half door tutorial

by Angela on April 4, 2012

For the Pinterest challenge I had shown you my laundry room door that I made into a split door. And today, I’m going to show you how we made it.  My parents were visiting, so my Dad did most of the construction for this project.

Here’s our dutch door tutorial using a hollow core door!

We started with a the standard, builder, hollow core door.

We decided where we wanted to cut the door (slightly above the handle) and made sure that after we gave the allowance for the ledge, we wouldn’t cut into the door panels.  This cut will be a matter of preference, but make sure you account for the extra ledge measurement.

Tip:  To make a straight cut without a table saw, use a straight board as a guide.

We used a 1×2″ popular board for the ledge, so we marked that with an 1/8″ clearance above the first cut.

Tip:  A 1×2 is actually 3/4″ x 1 1/2″.  Anna White has a great resource to help you with these measurements here.


It’s also helpful to keep the door supported with some scrap wood as you cut.  It will keep the hollow core door from splintering if it happens to fall the slightest.  Just cut a little then move the boards as you go OR set your blade to where it will cut through the door but not completely through the supports.

To make the ledge we cut down a 2×2 piece of scrap to fit into the center of the door and screwed it to the underside of the 1×2. This fits snugly into the door without having to secure it.

We needed to add one extra hinge on the bottom portion of the door.  If you have a router, you can purchase a template with a router bit for around $25, which would make this super easy.  I on the other hand, have a router but didn’t want to spend $25 on a tool I would probably never use again… so I found a punch template in the hardware section of the home improvement store, next to the hinges. (for about $6)

You just hit it with a hammer and it leaves a mark, like the one below.  Then you can chisel it out.  The “wood” is so soft, you can even use a flat head screwdriver to chisel it out.

To hang it, attach the hinge to the top of the door.  Put the hinge  and pin in place on the bottom of the door (this will line it up for you) and then attach the top hinge to the door frame using wood screws.

We added a little piece of trim under the ledge, but you don’t have to.

Lastly, we added a locking mechanism on the back to keep the top and bottom together when I want the door completely closed.

Now I just need to be patient!  We plan on getting a new washer and dryer some time this year, then the whole (meaning very small) laundry room will finish getting it’s makeover!




Here’s the finished laundry room!!!  To see the whole thing, click here.

Share on Facebook

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Mandy April 5, 2012 at 3:29 am

LOVE your split door. My in-laws had one years ago and I always thought it was so cool.
Great job!


Vanessa April 8, 2012 at 12:04 am

That is so awesome Angela! You guys did a fantastic job on it and I love it! :-)


Angela April 9, 2012 at 12:02 am

Thanks, Vanessa. I love split doors and really wanted to get one for the front door…hubs vetoed that one!


Cara Evans July 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Great tutorial! I want a Dutch Door for keeping our dogs in the bedroom when we have friends over who don’t want a dachshund in their lap! I was afraid I’d need to replace our hollow core door with a solid wood door; I’m so happy to see that’s not necessary!


Gwen September 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm

That’s so cool!


Thistle September 1, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I LOVE this project! I saw it over on Hometalk and we are going to work on it this weekend!

Thank you so much for inspiring me!



CarlWaterbury January 20, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Thank you for this. I have been looking for a way to build a half door because I don’t want to pay $400 in the store.


Angela January 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Great! Hope it works out fairly easily! Let me know how it comes out!


Emily Jo March 3, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Beautiful! I did not realize this could be done, functionally, and look so fabulous, with a hollow door. “Oh, Huneeeeee….!”


Angela March 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Emily Jo, let me know if he makes you one! ;)


Ben P May 21, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Also if you’re super cheap, just trace your hinge on the door using a pencil, then use your chisel and go around the line using the chisel like a punch and outline the hinge first then chisel out the recess.


nathan January 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Great post – be nice to have a ( bullet list ) supplies list and number of people required and time required – But great post…thank you


Angela January 15, 2014 at 12:01 am

Nathan, thanks for the suggestions! I’ll try to add that soon. :)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: