How to Make a Windowpane Frame

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Things You'll Need

  • Drop cloth
  • Old, multiple-pane wooden window
  • Newspaper
  • Painter's tape
  • Putty knife
  • Stiff-bristled brush
  • Paint remover
  • Sandpaper -- fine-grit
  • Soft cloth
  • Stain or paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towel
  • Photographs
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue
  • Cardboard
  • Box cutter
  • Staple gun
  • Metal saw tooth hanger and screw set
  • Screwdriver

You can create a picture frame from an old wooden windowpane. These are square or rectangular in shape, and consist of multiple panes of glass. Each glass pane is capable of displaying a treasured family photo. Together, these photos create a collage of memories suitable for display on a living room wall. You can paint or stain the wood of the window to match the color scheme of your existing decor, or keep the weathered wood as is to enjoy the natural vintage look.

Cover a work area with a large drop cloth. Place an old wooden window with multiple panes faceup on a flat surface.

Cut out pieces of newspaper 1/2 inch smaller than the pieces of glass in your frame. Layer the newspapers two or three sheets thick on top of each piece of glass. Tape around the sides of the newspaper with painters tape to secure it to the glass -- making sure it's completely covered. Avoid covering any portion of the surrounding wood.

Use a putty knife or stiff-bristled brush to scrape the old paint from the wood of the window. Apply paint remover, if there are multiple layers of paint or if the paint is hard to remove. Read all instructions and warnings on the paint remover's label before using. Scrape the paint from the frame after applying the remover.

Smooth the wood of the window by rubbing it down with sandpaper. Wipe the wood with a soft cloth to remove the dust caused by sanding.

Apply wood stain or paint to the wood. Brush on the stain, let it set for the required time according to the product's instructions, and then wipe off the excess with a soft cloth. Or if painting the wood, apply it in long, one-directional strokes with the paintbrush. Allow the coat of paint to dry thoroughly, and apply a second coat if the first does not adequately cover the wood. Let the stain or paint dry thoroughly.

Remove the painter's tape and newspaper from each pane of glass. Spray a window cleaner onto both sides of each glass pane -- front and back. Wipe off the cleaner with paper towels to remove any dust or smudges. Lay the frame facedown on the work surface.

Select a photograph for each pane of glass. Create a backing for small photographs that do not fill up the entire space of the glass, by cutting a piece of printed scrapbook paper equal in size to the glass pane. Tape or glue the picture to the center of the paper's printed side.

Place each photograph facedown over the back of the glass pane you've selected for it. Tape the photo in place with a piece of painter's tape, at the top and bottom.

Lay a piece of cardboard on a flat surface, and measure and mark a square or rectangle the same size as your frame. Cut the cardboard to the size of the frame with a box cutter. Lay the cardboard onto the back of the window over the taped photographs. Attach the cardboard to the back of the window frame using a staple gun. Place a staple through the cardboard every 2 inches around the perimeter of the window.

Attach a metal saw tooth hanger at the top of the frame. Center the hanger on the top piece of wood on the back of the window. Insert the screws through either side of the hanger and into the frame's wood, using a screwdriver.


  • Give your window frame a vintage look by sanding off the paint on the edges and corners of the wooden sashes.

    Measure the size of the window panes, if any glass is missing. Take your measurements to a local glass shop to have replacement pieces of glass cut, if needed.


Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images