When the window installers removed my old dining room windows last Friday, I initially told them to go ahead and haul off the old windows. Then I had a change of heart. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing those old windows be thrown into the landfill (which I’m certain is where they’d be headed if they hauled them off for me), so I got online and started looking at different ways to repurpose old windows. There are so many amazing ideas out there! These barely scratch the surface, but here are a few of my favorite ideas:
1. Make a headboard
DIY headboards don’t get much simpler than this, and you can hang as many windows as you want to really make a statement.
2. Turn a window into a corkboard
I really love this design using corks from wine bottles, but if you’re not a wine drinker/cork collector, you can use sheets of cork available at craft stores.
3. Use windows as a space divider
Hanging old windows is a great way to add definition to open spaces, and this idea can be used inside as well as outside.
4. Incorporate a window into a fence design
An old window adds interest to this garden fence, but I can also imagine small windows being incorporated into a standard privacy fence.
5. Use windows as doors on a cabinet
Adding old windows to a bookcase or DIY cabinet design turns it into a beautiful and unique curio cabinet.
6. Build a mini greenhouse
I love this design for a mini greenhouse to store outdoor plants for the winter.
7. Make a chalkboard calendar
Replace the glass with panels of MDF covered in chalkboard paint, and you have the perfect calendar or days of the week to-do list.
8. Create a family command center
If you need more organization than just a calendar, this command center is the perfect design. It includes a mail organizer, weekly menu, calendar, and an area for lists.
9. Create a mini garden house
I have no idea if this serves any purpose other than being decorative, but this mini garden house is one of my absolute favorite ideas. It’s the cutest thing, looks easy to build, and can be decorated for the seasons.
10. Use windows in a kitchen island design
This is another favorite idea of mine. Too bad I have no room for a kitchen island! The windows really make this island look special and custom.
11. Make stained glass artwork
Actual stained glass takes quite a bit of practice, and probably many years to master. But you can fake it with an old window, pieces of colored glass, and clear silicone caulk.
12. Turn a window into a coffee table
I’ve seen many different window coffee table designs, but Marty’s is not only one of my favorites, but I think hers was the first coffee table I had ever seen made out of a window. The top opens so that the decorative items inside can be changed out.
13. Make decorative window boxes
I love this idea for adding interest to storage buildings, fences, or other outdoor areas that need a little bit of dressing up.
14. Make a bathroom wall cabinet
This bathroom cabinet is so pretty, and perfectly shows off the items inside. But if you don’t have pretty items to fill your cabinet, you could always change out the glass for mirrors, and it would be practical not only as storage, but also as an extra mirror, which is always a bonus in a bathroom.
15. Use a window to frame a family portrait
I’ve seen all kinds of windows used as frames for artwork and pictures, but this design using one large photo to fill up the whole window (rather than individual photos for each pane of glass) is my favorite.
16. Turn a window into a shadow box
Shadow boxes are very simple to build, and this one takes it up a notch with the addition of lights inside.
17. Use as a backdrop for artwork
This is a brilliant idea for making your artwork appear larger than it is. If you have a piece of artwork that you really like, but it’s not quite large enough for the space you want to display it, layer it over a much larger window to make the whole thing more in scale with your wall or mantel.
18. Build a greenhouse out of old windows
This is my absolute favorite idea, and this is what I’m hoping to do with my old windows one day. I’ll have to wait until I have all of my windows replaced (five down, twelve to go!), and I’ll probably have to collect a few more before I can do this, but this is my goal. There are so many design ideas for old window greenhouses online, so I’m not quite sure just yet what I want mine to look like, but I have a while to plan it.
19. Turn an old window into a decorative wall mirror
This is a simple and elegant idea, and makes the perfect mirror for any entryway.
20. Turn a window into a fireplace screen
I never would have thought of this idea, but it’s brilliant! The only challenge might be finding the perfectly sized window, but if you can find one, it makes a beautiful fireplace screen.
21. Build a movable window wall
A temporary, movable window wall is great for providing definition between spaces, especially in a small home where you don’t necessarily want solid walls to block sight lines. The window wall defines spaces without closing off rooms from each other and making spaces feel smaller.
What ideas have you come across for old windows that I’ve missed? There are quite a few of these ideas that I’d love to try myself, but for now, my plan is to save mine up for a greenhouse. That’s the goal, at least.