Picture of Old Window Picture Frame
I like making picture frames from all sorts of things - in this case I used an old wooden window.  Re-using or appropriating different objects to become picture frames is useful because the cost of custom framing big pictures is almost prohibitive for most of the working world, and store bought frames often don't add that personal touch of class and style that you get when you frame a photo yourself, let alone, with something cool, like an old window.

So, why not make your own old window picture frame?  I think I will!

**Note, the large image below is actually not my own work, but that of a professional artist that my family purchased some time ago.  The secondary image, beneath the large image is an example of a window picture frame that I made with a friend.  The professional one looks prettier...as you'd expect, so that's why I'm showing it below.**

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
To make a picture frame out of an old wooden window you need:
  • an old wooden window.  In the bay area I know of no better place to get old wooden frames then Urban Ore just off Ashby Ave. in Berkeley.  They have tons there, just watch out for the lead paint!
  • backer board - could be masonite, foam board, or even cardboard, pretty much anything thin you've got lying around
  • the artwork
  • a matte cut to fit the artwork
  • paint (if you want to repaint the frame)
  • painters tape (if you want to repaint the frame)
  • sandpaper (if you want to repaint the frame)
  • razor blade and/or scraper (if you want to repaint the frame)
  • glaziers points or finishing nails to seal the thing up
  • picture hanging wire and wire mounting hardware to hang it
  • brown paper to make it look like a pro job on the back
*note that not all the materials are pictured below...patience patience, they're coming.

Love the old windows. While the paint may be lead based, I'm not too sure I wanna repaint them actually. I think the shabby chic looks great on it's own!

cchacey1 year ago
I am very concerned about the lead paint on an old frame chipping and being injested . We want to redo it, but don't want to use chemical strippers. Can lead paint be painted over and "encased" in the new paint? It will be hung on the wall?
juanm1054 years ago

Be extremely careful using old windows, they may have lead paint on them. Improper removal can be deadly to you and other occupants of your dwelling.

Any windows made before 1978 probably have lead paint.

Do not power sand lead paint. Lead borne dust is very bad for your heath.

Do not use a heat gun that can produce heat over 1100 degrees to remove the paint, it will vaporize the lead and breathing the fumes is deadly.

Google lead paint removal for proper and safe removal techniques or go to
AS a photographer I love the simple beauty of this instructable. Leanne Martin Australia
 Looks very nice!! these windows look great just hanging them all battered on new walls but I like them with the pics!
Ardnoc5 years ago
 stripping paint with heat , paint striper or abrasives all have hazards, with proper precautions can be done safely.

Lead paint is common on old windows so when sanding paint  off, its best done where the dust can be controlled and cleaned up, Dust mask are the minimum protection you should consider. 

Nice Project! 
colombine5 years ago
My boyfriend did this with a mirror instead of pictures for our bedroom. he did not remove the old layers of color on it so it looks a little shabby-chick. I really love it!
it would be fun to have a picture of a window inside the window frame :00
Sweet!  Nice idea, and looks great...