Vintage Window Shadowbox Photo Collage

Hailey and I made a little trip to Spokane. The plane rides were not very fun with my 14-month-old, but I had a great time with my family. My mom had purchased an old window for $12 at a vintage thrift store, and we brainstormed how she could use it in the family/TV room. We decided it would be the perfect way to display a photo collage from our recent trip to the Oregon Coast. (Remember our Cannon Beach shopping post?) A quick trip to Michaels yielded adhesive foam mounting circles for giving the collage some dimension, and a brown corkboard pack of 4. (I didn’t know about this dark cork before – it’s so pretty!) I recolored some of our trip pictures to sepia using Picasa, and sent them to be developed.

First step, cutting the cork to allow for a 1″ margin inside the windowpane. Remember when cutting something soft like cork or foam core, you want to use a straight edge and a new box-cutter blade. Cut through in 3 swipes or so.

Then I cropped and arranged our pictures on the cork.

I used the foam mounting circles to mount the pictures to the cork, using 1, 2, and 3 stacked to vary the height of the pictures.

The side angle shows the dimension of the pictures on the foam tape.

Now the exciting part! (Though I must warn, these pictures aren’t a great quality as the light in the basement was dim.) I measured from the ceiling and marked with painter’s tape to make sure the window would hang evenly. Then I held the window up so my mom could tape around it. That way we could mount the cork on the wall centered in the tape before hanging the window.

I wanted to hang the window from a ribbon, but it was too heavy to count on a ribbon holding long term. Luckily the window has sturdy hinges that worked perfectly for hanging. I marked and placed the nails, and used foam tape that came with the cork to mount it in the center of the taped off area.

After hanging the window from the hinges, here’s the result:

For the illusion of the window hanging from a ribbon, I cut a double length of ribbon and looped it through the second hole in each hinge and tied it over a nail.

This turned out to be a great way to feature some of our favorite vacation photos, all taken by my talented brother and sister-in-law. If I were to have done anything differently, it would have been to develop the pictures in a matte finish and mount them each on matboard to keep them from bending and glaring.



  1. Posted August 19, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink | Reply

    What a great idea! My hubby’s aunt took a paned frame from the gparents farm (from the milk parlor to be exact) and put a mirror in it for her bathroom. Love it! And I love this!!!

    • Posted August 19, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink | Reply

      Milk parlor! I love it. A mirror is a great idea for these as well.

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