessons learned” when you’re ready to make your own DIY window privacy screen.


Materials Needed for a DIY Privacy Window Screen

This is a simple project, but there are a few things you’ll need.

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  • Strips of plywood or inexpensive pine.
  • Sheer fabric (like lining fabric or muslin)
  • Jigsaw or some other tool to cut your wood to size.
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Cutting mat
  • Tape measure and ruler or straight edge
  • Paint and stencil (I used my favorite stencil)
  • Glue gun or spray adhesive

STEP 1: Grab Your Tape Measure

The first thing you have to do to make a privacy window screen is to measure your window in 2 places: the width of your window and how high you want your DIY privacy window panel to be.

I wanted mine a little more than half the window, so I measured in these areas: across and down.


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - Measure the length and width of your window. - Thrift Diving



Here’s what you have to remember, though.

Whatever height and width you want your window privacy screen to be, you’ll need to account for the thickness of the wood. If you’d like the total height to be 20 inches high, then the side pieces, the top, and the bottom must total 20 inches.

For example, as seen in the picture below, if my top piece and bottom piece of wood are 1.25 inch each, my side pieces must be 17.5 inches. Add it all up and you get 20 inches. (1.25 + 1.25 + 17.50 = 20 inches total in height).

Easy, right?


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - Add the thickness of the boards to figure the height of the privacy screen. - Thrift Diving


When I did my measurements, I forgot to keep this in mind and made mine a tad too tall. LOL

Aren’t you glad you can learn from my careless mistakes?? 😉

TIP: Click here to watch this YouTube video for tips on how to take measurements inside of windows and other awkward spaces!


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - How to measure the inside of your windows. - Thrift Diving


STEP 2: Cut Out Your Wood

This is what will make up the DIY window privacy screen frame: just 4 pieces of skinny wood that you’ll glue and/or nail together.

You don’t have to cut yours out like I did with a jigsaw. I only used this 3/4″ plywood because it’s what I had on hand.


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - Cut slim pieces of wood to make your privacy window screen frame. - Thrift Diving


If you go to your local home improvement store, they sell skinny pieces of wood in 1 inch x 2 inch sizes like this that would work just as well.


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - 4 panels of wood needed - Thrift Diving


And if you don’t have a power tool, don’t worry!

You can use a handsaw, like this miter box, which makes cutting small pieces of wood super easy. Just set your wood on it and cut!

I think they range from $8 – $16, which is super affordable.

Read: How to make picture frames without power tools (only using a miter box).


Miter box for cutting small pieces of wood


STEP 3: Test Fit the Pieces of Your Privacy Screen

Before you glue or nail them together, make sure you test fit them.

You’ll want your pieces to fit snuggly, but not so snug that you won’t be able to adjust the privacy screen in the window.

When I test fitted my pieces, I realized that the bottom and middle of the window were larger than the top part of the window. It was going to be much too tight!


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - Test fit your window screen frame. - Thrift Diving


STEP 4: Glue or Nail It Together

Now you just have to glue or nail the pieces of the frame together.

It will make a nice square or rectangle, depending on the size you make.

I like to use corner clamps so that I get a nice 90-degree angle Otherwise, I tend to mess up my angles and things get wonky! You see–we DIYers make just as many mistakes! LOL


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - Use corner clamps to glue straight. - Thrift Diving


STEP 5: Cut Out Your Fabric

If you’re using sheer fabric that won’t need cutting out, then you can skip this step. For me, I had to not only cut my fabric, but I had to join it together with Heat ‘n Bond fusible iron-on tape so that it created a larger piece to fit over the wood privacy screen frame.

Be sure to use thin lining material (or thin muslin) so that you don’t block the sunlight coming through your windows.

I already had this fabric on hand, but there wasn’t very much.

TIP: A reader had a great idea: You can also use a thin white lining material on the back if you’re worried about colorful fabric showing through to the exterior of your home.


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - Use sheer fabric. - Thrift Diving


I have a larger cutting mat, but because it’s so big, I never pull it out. It’s too cumbersome!

Use a small self-sealing cutting mat and a rotary cutter which I find it easiest for cutting.


How-to-make-DIY-privacy-screen-for-window-Thrift-Diving-blog - Laying out and cutting the fabric


Cutting out fabric for the DIY privacy screen



STEP 6: Stencil Your Fabric

I decided to use one of my favorite trellis stencils for the window privacy screen.

