New Uses for Discarded or Recycled Windows

A few years ago I stumbled across some old windows in one of my fave antiquing haunts.  They were only $2 each so I bought several thinking one day I might make one of these.  Come a bit closer and check it out.

Greenhouse Made from Discarded Old Windows


Isn’t it adorable?  Let’s peek inside.

Greenhouse Made from Discarded Old Windows


Love!   I didn’t buy it since I don’t have a great place where I can display it.  Plus, it was over $300!   Probably worth it though since it came with this wonderful little scene inside.   Wouldn’t it be great in a conservatory or on a porch?  You can see lots more pics of how it’s constructed and the inside in this post: Make a Greenhouse from Discarded Windows

Greenhouse Made from Discarded Old Windows


It was still there in the spring.

Greenhouse with Easter vignette inside


This time I found a cute Easter scene waiting inside.  To see more pictures of this Easter scene, check out this post:  Make a Greenhouse from Old Windows for a Holiday Display

Easter Decorations


Since seeing this cute greenhouse made from old, discarded windows, I’ve come across several other great ideas for recycling those old windows.  (Click on the “source” under each photo for more information and/or tutorials for each of the following window crafts/window recycling ideas.)

Replacing your windows with more energy-efficient one?  Take the old ones and build a full-size greenhouse in your backyard.

Greenhouse from old recycled windows


Make a bulletin board and/or chalk board for your office or kitchen.

Chalkboard Bulletin Board Made from an Old Window


Decorate your panes with pretty paper for a unique wall hanging.  Add pegs and it becomes a place to hang your scarf or coat.



Create a fun window box to hang on your gardening shed or porch.

Window Flowerbox



Have a favorite photo enlarged and create a wonderful poster-size display for your wall.


If your windows are nice and tall, they can become a pretty headboard when attached to the wall behind a bed.

Window Headboard


 Returning back to the greenhouse idea, if you don’t have room for your greenhouse on a porch, display it in the garden.

Garden Greenhouse

 Source for above pic and pic below


You can even dress it up for the seasons.  So many possibilities!  If you’re thinking about building one of these for your porch or garden, check the Habitat ReStores.   They often have old windows that have been donated.  Just Google to find one in your area. Another online site that can sometimes help with finding salvaged materials like windows is dwell’s, Lost and Found

Fall Garden Greenhouse


Have you built anything with old windows?  I’m thinking more and more about trying to turn mine into something fun.


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  1. I remember when you posted the cute snowman one. These are such cute ideas, I would love to find one of the old windows. Maybe soon!

  2. Mid-Atlantic Martha says

    I love these — If anybody could do it….you could!

  3. I have old windows all over my house. One in my living room with a funky fabric behind it, one on my fireplace mantel with a “Welcome Friends” sign nailed to it and one in my daughters room, painted hot pink with knobs for hanging things. I also have an old door from my husband’s childhood home that was 100 years old in a corner in my living room. I love decorating with interesting things. πŸ™‚

  4. L’idΓ©e est vraiment gΓ©niale… Que soit cette charmante serre polyvalente ou les autres utilisations, j’aime Γ§a !
    Une très belle publication, merci pour ce partage.
    Gros bisous

  5. Susan…the greenhouse in that shop is so very cute…I love the way people recyle old windows…Mary from “Home is Where the Boat Is”…recently built a fabulous Garden Cottage using recycled windows…I hope that someday I could have a garden cottage too using mainly recycled building items….Thanks for all the inspiration!

  6. Susan,
    I remember seeing the snowman display when you originally posted it. I collect snowmen and I think it’s adorable. If I find some small windows I may try something similar. Oh, and we used some old windows on the side of our workshop (where there are no real windows) and attached window boxes. It was an inexpensive way to dress up the side of a building.

  7. Such cute and novel ideas Susan! Thanks for sharing them. The Christmas and Easter house is so whimsical.
    Re the window box one; old discarded dresser drawers make perfect window boxes for your flowers as well.

