I just love how much classier French doors look on closets than the traditional bi-fold doors. They just seem more upscale and better looking than regular bi-fold doors. So when the bi-fold door on the closet in our bedroom broke off the track and was beyond repair, I decided to use it as an opportunity to turn it into a set of French doors!
This is one of those things that, when it breaks, turns out to actually be a blessing in disguise. It gave me a fabulous excuse to DIY my own French doors, and I no longer have to deal with that annoying bi-fold door! That’s pretty much a win-win in my book!
Turning a bi-fold door into French doors is a really simple DIY project and requires very little materials and know-how, since you’re already repurposing the door.
So if this is something you’ve been wanting to do with your closet doors, I definitely recommend it! I think French doors add a little bit of charm and sophistication to any room, don’t you agree?
Materials Needed to Turn a Bi-Fold Door into French Doors
I’ve included affiliate links to some of the products I used to make these doors. For more information, see my disclosure.
- Bi-fold closet door
- Door hinges (We used 6 hinges. You might be able to reuse some of the hinges already on your bi-fold door.)
- Magnetic catch
- Two door knobs
- Measuring tape
- Wood filler & touch-up paint
How to Turn a Bi-Fold Door into French Doors
1. Take your bi-fold door out of the closet and off the track if it isn’t already. Unscrew and remove the track and any other hardware that was supporting the door inside the closet. Remove the hinges and knob from the door.
2. Determine which way the doors will be facing and which one will be on the right and left when you hang them. They should probably be facing the same way as when they were hanging as a bi-fold door, but if you want to switch them around or make any changes, this is the time to do it.
3. Measure and mark where you’ll be putting the hinges on the doors. They should be the same distance apart on both doors. Make sure the hinges are facing the right direction so the doors will open the right way when you hang them. Then drill and screw the hinges onto the sides of the doors.
4. Fill in any holes left from the old hardware with wood filler and cover them with some touch-up paint. Or if you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can repaint the entire door. (You can also wait until the end of the project to do this, but I found it easier to do before hanging the doors up.)
5. Hold the doors up to the closet frame and mark where you’ll be hanging the hinges. Make sure the doors will open in the right direction! Then drill the holes and attach the hinges onto the closet frame. (It’s a good idea to have someone help you with this step.)
6. Measure and install your door knobs on the doors however high you want them.
7. Install a magnetic catch on the top of your door frame and magnets on the top of each door. If your closet is like ours, the catch would have been too high if we drilled it into the top of the frame, so we added a piece of scrap wood to lower it a bit so the magnets would line up.
8. Step back and admire your beautiful new French doors!
Aren’t they classy? I just love how much better they look than the bi-fold doors that were on there before. This turned out really nicely. And it was super budget friendly, seeing as we only had to buy a few hinges and a magnetic catch.
Here you can see what the doors look like when they’re open. So pretty, if I don’t say so myself! And I just love those closet shelves we made for our linens. Check out the tutorial to see how to make your own custom closet shelves. Closet makeovers are SO worth the effort!
So what do you think? Will you be turning your bi-fold door into French doors? It’s such a simple DIY project that really takes hardly any time at all. And the results really speak for themselves!
Feel free to leave any questions in the comments. And if you enjoyed this post, check out the links below for more home projects and tips!
THIS IS SO SMART!!! excuse me while I go do all of my bifold doors now
Thanks, Morgan! I’m not gonna lie, I totally want to do this with ALL our bi-doors now, too!
I just asked my son if he wants me to do this and his answer is YES
I might have to do this on ALL my Bi-fold doors. It gives that extra 2 inches of open-ness.
Haha, I so want to do this with all our bi-fold doors too, Dianne! It does give a little extra space when you open the doors, which makes getting things in and out of the closet much easier!
Celeste this is such a clever idea. The french doors look so much nicer than the bi-fold and I suspect it must be much easier to get at what you need in the closets too.
Thanks, Mary! I’m so thrilled with how the doors turned out, plus it’s much easier to get things in and out of the closet now, too!
