Sunday, August 9, 2009

DIY Salvaged Window Photo Frame

This is really neither here, nor there. I took this photo tonight right at dusk, while Cory and Calvin and Mr. Eby were wrestling the ponies into the new pasture. But that's a whole 'nother story...

On with the show!

A year or more ago, I saw the fantastic idea to turn an old, multi-paned window into a collage frame.

In May, I finally found my frame. (Note: It's important to search for a window with panes that are not too large. It may take a little longer to find it, but you'll want to have frames that you can use for normal, everyday-sized pics.)

I then hauled the window into Hobby Lobby where I was greeted by a most annoyed employee in the framing department. She loathed my chippy, old window. I could tell. She wasn't even polite or friendly to my kids - that's how much she abhorred it.

I asked nicely if it would be possible to have mats cut for the window panes. Her first quote came back at a very matter-of-fact $60. I nicely told her that I did not want to spend that much and would think of something else. I nicely thanked her for her time. See how nice I was?

As I was walking away, she sighed and said, "Well, I suppose I could give you a quote for paper mats. Typically people would only want acid-free mats, but paper may do for...that."

I don't want to come right out and say what the new quote was. It's a simple matter of discretion. What I will tell you is that it was roughly, exactly half of the first quote. Sold.

I planned to put this together for my Mother-in-law, since she has 7 grandkids and is photo-happy and often asks me for ideas on how she can display more pics of her cuties. So, my next step was to have all of us girls print off a black and white 5x7 of each kiddo. Cheap and easy. Hallelujah, technology! I'm sorry for all the mean things I've said about you in the past...

Each photo did require several inches of cropping. This is the sum total of supplies needed to fully execute this cockamamie plan of mine.

I used a very scientific method to crop the pictures. I held the mat over each one and then looked closely and muttered to myself something along the lines of, "Crop right below her cute foot", or, "Crop just to the right of his chubby hand", or in one case in particular, "Crop somewhere near the zipper."

I didn't win my high school science award for nothing.

Next, I carefully taped the edges of each picture onto the back of the photo mat.

I decided to order the pictures in the frame according to age. Once they were all in order, I taped the edges right to the edges of the "frame".

Cory assisted with attaching the hanging hardware.

Voila! I love it so much, I may need to start looking for another window. (Guess who we're saving that empty space for??)

Now, because it's way past my bedtime and I have had a rather blah evening of working on stuff for my pays-the-bills job, I decided to add one final image. And because the previous photos were about as bland and colorless as day-old mashed potatoes, I wanted something with color. Something with life.

Earlier tonight, Cory attempted to get a shot of me with the kids as they were just digging in to their bedtime snacks. This was the best take. Calvin is grabbing his throat in agony, Ruby is wondering what on earth his problem is, and I appear to be impaling myself with a wooden dowel.

I think I shall call this "Keeping it real on a Sunday night".


  1. You are a hoot! and that smile looks so REAL!
    Keep lookin up. There are better days ahead (like 3 kids - all sick at the same time - HA!).

    Love your photo/frame idea. I needed an idea for my 5 instead of 4 children :)

    Missed ya yesterday.

  2. Ponies? In the new pasture? Seriously? When can we come over?

  3. That is a fantastic photo frame idea....Your mom is going to LOVE it!

  4. That really came out nice! I love it! Great tip on asking for paper mats - sorry the clerk didn't appreciate your creative vision!

  5. That turned out great. Folks put those windows out on the curb all the time.

  6. This is one of the best picture frame window projects I've seen. It looks fantastic!

  7. Love, love, love your window! I can't wait to see it all filled up. Emma was just asking this morning when you are going to meet your new little guy.

    I bet your mother-in-law is going to adore that gift from her adorable daughter-in-law.

  8. Wow girl you are crafty! That turned out absolutely perfect. I want one:)

  9. I like it, more like love it! great idea. also, the picture of you and the kids is classic...too funny!

  10. Hey there! I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I just found your blog over the weekend and have been enjoying it oh so much!

  11. Oh my goodness...I love your window turned frame. I've seen it done similarly before, but it was a little different looking. They used fabric instead of matte paper.

  12. I am not as brave as you to do keeping it real shots - I crop myself out of most okay all photos! Love the window frame, and I have been wanting one for forever and haven't spotted a window that would work. Looks great!


  13. Oh, I love it!!!

    hilarious how some people don't simply adore chippy projects like we do :)

  14. Great frame! I've been on the look out for old window frames for a while but I have yet to strike gold. I am sure your mother-in-law will LOVE it!

  15. Love your window. I did the same thing with a vintage window a couple of years ago. :)


  16. seriously girl, you are TOO MUCH FUN!! If we lived closer, I KNOW we would be kindred spirits!!!

  17. I think your idea was wonderful. It turned out great. I have a little shop and I have some old French Doors that mommy's are always wanting me to sell. I have other plans that you can read about on my blog. So come on over for a visit.

  18. I think it turned out fantastic! I've had an old chippy window for over a year now that I intended to do something very similar with. It's just finding the time to do it.

  19. Goodness, is that ever a cute frame! And why are you impaling yourself? No worries, it looks like if the impaling took your life, Ruby would be able to take care of EVERYthing including Calvin!

  20. What a FABULOUS idea!!! You are so creative.
    I love it...

    If you get a chance come by my Blog for a visit and say hi. I have put up quite a few new posts and will be putting more up this week from the San Francisco International Gift Fair where my Pillow Collection was featured and Romantic Homes who has featured my Pillows in their beautiful magazine.

    Have a great week,

  21. hello! i just popped over from jen's blog. what a sweet blog you have and your project is just wonderful!


  22. I love the honestly in your blog! The frame is just super. I would love to have pictures of my little ones done just like that. Thanks for sharing.


  23. This has turned out beautifully.

    You should take it back to the craft store to show the assistant - but she probably STILL would not appreciate it!

  24. i love the way your window turned out. i have done them before, actually have one hanging right now. i never thought of matting out the pictures from behind. love it :O) it looks wonderful.

  25. This is such a cute idea! I think I may be searching for an old window pane soon....

    And ponies?!? Is that a story you are going to tell? I hope so :)

  26. Love the frame, but your comments on the last picture are sending me reeling into peals of laughter on the floor. heee heee hee!

  27. I am smitten. I love this so much! The window frame is FANTASTIC! What was that lady thinking!

  28. Well-done, you crafty girl, you! I am impressed. Where in the heck do you get the time to be crafty when you've got potty incidents going on? It was all I could do just to get my laundry in when we were in that stage. Thanks for the great idea.

  29. This was a very interesting timed post, that is all I can say...

  30. So... I have a old window I wanted to make into a frame, but I never thought of MATTING!! Thanks for the incredible idea!!! Also, if you are ever looking for a customized banner for your blog, it's my little "stay at home mom" extra money job!

  31. nice images...

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