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brown paper packages: {window trash-to-treasure}

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

{window trash-to-treasure}

I have had about a million things hanging in one particular spot in my dining room, and one by one, they've all come down and been replaced by something else. Admittedly, I do change my mind a lot, and I like to switch things up, but usually once I find something that just "clicks", it tends to stay put.

Well, I think I've found the one! I discovered this old window on the side of the road one Sunday on my way home from church, and sacrificed my dress to haul it in my vehicle, along with a couple others. Worth it? Definitely. It didn't have any panes, but it was large (45x18), and I immediately knew what I wanted to do, and where it would go.

After painting it red, then sanding it to death, it has the weathered appearance that I love. I chose one of my most favorite quotes--one that's hung in my parents' home for a long time, and reminds me of my family, and added it in vinyl to the front of the window. I really, really love it, and it's the perfect complement to my red ticking curtains.

Do you love old windows too? Try looking at your local or nearest Habitat Re-Store. I also look up the heavy trash days in my town, and go out the night before to look for them. Focus on older neighborhoods, where the likelihood of window replacement is higher. Tell friends what you're looking for, and let them help too! Just last week I got a call from a friend that spotted some for me. Just look for ones that are wood, have a solid frame, and don't have cracked or broken glass.



Blogger Mandy said...

great find!!

November 16, 2010 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Kelli @ RTSM said...

I love old windows! I have one hanging above the headboard in my master bedroom and I turned an old frame into a message center in my kitchen!

November 16, 2010 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Kim's Treasures said...

It looks great!

November 16, 2010 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

You did such a nice job! I love that quote. I'm going to be on the look-out for a window, thanks for the idea. :)

November 16, 2010 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Carrie Snider said...

That is a cute idea! We have an old house and will replace the windows eventually, I can't wait to have them to decorate with. FYI if you take a window to a home improvement store like Lowes, they typically have a glass cutting section. It's really easy for them to measure and cut out the glass at the right size. It's pretty inexpensive too. Then they can point you toward the putty you need to install the glass (check out How To videos online too). We just did this with a broken pane from our basement window.

November 16, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Sarah Takens said...

I love your blog so I gave you an award! Find it at

November 16, 2010 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Veronica said...

LOVE this idea!! I'll be doing this one if I can find the right wondow :)

November 16, 2010 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Rebecka said...

If you don't mind paying a few dollars for them, sometimes glass shops or businesses that do window replacement will have the old window panes for sale at a great price.
It never hurts to ask 'em.

November 16, 2010 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

How do you make the vinly letters???

November 16, 2010 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I LOVE this!! Nicely done.

November 16, 2010 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

Darling Kierste!!!

November 16, 2010 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

This looks great. I'm on the lookout for a window to make into an end table. Good tip on searching before trash pick-ups!

November 16, 2010 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger The Lowe Family said...

Ok!!! This one just might be my favorite...and hopefully a keeper in that spot :). I love how it all turned are so good with those old windows. I still have 2 in my garage to make magic with...

November 16, 2010 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I love it! Great find. Lucky duck! :) My eyes are peeled -- hopefully I will find one before it snows --- I've got a great Christmas idea in mind!

November 16, 2010 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Yes, I think that is definitely a keeper!! Love it!!

November 16, 2010 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger ShannonFoster said...

That is a great idea...we have a man in our hometown who takes windows off of old period homes. puts mirrors in, and polishes the wood. I love the rustic feel of them. I got my husband one for Christmas last year - He loved it! But it was definitely not as cost effective as your find!

November 17, 2010 at 3:16 AM  
Blogger brown paper packages said...

Carrie & Becky--

Thank you so much for the tips about replacing glass. It definitely would open up the options!


I order my vinyl from a company called writings on the wall. Their link is in my right sidebar--just click on it and it will take you to their site. Call and talk to Becky--she's awesome!

November 17, 2010 at 8:17 AM  
Blogger Brandy said...

I love it! Wow, you are so creative!

November 17, 2010 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

I have never even thought about doing something like that--LOVE IT.

November 17, 2010 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger MeenyMoe said...

Love it!! You have inspired me to dig out my Cricut and make something similar! :) -Karen

November 17, 2010 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Gremma said...

That is one of my favorite sayings! You have inspired me to remove the little cross stitch I have of it and find a window. Would you be willing to share the fonts? Thanks so much!

November 17, 2010 at 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is wonderful. I love the quote!

November 20, 2010 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Logan , Jennifer, and Boys said...

Okay well first of all I am in love with your blog...well actually my husband thinks I am a stalker. But I just love taking your creativity and running with it my way in my home! Thank you so much for being such an inspiration!
I have a qyestion...I have a window that I have changed oh like 10 times. The problem is it is not the kind of window I wanted, but it was free. It is the kind with a window on each side with the wood piece in the middle, so wish it was up and down instead! Anyways, do you have any great ideas or do you know where I can find some great sayings to make out of vinyl maybe that I could put on one side, then I was thinking I could put pictures of my boys in the other side.

January 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger kierste @ brown paper packages said...

Logan, Jennifer and boys---

I had the same problem with the window in this post. It was supposed to go the other way, and the wood on top was thinner than the wood trim along the bottom. So we just trimmed off the excess wood along the bottom, so when we turned it the other way, it would look the same.

However, if that isn't an option, I love the idea of photos. I actually have a window for my girls' room that I plan to do that with. I use the vinyl site I order from for quote inspiration (the link is in my right side bar), and I'll also google different quote topics. I've gotten several favorites that way.

I LOVE the idea of transforming it into a fun organizing area. You could remove the glass and one side, and replace it with corkboard (or you could try putting it on top). You could use chalkboard spray paint on the other side, or use magnetic paint or sheet metal. It would look darling!!

I love the look of fabric or paper added to the back side of the window--just plain, or with a quote or picture in addition to that.

I still love the look of a plain, distressed window, with a large wreath hanging over it. There is a linen wreath I want to make that would be perfect.

Good luck!

January 31, 2011 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Logan , Jennifer, and Boys said...

Thank you so much for getting back to me! I so appreciate it. So after much going back and forth with ideas and trying so many different things including pictures I have decided to just hang a wreath in it that I have luckily gotten from a thrift store for a buck and is very cute after taking all the 70's flowers off of it. When I get an office I think I will continue with your idea of the cork board and magnetic side.
However I have a dilema...How do I hang these wreath in the middle of the window? Will I break the window by putting a hole in the middle? Thanks a bunch!

February 7, 2011 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger kierste @ brown paper packages said...

I just put the nail in the wooden piece down the middle, but more towards the top, where the middle wood and top wood intersect. It doesn't need to be a large nail, just big enough to hold your wreath.

Good luck!

February 9, 2011 at 9:45 AM  

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