40 Awesome Ideas For Salvaging Old Windows – DIY Repurposing Projects

ways to repurpose old windows

Have you ever found yourself in possession of an old window?  Maybe you’ve seen it on the side of the road or stumbled upon it for a price you just can’t beat at the secondhand store?  Goodness me, do I have some old window ideas for you! 

Whether it’s salvaged windows, repurposing old windows, or anything in-between…I have curated my best set of DIY instruction for your viewing pleasure.

Old Window Frames Turned Into Furniture

Salvaged Windows Into End Tables

Too often we think of windows being square-shaped, so this was a pleasant departure.  Using quarter circle windows to create end tables isn’t something you see every day.  Prime, sand, and paint the window[s].  Add some legs to bring it to life as a table.  These end tables would definitely make me stop if I saw them in a store somewhere.

From:  Upcycle Nation

Farmhouse Bathroom Wall Cabinet

If this craft has been shared 302,000 times on social media, you know Liz Marie struck gold.  Her post is more about the overall aesthetic of her bathroom, but she does link to her husband’s blog [the Mr. actually created this piece] for instructions. 

It appears that there is tons of room– to free up precious countertop space– so that speaks volumes to me.  I’m always looking for ways to maximize space in my…less than palatial…living quarters.  

Oh and P.S. – She furnished her cabinet with goodies from Marshall’s.  We’ll save my ode to Marshall’s for another day.  

From:  Liz Marie Blog

DIY Window Cabinet

Blogger Lindsay used her cabinet to hold magazines and a couple of decorative trinkets.  I think this would be a fantastic library for my kiddos to hold their books.  The process looked somewhat labor-intensive, yet there were clear photos to accompany the instructions.  Because this is a versatile piece that could be used generation after generation, I’d be willing to put forth the effort.  

From:  My Creative Days

Window As Coffee Table

I think my mother would weep if she realized there was an affordable, DIY option for that window-themed coffee table for which she paid an ungodly amount at Pier 1 a few decades ago.  If only she knew all the ways for repurposing old windows! Having a coffee table that opens is a huge plus, as it’s ideal for storing books. 

We’re all huge bookworms in our house, so book storage is a recurring theme in my projects.  I especially appreciate Marty’s disclaimer that the finished product smells very appealing to dogs– Freya, my third [fur] child, is quite the gnawer, so thanks for the heads up, Marty’s Musings.

From:  Marty’s Musings

Superb Window Table

Very similar to our previous project, what distinguishes this endeavor from Unskinny Boppy is the instructions.  You’ll see beginner-friendly, step-by-step, detailed directions.  The very fact that it’s called “Anatomy of a Window Table” is greatly reassuring to those who lack a Ph.D. in carpentry skills.  I may need to borrow a workshop, but I feel as though this is something I could do.

From:  Unskinny Boppy

Repurposed Window Kitchen Island

Three sentences and a photo are the only guidelines available for this creation, but I’d be willing to invest some serious time and [wo]manpower into making this work.  I just adore the idea of a repurposed kitchen island and not just generic cabinets and countertops.  Olive Out’s kitchen looks homey, as opposed to one of these highly utilitarian eating spaces.  Bonus points for the picture with the cute dog posed by the island.  

From:  Olive Out

Make a Pretty Clothes Rack

I know enough Spanish to get by, but I wouldn’t say I’m proficient, and especially not fluent.  So my comprehension of this text was…minimal…at best.  Luckily I was able to glean that the title was “7 Sensational Ideas For Recycled Window Frames” and Casas Ideas [and here I was thinking ‘Casas’ was the name of the family until I looked at the blog!] does indeed have some good ideas. 

Before you ask one of your amigas for comprehension assistance, I realized that even when I clicked on the pictures, there were no instructions.  My suggestion would be to look at the picture and wing it based on your DIY knowledge or find a comparable tutorial online and follow their directions.   

From:  Casas Ideas

Make a DIY Antique Window Headboard

Maybe this is a rather interesting way of looking at it, but I’ve always found it to be quite romantic to have a window frame above my bed– where the only view is the wall.  I feel like this finish could work in any room with any color wall.  Best of all, these were found in a thrift store and used as-is.  The only extra tweaks are polyurethane on the windows [so the paint won’t chip on them] and caulking any loose glass.  

From:  Liz Marie Blog

DIY Old Window Pot Rack

What an innovative way to use a window as a functional apparatus in the kitchen.  The 36th Avenue told us just how to make this happen.  All of the parts are easily attainable and cost less than $5!  Provided you have an extra window frame lying around or know where to grab one, that is.  If the frame you found or thrifted doesn’t suit your fancy, consider painting it to better match the decor in your kitchen.  

