3 Ways To Use Antique Window Panes

Old window panes make beautiful decorations. I love hanging them up on my wall because, even though they don’t actually allow you to see outside, they remind me of peering into or out of a beautiful little cottage surrounded by overgrown gardens. I recently acquired a bunch of antique window panes from a friend who works on houses, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to try out some cool ways to use them. If you’re on the hunt for some old window panes, my best advice is to just keep an eye out. I’ve had luck finding them on the side of the road — people like to get rid of them after renovating their homes or sheds. You can also find window panes at flea markets and other antique shops.

I’m going to show you three different ways to use them! The first two use the same materials: a window pane, photos printed on regular paper (images from a newspaper will also work), Mod Podge, a foam sponge, and a towel.

Mod Podge, window pane

I recently took a trip to a beautiful garden on Long Island, where I was able to take some lovely photos. I printed a bunch of these out on computer paper to use on my window panes.

1. Photo transfer onto wood.

First, cut the photos out – some I cut into strips, others I cut into various shapes according to the photo. Using this photo transfer technique, cover each photo with a thick coat of Mod Podge and secure in place, smoothing out any air bubbles with an item like a credit card.

Mod Podge on paper

I didn’t want to cover the entire window pane with images, so I left a few sections alone.

Window pane with paper

Allow the Mod Podge to dry completely, about 1-2 hours. Then, lay a damp towel over each section, letting the water soak in for about 10 minutes.

Towel, window pane

Use the towel to gently rub away the paper. It will look like this:

Photo transfer, window pane

I scratched some pieces with my finger to wear away the photo a little bit, giving it more of a vintage feel.

Photo transfer on window pane

Once all the paper has been wiped away, apply one last coat of Mod Podge, and let dry.

Mod Podge, photo transfer, window pane

I tied some dried flowers to the corner of the window pane with twine to add a little something extra!

Flower photo transfer on window pane

2. Decoupaged glass.

Just like the photo transfer above, begin by cutting up your photos. You can cut them to fit perfectly into each pane, or cut out various shapes and sizes and layer them as you please. I did a little bit of both. Again, cover each photo with a thick coat of Mod Podge and secure in place, smoothing out any air bubbles with an item like a credit card. Make sure you do this on the back of your window pane, so that you are able to see the images when looking at the front of the window pane. This time, I covered the glass in its entirety with images.

Mod Podge

Decoupaged window

Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the back of your photos, securing them in place. Now all you have to do is wait for the Mod Podge to dry and you’re all finished!

Decoupaged antique window

3. Added crochet.

Finally, a really simple way to use antique window panes is to attach some crochet to the back. You can get crochet in all different sizes at thrift stores and flea markets, and it’s oftentimes reasonably priced. Secure it to the back of your window pane with two nails and you’re all set.

Crochet and nails

Crochet window pane

window pane crochet

The one you see above is actually hanging on my bedroom wall as we speak. I used to have it on my bathroom wall and I loved it there, too!

More home decor ideas from BLDG 25.

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10 years ago

If you’re ever in Point Pleasant, NJ definitely stop by the Antique Emporium in town! It has the best antique finds. I spend hours wandering around the isles discovering all of the discarded treasures they have to offer!

10 years ago

Oh goodness these are all lovely! I adore old window panes, and the way you have spruced them up is so lovely!

xo, Juliette Laura

10 years ago

Such cutie ideas. Thanks!

10 years ago

How funny, I have a window pane that I’ve kept for something like 3 years. Now I now exactly what to do with it! Combine this with blog posts I’ve seen about converting one into a hinged coffee table and we are in business! Thx :)

10 years ago

I have old window panes with screens hung up with all my jewelry on them!!

10 years ago

Love all of these!!

MacK @ SoulMakes Blog

10 years ago

I gotta do this!!! All great ideas!

much love

10 years ago

Love love love. Always enjoy seeing all the posts on ways to photo transfer! :)



10 years ago

Love love love. Always enjoy seeing all the posts on ways to photo transfer! :)


10 years ago

I love this!! I’m always on the lookout for some antique window panes to decorate! Glad to know someone else shares my passion for old antiques found on the side of the road :)

10 years ago

I really like that crochet one. It adds a real charm to a space.

10 years ago


10 years ago

When you say regular paper for the photos, do you mean just standard photo paper or actual writing paper? I really like this idea and want to try it, but I want to make sure I do it correctly.:)

10 years ago

So good idea. I have had one window at home and thinking what am I to do with it. Thank you :-)

6 years ago

On the mod podge pic after it dries then what do you wash it off?