Old window upcycling ideas

Do it yourself: creative upcycling ideas for old windows

Windows have many functions: They protect from wind, moisture, noise and dirt and keep the home comfortable and warm thanks to effective insulation. At the same time, they provide plenty of fresh air, natural light and a great view. But even the life of a window comes to an end at some point. 

When the house is renovated with new windows, the old companions are usually discarded. What many people don’t know: Old windows can also be given new functions. Thus, true to the motto “Do it yourself”, even after their active life, windows can get a new lease on life through decorative, but also practical ideas. There are no limits to creativity. In our search for ways to reuse old windows, we came across some original ideas.

The lifespan of a window

When has a window reached the end of its life? Old windows with single glazing and thin frames, for example, no longer meet the requirements and functions of modern windows. 

When windows no longer perform their basic functions, they quickly become the weakest points of a house. The consequences are drafts, noise pollution and high heating costs, since about 25-30 % of a house’s heat can escape through windows that are in need of renovation. If you are planning to renovate or replace your windows, there are numerous ways to give your old windows a new – albeit different – life.

Ideas for old windows

Windows made of wood are particularly suitable for reuse. Work the frame up a bit here by cleaning, sanding and possibly painting it before using it to create beautiful DIY ideas.

First, think about what you want the window to be, what you need for it, whether you want to use the window with or without glass panes, and whether you want to add more center posts for your idea.

If you don’t have any old windows, you can get them elsewhere: when demolishing or renovating a house, at the junkyard, from a carpenter or window maker, or even on the eBay swap market.

Or, with a little skill, you can assemble your old window yourself.

Repainting old windows

We’ll show you what you can do with old windows with our most creative and clever DIY up-cycling ideas:

#1: Take a seat by the… window

A table made from old windows is a real work of art and the eye-catcher in any dining room. A nice bonus: the eye eats with you. Instead of a dining table, old windows are also ideal for small side tables or living room tables. Get inspired by some examples on Pinterest.

#2: A different kind of storage space

Old windows can also be turned into unique display cases and shelves, creating additional storage space. The best example of how old windows not only beautify the living space, but can also be very practical. The window sashes in particular are perfect as door elements of your homemade display case. 

#3: Old windows as valuable garden helpers

Old windows with wooden frames are perfect for covering a cold room so that vegetables can grow well. It is important to paint the window frames with an ecological preservative to protect the wood from weathering and rotting. With this in mind: Have a good harvest! 

#4: Old windows as eye-catchers on the wall.

Countless beautiful views or the first fingertips of children: old windows often accompany their owners through different stages of life and thus always tell their own story. It is therefore all the more fun when these memories are immortalized in the home, for example in the form of decorative picture frames. You can, for example, attach a poster of your favorite photo to a large area of the window frame or place many smaller photos on a mesh or rope. 

#5: Old windows as practical daily helpers

The little things of everyday life are often scattered around the house. Once they are tidied up, it doesn’t take long for the chaos to start all over again. We’re talking, for example, about keys or jewelry. What many people don’t know is that old windows can also be perfectly transformed into storage space. You can make a key rack or coat rack out of old windows and at the same time create a real eye-catcher in your entrance. Or you can cover the window with a wire mesh and create an original jewelry holder in no time. You can find many examples of how to use it on Pinterest.

#6: Put old windows back in the spotlight

New windows become decoration, old windows become decoration. There are numerous ideas for making decorative elements out of old windows. Whether with hanging plants, as frames for drawings or with decorative lights – your old window will surely catch everyone’s eye.

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