Visit 217+ old window ideas to upcycle! (with tutorials)

Visit 217+ old window ideas using vintage wooden windows! All these upcycled projects lead to full tutorials so you can make them too!

Visit 217+ old window ideas using vintage wooden windows! All these upcycled projects lead to full tutorials so you can make them too!

Old windows are so fun to create projects with! They can diy into so many wonderful and useful things other than just being old window frames!

Plus, old windows can also work with any decorating theme. Whether you decorate modern, industrial or farmhouse, you can adapt them into your own style.

old window greenhouse at The Back Porch at Harrison Hot Springs, BC

Touring an old window greenhouse

What can I do with an old window?

Your options to decorate with old windows are limitless! Here’s a few suggestions, but be sure to check out all the features in this post for some massive old window inspiration!

where to find old windows to decorate with

Where do you find old windows?

Old window shopping can be very economical! Just be on the lookout everywhere you go. In most cases, I find old windows being given away for free! The above window windfall was at a local garage sale, so you just never know.

Here’s a few places to try:

  • flea markets
  • garage sales
  • curbside finds
  • thrift stores
  • from friends or family
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • watch for old buildings being demolished and ask
  • salvage yards

How to shop for old windows

Are old windows worth anything?

Old windows can be worth something if they are large, unique and in really good condition. I’ve spotted elaborate vintage windows at salvage yards for hundreds of dollars if the glass panes are unique, all the way to free from the curb.

But if you land an old free window you love and wish to create with, that is priceless in my book! 

How to prepare old windows for decorating

Whether you plan to use an old window in its present condition or you wish to clean it up, I suggest to do a little prep work to ensure it’s safe to create with:

  1. ensure the window panes are intact or repaired
  2. or remove all the glass window panes so they are safer to create with
  3. brush off any loose paint outdoors, wearing gloves and breathing protection
  4. seal old windows for safety with a protectant to avoid lead exposure if you don’t plan to repaint. I like using Tough Coat Matte Finish by Fusion Mineral Paint. HERE is how I protected old chippy wood with a DIY mirror frame.
  5. or repaint with a quality furniture paint, such as Fusion Mineral Paint. (get 10% off all products HERE)

So let’s create!

This post shares 217+ creative window ideas to make, all leading to tutorials. Simply scroll through the main features below, as well as check out the add-on projects at the bottom of this post for more!

This post contains some affiliate links in which I earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases through these links, at no extra cost to you. Thank-you for helping to support my blog!

217+ repurposed old window ideas

Old window for wreath by A Pretty Life in the Suburbs featured on Funky Junk Interiors

Wreath hanger

Old window backdrop for a wreath via A Pretty Life in the Suburbs

This old window is the perfect rustic backdrop for an equally rustic wreath. Layering your decorating can bring a much more substantial focus to projects and this old window does that well! Perfect for living room wall decor and more.

Old window turned gorgeous mirror, by Finding Home, featured on Funky Junk Interiors

Window mirror

Vintage window mirror by Finding Home

Have a window frame without glass panes? Flip it into a window bathroom mirror instead!

Mirrors help bounce light around, especially useful in darker areas. Although this particular sample isn’t used for looking into, it’s my bet the entry way is much brighter because of it! Gorgeous!

This whole setup is perfect as a towel holder or for an entryway or mudroom or to display jewelry.

Old window and string picture frame by funkyjunkinteriors.net

Window picture frame

Wood-framed window with string for picture frame via Funky Junk Interiors

Try this cool idea using an old window as a picture frame!  Each old black and white photo is held in place with string for a rustic/modern twist. It’s an interesting and beautiful way to frame a keepsake photograph, especially if the old window comes from a childhood home.

This would make a great addition to any empty wall or shelf.


Old window Christmas sign with burlap by Denise on a Whim, featured on Funky Junk Interiors

Old window Christmas sign

Old window Christmas sign with burlap by Denise on a Whim

Could a single window pane Christmas sign get any cozier looking? Love the rustic warmth of burlap with this fun, festive Christmas message! 


Old window reclaimed wood cabinet, by Bliss Ranch, featured on Funky Junk Interiors

Old window storage cabinet

Old window reclaimed wood cabinet, by Bliss Ranch

This used window flipped into a gorgeous storage cabinet from reclaimed wood is a true, one of a kind treasure, custom built to suit the window used! The depth of this DIY project would make a fabulous kitchen, bathroom cabinet or handy jewelry organizer.


