How to: Create a beautiful picture frame out of an old window!

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 a window out!

How to create a picture frame out of an old window. DIY upcycling old windows into picture frames! @GrandmasHousDIY

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.

How to create a picture frame out of an old window. DIY upcycling old windows into picture frames! @GrandmasHousDIY

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.

How to create a picture frame out of an old window. DIY upcycling old windows into picture frames! @GrandmasHousDIY

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. I measured it 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.

How to create a picture frame out of an old window. DIY upcycling old windows into picture frames! @GrandmasHousDIY

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.

How to create a picture frame out of an old window. DIY upcycling old windows into picture frames! @GrandmasHousDIY

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.

How to create a picture frame out of an old window. DIY upcycling old windows into picture frames! @GrandmasHousDIY

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.

How to create a picture frame out of an old window. DIY upcycling old windows into picture frames! @GrandmasHousDIY

And there we have it guys! Project complete! Now we just have to find a place to hang it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

How to create a picture photo collage gallery out of an old window, diy, do it yourself, tutorial, craft

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  1. March 22, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Such a great idea, Tarah, and I love your result. Great tutorial so anyone can replicate your results. Thanks so much for linking your project up with Vintage Charm 🙂

  2. March 31, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    That is so incredibly creative and beautiful! I love the window frame idea, and your collage really turned out beautifully. #ThursdayFavoriteThings

    • March 31, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Thank you!! I have several more old windows I’m hoping to find new projects for!

  3. April 1, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Very clever idea!! Thanks for sharing with us on Thursday Favorite Things.

    • April 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Thank you very much Jennifer!!

  4. April 22, 2016 at 7:22 am

    I see old windows in salvage yards all the time. This is the perfect project for them so I just had to include it in my EarthDay roundup.

    • April 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Stella, thank you SO much!

  5. June 27, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Such a cute craft, Tarah! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Edye |

  6. July 4, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    Really creative idea – thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  7. July 22, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Thanks for sharing on Peace, Love, Link Up! Looking forward to seeing you next time! : )

  8. July 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Nicely done. A bit of vintage with some wonderful memories displayed.

  9. July 23, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Taralynn, great repurposing . Thanks for sharing at Your Inspired Designs.

  10. July 23, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    This is such a great project. I love that you have been refinishing your Grandma’s house – what a lovely way to keep the memory alive, and make her home your own. Best of luck with all your projects. Thanks for sharing!

  11. July 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Oh this is so cute!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for crafts, recipes, and tips:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  12. July 30, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing this at Thoughts of Home.
    We are so glad you are here!

    White Spray Paint

    • July 31, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Thank you for coming by Laura!

  13. July 31, 2016 at 7:23 am

    What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!

    • July 31, 2016 at 2:12 pm

      Hey Dee, thank you for stopping by!

  14. August 2, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    I love the look of old windows!! I had a bunch given to me from a friend and I painted them and sold them at the craft fair!! Using them as a picture frame is great too! Thanks for sharing on My 2 favorite Things on Thursday! Pinned!

    • August 3, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Thank you Elaine! I have a bunch more I’m either going to have to sell or figure out something to do with them!

  15. August 3, 2016 at 5:47 am

    What a clever idea!

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  16. August 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    What a lovely DIY! Such a great way to hold onto memories 🙂

    Edye |

  17. August 10, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    What a fun and cute idea to repurpose something that would otherwise just sit and collect dust. It turned out lovely!

    Thanks for sharing this at the Happy Now link up.

  18. August 15, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    I love your window picture frame. What a beautiful way to display your lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. It’s great having you!

  19. August 17, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Taralynn, what a great idea! I have made a couple of mirrors out of vintage picture frames I found at an estate sale but it never dawned on me to create a collage. Excellent idea! Thank you for sharing with us at #SimplifyWednesdays! Pinned, Tweeted, Shared

  20. August 31, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Thanks for the step-by-step directions and all the pics, too! I love your creativity 🙂 I’m so glad you shared at Together on Tuesdays!!!!

  21. September 2, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Such a cute craft!

  22. September 4, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    This is beautiful, what a lovely idea! xx #bloggybrunch

    • September 4, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      Thank you Claire! 🙂

  23. September 6, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    This is a great project. Thanks for linking up to Let’s Get Real.

  24. September 20, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Great idea for an old window! Thank you for sharing it with “Let’s Talk Vintage!”

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