How can I reuse or recycle a decorative coloured glass window?

We’re in the middle of having our bathroom replaced. It’s been a nightmare, never again etc etc – but it has had some upsides. For example, after I mentioned to the main plumber that I’d reuse the side of the old shower enclosure to make a cold frame or something, he brought me six old wooden-framed windows from the house he’s renovating. (He only lives down the road and I’m hoping he’ll remember us whenever he has further juicy “rubbish” or scrap wood.)

The windows are each about 1ft/30cm wide by 3ft/90cm tall, and will make cloches or a better cold frame (since the shower enclosure was opaque plastic and would be a pain to resize/frame). Well, the four clear glass ones will be good for that, this question is about the other two:

They’re rather pretty, don’t you think? As you’d probably expect, the colours are a lot brighter when there is light coming through them rather than when they’re on the ground – the flowers are deep pinky-red and the darker band is a lovely purple.

It seems a shame to just use them to shelter veg seedlings but I can’t think what else to use them for. They’re only a single glaze and we’ve got relatively new double glazed windows in the house so we won’t want to use it as a window in here. I’m not against passing it on again to someone who would use it for it’s original purpose but I’m wondering if you lovely people have any other suggestions for things I could use it for instead.

Restore the frame and hang one on the wall as a strange but fun decoration? Or hinge one on the front of a made-to-measure 15cm/6ins deep box to use as a wall-mounted part-display/part-storage cupboard?

Any other ideas?

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14 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a decorative coloured glass window?”

  1. Scott says:

    You can add some screw eyes to it and hang it in front of a window. My mom had a very large piece of stained glass like that in our kitchen window.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve done that too, but now the stained glass I have stands on a shelf with a small light behind it. You could also fix some kind of stand to the back of it to make it sit straight.

  3. Lois says:

    A light box for the wall. Make a frame out of timber, fit a panel on the back and paint it white. Get some low wattage or LED strings and tack around the inside edge of the box. Voila! An extra window where there wasn’t one before.

  4. In my neck of the woods we hang or make a stand for those kinds of windows on the sheltered side of the house in the garden, just to look pretty. They go for a hundred dollars or more at antique malls, too.

  5. Linda says:

    Hung in a verandah or as part of a shelter around a deck -anything so the light comes through and shows the colours.
    Love them!
    Could provide a bit of privacy + prettiness to a seating area outside.
    Awesome window for a playhouse! -have to be little children that love pretty things and aren’t too rough.

  6. Topsy says:

    It depends on how high your ceilings are but you could put them above door frames to have inside windows or set them into internal walls (possibly opening) as a feature inside window.

  7. You could also shine internal light throughit to make a very impressive lighting effect similar to the one achieved making christmas decorations in this post.

  8. Alexis says:

    a friend once used two windows like yours hung them from the cieling in his big bay window – created an almost sun-room/breakfast room effect – I think it worked because he had a big enough bay window.

    if they are “original” as in period detail – then why not sell them to a architectural reclamation shop – they’ll then sell it on to someone who is looking for “just that type of window”.

    Alternatively – pop out the upper half of an inside door and install one in that – especially for a small room it’ll bring in light and make it seem a bit roomier.

    You could always take them apart and ‘re-make’ them into a larger (longer?) piece which would look really nice as decoration say in a stairwell?

  9. AJ Gray says:

    If you end up with just a few more, you can make something like the glass house in Freetown Christiana blogged here:

    If I had these, I’d try to add them to one of my flat-pack bookcases as a cool glass door, or maybe build a coffee table out of them, but I suspect the more sensible thing to do is to sell them on.

  10. farmer's daughter says:

    I have seen windows like this used as a fireplace decoration. If the larger one can be hung from a metal frame that is freestanding on the floor, it is beautiful with a fire flickering behind it……

  11. Near where I stay, there’s a craft business that makes new stained glass creations. There’s quite a few of these small craft-based businesses nationwide and they might be interested in buying them from you or at least taking them off your hands to build them into a new creation.
    Alternatively, you could pass them on to an architectural salvage yard where they can be resold to someone who will incorporate them into another building somewhere.
    They have inherent value – I’m surprised the builder gave them to you for nothing. Recycling doesn’t always mean giving stuff away. You could sell them to any of the people I’ve mentioned and use the money to fund your cold frames.

  12. bookstorebabe says:

    I just found this made with an old window, and had to share-isn’t it fabulous?

  13. Uluska says:

    Make a table or a sky light or simply hang on a wall as painting.

  14. Gemma says:

    Some people used individual stained glass panels as privacy screens inside their regular windows; more attractive than net curtains and can simply be propped up in the window embrasure.

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