Monday, July 30, 2012

Old Windows

I love old windows and I believe with an idea and a little bit of work they can be made into something great. 
For example, for Christmas a couple of years ago, my mom made an old window into a message board for Nathan and I. We love it! We use it for making lists, for writing notes, and of course, for messages. 

The house I grew up in was built in 1914. That is pretty old. A lot of updating was needed when my family moved into it and one of those updates was windows. My first old window project is a window from that house, so I love it even more. 

The window has nine panes. I finally came up with an idea that I loved...a menu board. One pane to say Menu, one for each day of the week, and one for a grocery list! Perfect.

The window was old with paint wearing off and some of the glass broken. I was planning on just replacing those panes that were broken but the grout holding the glass in was very old and was doing its job well. I ended up breaking even more of the glass panes, so I decided I would just replace all of the glass. Nathan broke the glass for me and we took all of it out of the window. Now, it was just the frame.

On the left is the front of the window and on the right is the back.

After the glass was out, I hoped it would be easier to get rid of the grout, but just continued to break things I didn't want the wood that was there to help hold the glass in. I decided it would be easiest to replace that too! After taking that wood off, I filled the holes I had made and sanded the front of the window.

I then stripped the paint off and sanded the whole frame again. After that, I took the frame to my Grandpa's shop where my husband and grandpa were very helpful with the next few steps: replacing the wood to help hold the glass in and cutting the glass. The wood was cut to size and put in place using a nail gun. I used glass from frames bought at a thrift store for between 15 and 75 cents each. Those glass pieces were cut down to the right size and set in the frame to make sure they fit.

Good as gold! I took the glass out and spray painted the frame black. I then used glazier points and hot glue to secure the glass in place in the frame. 

I asked a family friend for help with the vinyl cutting and she did an excellent job. I used painter's tape to make sure the words would go on straight. 

Then, very carefully, the vinyl was attached to the glass, the hangers put on the back and the new menu board was hung up! I just use a dry erase marker to write and it comes off perfectly. It is definitely one of my favorite projects yet.



  1. That is one of the cutest windows I think I've ever seen! Good work Karen!

  2. Looks good, great incorporation of re-usables. Let's see how creative you can get! :)

  3. Nice job! I love the makeover of your old window. Now, it looks amazing! The color black is very attractive, and it brings out the transparency of that window pane.