Vintage Window Photo Frame

As you might recall, a while back I found a set of vintage windows at a local antique mall for $20 each…score! I used the first of the windows in my family room as a wreath hanger / wall decor {see it here}. I was really at a loss for what to do with the second one. There are so many really great ideas on Pinterest for how to utilize old windows. How is a girl to decide what to do?

1.Chalkboard 2.Headboard 3.Mirror 4.Shelf

Since the glass in my window is in such great condition, I decided to make it into a picture frame! Have you heard of engineering prints at Staples? I got one of those printed as a 2’x3′ with a photo I took of the Golden Gate Bridge. {It was less than $4}!! I taped it to the back of the window {with some Scotch tape reinforced with painter’s tape}. Then I attached the picture hanging hardware, and the hubs hung it using dry-wall anchors. I had to hang the picture high on the wall for future plans, but I thought to add a little extra pizazz, it would have been fun to tape some ribbon to the back of the window to make it look like it was hanging that way. If anyone tries that I would love to see a picture – sam {at} atkinsondrive {dot} com.

The other big struggle I had was where to put my beautiful piece of artwork. Originally it was going to be in our stairwell, but I have other ideas for that area. Then I wanted to make it a pseudo “headboard” for our master bedroom…but I really want an actual headboard eventually to help protect the wall. Since these windows are so heavy, they have to be thoroughly secured to the wall, and I didn’t want to cover those holes up if we have to move it. The husband wanted people to be able to see the picture when they walk by our room, so there was only one other option. Just outside our bedroom doors there is an open area almost like a foyer. Our upstairs “landing” is a pretty open area, not just a hallway with a bunch of doors in it; but it’s also not a room that you can furnish. I’ve been at a loss for how to decorate it and spice it up. I think this window is the perfect way to add some life to my space. It’s got a vintage feel and has some sentimental value. It doesn’t add color {though I’m sure paying $25 for a color print would be a really great, affordable way to liven up a room}, but I have a plan for bringing in color…so look for a future post on it!

Several people have asked me how I “sealed” the window from my last project. It was the most simple process that I’d love to pass on to you! Using either an old cloth rag, or a paper towel, wipe down all of the wood on your window. The point of this step is to remove loose dirt and rub off any paint pieces that aren’t sticking to the wood anymore. When you’re done, vacuum off the debris so you have a clean surface to work with. For this next step, I would use a foam brush that you don’t plan on needing again, because it will get dirty and messy. Seal all of your wood with mod podge {I use glossy, but any sheen would work} and let it dry. Make sure to really cover the areas where the paint is chipping – my goal was to keep the chippy look, but not allow the paint to continue to fall off. The mod podge worked really well for me; but I’m sure using any other paint sealant would work also, I just always have mod podge on hand.

I am SO in love with this piece! It reminds me of our precious time living in California where some of my favorite memories of us are. The chippy white paint framing the black & white photo is a beautiful accent to an otherwise empty space, and it’s a unique & affordable piece of art. You can’t want more than that from something that cost under $25!

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  1. says

    I have had a picture window like this in my dining room for over 11years, that I have B&W family photos in.
    I love how you have put just one picture over the whole window. I love the B&W!!!!

  2. interiorsbykenz says

    I love it! And I love the picture inside. San Francisco is my favorite city in the United States. I love the character of those old windows. What a STEAL!

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