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Reader Question: What to Make With the Glass from Picture Frames?

18 April 2011 9,465 views 16 Comments

by rhonda

Sometimes in your crafting adventures, you find yourself using only a portion of a product.  You only need the top part of something, or the insides, or some other little bit off of a larger whole to complete a project.  What, then, do you do with the crafty by-product that's  left over?

Reader Breeanna has just this dilemma.  She does a lot of cross stitch and embroidery, which she frames in picture frames.  However, she doesn't use the glass part of the frame.  She's got a bunch of these little sheets of glass and no idea what to do with them, so she asked for help on our Facebook fan page.  So far, people have suggested:

  • Broken glass mosaic
  • Sandwiching photos or art between them to make floating frames
  • Using them as a canvas for painting or other artwork

What do you think?  If you had a whole bunch of glass pieces from picture frames, what would you do with them?

[photo by xandert@ morguefile.com]

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  • Amy said:

    Very good question! I also cross-stitch so I have the same dilemma.

  • Micael said:

    I take spray adhesive and canvas drop cloths and stick the fabric to the glass and just use them like you would canvas panels to paint on.

    They’re not as delicate as you would think. I guess the glue and the canvas hold it up pretty well.

    Been doing this for a while and have yet to have one break on me.

  • Macey Nelepovitz said:

    Paint Chip Art! I did mine using the whole pic and frame, but I’ve seen some done on canvas or glass (without a frame). It would pretty much be a free project!
    Check out mine here:

  • Panya said:

    Suncatchers/faux stained glass!

    I took a 12in. square piece and wrapped it with vinyl shelf liner, and use it as a laptop card table. Because the liner I used was pretty thick, the glass is unlikely to break during careful use, and if it does, the adhesive liner will keep the pieces together.

  • Wendy said:

    I think I’d pick make some Stained Glass Window Bling Blings with them. They would also make great gifts! You can use stencils to draw out a design and then fill in with the stain glass paint. The craft stores have all the info, books and supplies for this.

  • Bradford said:

    1. sandwich pressed flowers between 2 sheets of glass and wrap the edges of the sheets of glass with stained glass copper tape
    2. faux stained glass painting on the glass
    3. do a black silhouette paper landscape on one sheet of glass and on the backside of that same sheet of glass either paint a sunset with acrylic or stained glass paint

  • Amber said:

    Stain glass painting would be the immediate obvious.
    Also could glass etch them. After etching hang it on the wall, prop in a window or rig up to stand in front of a candle.
    Get some sturdy glue and create your own shadow boxes

  • Kathy said:

    jewelry soldering – had one of my teachers explain this is great glass for that – its thin enough but not too thin. But you have to be able to CUT the glass – so you have to learn how stained glass artists cut glass and buy the cutter and breaker (not proper technical terms there, lol) to do so.

  • Jeni said:

    Rather than trying to find something to make with them, try freecycle or offer them to readers. I have purchased thrifted frames plenty of times that don’t come with glass.

  • Jonathan said:

    I recently used glass to trace a landscape freehand while looking at it through the glass. Much easier to trace with a sharpie or gel pen than to draw freehand if you are looking for accuracy.

  • J. Hill said:

    I would buy some more cheap frames and use them as double glass frames. Float a photograph between the two pieces of glass and glue the glass to the frame. The glass acts as a mat for a very cool effect. Of course, then you have to figure out what to do with the cardboard backings from those new frames!

  • claire v. said:

    I’ve floated photographs with two pieces of glass too. It is a very cool/cheap idea.
    Another great idea: Buy a can of Looking Glass Spray (made by Krylon) and turn the glass into an antiqued-looking mirror.
    I just bought two old windows and did that. They turned out GREAT!

  • Adrienne said:

    I use them as palettes for painting. It’s what my painting teacher in college recommended using. Tape the edges so you don’t cut yourself, and squirt the paints on there. You can get a plastic container to store the palette in to save your wet paint. Keeping a cup of water in there also helps the paint from drying up as fast.

  • khai said:

    Can use them as base for homemade stamps. In my case, I glue my foam stamps (randomly) on to the glass and voila you got a background stamp. Plus, easy to use when stamping as they are transparent.

  • Jen said:

    I cut some pretty scrapbook paper to the glass size, attached it to the glass with the pattern side in using glue dots, then mounted the glass to the wall with mirror mounting clips so the pretty paper pattern shows through the glass but is behind it. I glued a loop of wide ribbon to the bottom back before mounting, slid a white board marker into it and now I have a pretty whiteboard in my kitchen. It’s easier to clean and doesn’t get the ‘set in’ marker marks of a regular white board. And did I mention it’s really pretty. Whole project cost me less than $5 (I really only had to buy the mounting clips which were $2, had the glass, ribbon, paper, marker and glue dots on hand, but all of these can be bought at the dollar store too.)

  • Sarah said:

    Jen, What do you cover the edges with so you don’t cut yourself f