How could I make this work if I have 2 bifold doors on 1 closet door. I guess mine are larger than what’s pictured above.
Cobe, you can try using the same method and installing some flat brackets between the doors so that they open straight instead of bending in the middle. That should work for a closet with two bi-fold doors. Just keep in mind the doors will be much longer now and need extra space to open and close. Hope that helps!
This is what I did on mine. Turned out great!
Hi Jana, do you have a photo of your double bifold doors? I would love to do this with my laundry room and it has two also
So if there are 2 bi-fold doors on the closet, you would use a flat bracket? Does that go on in the middle where the bend in the doors is located? Would it go on the inside of the doors?
Definitely on the inside, as it won’t be seen as often as the outside is seen when closed. I recommend using wide brackets for support!
Is there a way to do this without a door frame?
I’m not sure if that would work, Barbara. Do you already have the bi-fold doors installed without a frame? You might be able to, but you’d need a place to install the magnetic catch.
I love this! This may be a silly question – do you need to cut some of the wood (on the door and the doorframe) out where the hinges will be placed? Is this not necessary? Please say it isn’t necessary!
Michelle, it depends on how much extra space you have between the doors and the frame. If it’s too tight, you might need to sand a little off the doors to make them fit, or cut some of the wood on the door frame where the hinges will go. Hope this helps!
ours are different we have 2 doors on each side for a total of 4 doors 2 swing to each side unlike yours that just swing to one side, not sure if it will work but I LOVE the idea
Betty, you can install some flat brackets between the doors so that they open straight instead of bending in the middle. Just keep in mind the doors will be much longer now and need extra space to open and close. Good luck!
How would this work for metal doors?
Lori, if it’s a regular closet door, it would be the same process, you’d just need a drill bit that can get through the metal! Best of luck!
Hi . we tried this with our pantry doors. After hanging there is an overlap. Do we need to shave both doors or just one?
Marva, it depends on how big the overlap is. If it’s just a tiny bit, you can shave a little off the door and that should be fine. Or another option is to cut a slot in the frame or the door so the hinges are flush, if they aren’t already. This will give you a little leeway and hopefully eliminate any overlap. This can show you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nShbv3aUhA4 Hope this helps!
I am so happy I found your tutorial!!!! I just finished this and I am so in LOVE with it! I was sick and tired of the pin coming loose and falling off the track… This is so much better!
Thank you thank you thank you!
Hi! How did you attach small piece of wood to magnetic catch to the upper part of door frame?
Most door hinges are recessed into the door and not installed on the surface. If you recess the hinges then the doors should fit just fine.
do the doors feel loose and wobbly as you close them with the only thing there to close them being that little top magnetic latch?
I wouldn’t think so as the hinges would keep them level, stationary & sturdy. Hope that helps 😀
I was looking for how to convert bifold to standard…then I saw this.
Won’t have to have a big clearance for a 30″ door. Won’t have to drill or cut out for knob. My wife told me I should change the door format..didn’t believe her. I will be serving humble pie tonight.
Thanks for making my closet door project easier and classier.
Brilliant Idea. I want to try this out but hopefully, my aluminium bi-fold doors would look classy as the one in your blog. haha
I asked my husband to convert ours using this tutorial, but he ended up doing it verrrrry differently! He took the door off and removed the hinges, separating the panels. Then, He purchased a package of bifold door hardware and installed the stationary components opposite the one that were already there, so both doors pivot on the existing track. Super easy! Less than 1 hour, less than $7!
That’s exactly what I did. It pivots on both double doors and secured the two on each side together with flat metal bars at top and bottom attached with countersunk screws and a HD magnetic catch behind the original track. Very simple
Just reading this post. Do you have a photo of the installed hardware? Your idea is what i pictured for my doors. Do they feel stable?
Laura, would u please post a picture of the hardware you used for this project? I have bi-fold doors in my kitchen where my hot water tank is. I would like to convert into French doors also. Thanks!
I want to use historical salvaged bi-fold doors and use saloon hinges for entrance to my pantry.
