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Make Art: Upcycled Window Frame

When Kate was home for Christmas break we ventured to a salvage store just a wee bit south of Wilmington.  It was a fun outing and I came home with an old window that had only one pane of glass and a sad-looking stool. 

I’m still noodling what to do with the stool, but the upcycled window frame spoke to me and told me it would be the perfect project for the stash of shells we’ve accumulated over the years. 

 Please tell me that inanimate objects also speak to you and tell you what to do with them.

Use an upcycled window frame to make art. An easy DIY project for your home decor.

I did pick up the ‘mother of pearl’ looking shells (Ashland Crushed Shells) at Michael’s on one of my many visits to  that store.  

Use an upcycled window frame to make art. An easy DIY project for your home decor.

My first course of business was to wash the window frame and glass.  The poor window had been sitting in some warehouse for years and was a tad yucky.  

Make Art with Upcycled Window Frame and Shells

Use an upcycled window frame to make art. An easy DIY project for your home decor.

Then I laid it out and started placing the shells in various patterns on the pane of glass.  

Once I had a pattern I liked I used a washable glass marker (for names on wine glasses) to mark the position on the glass.  I also took a photo of the upcycled window frame with my cell phone so that I could duplicate it again.

Use an upcycled window frame to make art. An easy DIY project for your home decor.

I used a small brush and placed small dots of Mod Podge on the glass of the frame, starting with where I wanted the center shells to be. Several weeks back I painted the Modge Podge on a piece of glass to see how it would dry and  I realized that it was best to use just a wee bit as it does show when it is dry.  

Use an upcycled window frame to make art. An easy DIY project for your home decor.

Having the image on my cell phone was very helpful in helping me duplicate the image onto the upcycled window frame.  

I really love how this upcycled window frame turned out and think it looks great in my bedroom. It blends the paisley in my bedding with the beachy feel that our room also has.  My pale blue walls are the perfect backdrop for the window and shells.

Use an upcycled window frame to make art. An easy DIY project for your home decor.
Use an upcycled window frame to make art. An easy DIY project for your home decor.

This was such an easy and fun project that let me be fully creative from start to finish…and using up some of my shell stash was a big plus too!

Make your own art using an upcycled window frame, modge podge and some shells. A easy DIY project for some unique home decor.

It seems that everywhere I look now I see old window frames in various states of wear that are begging to be given a second life. There are so many ways to ‘bedazzle’ them and make an upcycled window frame your very own.

As always, I am so thankful that you decided to spend a few minutes of your precious time with me today. I appreciate your company and your comments more than you can know. If you want to make sure you don’t miss future content, pop your email in the beige box up on the right.  I usually send out 2-3 emails a week, so I won’t inundate your inbox. 

Right now, subscribers to Nourish and Nestle will receive a free, downloadable Measuring Equivalents Chart overlaid on a watercolor lemon.  You can see it here. Sign up to our email list (on my right sidebar) and we’ll send it to your inbox within 24 hours!  If you are already a subscriber and would like a lemon measuring equivalents chart, send us an email with ‘lemon chart’ in the subject line and we’ll send you one too!


We’re very excited about our online shop at Society 6 – much of the artwork that you see on our pages is available for purchase as a print or on a variety of products – from coffee cups to phone cases. Click on the image below, browse around and have a look for some great gift ideas!


Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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  1. Lovely! I do not have a vintage window like yours but I think my shells will look fine on the glass of a frame. Thank you for sharing.
    I do enjoy your posts.

    1. Hi Mimi…I think you could absolutely decorate the glass of a frame, or even a mirror! For whatever reason, there seem to be many of those old frames in my neck of the woods right now. Maybe it is because we are close to the coast and the salt air is so tough on wood.
      I so appreciate you taking the time to drop a comment today.
      Wishing you a lovely Easter weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  2. Ohhh, I love this!!! I’ve been on the look out for an old window, but haven’t been lucky yet! This is so nice and beachy, I really like the design you made with the shells Lynn! So my style! It would fit in here perfectly, lol! Also, you always have the cleverest ideas, and to use your phone for the staging is a great idea!! I have the beach right next to me and will have to make a shell project eventually! Now I’ve got some inspiration, Thanks friend!!! Happy Easter to you 🙂

    1. Hi Katrin…this was so easy and really very ‘zen’. Kind of like the adult coloring book thing. Just moving the shells around to create a design was very relaxing. Seems like there are old window frames everywhere in my area right now…probably because we are so close to the beach. Beach glass would be lovely as well…I just didn’t have enough on hand.
      Wishing you a lovely Easter weekend.

      Hugs, LYnn

      1. Yes, I can imagine beach glass looking fabulous as well! I’m keeping my eyes peeled for those window frames! Thank you for stopping over and linking up at Sweet Inspiration #1, love it!!!

        1. Hi friend, well, I picked up another window today! This one has all the panes intact, so it was a bit more. I’ve got some plans for it already…chomping at the bit to get at it. So glad to be at your PAR-TAY!!! See you next week friend.

          Hugs, Lynn

  3. I’ve always loved vintage window frames…nice job on yours, Lynn. Please tell me the name of the blue paint on your bedroom walls…mind is similar but will need to re-painted sometime this year and the blue you’ve chosen is just a bit softer which I like. Thanks! Happy Easter to everyone…

    1. Happy Easter Rosie! The blue we used is a Sherwin-Williams called Mountain Air, #6224. It really is a soft, lovely blue with just the smallest hint of green. And thanks for the compliments on my window frame, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.
      Hugs and Kisses, Lynn

  4. Lynn- this is such very pretty idea! Old frames like this always create a great atmosphere, but I really love that you added the shells. It’s such a great cottage look!