But first, I mixed my own paint to get the shade of purple that would compliment the lavender in my bathroom.

I had some chalked paint on hand and just mixed red and blue.

Related: What’s the Best Paint for Furniture?


How-to-make-DIY-privacy-screen-for-window-Thrift-Diving-blog - Mixing paint


I thought I was going to use my roller stamp, but I didn’t like the outcome when I did a test fabric.


How-to-make-DIY-privacy-screen-for-window-Thrift-Diving-blog - Roller stamp


Blehhhhh, not really all that cute! A bit blotchier than I would have liked…


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - Stencil on fabric. - Thrift Diving


So I went with my tried and trusted favorite trellis stencil.


How to make a DIY privacy window screen - Trellis stencil on fabric. - Thrift Diving


STEP 7: Glue the Fabric to the Frame

You can use hot glue like I did or spray adhesive for fabric.

Just make sure the fabric is evenly spaced so that you’ve got enough fabric to glue on each side.

I would recommend you have a large piece of fabric that will allow you to wrap it around to the back side.

I didn’t have enough to do that, though.


How to make a DIY privacy screen for the window - Use hot glue or adhesive to attach fabric to frame. - Thrift Diving


You can use the rotary cutter to easily trim off the excess if you’d rather it be flush with the edge of the wood frame.


How to make a DIY privacy screen for the window - Trim excess fabric - Thrift Diving


STEP 8: Fit the Privacy Screen In the Window

This is the true test!

Did you take the right measurements?

Is your fabric too bulky and now the perfectly measured DIY window privacy screen won’t fit?

Because my window is more narrow at the top, it was a tight squeeze for it to get in, so I made some adjustments, including sanding down the side a bit. But since it was just hot glued on, it wasn’t a problem to adjust it.

Let’s take another look at the BEFORE and AFTER.


How to make a DIY privacy screen for the window - BEFORE - Thrift Diving




How to make a DIY privacy screen for the window - AFTER - Thrift Diving


Since it’s adjustable, you can slide it up or down when you need or don’t need privacy!

Because my window is a little snug at the top, it takes a little bit more effort for me, but I’ll make those adjustments so it slides more easily. Love that!


How to make a DIY privacy screen for the window - Privacy window screen can be moved up or down. - Thrift Diving


See how you can move it up and down? 🙂 Keep it up during the day to see outside. Put it down at night for privacy. Love it!


How to make a DIY privacy screen for the window - Privacy window screen can be moved up or down or removed. - Thrift Diving



Love this project?? Click here to SAVE it!

How to Make a DIY Privacy Window Screen - Thrift Diving on Pinterest


I loved how it looked when I turned off the bathroom light, too!


How to make a DIY privacy screen for the window - Privacy window screen lets in light. - Thrift Diving

Lessons Learned

There were definitely some things I would do differently next time.

  • Don’t stencil the edges of the window privacy screen. Because it’s such a tight fit (and because the paint hadn’t totally dried by the time I tried to fit it in), the paint started rubbing off on the window sill. Either wait until your stenciled fabric is totally dry before fitting it, or leave the edges un-stenciled.


How to make a DIY privacy screen for the window - Don't paint the sides of the window screen. - Thrift Diving


  • Use one whole piece of fabric. Of course, I used what I had and used fusible iron-on tape to make a large piece. But I think it looks better if you use a whole piece of fabric.


My bathroom makeover turned out great! I build my own 60″ DIY bathroom vanity from scratch for this master bathroom makeover.

I also painted my shower and got rid of this ugly 70’s turquoise shower! You can see the entire video tutorial on how I refinished my shower using a tub refinishing kit.


How to refinish or paint your shower or tub - BEFORE and AFTER - Thrift Diving


If you want to see everything that’s been done in the bathroom to get ideas and inspiration, check out the posts below!

Read the Rest of this Bathroom Makeover Series!

Catch up on this entire master bathroom makeover series!

DAY 1: The Evolution of a Master Bathroom Makeover

DAY 4: Picking Out New Flooring: Which One Do You Like?

