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DIY Room Divider or Privacy Screen

Add privacy or hide away clutter with this DIY room divider! This folding screen is easy to make with bifold doors and contact paper!

DIY room divider

Our basement family room is full of eyesores! First, we had to deal with the cold, hard floor that was anything but cozy. That tile was covered with carpet within a few months of moving in!

Then we removed a closet to add extra space, but the water shut off valve was exposed in the process. One of my very first woodworking projects was the long floating shelves that hide the knob and access door behind the knickknacks.

water shutoff valve hidden behind board game on floating shelf

Now I finally have a solution to another basement eyesore . . . the electrical panels that stick out like a sore thumb at the end of the room!

DIY folding screen next to electrical panel

For years, we just tried to ignore it. But I spotted these bifold doors at my local architectural salvage store and knew they were destined to become a folding screen! They're shorter than your average door, and the hollow core makes them light and portable.

bifold doors in workshop

Best of all, the flat front makes them super easy to decorate with contact paper! I'm totally addicted to this stuff, and I've used it to cover everything from our kitchen counters to cabinets. This time, I used a fun print for one side and a coordinating color on the back so I can switch up the look easily! You can find more creative uses for contact paper here!

contact paper for DIY room divider

Here's how to make a folding screen room divider for yourself!

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Materials Needed for DIY Room Divider Screen

How to Make a Folding Privacy Screen

Remove the Bifold Door Hinges

Unscrew the hinges from both doors. It's a lot easier to work with each panel individually.

removing hinges from bifold doors with drill

Cut the Contact Paper to Length

One side of the doors will get a hexagon patterned contact paper, and the others will be a solid gray color. I could have painted those sides, but this is faster and easier!

I started with the solid gray sides, saving the pattern matching for the end. Roll out the contact paper down the length of the door and cut it to size with a little excess just in case.

contact paper rolled out on bifold door

Peel and Stick Contact Paper to Door

I started with the solid color side first. I planned to wrap the contact paper around to the sides of the doors, so I kept it roughly centered. Just peel off the first few inches of the backing and stick it in place!

smoothing out contact paper over bifold door

This stuff is pretty thick, so I just pressed out any air bubbles with my hand. You can use a smoothing tool, but I was worried it would create lines. This contact paper isn't as durable as the kind I used on my kitchen counters, and every scratch shows on the solid color!

scratched contact paper

Once the contact paper is in place on the front, crease it along the edges and wrap it around to the sides.

wrapping contact paper around side of the bifold door

To get a perfectly cut edge, I stood the door up on its side with a piece of cardboard underneath. 

bifold door on edge on workbench

Then I used a razor blade to slice away the excess along the edge.

cutting away excess contact paper with a razor blade

The hexagon side was a little trickier because I had to match up the pattern. First, I lined up the factory cut edge of the contact paper with the side of the door with the hinge holes. Allow the excess to hang off the other side.

applying hexagon patterned contact paper to bifold door

Then I flipped the door over so that the patterned contact paper was on the bottom (on top of cardboard). Cut along that edge to remove the excess.

trimming excess patterned contact paper with a razor blade

Place the two doors with the hinge holes facing each other. Line up the pattern so that it continues to the next door.

matching pattern of contact paper on bifold doors to make a room divider

Stick the contact paper in place, then cut off the excess the same way as before.

peel and stick contact paper with pattern matching

Reattach the Hinges

Since the original hinge holes were covered with contact paper, I had to feel along the edge to find them. Screw them back into place on one door, then attach the second one.

DIY room divider with hinges showing

You could use additional hinges to connect all the doors together for a longer folding privacy screen. But I thought this would be too awkward to move if we needed to get to the electrical box in a hurry, so I just left the doors in pairs.

folded DIY room dividers

Stand Up your New Folding Screen Room Divider

Open up the doors to form a V, then stand them up in place.

hiding electrical boxes behind DIY room dividers

I played around with the arrangement to see what looked best. You can mix them up and have the pattern showing on one pair, with solid color on the other.

DIY privacy screens with gray and hexagon patterned sides showing

I personally like the hexagon side best. I adjusted the spacing between the two panels so the pattern flows better from one to the next.

DIY privacy screen with hexagon patterned contact paper

Even with the barn door open all the way, there's plenty of room to store the room dividers off to the side when necessary.

DIY room dividers folded up and leaning against the wall next to a sliding barn door

I'm so glad I don't have to look at those ugly electrical panels at the end of the family room anymore! 🙂