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How to Make a Decorative Paned Window

In my last post I told you about how I came up with the idea of  framing a shelf  and showed you the frame and shelf before and afters.  It felt like it was still missing something though...what I thought it needed was a paned window.  Just thinking about it made me so excited I couldn't wait to get started!

I sketched out a plan of how I thought I could make one, got out my paint sticks and got to work.  My four year old helped me make it.  He measured, marked, and held the other end of the hand saw as we cut.  It was a lot of fun to make it with him, he was so pleased that he was able to do so much and really learned a lot. 

What you'll need:
  • 2-(five gallon size) paint sticks
  • narrow trim (I'm trying to remember what it's called, it measures @3/4" wide, is flat on the top with rounded edges)
  • saw and miter box 
  • wood glue (can use hot glue, but it won't be as strong)
  • sandpaper
  • glass-from a picture frame (try the dollar store) or have it cut for you
  • paint
  • caulk or wood filler
  • stain or distress ink


1. Decide what size you want your window.  This one is cut at 9 1/2 inches on the longest side of the paint stick, perfect for an 8x8 piece of glass.  (You can get two sides out of one paint stick if you cut it like I did in the picture above using the previous cut for the second piece.)

2.  Line up the four sides of the window to make sure the angles match nicely.  You might need to sand the ends some.

3.  Measure the distance inside of the frame.  Divide it in half and use that length for the length of the narrow rounded trim for the window pane dividers.  Center the 45 degree angled cut on the marked line.  Cut a 45 degree angle on the other side of the piece so it comes to a point.  Cut the other 3 pieces. (Tip: On the second piece you cut, the first 45 degree angled cut will already be done from the previous piece.  This saves a bit of cutting. See the picture above.)

4.  Line up the center pieces to make sure that they fit. 

5.  Glue the center pieces in place.  I first tried wood glue, which would have been perfect except that the gaps were a bit too big and it wasn't holding in place very well.  I ended up using hot glue, which isn't the best because it's not nearly as strong as wood glue and doesn't hold to the wood as well.   I knew though that the when I added the glass it would make it stronger so I went ahead and used it. 

6.  Fill any gaps with caulk or wood filler. (I used white paintable caulk for this step, not the caulk pictured above.)  I was going for an aged look, so I didn't completely fill the gaps with the caulk.  Let it dry completely before you paint. 

7.  Paint the window (I didn't bother to paint the back). 

8.  This next step is hard to see in the picture.  Put a bead of clear kitchen/bath caulk around the inside of the frame and on the center of the inside pieces.
I used the glass from this dollar frame for my window.  It's an 8x8 frame.

9.  Take the piece of glass, line it up, and press it down on the caulk.  The caulk will hold the glass in place when it's dry.

10.  Age the window.  Distress it by sanding the areas you want distressed some and then go over it with distress ink (I used dark walnut) or stain. 

Funny Story:  I'm generally impatient when it comes to waiting for things to dry and tend to use my hair dryer a lot to speed things along.  I had been blowing on the paint on my window, at the hottest setting, for only a minute or so when the inside pieces started to droop down.  I totally forgot that I used hot glue to glue it together and the heat was melting the glue!  I switched the setting to cool and it cooled down fast enough that it didn't fall apart.  I was so lucky!  Like I said, hot glue...not always the best choice. :)

You can make whatever size of window you'd like by using different sizes of wood and glass.  Or you could use a mirror, pictures, cork board, etc. instead of glass or just leave it empty.  There are a lot of possibilities.

I only needed to buy the picture frame for the glass, I already had the other supplies, so I was able to make this paned window for only $1.  What a difference a dollar can make!  

Today's Fabulous Find...How to Make a Paned Window

I'm entering this project in The CSI Project's under $5 Challenge

Linking up here:

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Tina said...

What a great idea! It turned out really cute! I have a window from an old house, but it's too big for the area I want it in. Thank you for this idea! I never thought to make my own window!

Jester said...

WELL worth the wait! LOVE IT!

Lynette said...

I am so glad you posted this. I bought a frame the other day and plan to separate it into three sections - cork, metal, and white board - and hang it in my office next to my desk. I was wondering how to separate the sections and then I read this.... Thanks!! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the idea..I am off to go get my paint sticks..Love your blog..

Amanda said...

This is such a wonderful idea, just fabulous that you could make the frame to fit your needs!

Thanks for sharing

Gail said...

Paint sticks are awesome. There's a crate floating around made out of them and I made a santo out of them as well. Check it out here:

Maybe someone needs to start a paint stick challenge.

Sommer said...

Dang girl you and those paint sticks are amazing! Okay now you have to go back and link this up too! lol. FABULOUS job! I would be delighted if you would link this to my party today!

Sommer @ Designer Garden

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

What a great tutorial! I love it! Thanks for the inspiration.

Visiting from Amanda's and your newest follower :)

Whit said...

That is such a cute easy and fun idea. Thank you for sharing I found this through the serenity now link party.

Jori said...

You are brilliant! I just spent weeks scouring around like a little rat trying to find an old window. You have just solved my problem. Whoohoo!

Sommer said...

Thanks for linking this up! Hope to see you next week with another fabulous project to share!


Nicole@Thrifty Decorating said...

Oh my....I LOVE this!! I didn't realize that you also made the paint stick crate....I made one of those this week and was planning to link back to you! How fun! :)

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Girl, you are like the queen of paint sticks! This is the cute little vignette. :)

Thanks so much for linking up to my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. Hope you'll visit me at Serenity Now again soon. :)

Unknown said...

I am impressed!! Such a nifty, thrifty idea!! Invite you to link your great idea to my blog bash K.I.S.S.

Drop by The Tattered Tag

Anonymous said...

That's so cool! I have a paint stick fetish. Not as bad as my paint CHIP fetish. But I still feel a need to pick up a couple every. time. I. go. to. the hardware store. Why do I do that? I'm going to make this. :)

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

That is FAB!!!

Dacia said...

Wow, you're so resourceful! I super love this idea! Thanks for the bloggy visit and comment love :)

Tammy @ Type A said...

very cool. i love windows, this one is perfect. i have a party that starts later today, i would love it if you shared this!

Stephanie said...

That is so great! Thanks for the instructions!!

Crystal Brown said...

This is so awesome! I was thinking the other day I wanted to make one! :)

Gabby said...

Wow, that is so cool and smart! Thanks for sharing! I gotta try it.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

This is awesome! I love this idea... so clever, Janet!

tonyamaries said...

I love it! Very clever!

Jenn said...

Looks great!

Angela said...

Very cute! I love this! Great job.

Amanda said...

You were featured today on Today's Top 20!


Lindy@Itsy Bitsy Paper said...

This is seriously fantastic! I love the way you've displayed it too.

Kim said...

You are amazing!!! I absolutely love how you made the window and how you accessorized it is awesome! I LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!

Sherri said...

This is adorable! I have wanted an old window to make a shadow box for my grandmothers infant dress and shoes that I have. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I loved this the first time I saw it, featuring you on my MAKE & SHARE linky. Stop by and feel free to link up to my MAKE & SHARE first edition tomorrow.


Jane B. said...

Thanks for linkin' up to Frugalicious this project!


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