Introduction: Low Budget Window in a Door

About: I like building things mainly from wood or metal. Especially if they look complicated to make, then I like to think about how to make it. And I love it when the result looks good.

A friend had a door in her house and she really did not like the way it looked, so she would like to have another door. Unfortunately she has to live on a low budget so she could not afford a new door. We looked together at some brochures of new beautiful doors and she told me what she liked and it gave me some ideas about how to upgrade her existing door on a really low budget.

Step 1: Shopping for Cheap Glass

Glass used in a door should not break easily because nobody likes shattered glass in the house and even worse the risk that somebody gets injured by the glass. Therefore I needed a strong type of glass, but that is usually not cheap if you order it at a glass supplier. To find a low budget solution I went shopping in a cheap store where they sell cutting boards made of glass. At the back side of the glass there was a plastic foil with a decorative pattern, and with some patience that foil could be peeled off. So I bought 4 of those cutting boards for just a few dollars and removed the foil.

Step 2: Decorating the Glass

I wanted the glass to look expensive so I used self adhesive lead strips and a glass foil to decorate the glass. I decided to use a simple pattern of just 4 rectangles. I considered more complex shapes but I did not like them so much. I first added a rectangle of milky white foil and put it in the middle of each glass, taking care that there was still a clear area of glass around the foil. After that I used a coil of self adhesive lead strips which are sold in a hobby store and placed that lead strip directly next to the rectangle of foil. I used the lead at both sides of the glass, so it is not possible to see the back side of the lead strip. On the left photo you can see that the brown color of the wall is visible through the part of the glass that is not covered by the foil and the lead. I decorated all four cutting boards in the same way.

Step 3: Preparing the Space for the Window

The original door had 13 small windows made of acrylic. I carefully measured the size of my four new windows and cut a hole in the door exactly large enough for the new glass. After that I added wood to cover old holes in the door. Then I placed the new windows and painted the entire door so the new parts really blended in with the original part of the door.

Step 4: Enjoy the Result

You can see the final result on the photo. When there is nobody standing behind the door, you just see the white hall way through the clear part of the glass, but when somebody is standing behind the door, you can see there is somebody present.

The upgrade of this door and adding the glass was done for less than 20% of what a new door would have costed and my friend is really happy with the result.

Glass Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Glass Speed Challenge