Old Window Messaging Center…

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).










Jane and I both glued empty frames to our glass panes with E6000…

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!



Sharing post with;

The Lettered Cottage

Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented
Get Your Craft on Tuesday
Talented Tuesday at My Frugal Family
Penny Pinching Party
Blue Cricket Designs
We Did It Wednesday!
Be Inspired Link Party
Show Off Your Stuff Party
Strut Your Stuff Thursday
Transformation Thursday at the Shapbby Cottage
Frugalicious Friday at Finding Fabulous
Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors

This entry was posted in DIY, Do It Yourself Projects, Home Decorating Ideas, Organizational Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Old Window Messaging Center…

  1. Anonymous says:

    Awesome! I saw windows for $4 at ReStore in Nac. I have a floral thingie made from an old window that has seen better days. Going to try to do a modified version of this.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Are you taking custom orders? I'd love one! Another great idea!

    Missy Murray Coward

  3. Anonymous says:

    They look great! We are awsome.

  4. The Exchange says:

    LOL! I agree Jane! So what's next for us? LOL!

  5. Al says:

    Great (and practical) trash to treasure post

  6. These are both totally awesome! You gals did a fabulous job, love them!!

  7. They turned out great! I've seen something similar with Pottery Barn, and boy was it pricey! Great job!

  8. absolutely delightful! full of charm! I have become a follower and would be honored if you choose to do the same! until later…

  9. I love both of them! Great idea and I love how you both varied what went in each pane. Love the monograms and the napkins you used!

  10. Yeah! Another Texas girl!

    I love this idea! So charming! You guys are so smart and creative!

    I love your blog and became a follower today…can't wait to see more!


  11. Kate Murray Langston says:

    Love this idea! We were just discussing how we need a huge dry erase or chalkboard for our kids' packed schedules, and THIS is just what I have in mind!

  12. They are both so great! I just love the idea – thanks for linking up to Be Inspired today!


  13. This is just fabulous! Very creative! Coming over from the Shabby Chic Cottage, and a happy new follower.


  14. OMGosh…you and your friend have an awesome idea here with these FREE windows…they look outstanding! Come by and show them off at my PAR-TAY…it's NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS…hope to see you there:)


  15. House Queen says:

    Girlie! I am seriously LOVING this and have plans for one in my future! I am SOOO glad I found your blog and I had to become a follower! I am working on a post that links to this AS.WE.SPEAK! Check back later to see how good you look! Looking forward to learning more from you! Have a fab Thursday!!!

  16. The Exchange says:

    Thank you so much ladies! Thank you House Queen for showing off our little craft on your fabulous blog! Check her out at http://housequeen.blogspot.com/

  17. Those turned out FABULOUS! I love how there is a little bit of everything! 🙂

  18. Wow what a great idea- I LOVE the window plain as well- those turned out amzing , i will have to give them a try- i love corkboards-chalkboards and organization (probably cause im not).. TOo Cute thanks for sharing.

  19. Krista says:

    love it! do you think it would work on a window w/out the glass? Just so happen to have one in my garage!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Love them! How about gluing a calendar BEHIND the glass so you can write on the FRONT of the glass? Molly

  21. The Exchange says:

    Krista, why not think about cutting either a large bulleting board and put behind all of the panes in one piece? You wouldn't have a chalk or dry erase board but you could mix up fabrics on each pane or leave natural? Would love to see pics of what you decide to do!

  22. gail says:

    your windows look great! You both did a great job. I have had this on my to do list for awhile now. I have the perfect window for it, and just got the perfect memo boards last week from $$ tree. I just need to get started.

  23. Polly says:

    So fun! I want to do this! I have a hard time finding windows that I can work with. Any tips?

  24. I really needed to see this post today. Just bought 3 windows and didn't know exactly how to fix them up. Thanks for your step by steps. I hope to come up with some great windows like yours. Thanks _ Terra at Willowsgrace.blogspot.com

  25. Thank you for linking up to Talented Tuesday with My Frugal Family- don't forget to come back and link more projects up this week!

    I've featured this post on my blog's side bar!

  26. The Exchange says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments!! Thanks to Heather @ My Frigal Family for featuring on her fun blog! Muchas Gracias!!!

  27. this is genius, i have the hardest time finding great windows.

  28. Great ideas for using old windows. They both look really great and you can alter them in so many ways. Thanks for the ideas!

  29. Adorable! It's not only useful, it's ART. I love it. 🙂


  30. Very clever ~ they look great. Have a few windows I keep lugging around ~ trying to decide how I want to put them to use. Stopping by from FJI~SNS

  31. Renata says:

    How much are these message boards selling for I love them!!

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