Introduction: How to Make a Window Into a Picture Frame!
I’m sure, like everyone who has ever had a wedding, you understand how I ended up with a lot of leftover pictures that didn’t make the cut for putting into our wedding album and have been sitting around looking at me like a waste of money. What was I going to do with them? Honestly, I figured they would end up in a drawer until many decades from now (after we’re long gone) and one of our relatives stumbles upon them. Then Joe asked me what my plans were for the newspaper article that announced our wedding and I drew a complete blank until I was cleaning the garage and looked at our enormous stack of old windows. I’ve been trying to find a purpose for them – so I went and picked one out!
Step 1: Get That Window As Clean As Possible!
The first thing I had to do was lay the window down and get it as clean as I possibly could. I did this with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water and a towel plus lots of elbow grease. The window was totally and completely FILTHY. In some places the old caulk was coming off the window but not so badly that I needed to redo it (the window wasn’t going to be falling out anytime soon – it was still sturdy enough which was my chief concern). I had a tough decision deciding whether to use the bare wood side or the painted side.
Step 2: Make Sure and Protect All That Cool Old Paint
I decided on the painted side because it was showing the lovely kind of wear that only old paint can. The wood side was actually pretty darned neat though and, maybe I’ll do this project again with a different window and sand and stain the wood side to see how it looks. This window even had water damaged/character down the front of the wood that I thought looked rather neat. After a good cleaning I decided I really needed to put a coat of something on the white paint to seal it and keep it safe. I taped the window off and did a quick (and rather thick) coat of polycrylic over the whole front and sides. I chose to use a satin poly because we had it leftover and because I didn’t want the frame shiny too.
Step 3: Find Some Light Backing and Cut It to Size
I measured the window and headed to town to find some kind of backing. Initially my first instinct was to grab my jigsaw and cut some leftover plywood for the backing but the more I thought about it the more I decided I really needed to find something as light as possible, this window was already really heavy. At walmart (for less then $3) I found this great foam board that I simply cut out with a pair of scissors to the size of the window. From there I gathered all of our leftover wedding pictures and the newspaper cut outs and got to work with the cut-to-size piece of foam board. This was not easy, I’ve never done a collage before but I fiddled and fiddled and layered it and, eventually, decided on how it was going to be. I made sure to get our families in it and spread out the different types of pictures to make it as unique as possible.
Step 4: Glue Everything Down Carefully
From there I grabbed the elmor’s glue stick I had also picked up at walmart and got to sticking the pictures down. I had at first thought about getting some spray on glue but when I saw this little glue stick I thought it would work just fine, and it did. Once it was all stuck down I put it into the window and laid the window on the table so I could screw in the eye hooks and get to work on the twine. Old wood windows are HEAVY, so I decided to braid the twine so it was triple the strength of a single strand. The eye hooks I used were rated up to 55lbs but I felt good about them only because the wood on the window frame that I screwed them into was very solid and not in any way damaged by weather etc.
Step 5: Tape Off the Back Just in Case
With the eyehooks on and the twine finished I taped my collage of pictures into the frame. Does tape seem kind of weak for this job? Yeah, I guess a little bit, but I didn’t want to risk breaking the glass or hammering staples into it etc and the foam board is so light and fit so snug that, honestly, the tape was just a precaution. I ran the tape entirely around the foam board and made it nice and tight and secure.
Step 6: Project Complete!
And there we have it guys! Project complete! Now we just have to find a place to hang it! Thanks for stopping by