Turn Picture Frames Into Faux Rusty Windows

3 Materials
20 Minutes

Some projects just take on a life of their own. Like this little window planter we made a few weeks ago. Well technically it's a window planter with windows or something like that

Anyhoooos, those little windows were originally these boring and really cheap plastic picture frames.

I think we paid $5 for a set of three and honestly I have no idea why I bought them. But hey, they're perfect for making windows. And the tutorial couldn't be easier. All you need besides the plastic frames is:

  • Coarse spice
  • Popsicle sticks or wooden stirrers
  • Wood glue
  • Stapler
  • Scissor or sharp craft knife
  • Rusty chicken mesh (optional)
  • Black, brown and orange craft paint. I used some of my Unicorn SPiT but any water based craft paint will work.

Start off by removing the glass and backing from the frames.

Place the stirrers or Popsicle sticks across the back of the frame and mark where to cut.

Wooden stirrers are really easy to cut with a pair of scissors or a craft knife. Just score along the mark and cut. Glue the stirrers to the back of the plastic frame and then apply glue randomly all over.

While the glue is still wet, sprinkle a little coarse spice all over.

Wait for the glue to dry. Mix a drop of brown paint with a little black and paint the frames, front and back. Wait for the paint to dry before lightly brushing on a layer of pure brown. You still want some of that brown/black to show through.

Once the frame is completely covered with brown and black paint and dry, mix up a small dollop of orange and brown paint.

Use an old toothbrush to speckle the frames with small splatters.

You should end up with rusty frames. It does help to have a piece of rust nearby to double check. We have a whole bunch of rusty ceiling tiles that we use in our projects so I used that to check.

Pretty close right??!! Now all that's left to do is cut some chicken wire to size and staple it onto the back of the faux rusty picture errrhmm I mean window frame

And the rusty windows are ready to be used in craft projects or added to your decor. We hung ours on a window planter we made.

Don't you just love how they look against the double cracked paint effect on the planter? You can get that tutorial here.

I would love to know what you think of the rusty picture frame makeover? Have you repurposed any cheap picture frames. I still have one left and I would appreciate some more ideas.

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Michelle Leslie

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Marguerite leonard
    on Mar 12, 2020

    I love the idea and can't wait to try it. My question is...when you shake the coarse spice on it and where it is thicker and a little clumpy will that loosen up when you go to dust it when it needs it. Or do we not dust it and let it be? lol.Thank you.

  • Joyce
    on Mar 20, 2020

    It looks nice, but I am not sure what it is. I mean is it really a window? Or, is this a fake window made to look like a real window and stick fake plants or real plants behind it on a bare wall. That was not mentioned. Just curious! Also what is unicorn spit?

    • Michelle Leslie
      3 hours ago

      Hi Joyce, we have two homes. One we stay in all year round and a second one that we purchased a few years back that we go to for holidays. We're extremely fortunate and saved like crazy for about 10 years to be able to buy the second one. Since we only go on holiday once a year, I can't use real plants to add a little greenery to our decor there.

  • Tara Austin
    on Mar 20, 2020

    How was the outer frame made? The cracked paint and patina!!!

Join the conversation

4 of 48 comments
  • Terri
    7 days ago

    Love this tooo cute also did you pain the chicken wire? It looked rustic as well

    • Michelle Leslie
      7 days ago

      Nope, the chicken wire was already rusty  If your's is still new and shiny, you can give it a light sanding and spray it with 1 pint hydrogen peroxide with ¼ cup vinegar and 2 tbsp. salt and apply it with a spray bottle to the wire. It should rust in no time.

  • Going to try this for the bathroom!!! Love it!!! Right down to the chix wire!!!

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