My crafty and creative neighbor Jane and I have been busy over the last week with a fun idea to recycle old windows. Jane has these beautiful old windows that came out of an old home in Savannah. Jane lived in beautiful Savannah for several years while attending college and she found a bunch of antique windows in a dumpster in front of an old home that was being refurbished. Jane called it “dumpster diving” and I say, if your gonna dumpster dive, Savannah is the place to do it! Look at her dumpster bounty (you can click on pictures for a larger picture).
Jane has several of these gorgeous windows just sitting in her garage, calling our name, longing to be displayed in some unique way. Every time Jane’s garage door was open, I would salivate just thinking about the possibilities. It’s hard to see in the picture but the windows are fabulously crackled and distressed in such a way that only a 100-plus years of wear could possible produce.
A couple weeks ago, we were talking (again) about what she should do with them and we brainstormed and talked ourselves into making a fun (and functional) messaging center. Jane decided that she would use one of the large windows with nine panes (two of the panes were broken) and she offered me one as well(lucky me! Thanks Jane). I decided to make a smaller messaging center with one of the windows with six panes.
Jane’s window before picture
Cyndy’s before picture
I have wanted some type of messaging center for years, but I had never seen one that I just loved and that would work in my decor. This was the perfect opportunity for both of us to create and design a center with everything that we wanted, needed and perfectly suited for keeping us organized. Detailed step by step instructions are at the end of the posting.
Jane decided to keep her window frame as is (white). I decided to glaze my window with a Minwax dark wood stain to really make the crackle stand out.
(below) I wanted to incorporate rich colors and use fabric in my center, so I used this cloth dinner napkin that I had from Pier One to cover one of the bulletin board inserts. I created the inserts by cutting a large bulletin board to perfectly and snugly fit in the pane over the glass, and just wrapped my cut inserts with fabric and stapled the fabric securely on the back. I then lightly tapped the insert into the pane with a hammer. I (of course), HAD to have a monogram and wanted that frosted glass look, so I stenciled an “A” with gold enamel Testors hobby paint;
I also used part of my stamped feed sack that I created for “Monogram Madness Part-2” as the other fabric covered bulletin board insert that I slipped in over the glass as well. Take a close look, the board insert is just snapped into the pane and held tight with the window frame.
Jane wanted to do a black and white color combination and used another cloth napkin from Pier One with cool French scrolled writing. She attached the napkin with fabric glue (on the frame) of the backside of the pane. She too created a monogram but she used this neat faux frosted glass medium to give it that etched glass look.
Jane and I both created two chalk board panes using primer and chalk board paint, two bulletin board panes (I covered mine with fabric, Jane left hers natural), and several dry erase boards created from just leaving the glass panes plain (you can use a dry erase pen on glass).
Crafty Jane took the project to a whole new fabulous level and added a metal strip so she could use these magnetic metal boxes that she found at Walmart for tacks, paper clips, chalk, etc.. Love it!
Here are some random pictures of our finished project from various angles…
The project took a little time but was worth it in the end! Now Jane and I will see if our fun personalized messaging centers will magically organize us and our girls! Ha! Maybe it will last. Remember the instructions will follow and I will close for now and I hope to add another posting toward the end of the week if all goes well! Thanks again for your comments, emails and notes! I so appreciate your feedback!
Instructions for Old Window Messaging Center:
1) Clean old windows with warm dish soap and water and let dry in the sun. Recommend also cleaning panes that are going to be used for dry erase boards with alcohol.
2) Make a plan for what you want on your center. Suggestions include what we did above (chalk board, bulletin boards and dry erase boards) but we also thought it would be fun to do a painted peg board and a mirror panel.. I’m sure there are lots of other possibilities as well!
3) For chalk board pane, prime glass pane twice with Kilz Primer (go in opposite directions with each layer) allow to fully dry! After primer is dry, paint on your chalk board paint (two coats with complete drying in between coats) in your desired color (they come in lots of various colors).
4) For bulletin board pane, we recommend using a large bulletin board with fiber board backing and cutting to fit the pane (bulletin board sheets are not thick enough to hold tacks). You can either cut the board with a table saw or a box cutter. Measure the inside of your pane precisely and subtract about a 1/4th of an inch on all sides to allow for wrapping with fabric. Subtract about an 1/8th of an inch on all sides if using the natural bulletin board alone. If you’re using fabric, just wrap your cut board with fabric tightly and use a staple gun to secure to the back. (make sure to use the staples close together). When your ready, just gently tap (with a small hammer) your board into the pane on top of the glass. The frame around the glass should hold it firmly. You may have to troubleshoot if the inside of your frame is not very thick, I’m not sure how standard that is on windows.
5) for dry erase pane simply clean the glass pane with alcohol and leave plain or if you want to add an empty frame, glue frame with E6000 and keep flat for a couple of hours.
Good luck and please email me should you have any questions!
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