DIY Decor · DIY Home

Picture frame window

This old house came with all new windows. Except for two in what we’ve deemed the back bedroom. These windows were circa 1930 and original to the house. They were made of solid wood and had that awesome pulley feature for opening and closing the windows. The only problem, one was missing a pane of glass, and both whistled like a train when it was windy outside. Sure, there were solutions to fixing both of these issues, but everything else was already replaced, so we decided to do the same for these two.

Original window, pre-renovations.

But that’s not the story here… 

The story is what we did with one of these original windows once it was replaced.

Dan’s creative genius came up with the idea of repurposing the old window as a picture frame. Now, I’ve seen this done before with those old six panel windows (which we actually have two of, and are currently debating the best reuse option for those). But what I haven’t seen done is what Dan was about to do – cutting the window frame down to fit a standard 8×10 picture, while still keeping the features of the window intact (pulley system, latches, etc.). Essentially, he was taking a window at 100% and shrinking it down to 25% of its size.

Once the window was taken out, this became our starting point. A crappy old window that was thiiiis close from heading to the curb.


But as I mentioned, it still had some pretty cool features.

When Dan was done with the reframing work, this is what we were working with:


Now it was time to bring some life back to it. Dan added a few layers of white paint to brighten it up, and then, after soaking and scrubbing the hardware, it was added back on and shining like new. I mentioned that Dan kept all the original features of the window, and that included the “pulley” system as well. To highlight this, he added a piece of black rope that will be a feature once the frame is hung.

The finishing touch, and best part of this frame, was the picture going into it. You’ve probably seen this picture all over our website. And its quite possibly my favorite, taken moments after closing on our house.


Every time I look at it, a thousand thoughts run through my mind.
The excitement we felt in that very moment.
      The journey it took to get there.
      The evening we spent celebrating with pizza, champagne, and a sledgehammer.
      The beauty we saw in every inch of the house.
      The assurance I felt, knowing this was our home.
      The realization that, in that moment, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
      The satisfaction (sometimes disbelief) in knowing how far we’ve come.
      And that I’m so thankful, and so lucky, that Dan is the one sitting next to me on that porch.All of this triggered by a single glance at this photo.

As a really thoughtful and unique gift, Dan’s mom had this picture printed on metal for us. And it was this print that was used in our picture frame.

It was the first piece of “decor” that we put on our walls. Greeting our guests in the front entrance, the very spot where we first knew we were home.





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