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Vintage Window Repurposed as Picture Frame

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I saw an old window used as a picture frame at an art gallery once, and I loved it. It was not hung up, but leaned against the wall. Last year my husband replaced all the windows in a house he rehabbed, and brought the old ones home (yay for me!) So I cleaned it up, painted it, and put pictures in it of all our precious grandkids.
Time: 4 Days Cost: $80 Difficulty: Easy
  • vintage window repurposed as picture frame
This is what the window looked like when I got it.
  • vintage window repurposed as picture frame
It was pretty rough, and needed to be scraped clean.
  • vintage window repurposed as picture frame
Most of the window glazing came out (the putty used to keep the glass from falling out.)
  • vintage window repurposed as picture frame
My husband said that since this is not going to be used outside, that we could use caulk instead of reglazing the window panes. He did this part for me. Much quicker. He was careful to keep the caulk line from showing through to the front of the window.
  • vintage window repurposed as picture frame
Next step, wipe it clean and paint. No need to tape off the glass, just slop it on. You'll see why in the next 2 steps.
  • vintage window repurposed as picture frame
After it's dry, use a box cutter, razor blade, or exacto knife to score the paint along the edge of the wood.
  • vintage window repurposed as picture frame
Because you scored it, it scrapes off easily with a razor blade. So easy!
  • vintage window repurposed as picture frame
All clean and ready for your photos or artwork.
  • vintage window repurposed as picture frame
It was tricky editing all my photos and printing them (at Walgreen's) the right size for the window panes. I tried it with 8X10's and matts first, but the matts detracted from the wood window frames, so I enlarged them to 11X14's and trimmed them to fit. The photos were the only cost, and would depend on the size and number of window panes.

Materials I used for this project:

  • Vintage Window   (Discarded)
  • Wall Paint, Caulk   (Had it on hand)
  • Scraper, Box cutter, Razor blade, Caulking gun, Paint brush   (Tools we have)
See all materials
  • Beverly Campbell
    Beverly Campbell Aumsville, OR

    Hi Kim: This is a fabulous idea. I have 2 old windows with 6 panes. I have been saving them for about 15 yrs. and now have a reason to be a hoarder. Will be pinning this to work on this spring. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

    • Kim
      Kim Racine, WI

      The only tricky part was getting the photos blown up so all the faces were close in size.

  • Larryshriver

    Several years ago, for Christmas presents; I had family photos printed into a calendar.........12 different pictures. Some day I intend to build frames to hold them, which will be hinged and will be similar to a clothes-changing screen, like you see

    • Kim
      Kim Racine, WI

      Great idea! Can't wait to see it!

  • Mary Howard
    Mary Howard Chicago, IL

    My Aunt purchased something like this some years ago, had the pictures enlarged, some not. I like this one better.

    • Kim
      Kim Racine, WI

      I'm glad you like it. Thanks.

  • Beverly Campbell
    Beverly Campbell Aumsville, OR

    Hi Kim. Thanks for the tip. It's always nice to have a "heads up" on a craft project. Much appreciated!

  • Susan
    Susan Butler, PA

    I was given a window like this many years ago that I would like to redo... there is a story attached to the window that makes it special to me... it was given to me, through my mom, by a dear coworker/friend of hers... I was going through a very

    • Susan
      Susan Butler, PA

      Great idea!! :D

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!