Repurposed {Sentimental} Stained Glass Window

4 years ago
make it monday, stained glass, diy, repurpose, vinyl lettering, sign
When I was four the big white moving truck rumbled up the driveway through the shadow of that massive apple tree and parked in front of the trailer.  Red brake lights still dotted the back end of the house and dark paneled walls decorated every surface and I would have sworn that it was Mary and the sweet Baby Jesus peeking out from a certain stain in the bathroom veneer - oh, that gorgeous green porcelain that stood so proud for so long!  Every room was carpeted and in the (carpeted) kitchen, a skinny little room divider held a piece of yellow glass that was probably pretty in 1964.
Such change this place has seen! 

And when we bought it from my parents in 2012 people were surprised to hear that beneath all the paint and love poured out upon this home it is still that humble little trailer I carried my teddy bear into in 1983.

set building, hanover missionary church, christmas eve serviceMuch has changed - including that strange partial wall that held the stained glass - and it has leaned against the back wall of the barn, collecting dust and cobwebs and sparrow droppings for years, waiting to be rediscovered and put to good purpose.

When scrounging for bits to aid in the building of a set for the Christmas Eve Service at my church, I stumbled on it and all the memories it held of family dinners and mom making cookies and dad baking bread and it saw new life on a sanctuary stage. 

Then, with the service behind us, there was no way I was going to see my window damned to the vortex of chaotic evil that is 'The Church Shed' (*shudder*) so I slipped it quietly into my trunk while the dismantling took place, knowing I could offer it a better future.

And I did!

1. Gather & prep your supplies.
a.) You're probably not as lucky as me to have a sentimental piece of your childhood trailer but you can find old windows just about anywhere you can find 'old junk' and frankly, the search is the biggest part of the fun! Stained glass just makes it that much more special - though, if your plan is to add lettering like me you'll want to look for single paned windows so your words don't compete with a pattern (unless you're going to use a single word like 'JOY' or 'WASH' - which, by the way, would be totally cute in a bathroom or laundry room!) 

b.) When I discovered vinyl lettering packs at my local Dollarama, I bought every saying they had because I figured that at some point I would find a place for them and for a whole dollar I decided I could afford to take a chance! I have also seen lettering sold at craft stores and department stores (but for a whopping lot more than a dollar!)

c.) I used white, acrylic craft paint but you can use whatever colour strikes your fancy and matches your decor

d.) I gave the frame a quick sanding and the window a quick clean - there were still come barn cobwebs left despite it's use in the church set.


make it monday, stained glass, diy, repurpose, vinyl lettering, sign


2. Paint.  That's self-explanatory, right? Because I wanted a bit of a worn finish I didn't try hard for full coverage or careful edges. This was kind of a 'slap and run' project.

3. Sand. Once the paint dried, I used a sandpaper block to rough it up and wear it down until I got the finish I wanted.

4. Clean. I wiped down the frame to clear away any dust from the sanding and I washed the window with some generic glass cleaner.

5. Add your lettering. Using a dry erase marker I marked where I wanted my lettering to begin and end to ensure I was centering it before putting it on.  My words came on one long sheet which made it a breeze to apply.


make it monday, stained glass, diy, repurpose, vinyl lettering, sign

Peel off the backing and line up with your dry erase marks.  When you're happy with how it's lying, rub your fingers over the lettering - the firmer the better - then carefully pull the paper away, leaving behind the vinyl.  You'll want to do this slowly, especially around 'swirly' letters or anything like an 'i' because you want to make sure the 'dot' doesn't get forgotten.


make it monday, stained glass, diy, repurpose, vinyl lettering, sign


6. Give it a place of honor. It wasn't until it was finished that I realized I didn't actually have a place to put this beauty. After trying a few different locations without success, I settled on the piano - it needed a decor update (and it was time to dust so it needed to get cleared off anyway).


make it monday, stained glass, diy, repurpose, vinyl lettering, sign


make it monday, stained glass, diy, repurpose, vinyl lettering, sign

Happy crafting!

First shared here

Alanna Rusnak writes honest blog posts reflecting her world as a mother of three, wife of one, employee of a church, and a lover of beauty over at SelfBinding Retrospect&

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

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