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Decorate Your Home with These Old Window Ideas

Add some rustic charm to your home with these old window ideas! Old windows can be repurposed into something beautiful with little effort.

If you have a few old window frames ready to put to good use, we have plenty of ideas for your next project! These fun DIY projects are a unique touch to your home decor.

Whether you have a modern, farmhouse, or boho style, repurposed windows are an easy way to fill an empty space in your home.

Not sure what to do with old windows? You can repurpose old windows into command stations in your kitchen, space fillers on your walls or mantle, or as practical decor solutions with hooks in your mudroom. There are so many different ways to put these weathered frames to use!

There are so many DIY projects that bring new life to these worn-out window frames. For example, headboards, frames for pictures or dried flowers, or even a jewelry organizer!

Old windows

Things you can do with old windows

Old vintage windows hold so much potential for creative DIY projects! If you’ve got some lying around or stumble upon them at a thrift store or salvage yard, here are some fantastic ideas to breathe new life into these forgotten frames:

  • Picture Frame Collage: Remove the glass panes and attach your favorite photos behind each frame section. Hang them on a wall for a unique picture frame collage that adds a personal touch to any room.
  • Decorative Room Divider: Connect multiple old windows together with hinges to create a charming room divider. You can leave the glass intact for a more transparent look or replace it with frosted or colored glass for added privacy.
  • Garden Greenhouse: Calling all those with a green thumb! Turn a larger window frame into a mini greenhouse for your indoor plants or seedlings. Lean it against a sunny wall or suspend it from the ceiling with ropes for a whimsical garden-inspired display.
  • Wall Art Display: Paint the frames in coordinating colors and hang them on a wall in a clustered arrangement. Use the frame openings to display artwork, prints, or decorative fabric for an eye-catching gallery wall.
  • Shadow Box Shelves: Remove the glass and add shelves inside the frame to create unique shadow box shelves. Display small trinkets, succulents, or decorative items inside each cubby for a one-of-a-kind wall display.
  • Jewelry Organizer: Attach hooks or knobs to the bottom edge of the frame and hang it on a wall to create a stylish jewelry organizer. Add chicken wire to the frame openings to hang necklaces, bracelets, and earrings for easy access and a decorative touch.
  • Message Board: Replace the glass with a chalkboard or corkboard and use it to write messages or family schedules. You could also paint the glass panes with chalkboard paint for a command center.
  • Pot Rack: Hang a sturdy old window frame from the ceiling and attach hooks along the bottom edge to create a unique pot rack for your kitchen. Not only does it add storage space, but it also adds a rustic-chic vibe to your culinary space. This would be an awesome focal point for a kitchen island.
  • Headboard: Mount a large window frame horizontally above your bed to create a charming headboard. You can leave it as is for a vintage look or paint it to match your bedroom decor for a more cohesive style.

These are just a few old window projects to get your creative juices flowing! I’m sharing even more ideas below with some photo examples! With a little imagination and some basic DIY skills, the possibilities for repurposing old windows are endless. 

Pile of old windows

Where can I find old window frames?

This is the tricky part! Since these projects usually keep the vintage, weathered vibe, it’s hard to find “new” old window frames. But, if you know where to look, you can find some real gems!

I used to love going “alley-cating” when I lived in San Diego years ago. So many people simply throw out some of the best “junk” during renovations and decluttering. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Here are some other places to find old windows:

  • Facebook Marketplace or CraigsList
  • Antique stores, thrift stores, or flea markets
  • Garage sales, yard sales, or estate sales
  • Salvage yards
  • Curbside trash

While finding a gem on the curb is always exciting, be courteous when sifting through someone’s “trash”. Asking permission might be best in some neighborhoods.

This old windows ideas article contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend anyway! Read my full disclosure here.

How to prepare old windows for a project

Before using your old window frame, it’s a good idea to clean it up and strip away any old paint or gunk. 

A man is scraping paint off the window.

Strip away the gunk.

It’s likely that your old frame has many years of repainting tacked on. Use a metal scraper to remove every layer of paint as best you can. Mineral spirits or Krud Kutter may also be handy here!

If your window frame still has glass panes, decide if they will be utilized in the project or need to be removed. Be extremely careful when removing old glass, especially if some of the window panes are already broken or shattered.

Clean it up.

Next, dust away any loose paint chips and clean up the glass with a window cleaner. Removing the grime and dust will help the paint adhere to the frame.

Make repairs.

Take the time to re-enforce any broken pieces of wood or window hardware. Fill areas with wood filler as needed.

A man uses sandpaper to smooth the surface of an old window.

Paint or stain the project.

Sand down the wooden areas until they are smooth and all of the old paint has been removed. Wipe down the areas with a dust cloth to remove sanding residue.

Paint or stain your frame and allow it to dry completely before displaying. Then, continue with the rest of your project.

Add hooks for hanging keys, twine, and clothespins for displaying photos, or display on the wall or mantle (or however you decide to reuse your old window)!

Supplies to clean and prepare old windows

Depending on your project, here are some items that might be helpful!

Collage phoro of window decor with text overlays saying

Old Window Decor Ideas

With a little creativity and elbow grease, old windows can be repurposed into stunning decorations that add character and charm to your home. Which project will you tackle first?

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