DAY 6: How to Remove an Old Bathroom Vanity

DAY 27: Removing Wallpaper, Repairing Walls, and Removing an Old Toilet

DAY 29: Installing New Flooring in Our Master Bathroom

DAY 49: The Bathroom Makeover That Would Never End (An Update!)

Day 52: How to Remove a Toilet Yourself

DAY 57: How to Install a Toilet Yourself

Build a DIY Bathroom Vanity – PART 1 – Attaching Legs and Base

Build a DIY Bathroom Vanity – PART 2 – Attaching the Sides

Build a DIY Bathroom Vanity – PART 3 – Creating the Partitions

Build a DIY Bathroom Vanity – PART 4 – Making Drawers

Build a DIY Bathroom Vanity – PART 5 – Making Cabinet Doors

Build a DIY Bathroom Vanity – PART 6 – Adding a Granite Vanity Top

Build a DIY Bathroom Vanity – PART 7 – The Final Finishing Coat

BEFORE & AFTER: The Final Master Bathroom Makeover Reveal!


So what do you think? Do you think you could make this privacy window screen?



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  1. Was so happy to see this post linked-up at Tuesday Turn About! We hope to see you each week! I’m delighted to have you as one of my features this week, Serena! Pinned!

  2. This is pretty nifty! We have a similar bathroom window—that I have hesitated to use the stuck on privacy screen, because I do like the air that comes in, and also like to see out part of the time. This may be a great solution. Good tutorial also! Sandi coming from AAHOme.

  3. I love this idea. I have a window in my bathroom that has no privacy I first used peel and stick paper which is peeling off now. With your idea I can keep the frame on or take off when I want to. I would also use outdoor material because the window is in the shower. Thank you for the idea šŸ˜Š

  4. Looking at the pictures of your inspiration piece, it occurred to me it would be easier and faster to get a painting canvas already stretched on a frame, if you have a common window width and then either decorate the canvas, paint it, decoupage it, or put some nice fabric on it. The frame-making part is more work and effort I’d want.

  5. Leona J Stredwick says:

    I can not even begin to express my joy and excitement with these diy projects I have never seen them before and my mind is racing with ideas The privacy windows will be great made with lace for our front room We live in a small “Norman Rockwell” town in Montana and we have deer that live in our town,actually I think we live in their town. We occasionally put out fruits,veggies and sometimes popcorn or bread We had a tree blow over years ago but we were able to keep the bottom trunk(about 3ish feet tall) before it was removed My husband chiseled out a part so I could put flowers in it Well needless to say the “babies” ate them So now we use it for their “deer bowl”To make my long story short we like to watch them but don’t like to startle them by opening our blinds,especially when they bring their new born with them Instead of cloth I am going to use a nice lace dyed to go with my living room but use all of your instructions I do have places for your original Privacy Window I’m anxciuos to see your other ideas and have added you to my follow and save Pintrest account Thank you so very much, Leona J

  6. I love this. I have an octagon window in our guest room that i could never think of what kind of curtain to put up. I didn’t want a square cutain on it and the sun shines on that window i tbe morning, very bright.
    I am going to make this window cover, but use darker material, some kind of pattern, so when it is off the wondow it can hang beside as a art piece, then slip it into window at night for shade. Love it. Thanks for the great idea.

  7. What a great idea. I was in the custom window treatment business, having made tons of custom inside mounted Roman shades .. I would have measured that totally differently … I would have measured the width of the window at the top, middle and bottom and used the smallest measurement. There would be no sticking. To mount it on the wind .. Velcro! Instead of hot gluing, staple the fabric.

    Why did you piece fabric together? You could have gotten a piece big enough to fit and probably cost what you paid the the iron on tape.

  8. This is adorable & what a great DIY for the home. I will be featuring this in my 16 Stylish DIY Home Decor Ideas at Merry Monday on Sunday at 6 pm pst. Hope to see you at the party!

  9. I love it. Don’t think I could stencil that evenly. What keeps it in the window ? Did I miss a step ?

    1. Hi, Myrna!
      The way that the window screen stays in place is because it’s the width of the window so it wedges itself in the window. No hardware needed! šŸ™‚ You just have to make it slightly smaller than the width of the window, and of course, you’ll need a window that has enough depth to wedge it in there. But most windows have depth to them, so it should work on any type of window! šŸ™‚ Good luck!

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