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Trash to Treasure – Vintage Windows and Screens

June 3, 2016

I’m an old window junkie. I have been collecting them for years.

What to do with themIMG_2089, besides save them from the landfill? A while back someone bought some of my windows to make a little green house. Then last summer I sold several of the classier ones at an antique booth that I had.

Upcycling is all the rage these days, and I am trying to put on my creative hat and make use of my windows. One window became a simple mosaic. Just glass tiles arranged in a linear pattern. The window I’m working on now has three long panes.


I painted the frame sage and the middle pane has chalk board paint. I’m still trying to decide if I want to embellish it further with some painted flowers or leaves or the like. I also have some nice knobs from Hobby Lobby that I’ll probably add to it as well. So many possibilities!

Windows show up when you’re not looking for them, and sometimes when you are looking for them. Some are pretty beat up and others are in perfect shape for being vintage. My neighbor just got some new windows, and the installers were packing up the old windows. “Do you have any plans for those windows?” “Nope.” Score! The point is, if you’re a window junkie, you take what you find when you find it. Once they get to the garbage truck they are pulp.

Then, a little while later I came across some nice old screens. Hmm, screens? Yep, people are upcycling screens too. Pinterest is just flooded with upcycle ideas! But, in searching for screens, I came across a bit of history, the Painted Screen Society of Baltimore. Screen painting had a very functional and simple artistic purpose in the city of Baltimore, Maryland at the beginning of and for most of the 20th century, until the advent of the window air conditioner. The artwork was a screen for the screen, allowing the air to flow through the house and provide privacy at the same time. Here’s a nice video on the subject:

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