From:  The 36th Avenue

Wire and Hooks Kitchen Rack

If my Spanish is lacking, my Vietnamese is non-existent.  I would run it through Google Translate, but much as the case with our Spanish predecessor, there are no instructions.  Although I do see a few stamped photos with blogs/websites in English, I can’t click on the pictures. 

As much as I love you, my dear readers, I have two hungry children who require their evening feeding.  If you simply cannot get something out of your mind, try typing in the name of the blog [if there is one] and single keywords describing the picture into your search engine.  

From:  Canhtoanland.com

Old Frame, New Bathroom Mirror

Unlike #1, this decoration does not open to holding bathroom accessories; however, the difference lies in the inclusion of mirrored squares in lieu of glass.  Call me quirky, but I’ve always appreciated mirrors that weren’t straight, uniform sheets of glass.  While there are no instructions for the mirror per se, I’d surmise that involves cutting a mirror that is the same size as the frame and placing them together.

From:  Stone Gable Blog

How To Make a Bar From an Upcycled Window

It’s 5’oclock somewhere!  Massive kudos to DIY Network for offering an outstanding tutorial.  Ingredient lists, tools needed, step-by-step instructions, and guidance every step of the way makes me feel as though I have a creative partner in crime if I were to make my own little bar.  Why would I ever leave the house again?  

From:  DIY Network

Creative Decorating & Old Window Craft Ideas

Window Shadow Box

Confessions of a Serial DIYer is one of my go-to blogs.  I love the idea of ‘opening up’ a window into a shadowbox.  And I really love her easy-to-follow instructions.  They are extremely detailed, with high-quality photos and product recommendations.  Best of all, she focuses on every single detail to make for a truly memorable masterpiece.  

From:  Confessions Of a Serial DIYer

A Window To Paris

Old window ideas for creating a classic picture frame

I’m instantly drawn to any decor that transports me to a faraway place.  A DIY project involving the London skyline ((consider linking article) had me on Cloud 9.  The juxtaposition of a vintage black and white photo of Paris combined with an off-white window frame epitomizes antique elegance.  Pro Tip:  Follow Kim’s lead and get a poster from eBay so you don’t have to pay full price.  

From:  Starshine Chic

Creative Butterfly Window

As gorgeous as the finished product is, this requires some serious effort.  Over two dozen materials are needed and the process is complex.  It also involves fire, fumes, and fans.  Pretty Handy Girl is much handier than me because I find this to be intimidating.  I seriously doubt I’d ever be able to create something like this, beautiful as it may be.  Can I pay Brittany to do it for me?  

From:  Pretty Handy Girl

Creatively Altered Window Frame

Feeling slightly overwhelmed after exploring the last craft, I was thrilled to find something more on my level.  Little Birdie Secrets’ project doesn’t involve any heavy-duty cutting or drilling [or fire] and the end result is beautiful.  

Because it calls for ‘coordinating patterned paper,’ there is ample room for creative flexibility.   You can select whatever motif you like and even paint the window if you so desire.  

From:  Little Birdie Secrets

Lovely Autumn Wreath Made From Grapevine and Burlap

We’re big on wreaths in this house– something for every holiday and season!– so this was right up my alley.  Placing a window behind a wreath was never something I’d considered, but I just might have to try.  A Pretty Life in the Suburbs gives detailed instructions for how to make a wreath…but I did have one question.  

Is that chicken wire behind the window frame?  I never saw any acknowledgment of that in the recipe and it doesn’t appear the wreath is connected to it in any way.  Unless I’m missing something, I’m guessing that’s just her personal preference.  

From:  A Pretty Life In the Suburbs

Old Map Deserves Another Look

old map deserves another look

Maps are magnificent items that should be used in decor as frequently as possible.  This project makes me feel as though I’m gazing out my window, dreaming of wanderlust.  I thought it was such a wonderful idea that Robb Restyle used not only a map of the United States for the top half of the window frame but two individual states in each quadrant of the bottom half.  That makes me want to create this with both Tennessee, my home state and current residence, and California, where my family spent a memorable two years.

From:  Robb Restyle

Frame Fits Above the Fireplace 

While this setup does involve a window frame with the word ‘love’ perched within, it’s more about the mantel as a whole.  The window is a nice touch, but I also adore the pink roses placed in antique silver goblets, cream-colored candles held in off-white holders, and the old books scattered throughout.  Nothing needs to be created here; instead, it is a matter of artfully displaying items.  

From:  Craftberry Bush

Rustic DIY Quilt Display

One of the things I inherited from my late grandmother is a beautiful quilt.  I’m ashamed to admit it’s hidden away in the upstairs linen closet.  Between washing machines, general wear and tear, and a rambunctious dog, I’m scared to use it on a bed or even as a drape over other furniture.  This project gives me a way to safely display my prized possession.  Fear not if you don’t have a quilt– blogger Jaime Costiglio sews individual fabric patches together to create the same effect.  

