Window turned Shadow Box

Hello my sweets!

Yesterday was a busy day around the James house gearing up for one of our favorite nights of the year. We had such a great time, and at the end of the day, all the hard work we put into Halloween was so worth it!

Here’s my little man in his Minecraft costume:

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He had to pick a super bulky costume, but at least he made it up and down the whole street this time. He usually only makes it a few houses!

And here is me and my date for the evening:

Ha ha spooky!

Unfortunately I didn’t quite finish what I had planned to share today, so I am pulling out one of my favorite upcycles to share instead! This is one of those projects that I regret selling as it would have been perfect here in my office at our new house!

I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I use.

This project all started with this smallish window that cost me $5:

I found it at yard sale and grabbed it right away, but what I didn’t see was that inside that groove on the bottom was full of green mold. Yuck! I decided to use my table saw to cut three of the weird window edges off, including the moldy one:

Use a table saw to cut the off edges off your window.

That gave me nice clean edges to create a door for this super cute Window Shadow Box!

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

…or fancy bulletin board!

se an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

A fun way to use an old window, right?

Here’s how it came together…

After cutting the outer edges on the three odd sides with my table saw, I stood my window upright and ran it through my table saw as well to remove the lip that was sticking out on the one side:

Then I used a wire brush to remove any flaking paint, cleaned the window frame, and taped the panes off using FrogTape. I painted the frame on both sides using Behr’s Bit of Sugar that I made into DIY chalk paint. (Recipe HERE.)

Then I sanded lightly and sealed with Annie Sloan’s clear wax.

Next I cut a piece of 1 X 3 I had in the garage to create a frame for the box:

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I attached it together using wood glue and my nailgun:

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Then I painted, sanded, and waxed the frame as well.

For the inside backing I used this cork board I found at the thrift store:

I cut it to fit the inside of the frame using my table saw:

It was nice and thick, and that’s why I bought it, and the saw cut it really smoothly.

I decided to use the same fabric that I used on this oval vanity stool, that started out as curtain panels I picked up at HomeGoods. (Great source for fabric!) I attached it using spray adhesive, then pulled it taut and secured it on the back with hot glue.

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I also used hot glue to attach it to the inside of the frame:

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Next I needed hinges and a door pull, so I found these in my stash:

Three of those pieces got painted in chalk paint, and distressed a little.

Then I attached the window to the frame with the hinges. I ended up adding one more hinge for added strength.

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I also covered the back in this pretty paper from Hobby Lobby and added D ring hardware for hanging.

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I filled it with photos and mementos from my Mom’s surprise 70th birthday party…

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Me and three of my siblings having some photo booth fun:

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

My sister and I live here near my Mom, but my other siblings live out of state. Two of them and their kids were able to fly in for the surprise and we caught her reaction all on video! It is a fun watch.

You can see her reaction below:

If you have trouble viewing, you can watch it HERE.

She had no idea!
Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

This glass knob was one I picked up at Hobby Lobby for another project but ended up not using:

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

That backplate came off of another piece and adds a little more detail.

I added a magnetic closure to the inside…

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

This would be fun to change out seasonally with favorite photos from each season!

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

For my Mom’s party I used this little chalkboard banner above the drink station that I had parked in front of an old door I had near my kitchen. It was still hanging on the door with “Party!” on it, and it was a nice finishing touch for this photo. (Here is one similar all ready to put together.)

DIY Chalkboard banner

Here’s another way to use an old window. This one had no panes in it when I found it, so I added the metal sheeting to it to make the perfect backdrop for wreaths on my mantel. Here it is on my Spring mantel from a couple of years ago:

Spring Tulip Wreath

One more use for an Old Window

This was not a window to start, but you could use the same concept of adding chicken wire with a paneless window:

A frame of chicken wire makes a perfect backdrop for a wreath! This one was a dated Fall print to start.

The Perfect Wreath Backdrop

But today’s window project is my all time favorite!

Use an old window to create a large shadow box/bulletin board ! confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

If only I had kept it! I’ll have to keep an eye out for another small window!

Here’s another fun oldie you might like:

Check out how I updated this suitcase HERE!  

I’ll be spending the day taking down all the spookies…have a great weekend and I’ll see ya’ll back here on Tuesday with a fun project! 😀

XO,

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Comments

  1. Mary Kaiser says:

    I forgot about that oldie but goodie. I love every thing you do, and I wish I could find an old window because I love this idea!! Glad you had fun with your date on Halloween!

    • Aww thank you, Mary!! I’m keeping a look out for another small one like this for sure! And wasn’t my date a handsome one lol? XOXO

    • I recently came across sample windows at my local hardware store – and they were throwing them out! if you’re wanting to paint them, you wouldn’t particularly know they were new! also Mary, you could try a local window shop that replaces old windows. instead of the landfill, which costs them money, they might be willing to give you old windows. These are just some thoughts of how to find some windows!

      Christy – I made one of these shadow boxes probably 35 years ago! I should ask my now ex-mother-in-law if she still has it! mine was dark wood and now I really like the brightness of the painted white! thanks for reshaping this one!

  2. Christina in SW FL says:

    How completely wonderful!! I adore your son’s costume, your makeup, the shadow box project is beautiful (as always) and I adore your mom’s reaction to the surprise party! Is that a German accent I hear?
    Well done Christy!!!!

  3. I love it! What kind of table saw do you have? I’m asking for one for Christmas. And do you like it?

  4. It’s so weird that you chose this one to share today! I looked it up earlier this week because I’m thinking making one of these as a post-wedding gift with all the couple’s wedding things like the programs, invite, etc. 🙂

  5. Christy, I never knew your mom was from the UK. I love this makeover but I even more love how surprised your mom was at her party to see her whole family and how excited you were to put on this party for her. Not to get all melancholy, but last week marked the anniversary of my mom’s passing and also what would have been her birthday. Enjoy all these times (I can see you do)!

    • I am so sorry you lost your Mom, Kimberly. Mine has been sick the past few weeks, and it makes me realize she isn’t going to be with us forever. I’m so glad you enjoyed the video…she was so surprised and I am thrilled we were able to that for her. 💗 XO

  6. Kathy Bowles says:

    I love this project! (And I love your mom and her accent!)

  7. Char Fisher says:

    The window (shadow box) is so cute. What great work you do! Loved Mom b-day video and costumes! You have it together and a delight to see all your projects!

  8. Crystal Faulk says:

    Love the shadow box idea! Well…pretty much love everything you post. :o)
    Thanks for sharing your mom’s birthday surprise. That was so sweet! :o)

    • Aww thank you, Crystal! I appreciate that so much! My Mom was so surprised…I can’t believe we were able to keep it a secret! XOXO

  9. I love everything you do! You make it look so easy….despite using xpensive furniture stripper is very time-consuming.

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