Windows in the Garden

How to up-cycle old windows for garden art

Old windows are so versatile in the garden. I've seen them made into greenhouses, tables, hanging on sheds and turned into planters. I decided to spruce mine up with some stained glass. To do this project all you need is a sharp knife to help remove the glazing around the window (I used a 5-in-1 painter's tool), some needle nose pliers to remove the glazing points, a glass cutter, stained glass, new glazing and glazing points.

Once you have removed all the glazing from the windows you will need to remove the glazing points with the needle nose pliers. This window had six glazing points per pane. At this point you should be able to remove the glass. If you can't, then you haven't removed all the points or glaze.

Window Garden Art

Once the glass is out, finish cleaning up the edge and it should be ready for new glass. I took the old pane and used that as the pattern for the new glass, just make sure you cut out the glass using the inside of the mark, so as not to make your new glass too big. I also used a ruler to help me cut a straight line, as I am new to glass cutting, but that is not necessary. If your glass has a pattern, make sure all your glass is facing the same direction for a more uniform look. I was unable to do that due to size of the glass I had, but I think it would have looked better if they were all going in the same direction. I also didn't want to have to buy anything new, so I went with what I have, and I like it just fine.

Once the new glass is in, tap in the new glazing points and apply the new glazing according to the manufacturer's instructions. I don't know if all glazing is the same, but the kind I used was sort of like play dough. I rolled it out in my hand like a snake and then pressed it in place using the 5-in-1 tool to help get the appropriate bevel.

Some Hints: Each pane may be a different size, so you may want to use each different pane of glass as a separate pattern to cut the new pieces. Also, if your stained glass is thicker than your original glass, you will need to make adjustments for that as well. My stained glass was thicker, but I was able to cut the new glass a little bit smaller than the original glass to make it fit. Since this is purely decorative, it was fine to do it this way.

An easy way to tap in the glazing points is to use a magnetized flat head screwdriver to help hold the glazing point in place and then tap the end of the screwdriver with a hammer to push the glazing point into the wood of the window frame. A plain screwdriver works well too, but the magnetized head helps to hold the points even better, especially if you have large fingers.

Window Garden Art

I saw this idea at the 2010 Rochester Flower Show. All they did was take a poster, cut it into squares and paste them to the backside of the window. If you use a decoupage medium and paint on 5-10 layers of outdoor polyurethane, I bet these could hang outside for many years. A great idea if you are not a good painter. I would also spray the front of each image with a UV protector before gluing them to the glass.

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