From:  Jaime Costiglio

Old House Windows Are a Real Work of Art

Hearing about chalkboard art made me think of chalkboard paint [a current obsession of mine], but this was not that.  Debbiedoo actually painted the windowpanes a shade of blue, seasoned the panes with chalk, and wiped off the chalk with a dry, lint-free cloth.  Who knew you could get such a similar consistency?  Stencils topped off the look, giving it a nice, shadowy effect on the dusty chalkboard.  Using crackle paint on the window frame is optional.  

From:  Debbiedoo’s

Turn That Old Window Into a Decorative Chalkboard

Now, this is more what I had in mind with chalk art– actually using chalkboard paint and being able to write with chalk!  Be warned that this project takes several days, but it is not difficult.  House By Hoff offers some crucial advice:  do not skip any steps of preparing the surface to chalk.  For the uninitiated, this means rubbing a piece of chalk sideways over the entire surface, letting it sit for a few seconds, and then erasing it.  Bonus points for the fact that she offers a link to a calligraphy tutorial so you can use that chalk to write some fancy script.  

From:  House By Hoff

Window Box Fairy Garden

My 8-year-old daughter squealed with delight when she saw this picture.  Now she’s absolutely insisting I make her one.  How I’ll do that, I’m not exactly sure because there is zero mention of the structure itself or how it was made.  As far as I can tell, it looks like using two windows, one as the floor and the other as the roof, and using wooden end pieces [which would probably have to be cut and painted] to support them?  I guess in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter because we were both so mesmerized scrolling through the gorgeous photos of all the intricacies and cute touches in the garden itself.  

From:  Unskinny Boppy

Photo Frames From Old Windows

DIY Wedding Photo Frame

I’ll admit– these are pretty darn cute.  Just because I don’t want a visual reminder of my wedding in my house [can you tell I’m divorced?] doesn’t mean other people won’t appreciate it.  Many moons ago I was the Maid of Honor at my best friend’s wedding.  She’s still happily married [to the man I introduced her to nonetheless!], so I think this would be a perfect gift for her.  As long as I’ve known her, she’s always been a fan of unconventional frames, so she’d love the window.  Just remember:  Be careful how you scale the photos so the bride’s face isn’t bisected by a windowpane.  

From:  The Hamby Home

Window Framed Family Portrait

This is a photo in the window frame I can get behind!  And it costs less than $5!  That is, if you already have the window.  Yet I’ve noticed that most people seem to be able to easily find a window with which to get crafty [or if not they can be purchased inexpensively at a thrift store], so I’m sure I could, too.  Maryann went to Staples to get an engineering print, which is a black and white image printed on paper.  Adhere it to a foam board and voila!  A uniquely displayed family photo.

From:  Domestically Speaking

Antique Window Picture Frame

I won’t say too much about this project because it’s strikingly similar to the last one.  However, I wanted to include it because they did something slightly different when it comes to placing the photo behind the window.  Instead of using craft foam, The Inspiration Board taped the image directly to the frame.  Easy peasy.

From:  The Inspiration Board

Clothespin and Wire Photo Hang

Once upon a time as a broke college student, I strung a piece of yarn across my wall and paper clipped photos to it.  I’ve always loved the look of hanging photos, so I was happy to see this project.  Now there’s a way for me to hang my photos that is less dorm room and more chic home decor!  Using wire to string between panes, use clothespins to hang the photos.  Not only do the clothespins look cooler [in my humble opinion], they won’t leave marks on your precious photos.  

From:  Pressed Petals

Colorful Picture Collage

We’ve seen the ‘picture in window’ concept several times now, but Kristen puts two different twists on it.  First of all, she uses different photos for each individual frame, as opposed to one single image dominating the entire window.  I like that she opted for more of a collage look.  She also used color photos, whereas our other ideas have been black and white.  B&W is always a timeless, elegant look, but pops of color are contemporary and fun.  

From:  Kristen Duke Photography

An Old Door & Our Story

What gives you more useable surface space than a window?  A door!  I do realize that I have included several similar activities in this roundup, but I appreciate each person who brings a fresh spin to it.  Measure the frames and print pictures accordingly.  Then hang the door horizontally for a giant montage of your family [or whatever else floats your boat].  

From:  Photog Mommie

Photos Line Up In Repurposed Window Design

The only reason I’m including this is because of their visuals.  Don’t get me wrong– I love the idea– but the whole photos-in-window concept is starting to get redundant.  I’m not going to speak too much on this one, but I encourage you to look at their split window with photos and a descriptive word [in their case it was family] so you get the gist of it.