Old window chalkboard calendar by Thistlewood Farms, featured on Funky Junk Interiors

Window chalkboard

Large window chalkboard calendar by Thistlewood Farms

One of my favorite ideas is to flip a huge old window with many panes into a productive chalkboard! The sections act well to separate days from tasks making it a perfect family command center. Or possible a massive calender in an office.

This idea would work well using chalkboard paint or any furniture paint, such as Fusion Mineral Paint’s Coal Black or Ash.

Get all Fusion Mineral Paint products for 10% off HERE


Old window pergola by Somewhat Quirky, featured on Funky Junk Interiors

Old window garden pergola

Old window pergola by Somewhat Quirky

Could your own backyard or flowerbeds use a little garden art? These old window frames turned into a garden pergola add so much interest to plain posts! Can also be scaled smaller for a garden arbor. Can you imagine vines winding through all the frames or hanging a garden swing from this structure?

What a charming addition this would be to a greenhouse or garden shed!


junk styled mantel with old window and rusty lantern and other old antiques / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Old window mantel decor

Junk styled mantel with old window and rusty relics / Funky Junk Interiors

Gather up your finest finds from flea markets for this funky layered mantel with a salvaged rustic vibe. Start with an old window as the base, then layer collections around the old window from there.


Old windows Christmas fireplace mantel / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Layered windows Christmas mantel decor

Old windows Christmas fireplace mantel / Funky Junk Interiors

Doesn’t this old window mantel resemble a snowy cabin in the woods, flickering with the warmth of a fireplace? Realistic indoor snow tips in this one too! Gather up a group of old windows from salvage yards to get this look!

garden shed 2014-3133

Old windows on a garden shed

Old windows on a shed / Funky Junk Interiors

Have you ever thought to enhance a garden shed with old windows? The windows were positioned first, then the siding built around them. this old window frame idea certainly adds a dash of window authenticity to this shed, doesn’t it?

DIY window box planters on a garden shed

Window box planters on a garden shed

Window box planters on a garden shed

Here’s an updated version of the garden shed shown above! The shed has been rebuilt, although the same old window exists. But now each old window showcases window box planters for added garden charm!

Old window junk display via Funky Junk Interiors

Window string art

Old window string junk display via Funky Junk Interiors

With the same idea as the photo string wrapped window, here’s how you can wrap other trinkets in the window instead! A vintage rolling pin and wooden spoon provide the perfect kitchen art. Kind of resembles a shadow box appearance, doesn’t it?

Create a frosty faux ice-covered window

Did you know you can create your own ice on an old window? This is a spray product that turns into ice crystals once it hits glass! It’s amazing.

View Crystal Frost Spray on Amazon HERE

Homemade pumpkin pie window sign with stencils

Old window fall sign

Homemade pumpkin pie sign for kitchen decor

Team up the perfect Homemade Pumpkin Pie stencil with an old window to stencil up this charming fall sign that is perfect for fall kitchen decor! This tutorial teaches you how to stencil on glass, fix mistakes and more.

View the Homemade Pumpkin Pie stencil HERE

Summer directional signs in an old window frame

Old window directional signs frame

Summer directional window signs

Need more than one sign for a given project? Create a directional sign using an old window frame with individual panes you can hang each sign inside! This vacation themed sign includes Cabins, Rentals and Beach all made from THIS GETAWAY COLLECTION OF STENCILS.

Pumpkin Spice fall sign with a window

Fall Pumpkin Spice window sign

Pumpkin Spice window sign

Make a fall Pumpkin Spice sign with an old window frame, but don’t forget to add the hooks to hang up your mugs! This sign offers a fun chalkboard look that can become the starting point of so many different looks!

View the Pumpkin Spice stencil from HERE

See even more old window ideas HERE

Check out 30+ more old window projects on Hometalk!

.

30 DIY projects you can do with an old window, on Hometalk, featured by Funky Junk Interiors


View these windows on Hometalk HERE

Visit 216+ more window features below!

 

Below are 216+ more old window projects all leading to tutorials!

Visit each one below to see them all!

