It wasn’t until I started looking at screen door options that I realized the shockingly limited options that include pet access. With the weather getting warmer, and a new puppy in the house, we thought it would be nice to add a screen door to our back porch.

In the past, we had the “Magic Mesh” screen curtains in place..but to be honest they didn’t hold up very well. I had to constantly reinforce the frame, first with tape, then with roofing nails.

Broken Magic Mesh

It was time for an upgrade. But when I looked at the pet screen doors out there, I was underwhelmed. Firstly, we have a puppy who will grow into some unknown size adult. Most of the options have door openings with set sizes – so do we just get the largest one and hope for the best?

Traditional Pet Screen Door

Also, they are basically a million dollars.

I started to think maybe I could hack a regular screen door to accommodate our needs. I actually really like the idea of the Magic Mesh. The concept works perfectly for our multi-size animal family. So I came up with a compromise between a real door and the Magic Mesh panels.

What you’ll need:

  • A wood screen door with partition (like this or this)
  • Hardware to hang said door
  • A set of Magic Mesh (or re-use an old set, like I did)
  • Staple gun
  • Scissors

It’s probably easier to modify the door, then hang it, but we decided to hang ours first to make sure the fit was good before we hacked up the door.  Next, you’ll have to remove the screen and any wood from the bottom half of the door.

Screen Door Hack

We chose this one because it was the cheapest option, and we had the tools to remove the extra wood dowels/framing. But there are doors that are simple screens divided in two if you don’t feel comfortable tackling the extra cutting.

Trimming The Wood Frame

Once all the wood pieces were gone, we (gasp!) cut the screen!

Door Hack Cutting The Screen

I measured the opening and cut a piece of the mesh to fit with some extra to staple around the edges. Pay attention to where the magnets are, make sure one will be towards the top and the bottom of your space. I found it helpful to tape the mesh in place then staple it.

Stapling Magic Mesh To Screen Door

And here’s the finished product!

Screen Door Hack with Magic Mesh For Pets

Sure it’s a little rough around the edges, but it does the job better than anything I could find for less money! You could cover the edges of the mesh, but I didn’t see a need to at the time. What do you think? ALL of our animals love it and go in and out without problems. Now we can leave the door open in nice weather without letting all the bugs in 🙂

4 Responses

  1. Noreen

    I like the idea…. I’ve been trying to come up with the same idea, something with a magnetic closure….. your idea so far beats all mine for sure. I had one of these screen doors as well, and it NEVER worked. I’m just concerned the animals wouldn’t know how to fix the magnets once the came in or went out 🙂

    • NAN

      …if the screen is mounted correctly, and able to ‘overlap’…the magnets will close it automatically..just make sure the two pieces are able to overlap and the magnets line up…easy peasy…lol:)

    • Rachael Evans

      Hi Noreen – The magic mash closes on its own – just make sure the mesh is closed and the magnets are aligned when you install it.


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