Monday, October 24, 2011

Window Photo Frame--Tutorial

This weekend we celebrated my youngest daughter, Sara's, 9th birthday! It was an amazing weekend filled with joy, laughter, silliness, friends and so on. My oldest daughter, Sidney (12), celebrates her birthday on November 1st. My husband and I wanted to give them a unique gift that would mark these tween years, their love for each other as sisters AND my husband's and my talents combined. My husband, Jeff, is a cinematographer for NASCAR, but he also dabbles in still photography. I enjoy repurposing or upcycling things and breathing new life into them (I'm also a very decent still photographer, but was not allowed to touch the FANCY camera!! Tee Hee!!) My most recent project for the girls is a salvaged window that I bought at a South Charlotte antique mall. It started off quite ugly....dark sage green on top of a million layers of paint of every color. I cleaned it up and started adding more of my own layers to this beautiful window...

I added our favorite accent color over the sage green. This color is called "Reflecting Pool" by Sherwin Williams.

I did several layers and allowed many days of curing time.

I then began my favorite task....roughing it up! I used our very old electric hand sander and went to town. I wanted it to look well loved. It was also important to see the different colors of paint, and even some wood, popping through. This takes several passes, patience and attention to detail to make it look "NOT" perfect! :)

Here you can see some of the wood grain popping through, subtly.

I wanted to dirty it up a bit. It just seemed too, well, clean. So I took some Raw Umber acrylic paint, watered it down (about 50/50) and dabbed it into all the corners. I let it set up slightly, then I used a damp cloth to rub most of it off. It gave it a beautiful effect.

Here I'm allowing the paint to set up. I also added in a bit more around the edges to make it look consistent.

Then began the task of scraping paint off the glass. I took a dry paint brush to remove the excess  paint. Once done, I cleaned the glass with my favorite glass cleaner.....Sprayway's World's Best Glass Cleaner".

Now to add pictures. A few weeks ago we did a photo shoot throughout our neighborhood with our girls. My husband used a 5D camera to get the most amazing high resolution photos of my beauties! We took the images on a flash drive to Walmart and had them enlarged to 8x10 size. I then used small squares of double-sided tape on the corners of the pictures to secure one per window pane.

After the photos were secure, I added two coats of clear wood wax. After the wax set-up, I removed the wax that got on the glass, sat back and admired my work!!!

The almost finished product... as soon as I run out to Lowes in the morning and grab a few alligator hangers for the back so I can hang it on the wall in our conversation area, otherwise known as, the breakfast nook. Happy birthday to my TWO favorite people in the whole world!!They loved their gift which combined the talents of both of their parents!  I am so very proud to be their mommy!

Thanks for visiting!! xoxo Sondra

:) Linked up to:

Home Stories A2Z


  1. You go girl! Looks awesome.

  2. Wow! Look at you all crafty and stuff! That's awesome!

  3. I am soooooooo proud of my baby sister! See i told you i would figure out how to get to your blog. You go girl!!!! (((hugs)))

  4. How fun is that for pictures, looks great!

  5. Thanks everyone for your very sweet sentiments! This blogging thing is finally starting to click with me. I hope to keep the momentum going....your encouraging words help! xoxo

  6. Wow --- What a great idea! I love the look, and the pictures are beautiful!

  7. It turned out awesome! We were out walking the other day and someone had a window out that would've made the PERFECT frame, but some of the panes were etched so that scratched that idea. We are on the lookout for the perfect window to do a similar project. Found you at Sugar Bee Crafts!

  8. wow, whay a brilliant idea, it turned out great, i saw this post on homestories A to Z and just had to come for a peek, new follower here xxx

  9. What a beautiful show piece this is! Lovely girls and great photography -- love how you painted and distressed the window too!

  10. beautiful!! These are amazing pictures! I love the color of the frame!!

  11. I love this idea! I have two discarded windows waiting for a similar treatment. Nicely done girl!

  12. This is such a great idea. I have a ton of these windows that i had planed to paint landscapes and stuff on but sence christmas is coming up i think this would be the perfect gift to my father with pictures of his 3 beautiful grandchildrens photos in. Thanks for such a great idea. My dad will be pleased. Also i was wondering if there are anything other than tape that i can use to keep the photos in such as card board maybe?