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How to Make a Window-Sash Picture Frame

Reader Leslie Geesaman's clever reuse of a salvaged window inspires an easy way to display art and photos

Who> Leslie Geesaman

Where> Fairhill, Md.

What> Reworked a double-hung to display vintage shapshots.

You, my fellow salvage junkies, never cease to amaze me with your creativity. Take Leslie Geesaman, whose window-turned-picture-frame is shown above.

Pained at the thought of a charming wood double-hung ending up in a landfill, Leslie's contractor husband lugged the window home from a job site. And in true TOH fashion, Leslie put it to good reuse. Her idea: Mount photos behind the wavy-glass divided lights and hang the sashes side by side on the wall. Read on for the how-to on a window picture frame inspired by Leslie's.

Step 1

Make a Window-Sash Picture Frame

Figuring that many of you would love a picture frame like Leslie's for your home, I set about gathering the materials and creating a step-by-step. First, I found a window: a 1920s casement with six panes. Then I hit the craft-supply store. Rather than mounting my photos directly behind the glass, I picked up precut sage-green mats to add more depth.

Step 2

Prep the window

Photo by Kristine Larsen

For bare wood, rub on protective beeswax. On painted sashes, guard against toxic lead by sealing the finish under clear polyurethane. Spritz the glass with window cleaner.

Step 3

Measure the panes

Photo by Kristine Larsen

Figure out how big your mats need to be by measuring the window panes. Jot down the length and width from the center points of the surrounding muntins, as mats will overlay the woodwork.

Step 4

Trim the mats to size

Photo by Kristine Larsen

Slice off equal parts from the sides, top, and bottom so that they'll be centered behind each pane. I used a paper cutter, but a utility knife will also do the trick.

Step 5

Secure the photos

Photo by Kristine Larsen

Affix the photos to the back of the mats with traditional framer's tape. ($7 for a 60-foot roll of 2-inch Kraft flatback paper tape; findtape.com)

Step 6

Arrange the matted photos

Photo by Kristine Larsen

Arrange the photos on the back side of the window and tape around their outer edges. Once all photos are in place, tape the inner edges to each other

Step 7

Check the placement

Photo by Kristine Larsen

You may have to move the photos ¼ inch or so and retape to ensure that each is centered behind its pane.

Step 8

Add hanging hardware

Photo by Kristine Larsen

Screw in eye hooks on either side of the window frame. Thread picture wire through them and twist the ends to secure. Then hang your frame on the wall and revel in your handiwork.