(Photos © Susan Teare/W.W. Norton & Company)In her new book, Salvage Secrets Design & Decor (W.W. Norton & Company), salvage design maven Joanne Palmisano shows readers how to transform their homes using a creative roster of reclaimed materials, from bottle caps to chicken coops. One of her favorite standbys: old window and portrait frames. While the usual single-pane variety are not efficient enough to be reused as exterior windows, there are plenty of other ways to put them to work in your home. Take, for example, these easy-to-make stained-glass privacy windows. You can customize the size and shape to add personality to any room. Just look out for used frames in your local flea market or antique store and follow Palmisano's simple steps to get cracking.
-- 3 old frames (with glass) or windows of the same size
-- stained-glass decorative window film
-- X-acto knife or scissors
-- 12 coffee-cup hooks (or stronger hooks for larger windows)
-- 3 yards of thin white chain
-- measuring tape
-- wire cutters
-- hot glue gun and glue sticks
1. Find three wooden frames (with glass) that are the same size. Clean the frames and remove the inside mats. Sand the frames so that the paint will adhere, and then paint them white, covering both the front and back. Let them dry and then apply a second coat.
2. Remove the paper backing from the stained-glass film and carefully lay the film over the glass, smoothing out any bubbles.
3. Then use an X-acto knife to cut the excess film around the edges of the glass.
4. Place the stained-glass film and glass back in the frame. Apply hot glue around the edge to keep the glass in place and give the back a clean look (as it will be seen from outside).
5. Gently twist in the hooks, spacing them evenly across the top of the frame. Cut the chain with wire cutters to fit the height you want. Add hooks to the window frame and hang.