Salvage + Christmas = Darling

It’s almost Christmas. I love the colors, the sparkle, the lights, the family and friends, the food, the music, the hot chocolate, THE SNOW…. it’s all wonderful. I love decorating, and I can’t wait until more of the house is done so I can do even more. What is SO EXCITING about this year is that since the porch is done, I can have so much more fun with the outside. I really wanted to find 6 feet tall nutcrackers to guard the door, but those things are EXPENSIVE. And I really love to be as thrifty as possible. It’s almost like a game – I want things to look lush and elegant, but I don’t want to – and couldn’t – pay for it.

So, no life-sized nutcrackers. Nuts.

There’s this spot on the porch that I call “The Wallspace.” It’s really a good place to hang something decorative. The porch is much like the indoors – not a lot of wallspace, because there are so many windows. But it’s not like anyone hangs a Van Gogh on a porch. (Pro-tip : you should use a reproduction Van Gogh for anything out-of-doors.)

DSC_0177For Halloween, if you remember, I made this big wreath.


I decided for Christmas, even though I have a big Christmas wreath, that I wanted to do something else that wasn’t so predictable. Also, about the time I decided I wanted to do something different, Franklin Heritage Architectural Salvage acquired about 6 million windows that needed a home.

I have a love / hate relationship with salvaged windows. Part of me cringes because the stacks of windows remind me that people think that “replacement” windows are better for your house than restoring the original.

If that’s you, please read this.

But the reality is, there are so many windows out there that have history and character, and you can do so much with them. Use them as the windows in a shed, the door to a medicine cabinet, change the glass to mirrors, use them as a picture frame…. so many things to do with them! Oh, yeah – you can also just use them as windows.

Seriously – they have a lot of wonderful windows.


Architectural Salvage AND Christmas Decorating? I’m in.

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I decided to hang the window by just putting a screw in the wood, and using a couple of links of chandelier chain to hang the window (there is a permanent screw in “The Wallspace” that is painted the house color, so I can hang things there whenever). The whole “hanging by a chandelier chain” really is a byproduct of my lack of patience. I don’t like measuring things, so hanging a wire between two hooks seems like a lot of effort – I would need a ruler and everything. Doug can’t handle this about me. PLUS, you’d see the wire through the window, which seems dumb.

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Scrub it, clean it, sand it, windex it!

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I used the leftover red paint from the exterior paint job – this color trims all the real windows, so why not use it to trim the fake window? PLUS, if I decide to reuse this idea for other holidays, red would work for Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July…. and probably other festive days.


I painted the muntins first, because I thought they would be the most irritating. I was right.


I painted the rest. I didn’t really worry about it being too “perfect,” and I even layered some metallic paint over it in some spots, just to give dimension. I wanted it to still look like an old piece.


Then I gathered some goodies I had lying around. Leftover garland, some bells, snowflake ornaments, ribbon…. I had no idea what I was doing.


I decided to hang the bells on the top as the centerpiece. Since I had the thought that this piece might be versatile for other holidays, I didn’t want to do anything too permanent. I hung the bells over the top of the frame, back to the hanging screw using fishing line.


This fabric ribbon is perfection. I used it to hang the ornaments on the window.


I did a dry-fit to see where I wanted to put the snowflakes.


I used upholstery tacks to affix the ribbon to the back of the frame for a few reasons. 1) These were leftover from the pumpkin decorating, and I didn’t have to look for them. 2) Since they are upholstery tacks, they clearly hold fabric well. And 3) since they are rounded, I thought they would be less likely to scratch or mar the siding.

(Also, this is the backside of that fabulous ribbon. It’s just as great as the front, so I used it as well!)


Hooray! Christmas Cheer and Architectural Salvage!


Things that make me smile. Right here.

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The scale is perfect. I added the garland on the top to make it even more cheery.


I think my only negative in this is that the snowflakes really blend with the siding color, so they almost disappear from far away. Maybe if I did this again, I could use ornaments or blue snowflakes to make them pop a bit more.


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I think you should all go save an old window and make it personal and unique and fun. Also, enjoy a sneak peak at the garland railing I hung up. I’m excited to post about the rest of the porch decorations (because I really, really had so much fun planning and potting). I should finish tomorrow so I can take some pictures!


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