  8. Love the Christmas display! pinned it.

  9. So charming! I always seem to find old windows that look, well, old! You know, not the shabby chic kind of old, just the dirty kind of old. These windows looks lovely. It kind of reminds me of a dollhouse. What fun to decorate!

    • Oh, Doreen, you’re right! No wonder we all love these little greenhouses with cute scenes/vignettes inside. Does feel a bit like a doll house. πŸ™‚ I need to get to work on mine…the one I bought several years ago.

  10. Oh wow! I love the awesome idea for repurposing windows..terrific and clever!!!!!! Glad I don’t have wondows left ove, lol.. as I wouldn’t know where to place such big cage like, or the kids’s house. SUPER IDEA!

  11. Hi Susan, I have been enjoying your blog for quite awhile, are you in the Atlanta area? I was pleasantly surprised to see the window house you have posted today, as I designed it and my husband built it, I sold it several years ago in my antique booth. I often wonder who purchases my things and where they end up. I have one in my backyard as well. Thanks for the photos, it is adorable with the snowmen.

    • Hi Cheryl,
      Yes, I’m am. I didn’t buy the greenhouse. I saw it in the Queen of Hearts in Alpharetta in November 2009 and then later again in April 2010. Was your booth in the Queen of Hearts? I’m not sure who bought it, but it sure is cute! πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Susan,

    Isn’t that the most WONDERFUL greenhouse? I fell in love with greenhouses made of old windows a few years ago, but also didn’t have a place to display it. THEN….LO and BEHOLD…..last Christmas Pottery Barn offered its version in two sizes for a rather reasonable price (I thought)…..$125 for the smaller one (which is still a good size) so I ran right out and bought it. Check on their website to see if they’re selling it this year. It would be a catalog only item. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it and know it will be one of those things I will never tire of . I also decorate it seasonally and it’s just absolutely charming.

    Check it out.


  13. I had 2 small antique French doors and 4 paned shabby chippy old windows……………..always with a clear intention of what I wanted to do with them…………….until I went to the bathroom and fuddled about then came back out to our garage sale and watched someone driving away with them…………………hubs said he had no idea.

    I get a nervous tick in my left eye when I think about that, haha. But then, truth be told they’d prolly STILL be in the garage waiting to get broken so it’s probably for the best.

    I β™₯ every single one of those crafty projects but especially love the window box with the plant, that’s just awesome.

    • Oh, Michele…that sound like something that would happen to me. Wonder what they did with them. Well, I hope you come across some more if you decide to you want them again. My windows are still on the floor of my garage. I can’t part with them but I don’t have a back yard suited for a greenhouse are the moment. Maybe one day.

  14. I long for pane glass windows, especially from old factories.
    My sweet hubby brought home 2 discarded sidelights, wood with pane glass. We ended up building a 12×8 passive solar greenhouse/studio with some other reclaimed windows from house remodels. We sold that house 2 years ago and I miss it so. This post brought back many ‘paned’ memories (punny)
    Thank you for sharing.
    P.S. I love your header and how it changes with the seasons and holidays πŸ™‚

    • Cristy, your solar greenhouse sounds wonderful. I get so attached to houses so I know you hated to leave that behind. My husband and I built our first home. It was a little yellow cottage and I cried at the closing when we had to move. Couldn’t help myself…we had put so much of ourselves into that home. I hope you build your greenhouse again!

  15. Hmmm… Thanks sooo much for the inspiration. I have about a dozen or so of these old windows… I have used a few in my Fall decorating and will be keeping them up I think. But that still leaves about 8 or so in the garage. The Mr. would luv for them to leave his space πŸ™‚
    In my post Fluffing for Fall and my Fall home tour you can see some. I have one on my hutch with a window box in front of it filled with dried hydrangea blooms from my bush this summer. So soft and natural.
    Showed him this idea… I think it would be wonderful on my back patio… or by the fire pit. Hmmm….
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers, Gee

