In the synopsis of my Springfield Antique Show experience I mentioned that I saw a lot of these old, used window panes there. Many of them were well priced at $10 a piece. I’m sure if you surveyed your local antique stores and flea markets that you would be able to find a selection too. If not, there are plenty on Ebay just search “window panes”.
There are several fun ways to repurpose a window pane. I will teach you one way today and share another idea with you later this week!
Around 2 years ago I was at a garage sale where I spotted a plain, large skinny box with a 50 cent tag on it. I asked the owner what was inside and she pulled out a window frame (without the glass) and explained that she had bought it online and was going to use it as a photography prop but never did. For 50 cents I knew I could come up with some kind of decorative use for it.
Sure enough just before we moved into our house a couple of years ago I was ‘studying’ a Pottery Barn Magazine when the light bulb went on. In examining a similar mirror to the ones below I realized the fate of my wooden window frame.
Of course a big decorative mirror! All I would need was a mirror to which I could adhere my frame on. I remembered that I had seen several frameless mirrors on Craigslist for sale. When people remodel their bathrooms they often will switch out their builder mirror and sell it on Craigslist. So I measured my frame to see what mirror size I should look for. Right away I found a mirror for $10 that was just a few inches wider and taller than my frame. I simply added plain white trim around the window frame to hide the excess mirror.
Here is the final result!
I think it dresses up the room and balances the visual weight of the fireplace and mantle. Right now I have it propped up on my sofa table against the wall, however, I think in the future I will hang it about 6-8 inches above the sofa table to balance the height of the mantle across from it.
If you can’t find a mirror on craigslist, no problem, I learned about another source for getting frameless mirrors when I installed glass in my kitchen cabinet door. Lowes not only carries and cuts glass but also mirror. Below (at the bottom) there are the sizes and prices of mirrors that they carry and they can cut them to any size you want!
Easy Steps to Creating a Window Paned Mirror:
1. If your window frame still has glass in it, cover the glass with duct tape (this keeps glass from shattering all over the place). Lay down a drop cloth to work over. Then use a putty knife to cut the caulk off around the perimeter of the whole frame. Once the caulk is cut sometimes the glass will wiggle out in one piece. If not, tap the glass with a hammer (be sure to wear thick gloves and eyewear). Apply pressure on the glass with hammer until all the glass has come free from the frame. Pick up the corners of the drop cloth and throw away the glass.
2. If you will be painting the window frame now is the time to do it.
3. Lay the mirror down on a clean workspace face up.
4. Turn the window frame on it’s back and apply a thin line of clear Gorilla Glue onto the entire backside of the frame.
5. Use a Q-tip to spread the glue around evenly. You will need to work quickly enough so that the glue does not dry out before you adhere it to the mirror.
6. Pick up the window frame and carefully turn it over placing it on the mirror in the exact spot intended.
Tip: Before placing it down hover a few inches over the mirror to ensure exact placement. This is important because if you have to move the frame once it is down it will smear the glue on the mirror. This glue is very difficult and sometimes impossible to get off so try hard to place it exactly the first time (no pressure)!:-)
7. Let it dry untouched for a couple of hours. If you need to add trim around the frame like I did then just apply the glue to the back of the trim and place the trim around the mirror.
8. I you plan to hang the mirror on the wall you will need to make sure that the wood frame or wood trim is wider OR longer than mirror so that there is a place to install brackets or hooks for hanging.
I love this project because you can get the look of a Pottery Barn or Ballard Designs decorative mirror at a fraction of the price. My came to only $12! I hope you feel inspired to try it and/or share it!
Be back soon with another window pane DIY idea!:-)