Turn an Old Storm Window into a Family Message Board

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1-Finished_Board

Staying organized is a challenge for any busy family. Everyone has activities, appointments, sporting events and meetings. Having a schedule in one place so everyone can see at-a-glance what’s happening makes life easier. If you’re going to hang a message board, you might as well hang something that coordinates with your home décor and reflects your family’s personality.

I love old architectural elements. Reusing old windows not only keeps them out of the landfill, but it’s much more interesting (and less expensive) than a new one.

2-Window_Before

I chose a sash with three panes — one for cork, one for chalk paint and the third for paper and suction cups.

Step 1: Clean up the window with soap and water.

Step 2: Remove any loose paint with sand paper.

Step 3: You could fill in all the holes and dents, but I like dings and lumpy paint. It gives the frame character.

3-Window_Teal_Paint

Step 4: Choose a paint color that coordinates with your kitchen or home office décor. I wanted a colorful and bright message board so I used teal in a high gloss.

Step 5: It took two coats to cover the old paint.

Step 6: Use a razor blade scraper to remove the dribbles.

4-Window_Chalk_Pane

The Chalk Pane

I love chalkboard paint for quick notes and lists. You wipe it clean with a sponge and water. It comes in a variety of colors, but I like basic black. You can also find it in a magnetic version.

Step 7: Using a foam brush, cover the left pane with chalkboard paint. It took three coats for complete coverage. Write your messages with any chalk.

5-Modge_Podge_Paper

The Paper Pane

Using decorative scrapbook paper gives you the opportunity to add more color and patterns. You’ll find a huge selection at the craft store.

Step 8: Cut a piece of paper to fit the middle frame.

Step 9: Paint Mod Podge on the PATTERN side of the paper with another foam brush.

Step 10: Stick the paper to the BACK of the window frame. When you turn it over, the pattern will show.

Step 11: Attach suction cups with hooks to the glass to hang keys, ribbons or pins.

6-Rick_Rack_Trim

I could have stopped there, but I like embellishments. Trims add another layer of color and texture.

Step 12: Glue a matching or coordinating rick rack ribbon around the paper (on the front) with craft glue.

7-Cork

The Cork Pane

You can find cork at craft and home stores. Be sure you buy a piece thick enough to hold push pins.

Step 13: Cut the cork to fit the pane. The piece I bought was too thin, so I used a double thickness.

Step 14: Glue to the front with white craft glue.

8-Finished_Sections

After the glue and paint is dry, you’re ready to finish.

9-Wool_Felt_Balls

You can decorate the frame with all sorts of things: more ribbon, paper, stencil, paint and yarn. Anything goes. I wanted something different and a little funky. I found felt balls made from wool roving at a craft store. Because it’s wool (which dyes beautifully), the colors are saturated and bold.

10-Arranging_Balls

Step 15: Lay out the wool balls on opposite corners.

Step 16: Rearrange until you get a pattern you like.

Step 17: Glue in place.

11-Arranged_Wool_Balls

If you plan to hang your message board, screw eye hooks to the top of the frame and add a chain.

Message boards make wonderful gifts. Choose colors and paper to go in a teen’s room, laundry room or a home office. It’s a perfect alternative to a boring old cork board!

Interior designer Merri Cvetan writes about her DIY projects, including upcycled crafts, for Home Depot. Merri's interior design career started in earnest when she bought a 1890s farm house, and she has since worked on historic house museums and redecorated homes in her area. You can view Home Depot's selection of windows online here.

 

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