old window turned message board.

Edited to add: I'm linking this up to The CSI Project for Frames, Art, and Wall Decor week:

Visit thecsiproject.com

I'm back home after what felt like a whirlwind weekend in Maryland for my sister Katie's wedding. And now that I've delivered the project I made for her birthday, I can finally post about it.

I was thinking about making some sort of memo board out of an old window, when I saw this message board project at The Feminist Housewife, and knew it was the perfect inspiration. This is the final result:

The corner panels are corkboard, the center panel is a chalkboard, and the remaining ones are magnetic. I used one of the 259 or so old windows in my garage, and removed the glass (the same way I did for my jewelry organizer). I also bought a few supplies I didn't have on hand:

an piece of plywood flooring (the cheapest I could find), cut down to size at Home Depot
magnetic primer
green spray paint (to go on top the magnetic primer)
chalkboard paint

(I actually did have some spray chalkboard paint on hand, but the quart-size, brush-on kind of chalkboard paint is a better value, and then I didn't need to worry about overspray).

I won't rehash the exact steps I took for this project, but there are a couple things I learned along the way.

First - it is absolutely essential that you stir magnetic primer. I'm generally lazy about paint and just kind of shake up for a few minutes before I open it. Normally that works well enough, but with magnetic primer, it doesn't. In this case, I painted two coats, added the spray paint, then realized way too late that the magnets weren't working. At all. So I started over, stirring it this time. Rather than the consistency of paint, it was very thick and goopy. The resulting finish wasn't nearly as smooth as I would have liked.

It would have been much easier to use thin cork tiles, but I was trying to use what I had. The corkboard was thick, and while it wasn't hard to cut, it was hard to cut cleanly. On the other hand, if you're using cork tiles, you would need to at least double them up.

Because I was using thick pieces, I decided to attach them to the frame itself rather than the backing board. I cut each piece to fit snugly into the panel, and added some hot glue to reinforce it a bit (knowing that once the backing board was attached, everything would stay together). This made it a lot easier to line everything up - the chalkboard panel was the only tricky part.

I also made up some simple and inexpensive magnets, using Mary Engelbreit scrapbooking chipboard from Michaels and magnet strips. I wrapped these up and gave them to Katie, with a note that said part two of her gift was too big to wrap.

Its hard to read them in the photo, but my favorite is the one at the bottom:

Every day is a once-in-a-lifetime day.


  1. Thanks for linking back to me!

    You did such a great job! I love it!

  2. What a great idea, I can't remember how many old windows I have passed up!


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