How to Make a DIY Window Picture Frame

If you’re looking for a fun, easy DIY home decor project then this could be for you! I will walk you through four easy steps for how to make your own DIY window picture frame.

Let’s be honest… I’m in love with the shabby chic, antique look. If you are too, then make an antique, distressed looking window picture frame like I did. If that’s not your style, then simply find a window sash that matches the feel you want. Either way, making this DIY home decor project is easier than it looks!

diy window picture frame pinterest

4 Steps for Turning a Window into a Picture Frame

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You will need the following…

  • A wooden window sash (this is the technical term for the part of the window you want)
    • If your window sash is antique and has lead paint on it like mine did, you will also need: a rag, plastic, painters tape, and clear sealant spray
  • D-Ring hanger set (includes screws, hanging wire, and a picture hanger with nail)
  • A print of the photo you want to use (big enough the fill the window frame)
  • Tape or staples (to secure your printed photo to the wooden frame)

I searched craigslist for a free window sash, but finally ended up looking through the window sashes at Second Use, a secondhand antique store near Seattle. I wanted one that was inexpensive, white, light weight, and had more than one window pane. I decided on a $10 22×22 window sash with 2 panes that had white paint on one side and was unpainted on the back (as you can see in the picture below).

If you are wondering, here is where I got the rest of my supplies: The D-Ring hanger set I found for pretty cheap at Home Depot, I got the sealant spray from Walmart, and I printed my photo at Costco. Everything else I already had on hand.

Step 2: Clean Your Window Sash

antique window picture frame progress

Be sure to wipe down your window sash–this includes wiping any dirt from the wooden frame as well as cleaning the glass (both sides!) with some glass cleaner.

If your window sash has lead paint on it, like mine did, you will need to seal in the paint. Lead paint is toxic and can be harmful (especially to children) if inhaled or ingested even in low levels. To seal the paint, bring your window sash outside, wipe it down to clean it, cover the window panes by taping plastic or paper over the glass, and then sprayed the whole thing down with a clear sealant. Tip: To be safe, you can wear a painting filter mask while doing this.

(Pregnant? Check out this post on safety tips.)

Step 3: Secure Your Photo

Once your window sash is clean and ready to go, it’s time to add your photo. Depending on the size and shape of your window sash, you may need to cut away excess photo paper that sticks out from behind the window. At Costco, I had printed a large 24×36 poster sized print of one of my favorite pictures from our wedding. My window sash was only 22×22, so I had to cut the photo down. I did this by gently laying my window sash on top of my photo and adjusting its placement until I had photo in the perfect spot. I then cut off all of the excess photo paper so there wouldn’t be any sticking out from behind my window sash.

Secure your photo to the back of the window by using staples, tape, tacks, small nails (be sure they are short enough that they won’t poke through the other end), or whatever method is easiest for you. I had some black electrical tape on hand so I used that to hold the photo in place and then pushed a couple tacks in for good measure.

Step 4: Add Hanging Wire

To turn your window into a picture frame, grab your D-Ring hanger set (which should have included 2 D-rings, 2 screws, hanging wire, and the picture hanger with a nail) and secure to the back of your window by following the directions on its packaging.

antique window picture frame final

I love my DIY antique window picture frame! The black and white photo works great with the light and dark contrasts we have throughout our living room, and the old, distressed window sash adds an antique feel.

Hope you have fun making your own DIY window picture frame. This has certainly been one of my favorite DIY projects so far! Let me know how your project goes in the comment section below.

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