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Room dividers have a single purpose that makes them useful; walling off a specific areas of a room. There are many reasons you’d want to do this, but it all starts with a room divider of substantial quality. Going cheap won’t really get you the results you want, although there are alternative options. Making your own room divider can equal or exceed the quality of even the most expensive one on the market. It’s also a fun project to get rid of extra materials you have lying around the house. All it takes is a little creativity and time to put your crafting skills to the test and make a worthwhile room divider.
You’re not going to magically make two rooms out of one with a divider. It gives the illusion of space rather than giving you extra space. Dividers are all about privacy, placement and quality of the materials. Putting a divider in the wrong place will leave both areas worse off, so plan your placement before creating a room divider. Room dividers aren’t limited to home and apartment spaces, and can be used in any area that needs a ‘movable wall’ to split the room.
This DIY room divider takes the simple approach by only requiring four main components. You can cut out a lot of the extra costs this way while getting a basic idea of core room dividers. For something more advanced, you’ll start by following these instructions. This folding room divider can be used indoors or outdoors, and due to the weight, is light enough to be carried by one person. It’s truly a flexible one size fits all DIY room divider.
Removable Wallpaper – You want removable wallpaper for simplicity. If you decide to upgrade the divider into something more advanced, removable wallpaper will make stripping it down easier. Damaged wallpaper can be peeled off and replaced in a matter of seconds. Making a quick alteration to your new divider after the wallpaper gets ripped won’t be an inconvenience.
Narrow Brass Hinges – These hinges are used to keep the pieces together. It is a simple but effective piece that can be as strong or as loose as you want based on the amount used.
Hollow Core Doors – Picking out ahollow core door seems like a simple task until you go into a store. Just because you’re putting wallpaper over the door that doesn’t mean that the design (indentation/look/etc.) of the door doesn’t matter. This is the one material that you’ll spend the most time on since it makes up the bulk of visual appeal.
Cordless Drill – You could always go the cheap route and use a screwdriver, but cordless drillscordless drills have come down in price. It will save you a lot of time and wrist pains if you use a cordless drill to attach the brass hinges to the door.
Scissors/Utility Knife – You can go either way with this, just make sure that the knife’shandle is comfortable and the blade is sharp.
Positioning is still the most important part of the project. If you don’t get the position right, then everything will just look weird. Remember that some areas just don’t work well when they’re split in two. You have to do a little bit of surveying before you even think of getting the materials. That way you can plan ahead and decide the size of the room divider you need to build. There are also color and designs considerations to think about. Do all of this planning before you go on a search for the correct materials and it will save you a massive headache later on.
Start out by clearing the work area, as you’ll need a lot of space to operate. Even if you’re making the divider small, this is a necessary step. Place your hollow core doors on the floor, a couple of inches apart from each other. Next line up the wallpaper with each door, giving yourself room for error by making sure it can wrap around the sides. This extra bit will keep you from undercutting the wallpaper and messing up an entire sheet. Cut it down so that it is perfectly centered on the door, then peel off the backing paper from the wallpaper as you apply. Recheck the door again before lining it up so that the final project isn’t crooked. There is no rush with this part of the project, apply it slowly but steadily.
Air bubbles shouldn’t be a problem if you’re moving slowly, but just in case, smooth them out with a credit card. When you get bubbles that are too big, slow down as you’re moving too fast. Remove them by backing up a bit and applying the wallpaper again. It isn’t instant drying glue, so no damage will be done to the door if need to do this a few times. Users will find this method extremely helpful when they make a mistake and apply the wallpaper crooked. Corners are finished by using the hospital corner method, which is similar to wrapping a present. This is of course at the user’s discretion, so use whatever method fits your design.
Now that the doors are done, you can move over to attaching the hinges to the edges. You can use, two, three or four per corner depending on how sturdy you want the folding effect to be. The key to not messing it up is to alternate the direction you install the hinges on each door. It shouldn’t take long to do this if you have a cordless drill, but when using a screwdriver you can expect the time to almost triple. From start to finish after getting the materials, the project should take less than two hours. The longest part involves getting the wallpaper just right, while the shortest is attaching the hinges. Consumers looking for a safe and easy DIY project will have no trouble creating a good looking room divider.
Careful planning is your friend in this project. By using these DIY instructions as your base, plenty of paths open so that you can experiment with the setup. Get creative and add wheels to the bottom for a rolling effect. Or add expensive linen in place of the wallpaper so that it flows with the area more.
The only thing that will make you dig into the pocketbook a bit is the hollow core doors. Even so, that is more about which ones you decide to go with, and how many are purchased. Everything else is standard enough that it can be purchased for cheap.
Removable wallpaper is plentiful, coming in many different designs. The only important thing is the actual ‘removable’ part. You can always spring for the really good removable wallpaper, but it is not at all necessary for a great experience. Remember that you have to match this up not only with the area the divider will be placed in, but also the indent (design of the hollow door.). $20-$100
Narrow brass hinges come in packs and with the needed screws. Nothing fancy is needed here, so going with the cheapest option won’t be a bad thing. If you’re lucky, they will sell you all the hinges you need in one big pack. $2-$5
The main material of them all is hollow door cores, which are easy enough to find yet come in a variety of different models. It’s tempting to spend hours looking at the variations as you pair it with wallpaper. Try to keep things simple, especially with the design of the door core. $30-$100
Cordless drills can be found everywhere and at a low price. Nothing expensive is needed with this tool, so brand name doesn’t matter. $10-$30
As long as the scissors or utility knife is comfortable to hold and sharp, either one will do. It doesn’t matter if they cost a dollar or twenty-five dollars. The utility knife will give you more control along with a sharper blade, but at a slightly higher cost. $1-$25
When privacy is a concern, consumers can get the best of both worlds by using frosted glass. It has the looks of regular glass but blurs out everything on the other side. This comes at an extra cost and is also considered one of the harder materials to make a DIY divider from. By purchasing a door with frosted glass already in it, you can shave off a lot of prep work with the project.
With a DIY divider, simply following the build steps will let you repair 100% of potential issues that will occur over its lifetime. Wallpaper rips, loose hinges and even missing screws are minor quibbles that takes minutes to repair if you’ve built your own room divider. Unfortunately the same can’t be said of buying a room divider outright since their build steps/materials will be different from the guide. So even with high quality materials and innovative designs, you’re left depending on the warranty if a store bought room divider breaks down. Compare this to the mere minutes it takes to repair your own creation from home.