How to Insert Photographs Into a Wood-Framed Glass Window

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You've salvaged an old, wood-framed window, stripped it down, sanded it and stained it, turning the landfill-bound architectural piece into a work of art. Now it's time to turn your attention to the heart of the project: inserting photos of special places or people in your life into the re-purposed window frame. Create different looks by matting the photos, or create eye-catching designs using only the photos themselves.

Things You'll Need

  • Photos
  • Mats
  • Acetate sheets
  • Glue
  • Masking tape
  • Staple gun
  • Gift wrap
  • Fabric
  • Foam board
  • Mat each photo first before inserting each image into a windowpane. Cut your own mats if you know how to do so, or buy pre-cut mats and trim them down to sizes that fit into the panes. Use strips of masking tape to center and then fix each of your photos to a mat or you can bond the images with craft glue or craft adhesive if you have no intention of displaying the photo again in a different frame. Insert one matted photograph into each glass pane and hold it in place using masking tape. If you want to use staples, make the mats slightly larger than the pane area, scoring a small seam into the extra material to fit against the inside of the frame for the staple to attach to.

  • “Float” each photograph within a windowpane by mounting the photos on acetate sheets instead of mats. Measure the pane dimensions and cut sections of acetate to fit each one before attaching photographs in the middle front of each with double-sided tape or crafting glue. If you choose the latter, make certain each dries thoroughly so the glue won't damage the photo when it is pressed up against the glass. A snug fit is essential when employing this method because glue, tape or staples would show through the acetate that frames the photos.

  • Enlarge each photo so it fits the exact dimensions of the designated pane within the window and then dry-mount each picture to a section of foam board or cardboard. Gluing images to thick sections of backing keeps the edges of the snapshots from curling up, which can happen when glue or tape start to disintegrate over time. Snap the board-backed photos into each window section and they should stay put on their own.

  • Construct a collage for one-pane, wood-framed window by making the collage of photos first and then inserting the composition into the frame as one piece of art. Make the backing slightly bigger than the glass area, and bend a small seam into the backing. Use any type of material as your background -- sheets of gift-wrap mounted on cardboard, a section of colored foam core or fabric glued to backing are all possibilities. Try different arrangements of photos against the background and once you’re satisfied, glue everything in place and allow plenty of dry time. Press the collage against the glass pane and use a staple gun on the seam that rests on the wood frame to secure the photo art within the frame.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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