How to Replace Slats of Bifold Doors With Fabric

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Things You'll Need

  • Hammer

  • Tape measure

  • Polystyrene foam sheet or cork board, 1/4-inch thick

  • Utility knife

  • Fabric

  • Scissors

  • Spray-on adhesive

  • Carpenter's glue


Using foam or cork board not only makes the door sturdier, but also turns the door into a message or photo board. Use pins to attach photos or messages to the fabric. If you do not want to use foam or cork board, just glue the fabric to the opening. For added strength, spray the fabric with spray starch and iron it. Repeat the process several times and then use the spray starch to attach the now hardened fabric to the opening on the door. If you want to change the fabric, spray it with water to release the starch.


Spray-on adhesive dries fast. Be quick when gluing the fabric to the foam/cork board. Use spray-on adhesive instead of regular glue because the fabric remains soft and does not harden from the glue.

A louver door has slats that open and close to let in or keep out the light, rain or wind.
Image Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

Not all bi-fold doors have slats. Bi-fold doors are two doors attached along one side with hinges so they open and close together. A door, window or wall with slats is a louver. A bi-fold louver might be wood or metal. The slats on wooden doors can break over time or by accident. Instead of buying a new door or cutting new slats, remove all the slats and use fabric to cover the opening. Use wooden doors for the project because it is easier to remove wooden slats than cut metal slats.

Step 1

Remove the slats on the door using the claws of the hammer. Slip the claws underneath one slat and jerk the hammer up to pull out the slat. Some doors have two sections of slats. Remove all of them or all from one section, leaving the other section alone.

Step 2

Measure the area where you removed the slats to determine how much foam/cork board to use. Measure the length and width of the opening and add half an inch to each measurement.

Step 3

Cut the foam/cork board to the measurement using the utility knife. For example, if the opening is 8-by-12 inches, cut the foam/cork board to 8 1/2-by-12 1/2 inches.

Step 4

Add 2 inches to the length and width of the opening and cut the fabric to that size. For example, if the opening is 8-by-12 inches, cut the fabric to 10-by-14 inches.

Step 5

Spray one side of the foam/cork board with a thin coat of adhesive. Do not forget to spray the corners and all the way to the edge.

Step 6

Place the fabric, color side up, on the sprayed form/cork board so 1 inch of fabric sticks out from all sides. Press down on the fabric and smooth out any wrinkles before the glue hardens.

Step 7

Spray adhesive on one side and along the edge on the back of the foam/cork board and press the extra material down. Repeat with the other three sides.

Step 8

Spread a thick line of carpenters glue on the back of the door and along the edge of the opening. Place the glue no more than a quarter inch from the edge.

Step 9

Press the foam/cork board, fabric side down, against the opening and lining the edges of the foam/cork board with the glue. Allow the glue to dry.


Marilla Mulwane

Marilla Mulwane has been writing professionally since 2005. She has published a fantasy novel for young adults and writes articles on literature, pets, video games and tattoos. Her poetry has been featured on the website and products for the nonprofit organization HALos. She graduated from the State University of New York, Oneonta with a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing.