There are hundreds of great crafts to make with old windows. They offer a unique, vintage look to many DIY crafts. Yet, they always remain elegant and classy despite the “old” feel to them.
However, if you’re like us, you’re probably scratching your head on where to buy old windows for your craft projects.
Since old windows can be hard to find, we put together a list of our top ways to find them.
Be sure to stick around to the end for some old window craft inspiration!
Pros: Cost-effective – We’ve seen some full 10 pane window doors going for under $250, and 6 pane windows for under $140 – both in great shape!
The widest selection among any of our choices because you are pooling from sellers across the country and not just in your local area. eBay is also a very trustworthy marketplace (all transactions are insured and reviewed by eBay).
Additionally, local pickup is often available – if you are close by or willing to take the drive. If you decide to ship, the windows are shipped right to your door. This eliminates having to sift through endless material at a craft show!
Cons: It may be a bit expensive to ship and there is always a risk of the glass breaking during shipping. Just make sure you contact the seller prior to shipping to ensure the necessary protocols will be taken place when shipping fragile items. A simple message in their inbox will do the trick.
2. Flea Markets
Flea markets are a phenomenal way to find old windows and a decent amount of variety.
Pros: You can usually negotiate the price with sellers. There is a wide variety and you can find some extremely unique pieces. Also, there are huge flea market venues all over the US. Many flea markets hold several events within the year. Major flea markets may have over 30,000 vendors. You can take a look at some really neat choices here: Top 20 Flea Markets in the US
You might also be able to find ancillary items for your other craft projects as well!
Cons: Despite the flexibility to negotiate, the initial sticker price is usually high. The sellers need to turn a profit since they had to pay for renting the space at the flea market. Also, if you are at a large Flea Market, it may take up to an hour or so to find some potential sellers. Not to mention, it might be a bit cumbersome lugging your windows back to your car through the Flea Market. Just some things to consider if you are working on a large project.
OfferUp, previously known as “LetGo”, is an awesome app to quickly find items for sale in your location. This is a fantastic craigslist alternative for two reasons…
- The app is very easy to use and promotes messaging from the buyer and seller within the application
- The app gives you the option to pick up locally or ship
Why it’s better than craigslist:
- Peace of mind: OfferUp states on their website they “We work closely with our Law Enforcement Partners to ensure incidents requiring further investigation are handled accordingly.”
- Supports In-App messaging
- Provides identity confirmation with whom you are transacting with – usually verified with a Facebook account and phone number
- Users have profiles and also user ratings – you can ensure you are working with a trustworthy seller.
- The flexibility to use electronic payments supported by the app is also great: “OfferUp partners with the payment processor Stripe to enable sellers to accept electronic payment method”
4. Ask a residential remodeling contractor
It’s common practice for a remodeling team to throw away old windows. It is likely they have contracted a dumpster to use, where old windows may be tossed.
Check the following sources for remodeling contractors:
This option has fallen down the list quite a bit over the last few years. It is still an option, but we think there are far better alternatives. It’s also important that you double-check the condition with the seller prior to coming to an agreement on price. Often the windows are in worse condition than they look from the pictures.
6. Ask a real estate agent
Most likely a real estate agent is aware of what homes need to be remodeled prior to placing on the market to capture the most resale value. If there are homes under their management that need new windows, they most likely can point you in the right direction to find out how you can acquire those old windows being replaced.
How to Clean Old Windows for Crafts
Once you’ve found your windows, you’ll probably need to clean them… Most old windows are neglected, dusty, dirty, etc. The extent of the dirtiness depends on where you found them!
Cleaning old, vintage windows is not necessarily easy. In most cases, you’ll want to get the window clean without removing the “vintage look”.
Before starting, be sure to use gloves and a mask while cleaning your window. Many old windows contain lead paint, which can be dangerous to your health.
While cleaning your old window, stop between each of these steps to determine if you want to continue cleaning the window. Avoid over-cleaning!
- Remove dust with a Swiffer or feather duster.
- Use a brush and scrub the frame with soap and water.
- Clean the glass with glass cleaner.
- Re-paint the frame.
Remember, take a moment in between each step to see if the window is clean enough for you. You don’t want to overclean it!
Top 3 Old Window Craft Ideas
If you don’t have anything in mind for your old windows yet, check out these awesome old window craft ideas to spark your creativity!
1. Vintage Window Shelf
Turning your old window into a shelf is great if you’re looking for something to decorate your wall, while also serving as a place to display items.
You can use this shelf to display old photos or small antique items that fit the appearance of the vintage window. You may also want to consider repainting the window to fit the colors of the room.
Check out this quick tutorial showing how to turn an old window into a shelf.
2. Antique Monogrammed Window
A monogrammed window is a simple decoration that can easily add a touch of style to a room. Doing this craft is ultra-affordable (especially if you got your window for free) and very easy.
This is a great way to put an old window to use without breaking the bank!
Read this quick tutorial about how to create a monogrammed window.
3. Wreath/Window Decoration
This is another very easy and cheap old window craft idea!
Simply buy a wreath that fits the aesthetic of your vintage window, then attach the wreath to the window. You can get creative by adding ribbons and other decorative accents. You can also consider painting your window beforehand so it matches your other home decor.
Take a look at this example of a wreath and vintage window decoration.