From:  Cottage Instincts

Super Chic Picture Frames

A final quirky way to display photos in a window frame involves twine.  Strategically position the pictures throughout the twine [think a weaver’s loom] for an unconventional look.  I like this because it allows for the opportunity to easily swap out photos depending on the occasion.  

From:  Funky Junk Interiors

Old Window Frames In The Garden

Create a Mini Garden House

I’d have to team up with one of my MacGyver friends for this project, but it would be well worth it.  Even though it presents itself as a greenhouse– and plants would certainly be an amazing dweller– I envision lots of possibilities.  Crafts A La Mode shows one picture of a hay bale with pumpkins, perfect for fall.  I say let’s take it beyond fall and have seasonal decorative displays.  

From:  Crafts A La Mode

Miniature Greenhouse From Old Windows

miniature greenhouse from old windows

This is almost identical to the previous project; however, I appreciate the following thought:  “If you’re at all like me, the thought of using exact measurements, levels, drill bits, angle irons, and anything that sounds like it belongs to a professional construction worker is daunting.”  She read my mind.  Towards the very end of the instructions, there are four succinct bullet points to summarize the overall instructions.  When tools are involved, simplicity is key for me.  

From:  Global Garden Friends

Mini Garden In Old Window Frame

Look to A Cultivated Nest as your one-stop shop for repurposing windows.  What caught my eye, in particular, was the use of a border around the base of the window to create a shelf to hold several potted plants.  Check out the craft I just mentioned or feel free to peruse the rest of their ideas.  

From:  A Cultivated Nest

Transplanted Window Container Garden

In the spirit of full disclosure, this isn’t technically a window project.  But it is a mini-garden that goes at the base of a window frame.  I’ve always longed to have one of these because– as much as I dream of it– a full garden plot just isn’t feasible for me.  That is more than fine because Stephanie Lynn gives me ten different ideas to make my window basil, rosemary, and cilantro happen.  

From:  By Stephanie Lynn

Tree Hung Picture Window

With a blog name like “Dishfunctional Designs,” Laura had me at hello.  I don’t want to spend my review completely paraphrasing somebody else’s words, but I strongly encourage you to read her first paragraph.  You will thank me.  I just love it when I go searching for one thing and find it– and many others.  

From:  Dishfunctional Designs

Succulent Garden In Old Window Frame

This pays homage to that garden I’ve always wanted to make but have lacked the patience and/or Green Thumb.  Barb gives some of the most specific instructions I have ever had the pleasure of reading, so it seems within the realm of possibility, yet I doubt my own capabilities.  Such a project requires a fusion of craftsmanship and gardening techniques.  Yet her finished product photo– complete with plants sprouting and leaves standing tall– gives me hope.  

From:  Second Chance To Dream

Functional Uses For Old Window Frames

Chalkboard Weekly Window Calendar

We’ve done chalk before, but I appreciate the calendar.  Even though I remember every single thing with both children and myself in my supersonic Mom Brain, sometimes I need a little help.  Using a window with nine panes allows for every day of the week plus two extra spaces for some notes.  Let me just say this looks a heck of a lot better than a dry/erase board!

From:  House By Hoff

Create A Family Command Center

Anything referred to as a command center makes this Type-A mama one happy camper.  I was quite pleased to see easily accessible instructions that boasted of a ‘girly’ command center.  Fellas, don’t be deterred.  Let Dwelling In Happiness simplify your life.  On a completely unrelated note, does anyone else feel reassured that blogger Amanda has a shopping list exclusively for Costco?  That is one of half a dozen of my lists.  My To-Do List has a To-Do-List.  But I digress….

From:  Dwelling In Happiness

Advent Calendar

Our family celebrates a wide variety of holiday traditions.  I’m always looking for the chance to expose my children to different beliefs and cultures, so if it exists, we’re celebrating.  Yet Advent calendars are an old standby my parents introduced me to, so they hold a special place in my heart.  I guess it doesn’t surprise me that the name of this blog is “Finding Home Farms.”  Even though the wee ones can’t pop out anything on a paper calendar, they can certainly cross of the day and receive something of value to commemorate the occasion.   

From:  Finding Home Farms

Turn an Old Window Frame Into a Serving Tray

Okay, I’m actually cheating a little bit here because the frame in question here actually began life as a photo frame, not a window frame, but the idea is pretty much the same. This rustic-chic upcycled serving tray took Courtney from A Thoughtful Place a whopping 15 minutes to throw together, and I think it looks amazing.

The rough wood paired with sparkling silver handles is a great contrast. Here’s a great quote direct from Courtney:

No matter what type of frame or pull you choose, it always works well to remember the rule of opposites. If you choose a rustic frame, go for a more glamorous pull. And likewise, if you choose a fancier frame, an aged pull or handle will create an interesting effect.

From: A Thoughtful Place

ways to repurpose old windows
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