February 21, 2011

Decorative Window Pane Tutorial

It's finished!
Well, mostly :-)  I still need to add some pictures and things, but the magnetic window frame is finished and I really like it!
 
I learned a few things along the way, including what not to do. 

What You'll Need:
old window frame, paint (I used white, brown, & black craft paint as well as some bronze), paint brushes & painter's tape, rag, sandpaper, stainless steel sheet/ssnips, decorative knobs (with long screws), drill, fun scrapbooking paperpermanent glue (I used gorilla glue), tape & regular glue
the original window

First I cleaned off the window all over and cleaned the glass.  Be cautious about lead paint when you're doing this.  Fortunately, my window was so old and worn that most of the paint was gone and there was very little chippy paint to worry about.

Then I taped the glass panes and painted several coats of white paint on the window.  I used craft paint since I'm pregnant and didn't want to mess with fumes, but you can of course prime & paint the window however you choose.
taped & painted

After I painted with a couple coats of white and it dried, I sanded the edges of the window for the "distressed" look.  After sanding and dusting the window off, I mixed brown and black paint to get the color I wanted and put in a little water so I could give the window a "glaze."  Normally one would use an actual glaze or stain for this step, but again, I didn't want to mess with fumes or pay extra for stain.
sanded edges

So your window is painted and dry.  Now, here's what not to do...don't use this stuff:
I was so excited we finally had a warm day, and Tedd & I went outside to tape off the window and try out the magical magnetic spray paint!  It says it covers 3 to 4 square feet per can, so we used the entire can on the 4 window panes.  (Tedd of course did the spraying).  I let it dry for two days and went to put my magnets on and...nothing.  I waited another day or so...still nothing.  This is nothing but a can of gray spray paint if you ask me.  So I called Krylon & they're going to refund the $, but I recommend you skip this step all-together and try plan B...

Plan B - stainless steel sheets.  Lowes, aisle 15, roofing/flashing/etc.  I carefully used snips to cut out the shapes to match the panes and then I glued them on the front side of the window with gorilla glue.  
stainless steel cut with snips (it's hard to get a straight line :-) gorilla-glued to the window pane


Then there are the knobs!  These are a mix of knobs I found at an antique store and some that Tedd found at the Queen.  He drilled holes and used long bolts with nuts to hold the knobs in place.  He had to countersink the holes for some of the knobs because the bolts weren't long enough.


  

Then on to the fun part.  Basically, with Elmer's glue I glued scrapbook paper into the window panes (covering the stainless steel squares).  The paper wasn't quite large enough, so I first painted the inside edges of the panes with a mix of brown and black and metallic bronze and then glued the scrapbook paper inside.  After that, I tried to give the paper an antiqued look around the edges by mixing black and bronze and gently dabbing it (and blending it) around the edges of the paper.
you can sort of see here how there's bronze paint (with some black mixed in) bordering the paper inside the pane.  This isn't too hard to mess up, just remember that less is more!  It doesn't need much.

You can also give the edges of your wood a little bit of metallic paint to make it interesting.  I lightly brushed the bronze along the edges of some of the panes.
For the picture frames, I simply cut the paper out to size and taped them to the back with masking tape.  I still haven't put any pictures in here, but I've considered putting Ian's footprints/handprints in these boxes, or you could put the oh-so-popular silhouettes inside (like mommy's, daddy's and baby's?), or pressed flowers, or anything really!

For now, I just used some magnets to put up a few maternity photos.  I think I'll fill in the other panes after I finish all my other craft projects!


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