14 Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Windows

The new trend in the home improvement industry is eco-friendly practices. Homes are going green by not only becoming more energy efficient but also reusing and repurposing old materials. Windows are a great example.

repurpose old windows on a practical and sustainable way

In the past, when a professional window service arrived to install window replacements they took the old material to the dump where it sits as waste for decades.

Of course, this dated approach to home improvement is not resourceful. Glass can take a million years to fully decompose into the environment, which generates a ton of waste in landfill. Even wood (which is natural and biodegradable), can take up to 13 years to fully decompose.

Therefore, more practical and self-sustainable use for old windows is to repurpose them. If you’re planning on replacing your windows you can use these 14 creative ways to repurpose the old windows.

1. Build a Headboard

There are a lot of beds, especially modern ones, that lack much style. They all look fairly similar. What can really make a bed standout is a lavish headboard that is unique, decorative, and stylish.

One great example of this is to build a headboard made out of old windows. It’ll definitely stand out from your typical bedroom and become the envy of all your visitors.

2. Use Windows as Doors to a Cabinet

The DIY project may require a little more advanced craftsmanship yet if you think you are up to the task old windows make for really great doors to cabinets.

Most people want to show off what they have in decorative cabinets inside living rooms and dining areas. However, the vast majority of cabinet doors are not transparent and don’t reveal anything.

You’ll need to size up the doors to the correct measurements and install hinges, but if you know what you’re doing it’s a very creative old window repurpose idea.

3. Transform a Window into Chalkboard

Kitchens are the one place where most homeowners find themselves making a lot of notes. It may be something as simple as posting a stick-it on the fridge indicating you need more milk. Or perhaps you want to look up a recipe you heard on TV.

When you transform an old window frame by removing the glass and adding chalkboard sections where the glass was previously you can create a very artistic, decorative chalkboard. It is a really ingenious idea.

4. Create a Command Center

We all have a lot of items that we tend to leave in various places around the home that make it disorganized. How many times have you forgot where you last put your keys? What about a phone or wallet?

A command center is a one stop place for all miscellaneous items. A multi-glass window can have the glass removed much like the above creative tip and used instead to separate various items. For example, you can organize items into spots for keys, wallets, sunglasses, loose change, necklaces, watches, and other various items that you use on a daily basis.

5. Add Stained Glass Artwork

stained glass artwork

It better serves artistic types but if you have some hidden talents now is the opportunity to show them off with stained glass art. Even if you haven’t previously worked with stained glass before, several communities offer starter glasses.

The good thing about old windows is that they’re a good place to learn. Even if your first trial isn’t a work of art you didn’t have to pay anything for the glass, so it’s a wash. Also, you just may surprise yourself.

6. Repurpose a Window Coffee Table

Coffee tables are another DIY project that requires some advanced craftsmanship yet looks really great when completed right. Coffee tables with glass aren’t affordable. However, if you already have the glass you can transform an old window to serve as the top of a coffee table.

Some of the best designs feature glass panes that open up so you can put different decorative items inside the window to show off from the top.

7. Build Old Windows into Fencing

While the previous six suggestions were all related to interior design, it’s time to explore some exterior creative window repurpose ideas too.

One really creative idea is to cut holes into the current fencing and install old windows to fit. If you would rather maintain your backyard privacy you also have the option of simply installing them to the current fencing.

8. Create a Mini Greenhouse

A very creative idea that some gardeners will find as really cute is to build a miniature greenhouse out of old recycled windows. The glass is perfect for generating heat where you can grow some really small plants.

Of course, it’s more for looks than actual practicality as a greenhouse but it’s still a cool concept and a decorative outdoor idea.

9. Build a Mini Garden House

Another creative outdoor idea for old repurposed windows is to design it into a miniature garden house. While it’s not really a practical idea, it still creates a stylish look.

You can do a number of different things with an outdoor garden house. The project is also easy to build so you don’t need to be a master DIYer.

10. Install a Bathroom Wall Cabinet

The size of most windows create the perfect amount of shelving for items commonly found in a bathroom. While it may not be enough space to store items you want to display in a living room, bathroom cabinets must be more confined due to smaller space.

Small to average size windows are great storage for hygiene products, medications, beauty products, and any other bathroom supplies. You can also change out the glass for mirrors to make them reflective.

11. Frame a Family Portrait

Who doesn’t want to show off their beautiful, wonderful family? Old windows can serve as old frames if you want to eliminate the glass and sashes altogether.

The best method is to deconstruct the frame down to its perimeter. Now that you have accurate dimensions get an existing or new family portrait developed.

Picture frames made of old windows are a really great holiday gift idea if you got the windows from a place like an old family cabin or the house you grew up in.

12. Transform Old Windows into Mirrors

It costs a little more than many of the creative projects on this list because you need new, reflective glass for the mirror, yet it’s well worth it. There is something to be said about having your own custom made mirror compared to a generic one you purchased at the store.

You can design a variety of mirrors to hang on a single wall or use the largest repurpose window you have for a full body length mirror.

13. Build a Fireplace Screen

There are not many fireplace screens that are decorative. Most of them are pretty straightforward and lack style. So one idea is to find an old window that fits and repurpose it into a fireplace screen.

The look through design adds value to the entire fireplace instead of a basic screen and can open or close of course.

14. Create a Shadow Box

Shadow boxes are a completely decorative item that doesn’t really serve a necessary purpose yet can definitely enhance the presentation of a room. If you’re struggling to find other ideas for how to use old windows, why not build a shadow box?

Shadow boxes are really simple to build for even beginning craftsman. Extra bonus if you can install lighting into the shadow box to display it at night.

There are Many Ways to Repurpose Old Windows

There are many different ways to repurpose old windows into decorative items in or outside your home. Some are very practical while others are purely there for decoration. Hopefully, you were able to set some inspiration from these 14 ways to repurpose your old windows.

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