A Different Use for an Old Window Frame

by Wonderiris
3 Materials
I always had the children's high school graduation pictures in simple oak 8x10 frames and they were on a wall in a nice square formation. BORING! When we were packing the old house to prepare to move to the new house I swore that I would not put the pictures back up on the wall in the same frames and in a similar manner. I didn't know what I would do, but I didn't want the same set up.
We moved and as I was unpacking I came across the four pictures and their frames and I set them aside and I started thinking. I looked up different ways to hang photos on line, and I looked in magazines etc to see if something would strike me as what I wanted to do. Nothing was fitting the bill.
We continued unpacking and we came across the old window frames that I had kept because "I would use them for SOMETHING!". I wondered if the pictures would fit in the openings.
Old window frame
The glass openings were exactly 8x10! I was thrilled. I sanded and cleaned up the window frame as much as I could. The middle sections separator couldn't be saved so it meant I would have to do something to separate the pictures once the frame was ready. I painted the whole frame in a chalk paint (blue), then painted it again in a brown chalk paint. Distressed it so that some of the blue and original white would show through. Finished it with antique wax.
The original glass in the window was scratched and couldn't be cleaned, but since the openings were so perfect I just used the panes of glass that were in the other frames.
I used some heavy duty cardboard to be the back behind the glass and photographs. I used small nails to hold them in place.
back of frame
There is a small dowel glued in the middle section (I forgot to take a picture of it before putting on the back) to keep the two middle pieces of glass separated.
Four photographs added
I put the four photographs of the kids in and then wondered what I would do with the two empty sections. I considered leaving them empty, thought of getting some random pictures that are in the frames at the stores and put them in as the "lost family members", even thought of putting pictures of the two family dogs in the spaces, or a piece of art that one of the children had done in the past...but there were only two spaces and whatever art I would have chosen would have made those children happy, and the other two...well, I didn't want that discussion. But, then, my husband, suggested having the two sections be chalkboard. So, I cut two pieces of tough cardboard, sprayed them with a couple coats of chalkboard paint and...
Complete and on the wall
As you can see, two children have been home since it was completed and wrote their own messages. I love it and I won't have to look at the ugly frames that used to encase their beautiful faces!
Suggested materials:
  • Old window frame
  • Chalk paint
  • Antiquing wax
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Lynn Lynn on Aug 29, 2016
    Love your posts! I want to chalk paint my chairs and legs of a kitchen chairs. What product do you suggest for the chair backs and seats? I always worry about using the wax after "hot" bodies sit for a while!! Thank you!

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3 of 25 comments
  • Dorothy F Dorothy F on Jun 05, 2017
    I have this window frame that I bought at a yardsale but 2 glass is missing,i don't no what to do

    • Wonderiris Wonderiris on Jun 05, 2017
      You can get window pane glass at any hardware store. They might even cut it to size.

  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Feb 23, 2018
    What a great way of displaying your favorite pictures and also getting an extra bonus with the message boards. GREAT JOB.