How to Make an Illuminated Room Divider

Ginger says ...

Your finished project will look great all the year round.

Of course, you could add some cheery seasonal touches for the holidays.

A bit of holly and tinsel for Christmas! Scary colored lights for Halloween!

How to Make an Illuminated Room DividerA decorative screen can set off a room to advantage. It's a feature in itself as well as creating a private place within a shared area or used simply to hide , for example, a work space withing a living room.

There are many pre-made screens that can be bought to do just that. But there's always something special about having a personalized item that you have made yourself. Especially if it's functional as well as ornamental.

We show you how to make an illuminated room divider that can be customized to suit your home decor. The choice of what color to use and which lights look best is your own to make - we merely show you the process of how to achieve one look.

You will be shown how to go about each stage of the construction of the frames, the painting process and the lighting arrangements. How to use the tools is clearly shown to you as the video progresses.

We've added extra tips and suggestions for you in the written instructions below so you can alter almost any point in this method to suit what you want to achieve in your design.

It's not expensive to make and the materials required are easily sourced - you may already have the tools and materials lying around.


Supplies Needed

175 Coil 20G Galvanized Steel Wire

SKIL Rechargeable 4V Cordless Screwdriver

6 only 24"long 1" x 3" Dressed pine wood crosspieces. (Dressed finish will make painting easier but you might like a rougher surface for the more rustic effect).

6 only 60" long 1" X 3" Dressed pine wood uprights.

24 only No.8 x 11/4" Wood screws to fix framing.

18 only No.8 x 3/4" Wood screws to secure wire to frames.

1 only No. 8 Screwdriver bit. Can be Phillip's head or slotted depending on the screws you use.

1 only No. 8 Drill bit for drilling pilot holes for 1 1/4" screws,

1 only Wood clamp if you need it.

4 only 2" Brass finished hinges. Check to see if screws come with the hinges.

1 only Rustic Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint or similar.

1 only Serene Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint or similar.

1 only Wax for paint.

1 or 2 Paintbrushes.

1 only Sanding block - loose sandpaper would do equally well.

1 only Dust sheet to prevent spillage.

1 pair Wire cutters or snips.

1 pair Long-nose pliers for twisting the wires.

1 pair Secateurs or sharp knife to trim branches.

1 set Warm white fairy lights.

9 only Full height branches and as many branches/twigs as needed for filling in. Natural ones would be best option in our opinion - especially ones from delicately scented shrubs and bushes. You could use artificial sprigs - including ones with built-in lights - they can be expensive though.


Step by Step Instructions

Collect all your materials and tools so that everything is to hand. You'll need sufficient room to work.

Lay the short pieces of timber across the longer uprights. Clamp them together if you find it difficult to keep the timbers together.

Make sure the corner joint is square and fix with the 1 1/4" wood screws. Drill a pilot hole first for each screw to avoid splitting the wood.

Drive home the screws just below the surface. This isn't difficult with pine wood - if you use a harder wood you would need to countersink the holes before fixing the screws.

Do this for each corner and complete all three frames in this way.

Stand a pair of frames side by side on their long edge. Make sure that the framing is facing the same way on both frames (you will see that in the video at 0.53).

Present the first hinge by laying it knuckle down with a leaf on each frame. Make sure that the knuckle lies clear between the frames to allow the leaves to lie flat. That way the leaves won't bind on each other.

Screw the hinge leaves home - you might want to use longer screws to really secure the hinges (especially into the end grain of the wood).

Repeat this for the other hinge. If you intend moving the finished screen regularly, it would be better to fit 3 hinges per leaf to prevent the frames warping. The third hinge would be fitted in the middle of the frame.

Next align the third frame to the other two. To get the screen to form the Z pattern, remember to flip the first two frames before aligning the third alongside the others. If you stand the hinged frames up on their short edge and present the third frame to them, you'll see clearly where to fit the last pair of hinges.

Then fit the hinges between the third and middle frames using the same method as before. This completes the screen assembly.

Next, fix three of the 3/4" wood screws into the top rails and three in a corresponding position into the bottom rails of each frame. Leave the screws projecting about a 1/4". The video shows countersunk heads but you may prefer round head or pan head screws for a securer fit. The flat underside of the round or pan screws will give better purchase for the wire.

Use the snips to run off lengths of the wire to suit the height of the screen - allow some spare for winding the wire around each screw.

Start with the top screw and tie the wire to it using the pliers to twist it round behind the screw-head.

Fix the loose end of the wire to the bottom screw, pulling it as tight as possible then bending it around the head.

Repeat this process for all the remaining wire lengths ensuring that the wire ends are snug around each screw-head. Clip off any excess wire.

Stand the frame upright on a dust sheet or some other floor covering to catch any spilled paint.

Loosely coat the frame edges with the Americana Rustic paint.

Allow the paint to dry, then wax the painted edges thoroughly.

Follow this by rough brushing the Serene finish all over - you're not looking for a perfectly even finish with this.

Once dried, work the sanding block over the paint to reveal the Rustic primer until you achieve the desired finish. Don't put too much pressure on the block.

Clean off any residual dust.

Snip off lengths around 5" or so of the galvanized line to make wire ties. There are industrial and garden ties that would be fine for this job.

Place the branches against the frame and secure them to the main-frame wire using the ties. Twist the ties tightly and snip off any excess wire. Make sure the branches are firmly secured at the top and bottom.

Tie in smaller branches or twigs tightly to fill out the screen.

Trim any overlap on the main branches top and bottom so that they sit inside the wooden main-frames.

Trim off any sprigs that project too much from the main body of the branches.

Intertwine the fairy lights into the branches. A 66 feet set of warm 200 LED fairy lights would be enough for a great light show - but it's your choice. For stability, make sure any set you choose is not too heavy.



This is a particularly easy undertaking to complete. It's not demanding in that there's no worrying precision in fixing in the cables and the corners of the wood really do align themselves.

The paint finishes are easy to apply - you can get away with a bit of slap dash here if you're not the neatest of painters! Any color scheme that you use is yours to choose! This screen will look great in almost any finish.

There's no special skill needed in using the tools. You can buy the wood pre-cut to size at your local hardware store or lumber yard, If you're not confident about using electric or battery drill drivers then use hand tools.

Once you've finished your project you will have the personal satisfaction of both adding an attractive handmade accessory to your home furnishings and of a job well done. The end result being not only handsome looking but useful as well.

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