On an outing to Woodstock a few years ago I bought a beautiful old window frame with the idea of turning it into a mirror. The beauty of thrift shopping in Woodstock is how easy you can get crazy cheap furniture that are remarkably neat and of good quality. My frame was totally intact, still had all its glass and was neatly painted white. This is always a bonus as paint helps to protect and reserve wood. I wanted my mirror to have a more vintage look so it also meant a great deal of sanding. And quarrelling with my dear husband - he just can not seem to get his head around the "distressed look". But without him this project definitely would not have seen the light! He helped me (one whole day!) to take out all the glass in a safe way. So here is your first tip: Choose the one which requires the least amount of hard labour when on the lookout for your window frame!
When the frame has the look you want and is clean from all glass and old putty you can start installing the mirror pieces. Here is a few tips:
- Use white putty. Especially if your frame is mostly white like mine.
- Make sure to cut the mirrors the same size as the open spaces at the back of the frame. The opening from the front is usually a bit smaller to create surface for your putty to stick to.
- After installing all the mirrors, turn your frame to face you and use a putty knife to carefully work some putty into the open spaces around the mirrors. It is easier to do when your frame is leaning against a wall. Be careful not to push to hard as the putty is still soft and you can push the mirrors out again.
- Use the knife at a sharp angle. It sets the putty more neatly and tightly.
Make sure the let the putty dry completely before cleaning your mirrors or hanging the frame. Window putty can be quite greasy and make the mirrors look dull. Window cleaner and paper towel work best to remove this. AND yes, this project is time consuming. And yes, it is hard work. But it is so rewarding!
Here are some inspiration for 4 other ways to up-cycle a window frame:
- Photo, Poster or Wallpaper Window - Cut your picture/poster/wallpaper in even blocks to fit the open spaces of your frame. Fix the pieces with tape on the back. Avoid using double-sided tape as it will be difficult to remove from the glass when it is time for a change.
- Wire jewellery / potplant holder - Cover the back of your frame with wire netting (chicken wire) after removing the glass windows. Use it in the bedroom to display your jewels. If you lucky enough to have a larger frame, use it in the garden by arranging small pots of plants and herbs on it using pieces of wire.
- Chalkboard Window - Paint the glass with chalk paint to write your favourite quotes or shopping lists on.
- Pin Board - Replace the glass with cork to create the perfect pin board.