    1. Thanks Ilka! This was such an easy project…and relaxing in a ‘coloring book’ kind of way. Just moving the shells around to create the desired design was so ‘zen’. Thanks for swinging by today! Many hugs.


  5. I have always loved the old vintage window frames, and would love to get ahold of some myself. I love what you did with yours, very clever! I really like the paisley pattern you made with the different shells. Up against your blue wall it does speak beachy.

    1. Thanks Linda. We live very close to the beach so I do like have a beachy feel without going ‘all beach all the time’. This was my first project with an old window frame, and I will definitely keep my eyes open for some more. They do seem like the are everywhere in my area.
      Thanks for swinging by today!
      Wishing you a happy Easter weekend.
      Hugs, Lynn

  6. Lynn this is so delicate and pretty. You did a fantastic job of giving that window frame a new life. And your use of the shells was genius! Very unique and I’m sure it must look great against the blue of the walls. Don’t all objects speak to everyone? Or is it just us crazy bloggers with our DIY antenna on our heads?

    1. I have a feeling its us crazy DIY bloggers Mary…truth be told. But that’s o.k…it’s what make the world go round…right? Thanks so much for swinging by and leaving your sweet comments. I do love how it turned out…love it against my walls and looking for more windows to bedazzle!
      Many hugs, Lynn

  7. That. is. so. pretty!!! I love it!! You made a lovely design and a new life to that window frame. Objects speak to me as well, they even shout sometimes 😉
    I would love to invite you to share with us at the party I co-host every Tuesday on my blog, #2usestuesday. Enjoy the week!

    1. Hi Pili, I’m so glad that objects speak to you too! I was worried that I needed to get some counseling! And I”m pretty tickled with how the window turned it…which is always a good thing.
      I will surely come and join you next week at your party.
      Thanks for swinging by today.
      Hugs, Lynn

        1. Hi Pili, I”m so glad to have been a guest at your first party! With such wonderful hosts I know it’ll be a great party and I plan on coming back next week. Thanks for the work you put into it.

          Hugs, Lynn

  8. I would have just laid on the mod podge over the whole area and ruined it. I’m glad you experimented to see what worked best. Your shells decorate the pane very nicely!

    1. Hee Hee Kathryn! Well, that was what I did first, so you are not alone. But I’m glad to have saved you the trouble! Thanks for swinging by and visiting today.

      Wishing you a lovely Thursday, Lynn

    1. Winnie…thanks for swinging by today! You are so sweet on your compliments. I had a fun time making this and am so very pleased with how it turned.
      Wishing you a wonderful Thursday!

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks for swinging by Sara! I’m very pleased with how the frame turned out and how it looks in my room. It’s a good thing when something turns out how you hope…am I right? See you next week at Merry Monday!

      Hugs, LYnn

    1. Thanks Julie…I’m loving it too! I love how it looks in my room, but it could work in other rooms in my home too. Think it’s pretty versatile.
      Really appreciate you swinging by today.

      Hugs, Lynn

  9. What a great idea! And it turned out awesome. Window frames don’t last long around here and they are pretty expensive when you find one like this. I’m going to have to keep my eyes open for one, this turned out so pretty!

    1. Hi Nikki, I guess I was pretty lucky finding the frame…maybe it was because one of the panes was broken. But I rather like that it was in such a state, gave it more character. I love the way this turned out so will surely be looking for more!
      Thanks for swinging by today!

      Many hugs, Lynn

  10. I wanted to stop by and let you know that your post has been selected as a Feature for the Welcome Home Wednesdays Link Party! Stop by to see your post linked up and don’t forget to grab your Featured Button as well! ~Lisa~

    1. Thanks Lisa! I so appreciate the love and did go by and visit yesterday. You all run a great party, so I’ll be back next week too! Wishing you a lovely Thursday!

      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Melissa…Thanks for your kind comments. It was so fun and easy to do. Rather zen’ish’…like doing that sand raking in that I was just moving the shells around until they ‘spoke’ to me. Thanks for visiting today.

      Hugs, Lynn

  11. Lynn, I love this repurposed window!! Your seashell design looks so cool!! That was a good idea to take a picture with your phone so you could reconstruct your design. This was a lovely way to use the old window!!

    1. Hi Keri, Thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind comment. I really am loving my window; in fact, I just recently found another one and am noodling some ideas for it right now. I’ll be over to your party this week!
      Wishing you a happy Tuesday.

      Hugs, Lynn

  12. This is very pretty Lynn and yes some of my inanimate items talk to me also. They’re usually asking me to get rid of some other things so they’ll have room to breathe! Taking a picture is a great idea, it takes out lots of the guesswork, When I do a buffet or dessert table I always take one after all laying out the serving pieces. Thank you so much for sharing your links with us at Celebrate Your Story. We look forward to you joining us again and wish you a happy weekend!

    1. Hi Sandra…I’m so glad your objects talk to you too! And I hadn’t thought of taking a photo when laying out a buffet! What a great idea. Thanks for coming by today.
      Have a wonderful weekend.
      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Hi Debra and thanks for swinging by and leaving your kind comment. I really do love how that window turned out and how it looks in my room. Now I’m always on the lookout for more windows!
      Hope your day is great.
      Hugs, Lynn

  13. Lynn, I said it before and I’ll say it again, this is a one of a kind piece. Beautiful and unique artwork that is perfect summer decor. I guess I’ll have to make a quick visit to the beach and look around for some shells. I have been on a driftwood collection spree lately, I guess it’s time to shift my attention elsewhere. Thanks for providing me with lots of Sweet Inspiration.

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for swinging by and leaving your kind words. I do love my window frame and the shells, but I love driftwood too. You can do so much with driftwood and I’m certain you have something up your sleeve with all the driftwood you find.
      Wishing you a lovely weekend.
      Hugs, Lynn

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