We all know about the benefits of reusable shopping bags, using refillable water bottles and using washable plastic containers for lunches rather than throw-away sandwich bags. At craft fairs I’ve even seen beautiful jewelry items and wind chimes made from old sterling silver cutlery. Good ideas, all of them. Garage sales are another great way of recycling. Someone else could well appreciate items that we can no longer use. But what to do with building materials that have been replaced?
To be more energy efficient, I had the ageing windows replaced in the old farmhouse. They were the type that had storm windows which had to be taken off in the spring and put on in the fall, and any gaps filled with caulking.
Now there was an excess of old windows, various shapes and sizes, some with divided panes, and all of them with weathered frames. I decided to try using them to frame some of the paintings that I had done. I sprayed my designs twice with an acrylic lacquer to give them durability, and added a chain hanger, well anchored into the wood frame so the finished item could be used as a wall hanging either indoors or out. I recommend that they be kept out of the worst of the weather however, to prolong the brilliance of the paint.
A garden centre and a rural gift shop took some of my pieces on consignment and they are selling well. The old frames are left in their aged state, as this appearance adds to the appeal.
My stock of old windows is diminishing, but I have been the recipient of several from friends and neighbours who are glad not to send them to the dump. One more recycling effort that gives enjoyment to me as well as to others.