Recycled Window Picture Frame

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Don’t pass by that discarded wooden window in the trash. Turn it into a Recycled Window Picture Frame! Old wooden windows can be repurposed into many wonderful, useful things. We have a greenhouse made from repurposed windows and I saved a few extra windows out for other projects. Let friends and family know you are looking, check salvage stores and call window replacement companies to locate old windows for free or cheap.

Here’s part of my little window stash. Several of my vintage finds will become picture frames to display my own art work. This project is planned as a birthday gift for my favorite junking buddy. Once you have a frame, here’s what to do:



Recycled Window Picture Frame

Step 1 ~ Find some old windows!

Clean the frame, let it dry and then whitewash it with white indoor or outdoor paint. I do this with a very dry brush (dip the brush in the paint and then wipe most of the paint off on the side of the can). Wipe the paint off as you go on the frame with an old rag or paper towel so some of the color underneath shows through. Let it dry thoroughly.

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Step 2 ~ Use a very dry brush and paint the frame, wipe some of the paint off as you go

Sanding the frame will yield a distressed finish with some of the original color showing through. This is best done outside or in a well-ventilated area as it causes a bit of dust. (Caution: if your window is old it may contain lead paint. Wet hand sanding and/or an electric sander equipped with a HEPA filtered vacuum attachment should be used)

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Step 3 ~ Lightly sand the entire frame and then wipe with a damp rag

A foam sanding block is inexpensive and perfect for getting a distressed finish. Sand a bit more on edges and corners to give the frame a well-loved worn look.

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Step 4 ~ Distress corners and edges a bit more.

Recycled Window Picture Frames

Step 5 ~ measure a pane opening on the back of the frame, draw it out on cardboard and cut out a cardboard template. Make sure it fits snugly in the pane.

Use the cardboard template to cut out three more cardboard pieces that will be the backing behind the pictures. Make sure to measure carefully! Now use the cardboard template to cut the prints to size.

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Step 6 ~ Insert pictures and cardboard backing. Secure with glazier points using the flat end of a putty knife to push them into the panes.

Here’s the finished Recycled Window Picture Frame with prints of some of my bird paintings.

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Finished Recycled Widow Picture Frame !

But something just wasn’t right and I couldn’t put my finger on it to save me! So I showed the project to my artist friend and she saw the problem right away. “The birds should face inward, not outward”, she said. And so I took it all apart and redid it. I think she is on to something, don’t you?

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Recycled Window Picture Frame

Here’s another great inspiration for recycling an old picture frame!

Quilt scraps framed in an old window

Frame quilt scraps up in an old window ~ Our Fairfield Home and Garden

Check out prints of my watercolor paintings that you can purchase for your own projects at

See the Repurposed Windows Greenhouse! Click here!

Repurposed Windows Greenhouse

Repurposed Windows Greenhouse

Repurposed Window Picture Frame

Repurposed Window Picture Frame

Our Fairfield Home and Garden Shop

Buy Barb Rosen’s birdprints and make your own vintage window art! Shop now by clicking on Our Fairfield Home and Garden’s shop!



16 Responses so far.

  1. Michele says:

    This is so lovely. I am looking for something to do with one of my old windows. Your artist friend was right; turning the birds inward makes a huge difference.

  2. Lorraine says:

    Adorable, as usual. Definitely like the birds facing each other! Good tips on distressing pieces, too, Barb.

  3. Cecilia says:

    Great idea! Love your bird paintings. Your friend was right…by switching the birds to face in, it keeps your eyes from wandering out of the painting (or window, in your case). Your friend should love her gift! It’s beautiful!

  4. Joan moser says:

    The bird prints are awesom . Where did you find them?

  5. Tami says:

    Where did u find the music\bird print? As the birds have the music print on them?

  6. joan says:

    Hi Barb, love this idea! did you paint the birds on the glass of the windows or are they pictures?

  7. Teri says:

    Hi, I have some old windows that came from my parents original home And old music books that my brother and I practiced piano with. How do I get prince of these birds to do this so that I can preserve some of my family history?

    • Barb says:

      So glad you like my watercolor painting, Teri! The prints are from my own artwork, paintings of birds in our garden. If you want to use your own sheet music, perhaps you can down load some printables of birds – google it and good luck!

  8. Carol says:

    Did you paint the music notes or did you use paper with the musical notes, etc already printed on it. I understand that you painted the birds. No matter which way you did it. It is a great idea for old windows. Beautiful work. I also like the old quilt scrapes idea. I did a shadow box using pieces of an old quilt my mother made I put crocheted pieces and miniature sewing objects along with a poem called “Mother’s Quilt” in the shadow box and gave it to my sister to take with her to Saudi Arabia for an extended stay. You could do Thames thing with old windows. Really like your work. Carol

    • Barb says:

      Thanks for your kind note, Carol! I painted directly onto old sheet music with my watercolor paints for these bird
      pictures. Your shadow box idea sounds lovely!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers