window panes

Repurpose Your Old Window Pane for Home Decor

Whether you’ve recently replaced your windows and are left with a stack of old ones, or you’ve picked up a few vintage gems at a yard sale, there are dozens of ways to repurpose old windows into something beautiful for your home. If you’re getting the DIY itch, there are plenty of ways to repurpose your old windows in just a few hours. Read on for just a few of the most popular repurposing projects that will make an old window pane new again.

repurposed window #1

Family Message Board

This project is perfect if your old window is missing a few panes of glass. To fill in the empty panes, use pieces of plywood cut to size (tip: use router table to cut them if needed), and simply apply a coat of chalk board or magnetic paint to the front. You can also use cardboard cutouts covered with heavy fabric to create push-pin surfaces. For the intact panes, you can paint the back of glass white to create a dry-erase surface. Secure the message center directly onto the wall with nails, and you now have a hub to take phone messages, write reminders, pin pictures, or post the grocery list.

repurposed window #2

Window to Another World

Use an old window pane with colored, etched or stained glass to light up a dark room by turning it into a window to another world. Depending on the rest of your home décor, you can slide a poster or blown up photo behind the window pane to insert your own view. If you’d rather, you can print out individual pictures to place behind the panes, so the window acts as a frame. Some DIY-ers like to add a shadow box or lights to this type of frame to add interest to the piece. Perhaps you’ll add an image of your favorite vacation spot, or create a window to the past by inserting an old photo.

repurposed window #3

Glass-Topped Coffee Table

An old window pane, door hinges, and a few scraps of lumber are all that’s needed to craft a coffee or end table. Choose a window with safety glass for this project. Start by creating a sturdy base for the window-pane top. To stabilize the legs, attach horizontal pieces of wood to them using decorative door hinges. You can then glue and nail the window pane to the legs and wood panels. For a classy look, you can use mirrored glass under the panes instead of just plain glass.

repurposed window #4

Cold Frame for the Garden

If you have a particularly old or vintage window, you can use it out in the garden to add a little personal touch. You can keep tender plants thriving during cold weather by building a cold frame out of your old pane. A window pane hinged to a simple box frame lets you crack open the window to let air in during the day and close it in the afternoon to lock in warmth on chilly nights. Build the frame higher in the back to allow for water runoff. Use corner stakes to keep the box in place, and find a small chunk of wood to allow you to prop the box open and close it when you like.


Whether you hang them on the wall, plant them in the garden, or use them as tables, old windows are a creative way to personalize your home and garden. Make them look new by sanding with a best rated orbital sander, painting or staining them as part of their transformation, or use them as-is to add rustic appeal to any room. The information for this article was provided by the Ottawa window experts at Comfort King Windows & Doors Ltd.