Which old window project inspires you most?

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68 Comments

Hello Donna!
I’m so happy joining your great party again.
I’m going to visit those fantastic ideas with old windows, I like them so much!
Thank you for your inspiring blog!
Besos from Argentina, Silvina

Wow, look at all those windows linked up! I still love your window with string and the old photos the though. Thanks for hosting the party. Have a wonderful weekend!

I love that Finding Home used an old footboard for a coat rack! I love that you used the old frames then strung twine on it to hold mementos. That is really awesome junque. Favorite Friday night hang out!

Hi Donna… have been enjoying your blog for quite a while now and get way too many great ideas from it! Lately I’ve been a tiny bit freaked out when I open your blog in a new window and start looking around and I then I hear a voice…. it’s a video that is running in your sidebar! there is a statement above it to report it if “the video plays”… not sure to whom I should report it, but thought I’d start with you… it’s just a little bit spooky and I wonder if there is something I can do to only play the video if I choose to. Thanks, Donna!!!!

Hey Kathie! I so wish I could email you but you come up as a noreply. So I do hope you come back to read this… is the video playing Technorati or Ligit? I”m attempting to stop all the videos but need to specifically know which ones.

If ANYONE sees them playing, I’d so appreciate if you could take a screenshot of them and email or message me them so I can report them. Thank-you!

donna@funkyjunkinteriors.net

I was just browsing craft blogs and ran across yours. My daughter loves the old windows to decorate with. When we went to garage and yard sales she would always pick them up. I have to say for something I would never have thought of they do look good. I look forward to more of your posts. thks.

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What a great information you have here Donna! I am glad that I came across to this blog coz I have a new project and that was my old window. In getting makeover with my old windows, I cannot decide what should I do with it but finally I find this website. By the way thanks for sharing… 🙂 and have great day….

Wow Donna! I could look at the window link-ups alone all day. What a collection. You did a great job on your new burlap board. It’s really cute, and looks just like something you would come up with 🙂

Hey there Donna! I scored a slew of old windows and am real excited to put them to use, but didn’t think about the whole lead paint possibility. Any thoughts on lead paint on old windows and how to use them safely? I’ve tested these and the paint is leaded. Thanks!

As I don’t have small children in my home, I sand off anything chippy, then ensure it’s clean and left untouched and hang to display. But please do so at your own risk!

If you wanted to be ultra safe, you could seal the paint with something else to ensure toxins stayed put, or just paint over them with a bonded primer, then repaint as desired.

The safest of course is to not have anything with lead paint indoors. But I find as long as the object isn’t disturbed, no issues here.

I have the same issue with some awesome windows from an old family home I want to use. I assume they have lead but want to utilize the natural chipping texture and look safely. Any ideas on how to work with them?

Hi KS, I’d suggest a spray sealer of some type if you are concerned. Although if the paint isn’t airborne and is well out of everyday reach and handling, it may be ok as is. You are wise to question it!

Thanks so much for your thoughts! Sealing it does sound like a good idea. Is it any particular sealant I need to look for? Maybe I could just pull off the loose paint chips and then seal it. From what I read sanding it is a no no due to the lead. The windows are kind of like a family heirloom so I want to use them somehow to display family photos. Hoping to be able to figure it out! Thanks for your help.

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I have a question about working with old windows. Do you just assume they have lead based paint and if so what do you do to ensure it is safe and won’t contaminate someone with this project? I am worried about making someone sick later. Help

Thank you,
Tiffany

Hi Tiffany,

As I don’t have small children in my home, I really don’t worry about it. I really do leave them untouched for the most part which is the key to things covered in lead paint.

You could coat them with a clear sealer of some type for protection. I like to use sprays as they’re easier to apply.

I have some old windows I would like to make picture frame but I’m worried about the old paint flaking off.I don’t want to take it off because it is so cool looking is there something I can put over it to keep it from flaking
Tina

Hi Tina,

What you’ll need to do is brush off the loose paint first, then spray it with a flat or satin spray sealer for further protection. You can try sealing flaky paint but there’s no guarantee it’ll hold if it isn’t attached to something. Good luck!

Need unusual ideals for decorating old windows so I can place it above my fireplace mantel.
Thank you, Cherene Beck 🙂

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xo
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