05 Apr

Upcycled Window Well Photo Frame

DIY Window Frame

On a prescription refill trip, I pulled into the hospital parking lot just as a slight drizzle transitioned to steady down pour. In the stall ahead of me sat a full-sized pickup with junk piled up in the truck bed. Peeking out from underneath a door slab I spied the corner of something wooden and white and destined for salvage. Being the law-abiding citizen I am, rather than pick through a stranger’s soggy castoffs I continued in to the pharmacy. On the way out the kid noted that the truck and it’s treasure trove were still there, idling with someone behind the wheel.

I tried not to scare the guy as I snuck up to the driver’s door and rapped on the window. “Are you taking this stuff to the dump?” I asked and with a slight raise of his brow was given the go ahead to grab the big white thingy sticking out of the back. I shook off the rain, threw it in the car, fist pumped the air and headed home to clean up my score.

window well frame

Driving home, I caught myself wondering what else I could have rescued from the back of that truck and silently kicked myself for not digging around a bit more.

This old window well measured 27″ x 27″ and was in great shape. I didn’t even have to paint it after a bit of soapy water clean up. For $12 the folks at Ace Hardware cut some glass to size and I added an inset of left over quarter round before gluing the glass in place. {you’ll see why later}

I picked up a piece of 1/4″ birch (24″ x 24″) plywood to use as a matte / back for the shadowbox frame.

painted back

I was in the garage with the tunes rocking and chugged a few cold ones while channeling my inner graffiti artist. I have no idea how poop brown latex paint gave way to an awesome deep blue hue but I’m taking complete credit for {and never attempting to replicate} this masterpiece.

Now, I’m one of those people who loves to take pictures and has a nice camera at my disposal. I am not, however, the kinda person who actually gets any of the photos printed out or displays them anywhere outside of Facebook. So, I thought it might be a nice touch to have a memento the kid snapped during a recent family vaca out West blown up and showcased on a main living room wall.

hand in hand

You don’t even want to know how many times we had to ‘pose’ to get this just right. Or how long we had to wait for random people, dogs and birds to get the heck out of the frame. But, it was a gorgeous day in the mountains, we were on vacation and in the mood to have a little fun.


BAM! By the way, I love how Dave is always promoting the Golden State. He really should profit in some way or at least get a discount on all the Colorado gear he sports.

Anyhow, after the picture was mounted and the back was jerry-rigged onto the wooden frame (edited to include a photo of aforementioned rigging as requested)… jerry rigged

…I realized I had no clue how to get it on the wall. No amount of ladder-leg maneuvering on the carpeted staircase left me comfortable enough to climb up with this monstrosity in hand. I couldn’t even manage to get up 3 rungs with the cordless drill without freaking out. I have no problems tempting fate when it comes to saw blades and fingertips but something about falling down a flight of stairs gives me pause. Especially when in my mind’s eye I could see the Little Giant tumbling down after and pinning me to the basement door. Screw it, I had to wait til Dave got home.

DIY Window Frame

So, he gets some credit for this DIY gig and I get brownie points for finally letting him assist on a project. I wonder how excited he’ll be about spending an entire weekend hanging up the rest of the wall photo collage I’ve got planned?

12 thoughts on “Upcycled Window Well Photo Frame

    • Thanks! Even I was a bit impressed with my ability to see through trash to find this treasure hiding underneath. XRay vision for the win!

  1. LOL, Great job! I'd be like you kicking myself for not digging around a little more in that truck. It looks great as a picture frame. Thanks for linking up at Transformed Tuesday.


    Peggy~PJH Designs

    • If I had more patience & creative mojo I bet it would make a sweet shadow/memento box too. Ah – someday I might get around to adding to it.

  2. What a wonderful project, it turned out beautiful! I don't blame you for waiting…I am the same way with heights.

    • The heights aren't the problem so much as the landing after the eventual fall. I'm not a fan of broken legs. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Aww. he'll love helping you, right? I get lots of groans from hubs but in the end he always helps me with my projects. I remember scavenging at midnight years ago (a local city had it's first ever dump pick up and the piles of junk went from one house to the next). That was more fun than a barrel of monkeys! LOVE YOUR PROJECT!! Linda

    • Um. No. Not at all. He prefers to be left completely out of my DIY schemes. Something about 'never doing anything right' and my drill sgt vocabulary. 🙂 OMG I could totally go picking at midnight. That is the very best time of day to be productive.

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