  16. So many great ideas for those windows. I remember you posting about a greenhouse, I also remember your doll house. Where do you keep it now Susan?
    In my Christmas village, I have a house with a greenhouse attached. It is my favourite piece.
    I wonder why we are so drawn to greenhouses? Is it to remind us that we shouldn’t throw stones!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Hey Megan, It’s still in the guest room, needing some love. I need to figure out how to removed the stained/damaged wall paper and fix it up a bit. Greenhouses are magical…it’s being on the outside and seeing in…all that beautiful greenery inside. Just something wonderful about peering in through glass to a beautiful scene. That’s my theory. πŸ™‚

  17. Oh how fun! I love the conservatory and wish I had a spot for one- especially one that large! You found some great examples of other ways to use the windows. When we added on to our home we replaced all the windows and put the old ones out by our mailbox. I was amazed how fast they got scooped up!

  18. Thank you Susan for reposting the pictures of this adorable display. I was searching your archives this weekend looking for the original post but could not remember when you posted it and then got distracted by all your other wonderful posts. I found an extra large wardian case last winter in the hopes that I could create something similar to this. In Calgary we have already seen significant snowfall so I’m definitely feeling like getting into the Christmas decorating. Thank you again for sharing.

    • Thanks, Paula! If you ever want to refer back to it again, just click on the heading, The Holiday Home, then Christmas then either Decor or Crafts and you’ll find it under either of those two categories.

      Would love to see your wardian case. Stay warm!

  19. Ann s Mindicino says

    Susan, you never disappoint. I wish I had photos of artwork I saw in a gallery awhie ago. The artist used old windows as her canvas. They were truly amazing. We will be replacing basement windows soon. Now I’ll have to take a look at what the old one’s look like & what I can do with them. If I find that artist I’ll e mail you her paintings; and they come framed b/c they’re made on a window!

  20. Now this is serious fun!

  21. I love this post! So many great ways to use old windows! I have an old door with windows that has been used in several weddings now as the Seating Chart. Right now I took the window portion out of the door and it is on my Halloween Mantel. The snowman showcase is sooo cute – I wish I had a place to put it- imagine how fun it would be to decorate for each season, it would be like having your own little department store window!

  22. Susan, I too love the greenhouse in the shop, no wonder you have had your eye on it! Thanks for the inspiration or maybe I should say, gee thanks for yet another addiction I don’t have time for! lol I am now on the hunt for windows πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  23. I love all these ideas, Susan! You have me thinking now about the old six-pane window that’s lying in my attic…. just waiting to be put to use! Sorry I haven’t been able to stop by more often, lately, but I hope to remedy that soon. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  24. We are replacing the windows in our house this week
    ~ neat that this great article appeared! Would love suggestions on how to give away all this windows. 22 double hung so 44 individual windows. Free for the taking otherwise our builder will take them to the dump. Would appreciate ideas.

    • J, you could have them taken to a Habitat ReStore…they may want them. Another reader said she put hers on the curb and they were gone in no time. Antique/thrift store owners sell them in their stores…that’s where I found mine. I hope they find good homes. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much for featuring my little window house! Our electricity finally turned on and I’m getting back to my blog. I really felt disconnected! Anyway, thank you again, Susan! I’m such a big fan of yours!! That crow tree really fascinated me and inspired me to put paper crows all around my house… Best wishes, Linda

  25. I remember seeing these before and I fell in love. I SO want one but, like you, don’t want to pay the $$. Adding this to my wish list so I’ll remember to start hunting for old windows πŸ˜‰

  26. I have a basement full of storm doors and windows, all ready for construction. Does that count?

  27. I so love this idea and adore your blog, liked you on FB. I have all of the windows that were removed from our farmhouse renovation 5 years ago, now I have a use for them. Thank you!

  28. I have always LOVED this Christmas “house” . So you can imagine how excited I was to find a similiar empty one of like size at HomeGoods for $50. SNAPPED it up. Am in the process of furnishing it.

  29. I LOVE the Christmas version of this “house”…I had to pin it to my Holiday board to keep this in mind for another “to do!”

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