How to Hang an Old Window

April 17, 2013 — 4 Comments

On Monday, I shared my little dining room corner make-over. Here is the process I used to hanging the large old windows on the wall. 

A few summers ago I bought two large windows. Why did I buy windows? I don’t really know. I had a moment where I was feeling very shabby chic-y apparently. Actually, I think I had just gotten Pinterest and I was in that fever of seeing all these new projects with old windows for the first time.

Anyway, for several months the ones I bought just sat around doing nothing. Then I got an idea. What if instead of putting small pictures behind each pane (which is the most common thing people do with windows like this) I printed one large picture instead? I thought maybe it would look a little more modern that way. So I found two pictures from my trip to Paris that I thought would work and had them printed. I used Snapfish and got the pictures printed in the 20″x30″ poster size for $18 each. That seems expensive now but at the time I thought it was reasonable. When I got them I taped them on the back of the frame.

I like the overall look. But the reason it took me so long to hang them is that there was no hanging hardware on the back.
It is just a simple wood frame window but for several reasons I was nervous. For one it is really old window so I wasn’t sure how solid the wood was and so I hesitated to drill into it. And secondly these windows are pretty heavy like 15 pounds so knew I needed heavy duty hanging hardware. But you know what, you can’t wait around forever so I just did it.
Here is what I did:
1) Measure and mark a spot 1/3 of the way down the frame. My frame was 30″ tall so I marked a spot at 10″ on either side.
2) Screw in hardware. I used these hooks from a hardware store. I screwed them in at an angle toward the center of the frame.
Like I said I was nervous to drill into the old wood but I found that using a screwdriver worked find. The wood was pretty soft (not falling apart soft, just not so hard that I needed a drill) and the screw went in easily.

3) Attach the hanging wire. I used 9′ of hanging wire on each frame. That sounds like a lot but these suckers are heavy and I wanted to be extra careful. I pulled the wire through the loops three times.

On each side I wrapped the end of the wire around all three strands.
After wrapping the end around several times I stuck the end through the last loop to make a sort of knot.

After trimming the ends, the back looked like this.

Admittedly, that looks a little wonky but here I demonstrate how it looks when pulled taut.
4) Put a screw in the wall and hang them up. The rest is pretty basic picture hanging. I measured and marked where I wanted them to hang and then got out my drill. I have plaster walls so I pre-drilled holes and then drilled my screw in.
They’ve been hanging up for several days now and no major catastrophes so I think they are good! If you are hanging a window in a hallway or somewhere where they might get knocked often I would consider using bracing brackets on the bottom corners. I’m not worried about these since they are in a corner but they can move pretty freely with the hanging wire so just keep that in mind.
Budget Breakdown:
Window – $5
Poster – $18
Hanging hardware – $5
= $28 each (not too bad for a 30″x25″ piece of art!)
I love it when projects go this way, when I think they are going to be hard and then they turn out to be pretty simple. I’m glad I knocked this project off of my mental to-do list and I’m happy to say that I conquered a fear of hanging heavy objects, win-win! More pictures and info about the corner makeover here.

Are you into the old window look? Have you ever had to get creative when hanging stuff on the wall?

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I'm a single female homeowner who loves all things interior decorating. Especially if it involves thrifting.

4 responses to How to Hang an Old Window

  1. Thanks a ton!!! Googled “how to hang an old window” and your post came up, it told me exactly what I needed to know, because I had no idea where to start!!!!

  2. Have had a large 18 pane vintage window sitting around for a long time – waiting to have the nerve to do something with it. Was going to spray paint for a mirror look but your idea is nice. Wondering whether to sand and paint the old window trim or clean it and leave it as it is. Did you paint?

  3. Wow – 4 years after your post and I’m so happy to have found this! Getting ready to hang a picture and just needed some reassurance! Thank you!

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