Are you looking for a way to repurpose an old chippy window? Well, look no further! I’ll share how I repurposed a vintage window into a cabinet in one afternoon.
I am a HUGE fan of beat-up, vintage windows. I mean, who isn’t? They add so much architectural interest to any space. And there is so much you can do with them.
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The Inspiration Piece
While my husband and I were on a boat trip in Port Townsend, Washington, we went to my most favorite place in town to shop, the antique mall. We spotted this cabinet and snapped a picture, knowing that we would one day use it as inspiration to recreate something similar, using one of our vintage windows at home.
I knew mine would be more beaten up and chippy. We originally had crown molding on top, but it was too much for the wall space above our toilet in our powder room.
Here is the vintage window we decided to use for our cabinet project.
Materials Used in This Project
- 1 set of hinges (ours were from old doors in our home after remodeling) and screws
- Knob or pull
- Cabinet latch
- 4 repurposed 3/4″ pine boards cut to 5″ W x 18.5″ L (for shelves, top and bottom)
- 2 repurposed 3/4″ pine boards cut to 5″ W x 32″ L (for sides)
- Tongue and groove wainscotting cut 32′ long
- Wood glue
- Nail gun and brad nails
- Spackling Paste
- Stain or paint for tongue and groove
There’s some crown molding in the picture above that we had left over from another project. We originally added it to the cabinet but decided to take it off at the end due to the size of the space we were installing the cabinet in.
Most windows won’t need this step, but ours had little “dog ears” that needed to be removed with a chop saw before we could move forward with the project.
Constructing a Frame Box
We used reclaimed pine boards, originally installed in our home for shelving, to make a box for our cabinet. Using a table saw, the boards were ripped to 5″ wide for both shelving and the frame. The boards for the shelving, top, and bottom of the cabinet were cut to 18.5″ long. The boards for the sides were cut to 32″ long.
Here are the pieces we cut to create the cabinet frame and the shelves that go into the cabinet.
We used wood glue on all joints to increase the strength of the cabinet.
After applying the glue, and before nailing, make sure the corner is square.
Then we used a nail gun to secure the joints in place while the glue dried.
And here is our framed box for the cabinet.
Add a Tongue and Groove Back to the Cabinet
After cutting the tongue and groove to the proper length of 32″ with a chop saw (any saw will do), we installed it to the back of the cabinet. Again, I glued and nailed this in place around all the edges.
I drew a line with my carpenter’s pencil to show where I should place my nails to secure the shelves.
Install Hinges and Cabinet Latch
Install the hinges, and the cabinet latch by predrilling holes and using wood screws.
Caulk, Putty and Paint
Now it’s time to caulk the corners and fill the nail holes. Because we chose to leave the crown molding off in the end, we didn’t need to paint the cabinet. We just left it chippy and beaten-up.
I wanted the tongue and groove to have more of a dark, rustic look, so I applied the stain with a foam brush. And yes, if you look closely, you will see that I did a TERRIBLE job taping the shelves off, and I got stain on some of them. I’m just going to pretend that I did it that way on purpose and it gives it more of a vintage feel!
What did I learn from this DIY project?
I really wish we would have had the crown molding attached to the top as the inspiration picture did, but then we would have had to hang it somewhere else in the house. And we do not have the luxury of free wall space.
I will be switching out the pull for something bigger and chunkier.
I will do a better job taping the shelves the next time I stain.
But I think you can get the idea here, and make adjustments as needed. I know you’ll agree that a cabinet is a great way to repurpose a vintage window.
Until next time,
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This month’s DIY theme was to upcycle something. Check out what my friends have been creating!
Linda Johnston says
Great creatice project! Also appreciated the tutorial.
Thank you so much for the compliment. I wish I could have shot a better picture, but it was a tight squeeze in that tiny spot above the toilet!
Cindy Rust says
This is such a fun project!! Thanks for sharing the process!!
I love the imperfections! Great job!!
Thank you! I am so glad that you do.
Kippi Ohern says
This upcycle cabinet is amazing! Everything you create is gorgeous.
That is such a sweet thing to say Kippi. I really enjoy your DIY projects, you inspire me so much.
What a great project! You make it look so easy! I love how it turned out. Pinned for inspiration later!
Niky @ Tthe House on Silverado
Thank you, Niky! Thank goodness for my husband!
Grandma's House DIY says
This is so lovely! I love how it turned out – great hopping with you!
Thank you, Tarah!
This is so charming! I passed up an old window on the roadside the other day and sort of regretted it, but wow, I just don’t have the skills or the workshop you have! You did such a great job on this little shelf and have an adorable place to showcase treasures now!
Thank you, Chloe! You are so kind. But I’ll let you in on the secret. My husband is the guy with all the skills, and he even helped me with the blog. Bless his heart.
Chas Greener says
This is an amazing upcycle Kim! I love how you made it into something useful and it looks stunning friend. Thank you so much for sharing and wonderful hopping with you!
Thank you my friend. I wish I could have made the crown molding work, but life happens. Always love this blog hop!
This turned out so great. I love the tongue and groove back and I also love that you didn’t apply the stain perfectly. You’re right. That makes it look more vintage. It was fun hopping with you today!
Thank you Andrea. I am always trying to find excuses for my lack of preparation when I am working on a project!