I decided I wanted them to fold to the sides. Simple enough right? :) So I went to home depot and bought six flap hinges (like the ones you use on doors but smaller).
I took all four shutters off the existing hinges. This is what the hinges looked like that held them on the sides and on the center support. The side sets are left because they will still be used to open the shutters to the side. The center sets were removed since they would no longer be holding anything.
I layed the shutters flat on the ground in pairs and screwed the new hinges to the inside centers, so they would fold in half. I used three per shutter since mine are about 7 feet tall (and that's how many they used on the sides...wanted the center ones in the same spots as the side ones).
TIP: Make sure you place the hinges correctly. They do not close flat both ways. They are like a book. So before you screw them in, place them, flap them closed and make sure they lay flat together. Then reopen and attach. If you do place them incorrectly, no big deal, just take them off and turn them over and reattach : )
At this point I reattached the combined shutter sets to the side hinges still on the window (had a little help holding the shutter as I screwed them back up as the shutters are huge) and I was almost done.
There were also some magnetic closures that would need to be adjusted. They were currently in the middle of each set at top and bottom to keep the "book-closing style" shut. I left one in the center on the top to keep the center flat, then moved one to the outside to keep the new "folding style" closed on the far side.
The easiest way to do this is move the magnet closure and reposition it. Remove the metal plate that it attaches to. Place it on the magnetic closure, close the shutter, then mark the screw hole for placment on the shutter from the back. If you can't access the shutter when it is closed, put a dollop of something on the screw hole, close the shutter, open it and the dollop will be on the shutter to show you where to put the screw.
And this is what it looks like now with the chair and table. About a thirty minute process to add a little character to my room. Mainly it gives my daughter a place to sit and wait for carpool : )