Decorative Faux Window (with vinyl): Before and After

A year ago (almost to the very day) I walked into our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for the very first time and walked back out with the nastiest, dirtiest, thrift find that I've ever brought home!  I myself was even questioning my judgement.  (I'll show you just how gross it was in a sec.)  So what swayed me to buy it?  The price--only $1.00 for this coop door or window, or whatever it was, and the before and after projects of fellow bloggers that pushed me to try to look past the ugly to see something more.  Thank you craft blogs! 

A year is a long time to wait for inspiration to hit (ideas will come when they come), but I think it was worth the wait! 

I'm not sure that I want to know what this originally was, but if you have an idea let's hear it!  I can tell you that it's made with a plexiglass insert, was filthy, had holes drilled in both sides, and for some reason was only partially painted purple? 

It also came complete with it's very own spider sac!  Eww.  First thing when I got it home I put on some rubber gloves and got out the 409 and windex.  I typically don't clean wood with 409, but it made me feel better.

I still wasn't convinced it was clean, so I took my electric sander to it and sanded it down to nice bare wood.  This is how it stayed for an entire year.  At first I wanted to finish it with a quote just like this one, then I thought I'd add music staffs with notes and letters in vinyl and hang it by the piano to help the kids with note recognition, but that never happened either.  When the idea came to add birds and branches in vinyl and then make it into a paned window I couldn't wait to get started on it--that was it!   

I started by staining the frame with a dark walnut stain and then painting it white.  For directions on how to paint the frame and distress it follow the tutorial that I posted for my Decorative Door.

Then I cut some (previously used) wood trim to use to make it appear to have panes.  If you do this make sure you measure and measure again.  This window isn't perfectly square, so it was tricky to get it all lined up so it looked right.  In this picture I was lining it up, measuring, and marking it for placement.

The design for the vinyl came from the Silhouette store.  I picked this one because I liked how it filled the frame and would hide the scratches on the plexiglass.  I had to change it to make it work with the size of the window so the birds were in the center of a pane.  After I enlarged and cut it with the Silhouette, I cut it apart with scissors and placed the leaves and branches where they fit best.
Edited to add:  The image is called "Bird and Branch Background" by Hero Arts and it's Design ID #9127.  I had to size it quite large so I was only able to cut out 1/2 of the design at a time.  You can't tell when you look at it, but a couple of the branches are even seemed together. 

I love the idea of looking through the window panes to see the birds and branches, but it looks nice without them too.

I used wood putty to fill in the cracks, measured and marked the placement, and then hot glued the wood trim together.  For more directions on how to add the wood for the faux window panes you can follow the tutorial for my How to Make a Window from a Picture Frame post.

Use an x-acto knife or a scissor blade to score any overlapping vinyl on the edges of the frame.

This decorative faux window is hanging in my dining room and is part of a gallery wall that I'm still working on.  I'll show you the rest of the projects as I finish them.

I've always loved decorating around birds and nature so I couldn't be happier with the end result!

Today's Fabulous Find...Habitat for Humanity's ReStore
 (Check for a location near you, they have some great stuff!)

TDC Before and After
Pin It!


Holy Craft said...

I think it looks great! What an awesome project for a buck!

laxsupermom said...

Love this project! Love the vinyl design! It looks terrific! Thanks for sharing.

Al@PolkaDotsandPaisley said...

Love this! I'm currently saving for a Cricut and this makes me even more anxious.

Beth said...

I have had a window that I have been waiting to finish with vinyl and it's very similar to this design. I haven't finished it yet, but yours is REALLY pretty and I love the design. I have a Cricut, but my next machine is going to be the Cameo. Much more creative freedom.

Baking with Blondie said...

SO. DANG. CUTE. You make me want to craft asap!

Melissa said...


Alison @ Oopsey Daisy said...

WOW!! Janet, I am in LOVE with this. I love the birds and branches and how they peek through the window. You are always so incredible. XO

lynn said...

such a great price for a darling window, janet! i just checked, and i have 2 stores close by! didn't know that-tfs!

Becca @ The Sassy Penguin said...

wow! What a great finished product! I have a window and vinyl...I'm going to give something similar a shot!

Melanie said...

This is brilliant! I LOVE it!
Found you over at Lil Luna!

I'd love for you to come link this up at my Tuesday Time Out Party - open all week! There's a $50 Amazon card up for grabs this week too!

Tuesday Time Out Linky Party


Reasons To Skip The Housework {The Blog}
Tinker B Boutique {The Shop}

ARod said...

turned out so cute love it

Amy said...

Love this! You did a great job and you can't beat $1! I pinned it. :)

Lynette said...

So cute! I love it! :)

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

What a darling idea you had here..LOVE IT!!


odetoinspiration said...

Very cool idea! Thanks for sharing:)

BKWilliams said...

Love this project. You have such great ideas. Thank you for sharing with us.

Lorrie said...

Love it! It's so cute, birds and windows just seem to go together! Great job! I'm now following!

Anna said...

This is so great! You did a fabulous job making it over! I would love it if you'd come share this at the Weekend Warrior: http://www.askannamoseley.com

Anna :)

gail wilson said...

janet--love your faux window and birds! great job!


Toqua's Crafts said...

Oh I love it!
I would never have guessed that the panes weren't always there!

I'm here via My Repurposed Life.

Pam said...

Neat...I really love it. You did a great job.

Six Sisters said...

This is amazing and so cute! We are so glad you came to another week of our fun “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. Please join us again! -The Sisters

- Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl said...

I love this window! Nice job. I found your image on pinterest and re-linked it to your post since it wasn't linked correctly. I'm also writing a post about craft cutter projects and hope you don't mind if I link your project to the gallery. Have a great week!

Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl


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