Craft-Ease: Idea Board from recycled window

I made this for my mom for her birthday (a little late). She has converted my sister's former room into an oasis of sorts for herself to do her paper crafting and card making. She had mentioned to me a couple months ago that she wanted an idea board where she could display inspiration, sort of like a pinterest right above her work table. When my parents' neighbor threw out two windows by the side of the road I knew that one of them was meant for this project for my mom. It took a little bit of brainstorming but I came up with this idea of using magnetic paint for two of the window panes, corkboard for two panes and fabric for a "dry-erase board" for two panes. Here is how I went about the project.

First: The before shot.

Please excuse the reflection of our very dirty and cluttered back porch and also the painters tape in one pane. I almost forgot the before shot I was so eager to get going once the kids were napping!

Step 1: Painting. The window was pretty old and the paint was peeling. I knew I wanted to keep the distressed look and was also leary of the possibilty of lead paint so I was hesitant to sand the whole window down. I remembered a trick my good friend Ashley at Embrace the Space did for one of her projects. I used her suggestion of taking two parts paint and one part water and rubbing the mixture over the wood with an old cloth.

This way I kept the distressed look and also avoided potentially harmful lead paint dust. Just to be safe though I did this part outside so no paint chips or fumes made it into the house.

Step Two: Cork Board. I measured the size of my panes of glass and using an exacto knife I cut cork board to fit the space.

Then I fit them into the window panes and aheared them right to the glass using the mounting tape that came with the cork.

The cork I purchased came in 12x12 sheets. My panes measured 9.5x12.5 so I had a half inch gap at the bottom. I cut a strip of cork to fill it in and later covered it up with fabric.

Step Three:  Magnetic Board. Now it was time for the magnetic spray paint. I was so very nervous that I would spray the wrong parts of the window with the paint so I used painter's tape and paper towels (very ghetto I know) to cover up the parts I did not want to be magnetic.

I sprayed 3 coats, waiting the recommended time between each coat. It turns out that I needed more coats because when I tried to put a magnet on it later the attraction was not very strong. I had to go back over it with more coats of the paint.

Step Four: Dry Erase Board. Knowing that each pane measured 9.5x12.5 inches I cut 11x14 inch pieces of fabric and laid them across the back of each pane, with the patterned side down (as in facing through the glass to the side that will show when the window is hung.)

Don't you just love my "drop cloth"? It is an old curtain that the previous tenants left behind when they moved out. It is so "lovely" that it's only use has been as a drop cloth.

Then I made sure the fabric was as flat against the glass and wrinkle free as possible. (My finished product was not perfect. Oh well.) Then I stapled the excess fabric to the wood frame. The fabric shows through and my mom can write inspiration and ideas right on the glass with dry-erase marker.

Step Five: Embellish. The colors of my mom's room are yellow and green. She loves polka-dots and buttons. I decided to use some of these elements into my decoration of the inspiration board.  First I cut a strip of fabric to cover the ugly bottoms of the cork boards. I sewed the cut edge under and glued the fabric right to the window.

Then I made some fabric flowers.

I also glued some buttons in the other corner as well as some smaller buttons to a small magnet. I spray painted thumb tacks to match the color scheme. And made some paper bunting (to go along with my mom's love of paper-crafting) and used puffy alpha stickers to spell out "create" inside the bunting.

Step six: Be inspired! I am relying on my dad to hang this, but once it is hung I hope my mom can be inspired to create lots of beautiful cards and paper gifts! She is so talented and I am really proud of and excited for her as she tries to make a little side business out of her passion!

Here is another look at the before and after.

Linking up at these fun parties!


  1. Okay this is my third attempt at a computer is doing wacky things to me! Anyhow - this turned out fantastic!! Great job...I'm sure your mom will LOVE it!
    Thanks so much for stopping by Brown Paper Packages on the weekend and following...I hope to hear lots from you!! : )
    evie @ bppackages

  2. Don't you just love old windows? They are so versatile! I wouldn't even think to make a memo board, great idea! And it turned out super cute! Following now :)

  3. great project!! i LOVE LOVE LOVE the old window! I just got my hands on one, now i'm trying to figure out what to do with it!! thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Wow, your mom is so lucky to have such a great daughter. Love how that came out! I am a new follower from the Creative Bloggers' Hop. Vicky @

  5. I love the fabric! I've never seen an old window used like that before. So cute!

    P.S. I'm having a $50 cash giveaway on my blog this week. Come by when you have a chance! :)

  6. Love how it turned out! Thanks so much for linking up with us at Show & Share! Hope you’re joining us again this week!



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