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.
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.
I didn’t want to cover the entire window pane with images, so I left a few sections alone.
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.
Use the towel to gently rub away the paper. It will look like this:
I scratched some pieces with my finger to wear away the photo a little bit, giving it more of a vintage feel.
Once all the paper has been wiped away, apply one last coat of Mod Podge, and let dry.
I tied some dried flowers to the corner of the window pane with twine to add a little something extra!
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.
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!
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.
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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