Love this idea my bedroom has a walk in closet and a small master bathroom but the standard size doors take up much needed space when they are opened I’m going to measure the doorways and see if I can buy bifold doors for themand then convert them to french door will be alot cheaper then getting french doors
I took my one bi-fold pantry door and divided it into two doors. At first my husband was upset, but now he loves it. I did need to install the bi-fold hardware on the side that didn’t have any to make sure that door didn’t fall away. I hadn’t thought of magnetic latch which I will add to keep doors closed. In addition, I’m going to take your idea for my closet today to be able to use the inside of the doors. Now I’ll be able to expand storage to use the inside of the closet doors. Thanks for your great idea.
We were sitting here just now looking for a better way to do our pantry doors. Found this idea amazing. We will be doing that project next weekend. Will let you know how in came out and include a picture.
Can you do this on a walk in ckoset that has 2 sets of bifolds for the opening? Do you know what I mean? It is for my sons Florida villa and he has bifolds on large entry way closet as well as a double closet in guest bedroom with 2 sets of bifolds with wood down middle separating. Looking to update as he is a 22 year old and changing look
What would you suggest for a small 3ft by 3ft narrow hallway where 3 doors open to one another…a bathroom door opens out on the left, in the middle is a laundry door opening where the door opens out, and finally on the right side, a small closet with bifold doors, also opening ou t. So the laundry door is almost always open, but when we open the bifold closet doors, they are right behind the laundry door, so if they are open, the laundry door needs to be half closed….then the bathroom door is almost always left closed – all these doors compete for space. Help!
I love this idea! I just installed my laundry into a closet with bifold doors today, and was about a half an inch short from getting the door shut around the dryer. I’m going to do this tomorrow which should solve the problem. Thanks so much!
I love this! You did a fantastic job. Our bathroom door hits the wall on an angle and is in the way. Do you think a bifold door converted into French doors would fit a regular door frame?
Do you think it would work if you didn’t use hinges. Instead use bi-fold door pivot pins and brackets on each side. If this works, the doors may have a cleaner look without exposed hinges along the sides. I’m planning on doing the bi-fold to French installation, and I’m looking at installation options. What do you think?
I can’t wait to try this in my new fixer upper.
This is great. I spent weeks looking for someone doing this and you are the only one!!! Thank you for your efforts.
I just asked my guy if we could put in a door instead of the bifold in our pantry.. thank you! What a great idea!!!
I’m glad I found you
Does it matter what type of magnetic catch you use?
Really liked idea of converting bifold doors into French doors. Installed stacking washer/dryer in the closet. Bifold door would not clear the new washer so had to pull the doors forward to the casing. Hit a snag though. Had to cut 1/4” off each side of the doors and route the edges with a 1/8” rounding over bit in order to fit between the door casing and trim. Also had to make a hinge jig to recess the hinges so the gap looked normal. All in all it looks great. Thanks for the idea
I currently have mirror bifold doors on my closet. Do you think this would be possible with mirror bifold doors, using the extra set of “pivots” instead of hinges?
I love this bifold door idea , can u use this for a bedroom door if u are trying to save the space of one large door opening into ur room if ur rooms are a bit small? Woykd love to know ur thoughts
I am heartily impressed by your blog and learn more from your article. Thank you so much for sharing with us.
Would love to know can you open just one side at a time or do both doors need to open every time because of spacing and it being tight?
Hi Emily, I had narrow French doors between my dining room and kitchen, and frequently only opened one side. That’s why each door has its own magnetic catch: so it stays closed unless you push it open. I love the idea of turning a bifold into French doors because I cannot find a smooth French door. My laundry room is tight, and I need the door split. I may get a bifold door to match the smooth bifold pantry door right next to the laundry entrance, and turn it into the door I need.
Thank you so much for this great solution to those ugly bifold doors.
can you do this if the existing doors are hollow?
I was told it wouldn’t work unless they are solid wood
I don’t see why it wouldn’t work if the doors are hollow. My doors are hollow and it worked just fine. 🙂