How to Make a Window Screen: Step-by-Step Guide

The process of making a window screen may seem intimidating at first, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. Whether you want to save money by making your own screens or create custom screens to fit your unique windows, this guide will walk you through the 12 steps necessary to create a window screen that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Measure Your Window

The first step to creating a window screen is to measure your window. Measure the height and width of your window frame, making sure to record accurate measurements.

Step 2: Choose Your Screen Material

The next step is to choose your screen material. There are a variety of materials available, including fiberglass, aluminum, and metal. Choose a material that will meet your needs in terms of durability and appearance.

Step 3: Cut the Frame Material

Cut the frame material to the size of your window frame. Use a hacksaw or a miter saw to ensure clean and accurate cuts.

Step 4: Assemble the Frame

Assemble the frame by joining the corners together. Use corner connectors or spline to hold the corners together securely.

Step 5: Cut the Screen Material

Cut the screen material to the size of your frame, allowing for a little extra on each side for trimming.

Step 6: Attach the Screen Material

Attach the screen material to the frame using a spline tool. Make sure the screen material is tight and free of wrinkles.

Step 7: Trim the Excess Screen Material

Trim the excess screen material from the edges of the frame using a utility knife. Make sure to trim carefully to avoid damaging the screen.

Step 8: Add Corner Braces

Add corner braces to reinforce the corners of the frame. This will ensure that the screen stays tight and secure.

Step 9: Install Latches and Handles

Install latches and handles to make it easy to remove and replace the screen when necessary.

Step 10: Install the Screen

Install the screen by sliding it into the window frame and securing it in place with the latches and handles.

Step 11: Test It Out

Test out your screen by opening and closing the window to make sure it fits securely and operates smoothly.

Step 12: Make Any Necessary Adjustments

If needed, make any necessary adjustments, such as tightening the screen material or adjusting the frame, to ensure a perfect fit.

Tips and Tricks

1. Choose the Right Material

Make sure to choose a screen material that is durable and will withstand the elements.

2. Take Accurate Measurements

Make sure to measure your window accurately to avoid any issues during the installation process.

3. Use the Right Tools

Use the right tools, such as a spline tool and a utility knife, to ensure clean and accurate cuts.

4. Don’t Rush

Take your time during each step to ensure an accurate and high-quality finished product.

5. Install Corner Braces

Install corner braces in addition to the spline to reinforce the corners and ensure a tight and secure screen.

6. Avoid Wrinkles

Make sure to pull the screen material tight and smooth to avoid any wrinkles or ripples.

7. Trim Carefully

Use a utility knife to trim the excess screen material carefully to avoid damaging the screen.

8. Choose the Right Color

Choose a screen material that matches the color of your window frame for a more cohesive and attractive look.

9. Follow Manufacturer Instructions

If using a screen kit, make sure to follow the manufacturer instructions carefully to ensure a successful and safe installation.

10. Enjoy Your New Screens

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your new custom window screens that you made with your own two hands.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Your Own Window Screen


1. Cost-effective as making your own window screen is significantly cheaper than buying one from the store.

2. Customizable to fit any window size or shape.

3. The ability to use stronger materials and create a sturdier screen than store-bought options.

4. Fun DIY project that can be accomplished with just a few tools and materials.

5. Creates a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in completing a DIY project successfully.

6. Opportunity to learn a new skill and develop your DIY abilities.

7. Can be a conversation starter and lead to bonding experiences with others who enjoy DIY projects.

8. Supplies can be easily found at most hardware stores or online.

9. You can control the quality of materials used in the project.

10. Environmentally friendly option as you have the ability to upcycle materials instead of buying new.


1. The process of making a window screen can be time-consuming and require multiple steps.

2. Initial startup cost for supplies may be considered expensive to some.

3. Material cutting may be difficult and accurate measurements must be taken to ensure a proper fit.

4. Requires access to tools such as a saw, spline, and screen rolling tool.

5. Improper installation can lead to a faulty screen and the need to redo the process.

6. Not all materials used may be readily available in certain locations.

7. May not be as aesthetically pleasing or uniform as store-bought options.

8. May not provide the same level of efficiency in keeping out bugs or debris as a store-bought option.

9. Certain individuals may not possess the necessary DIY skills to complete the project successfully.

10. DIY projects come with the inherent risk of making mistakes and having to start over.


1. What materials do I need to make a window screen?

You will need a window frame, screen mesh, spline, spline roller, and a pair of scissors or a utility knife.

2. What is screen mesh?

Screen mesh is a fabric-like material that allows air and light to pass through but keeps insects and debris out. It is available in different sizes and materials.

3. How do I measure the size of the window screen I need?

Measure the height and width of the window frame from the outer edge. Deduct a small amount (about 1/8 inch) from each side to allow for the screen mesh and spline.

4. How do I cut the screen mesh to size?

Use a pair of scissors or a utility knife to cut the screen mesh to the size of the window frame. Make sure to leave some extra mesh on the sides to allow for attachment to the frame.

5. How do I attach the screen mesh to the frame?

First, lay the screen mesh over the frame and make sure it fits properly. Then, use a spline roller to press the spline (a rubber cord) into the groove around the frame, securing the screen mesh in place.

6. What is a spline roller?

A spline roller is a tool with a rubber or metal wheel that is used to press the spline into the frame groove.

7. How do I remove an old window screen?

Use a flat-head screwdriver to pry up the spline from one corner of the frame. Then, remove the spline and screen mesh from the groove.

8. How often should I replace my window screens?

It’s a good idea to inspect your window screens regularly and repair or replace any damage. Generally, window screens should be replaced every 10-15 years, depending on their condition and use.

9. Can I reuse the old spline?

It’s not recommended to reuse old spline. Over time, the spline can become brittle and lose its elasticity, making it more difficult to secure the screen mesh in place.

10. Can I make a custom-sized window screen?

Yes, you can make a custom-sized window screen using the same materials and techniques. Measure the height and width of the window frame, deduct a small amount from each side, and cut the screen mesh to size. Secure the screen mesh using the spline and roller.

11. What if the screen mesh is too loose or too tight?

If the screen mesh is too loose, try reattaching the spline in a tighter groove. If the screen mesh is too tight, gently remove the spline and readjust the screen mesh before reinstalling the spline.

12. What if the window screen is damaged or has holes?

If the window screen is damaged or has holes, it’s best to replace it. You can buy replacement window screens or make your own using the same materials and techniques.

13. Can I use different types of screen mesh?

Yes, you can use different types of screen mesh depending on your needs. For example, you can use fine mesh to keep out tiny insects or pet-resistant mesh for added durability.


In conclusion, making your own window screen is an easy and cost-effective solution to keep your home insect-free. With only a few tools, materials and steps, you can accomplish this DIY project in no time. Who knows, it may even become a hobby for you! Don’t forget to measure your windows correctly, buy the right materials, and follow each step carefully to ensure the best results.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how to make a window screen. We hope this guide has been helpful and informative. By using the steps outlined in this article, you can have a screen that will provide the perfect amount of shade and keep pests out. With homemade window screens, you can save money and enjoy a good book or a peaceful nap without worrying about pesky bugs ruining your day. Good luck with your DIY project, and until next time, happy crafting!