How to Make Garden Art with Old Windows

Two Methods:Preparing to Create ArtChoosing Decorations

Since most garden art is very expensive in stores, perhaps you have been looking around for ways to create some yourself. Old windows can be a great starting place for garden art, because there are many ways to incorporate old windows into strikingly colorful and quirky garden art.

Method 1
Preparing to Create Art

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    Choose small windows to make creating your art easier. You’ll probably find smaller windows easier to work with than large ones.
    • Junkyards and reclamation yards are a good place to start looking.
    • Ebay usually has some old lots of windows for sale by collection.
    • Or you could just start checking dumpsters in your neighborhood.
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    Make your windows safe before painting. If you are using old windows, you need to be aware of some hazards such as splintered wood and nails sticking out.
    • Check your window carefully before handling it and be sure to use tough gloves.
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    • Be very cautious handling glass, especially if any panes are broken.
    • Some panes may be loose.
    • It will be safer if you can make these secure by using a window sealant before you begin working with your window creatively.
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    Beware of bugs to make sure your art is not eaten. You need to be cautious of woodworms and termites if you are bringing second hand furniture into your home.
    • Look out for little holes and piles of frass (termite excrement).
    • Fumigation works best to get rid of them, or use a DIY chemical treatment, and seal up any holes.
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    • If you leave the bugs in the wood, they will eat your art and possibly spread throughout your house.
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Method 2
Choosing Decorations

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    Make a simple bubble window. Probably the simplest way to bring color into your garden is to take an old window frame and glue colored glass beads to it.
    • You should use glue such as E6000, which dries clear.
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    • This can be displayed by standing it upright in a bed so that the sunlight comes through it.
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    • Try anchoring it into the ground by attaching wooden stakes to the lower sides that can be driven at least 2 feet (0.6 m) into the ground for stability.
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    • Silver or blue-tinted beads work well for giving the effect of bubbles.
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    Create a window mosaic to bring color into your garden. The joy of old window art is bringing lots of translucent color into your garden.
    • You can try to source an old window with colored glass in – or create your own.
    • Add a colorful mosaic to an old colorless glass window by gluing on a pattern of glass beads, transparent colored mosaic tiles or even sea glass gathered from the beach.
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    • You can source colored glass receptacles, such as kitchenware, from thrift stores and smash these up to make glass shards.
    • You’ll need to get some glass glue and a grout – try following an online glass mosaic tutorial.
    • Home Depot can source a grout that works well – ask for 100% solids epoxy grout when ordering ahead.
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    Paint your own art onto old windows. It can be fun to paint your own works of art onto blank windows.
    • Not all glass paint will survive out of doors and some will peel, so choose your paint carefully.
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    • You may find it helps to wipe down the glass surface using alcohol before you paint.
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    • Paints such as the Martha Stewart Glass range are said to be outdoor resistant.
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    • Also try sealing using Polycrylic for added protection.
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    • As some paints need to be baked in the oven to seal the paints, you can either try removing the glass pane from the window to do so, or alternately paint a separate bit of glass and simply glue this onto your old window pane.
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    Create a mini greenhouse planting display. Creating a mini greenhouse can be a great place to store plants in a colorful way.
    • You’ll need 6 small window frames of the same size and shape for this.
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    • Make them safe by removing protruding nails and resealing the windows where needed.
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    • Using hinges or small wooden blocks, attach 4 of the smaller windows to each other at right angles. This forms the 4 sides of your mini greenhouse.
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    • Then use hinges to add a peaked roof using the last 2 windows.
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    • Put some plants inside to finish it off. Remember, it will get pretty hot inside so choose plants that like heat and keep them well watered.
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    Hang painted frames on chains. Remember, you don’t need to have glass in the frames of your old windows to use them in the garden.
    • In fact, empty panes will make a great place for birds to perch.
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    • Try painting old window frames using distressed paint techniques.
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    • Outdoor chalk paint also works well.
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    • Hang these on chains on the edge of your porch, from a tree branch, or on a barn door.
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    • A collection of frames painted different colors works well.
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    Create a false window on a fence. An old window can be hung on a fence to create the illusion of a real window.
    • This works especially well if you replace the glass panes with mirror panels.
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    • It also helps create a sense of space in a small garden.
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    • You can make a nice effect if you use a window with shutters.
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    • Try painting these in a color that complements your fence.
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    • Try some paint distressing techniques to create an aged effect.
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    Use an old window as a planting display. You can use an old window as a planting display by adding a window box or ledge to your window and putting a planter in it or several plant pots on it.
    • Another nice effect can be achieved by taking some old metal food cans, making some drainage holes at the bottom using a screwdriver, painting them in bright colors and patterns, and nailing them to the window frame before planting in them.
    • This is a nice way to display plants against a colorful window frame.
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    Make a frame for your plants. Take an old window (or picture) frame that is empty of glass to create a plant frame.
    • Attach a small hook to the center of the inner frame at the upper side.
    • Attach a chain to this and hang a planter from it – a small bucket or basket planter works well for this.
    • This is a neat way to display a trailing plant.
    • It works nicely if you paint the frame in a color that complements your planter, and its flowers and foliage.
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    Create a clear glass mosaic. Gather a good collection of colorless cut glass plates and pot lids, decanter tops, and other clear glass items to create a glass mosaic.
    • Glue these to your clear glass window and fill in the spaces between them with clear glass beads or marbles.
    • The idea for this display is to make it colorless but emphasize the textures provided by the cut glass items you use.
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    Raise and treat your garden art to preserve it. Since garden art lives outdoors, it’s best to protect it before leaving it out for extended periods of time.
    • Remember that any wood in contact with soil will get wet and may start to rot.
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    • To preserve the life of your garden art, treat it with a wood preservative if it is in contact with the ground, or raise it on a pressure-treated wood block.
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Categories: Theme and Feature Gardens