Inspired by a fellow artist I’d seen years ago at the Bell Buckle Crafts Fair (every October in Bell Buckle, TN), I decided I wanted to try to do something with old window frames…and they seem to be very popular now. The original inspiration window was hand painted, with each pane painted with flowers and a border shaped like a frame for photos. I’m not the best at hand painting details (yet), so I searched around for ideas and found some ladies in California that used glass gems to decorate window frames. I loved their designs and decided to try one myself.
For supplies, I used various colors and sizes of glass gems and added smaller vintage glass dishes, and lots of glue (E6000) and patience! I bought the windows from a junk store in Nashville, some are antique, some vintage, and some just a few years old. I went a little crazy like I normally do with buying, so now have about 20 windows taking up space in my garage and TONS of plastic boxes filled with glass gems. Isn’t that a trait of a true crafter…or a hoarder?!
The method I used with the glass gems was to place the window on a flat surface – a table or floor. I then placed the glass gems on the glass panes in whatever design pattern I liked – I did all this BEFORE gluing them down. You can also print a design and tape it to the underside of the window pane to use as a template. I moved the gems around until I had a design I was happy with. The glue E6000 was recommended for use on glass, so that’s why I chose it. It can be a little tricky, so I had a paper plate to lay the glue tube on and toothpicks and paper towels handy. I picked up each gem and held it to the tip of the glue opening, getting just enough glue to cover the back of the gem (pencil eraser sized dot). Place the gem in the design pattern that you had previously laid out. The glue will level out as it settles and dries. Try not to use too much or it will spread out around the glass gem – it is clear, so if it accidentally happens it won’t be as noticeable. You can move the gems slightly as you’re placing them in the design pattern. It takes about 24 hours for the gems and glue to set. It is important to leave it flat as it dries.
In addition to using the glass gems, I also experimented with cork board and scrapbook paper. You can use the E6000 or a hot glue gun for the cork board. For the scrapbook paper I used mod podge and a sponge brush. I experimented putting it on the top of the glass and underneath. If you put the paper on the underneath of the window pane, you are then able to use a dry erase marker on the glass. I used large eye hook screws, chain and wire in the tops of the window frames to hang them. The hardware depends upon where you’d like to hang your creation – suspended outside (chain) or if hanging on a wall in your house (sheetrock) I used frame wire.
The beautiful window creations can be enjoyed inside or outside, in your kitchen as a beautiful piece to look at, in your office as a message board (as I did), or on a patio or garden area to reflect and catch the sun’s rays. These are a few of my creations.