Repurposing Those Old Windows

One of my favorite pastimes is browsing all the local antique stores in my area, and I have even been known to travel to surrounding areas to see what treasures are out there. If you have never been antiquing, you are missing out. There really are so many unique finds out there in every style. The possibilities of finding something amazing are pretty high. One thing that antique stores are never in short of, are old windows. I see them every time I go, and they are pretty inexpensive. The price usually runs from $5-$20.

Before I became a stay-at-home-mom, I was working in an office that was replacing their windows. I asked my boss if I could have the old ones, and I was able to snag about twenty old wooden windows for free. I was so pumped at the time because I had so many great ideas, but once I got them home, they just sat in my garage for the next eight years.


Around mothers day, I was speaking with my own mother, and she was saying how she needed something for her front entry. I told her that I wanted to make her something as my gift to her. The old windows sitting in my garage came to mind. I went home that day and got to work.

I have seen pictures where other people have repurposed old windows into side tables, mini greenhouses, room dividers, and picture frames. I thought the picture frame idea made the most sense because I would be using these in my mom’s front entrance.

Now, I mentioned these windows had been sitting in my garage for about eight years. So they of course needed cleaning and a fresh coat of paint. Once I cleaned them up, I layed them out on my floor so that I could decided how to finish them.

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My mother had mentioned wanting some sort of coat rack for her quests as the entered the home, so I knew that I would add hooks to at least one of the windows. I found my hooks at an antique store, but you can find hooks at several different home decorating stores. Once I found the ones I liked, I simply attached them on the front of the largest window.

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Once I had the windows layed out, I realized that if I filled each space with a photo, it would be too much for my mom’s small front entrance. Plus my mother already had pictures of the family all over her house. As I was thinking of an alternative to family pictures, I remembered one of the blogs I frequent each week called French Press Mornings. She not only has a beautiful shop on Etsy where she sells stationary, but every Wednesday, she offers a weekly encouragement and a free printable. I really do adore her designs and thought they would make a lovely gift for my mother. So, for several weeks, I downloaded my favorite Wednesday encouragements and printed them out.

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I knew I wasn’t going to fill every window pane with a piece of stationary, so I picked six of my favorites for the largest window and began to add them to the glass.  Because a window does not have backing like a picture frame, I wanted to glue the stationary to the panes using Mod Podge. It works like glue, but it doesn’t warp or bubble your paper. It comes in different finshes, and dries clear.

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I painted an even coat over the front of the stationary and positioned them in the center of each pane. Then I painted another thick, even coat on the backside and edges of each piece of paper.

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I allowed the window to dry over night. I had Matt attach wire to the backs for hanging, then we took them over to my mom’s house for installation. I am so happy with the final result, and she loves her gift.

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