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room divider

Hello Everybody,

   I am moving into a 1BR apartment that has a really huge living area that I would like to divide into two rooms to make an extra bedroom. Room dividers are really expensive and with the move, I really don't have the funds to buy one. I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas to make a room divider that is inexpensive. I was thinking with wires or somehow creating long curtain rods and doing a curtain divider. I tried using a regular wire, but the problem was that it was kinking up..any ideas of wires that won't kink and will be good for something like this? please help!!! 

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Posted 2012-02-11T01:17:59+0000  by roxan124 roxan124

There are quite a few ways you can make inexpensive room dividers.


Find studs on two opposite walls, using screw hooks, mount one into a stud on each wall. You would then get some wire rope, some cable clamps, and a turnbuckle. Visit a fabric store, get as much material as you'll need in the color, pattern and texture of choice and pick up some seam tape. Depending on the material, you'd simply fold over the top edge and secure it with the seam tape (you'll need an iron). You're, basically, going to make a sleeve the length of your material through which you'll feed the cable. Once you have the cable through, one loop over a hook, the other end loop through the turnbuckle. The other side of the turnbuckle goes over the opposing hook. Tighten and divide.

The wire rope shown above has a ferrule on it. It's easier using the clamps shown next to it.


You can use galvanized plumbing pipe to make a frame. Just like above, use the material to make curtain. For that matter, you might be able to find curtains on clearance at THD in the Flooring section (Flooring also has Home Decor stuff). Or you may just have to start scouring thrift stores.


Shoji Style Room Divider.jpg

Another option is the traditional Shoji room divider. Depending on the wood you choose, your cost can be fairly cheap to wallet busting. You can generally get fir 1x2 for a dollar or less. You'll have to go through the bunk of lumber and carefully pick out the best ones you can find, but you can generally score something good enough in one trip. At most two trips or two different THD's. Also pick up some thin screen molding strips (about 50 cents a foot) or a bunch of square dowels. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm going to guess there isn't a big tool box in your new apartment. All you'll need is contact cement, hot glue gun, drill and screw driver. You can cut all the pieces to length in your local Home Depot (just visit the aisle with the molding, there's a hand saw, table surface and usually a tape measure). After you get your wood cut to size, visit the hardware department and pick up some corner mending plates and some hinges. Back to the fabric store for some material or a office supply for a pack of onion skin paper. You can generally get a 25 sheet pack for less than $10. 


You're going to need the following:

2-3 small utility hinges for each two panels - for three panels you'd need 4-6 hinges, for four panels, 6-9 hinges, etc

6 sheets of onion skin paper per panel

4 piece of screen molding about 66-3/4" long per panel

14 pieces of screen molding about 7-3/4" long per panel

2 pieces of 1x2 about 12-1/4" long per panel

2 pieces of 1x2 about 66-3/4" long per panel

4 corner mending plates per panel


Take your screen molding piece and lay them out like this:

Shoji Style Room Divider 2.jpg

At each joint, carefully apply some contact cement on each surface and let it get tacky. Once tacky, carefully push the pieces together like shown in the picture. You're going to make two identical frames like the above for each panel. On one frame, place a piece of onion skin paper at each opening. 3/8" from each outside edge of each piece of screen molding (screen molding is 3/4" wide).

Shoji Style Room Divider 3.jpg

You'll do this six times for each panel. Now, carefully apply the contact cement around the exposed wood, between the edge of the paper and edge of the screen molding. Do this for the other frame you made as well. Once tacky, you're going to sandwich the two frames together. You may find it easier to build the second frame, piece by piece as you sandwich it together with the papered first frame.


Once your papered frames are set, it's time to mount them in the 1x2 frame. The 1x2 frame is going to be glued up with contact cement just like the screen molding frames. On one side though, you're going to reinforce the corner with a corner mending plate.

Shoji Style Room Divider 4.jpg

A short 1x2 at the top and bottom and two long 1x2's for the sides. Now you're going to hot glue the papered frames into the center opening of the 1x2 frame. Do all of this a few more times and mate the frames together with your hinges.


One additional note. Instead of wood, you can use cardboard. If you can find a couple refrigerator boxes, you're golden. Instead of all the wood, you'd cut panels of cardboard. Grab a can of black gloss spray paint and paint the cardboard on one side only. Place your paper and glue. Sandwich the pieces together. Poke some holes through the cardboard and loop in some zip ties to act as hinges. Instant Shoji style room divider on the extreme cheap.

Shoji Style Room Divider cardboard.jpg

Posted 2012-02-11T18:28:36+0000  by Paul
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