Condo Blues: How to Hang an Old Window From the Ceiling

Thursday, April 7, 2016

How to Hang an Old Window From the Ceiling

On sunny afternoons, the sun hits the kitchen window just right to make a prism on the ceiling.
Lacey thinks this dazzling array of luck and science is a formidable threat to our house and home. She barks her head off all. afternoon. long. no matter how many times we try and fail to shush her.
Apparently light theory is lost on dogs.

A window treatment will solve the nefarious prism problem. I want something that lets in light, is easy to clean, and won’t wrinkle like my DIY cardboard corner window cornice and curtains I made that brought out the haters on Hometalk.

Call it shabby chic, Fixer Upper, or my own Mid-Century Modern-Bauhaus-Contemporary-Found-and-Funkified-Retro-DaDa-Danish decorating style. I repurposed an old flea market window as a kitchen window treatment.

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Here’s how.

DIY Old Window Window Treatment

There are a zillion ways to hang a vintage wood window on a wall.  I’m hanging my old wood window in front of a working window further from the wall itself because I want to access the real window to open it (dinner’s ready when the smoke alarm goes off, don’tcha know.) You may wish to move your ceiling hooks closer to the wall if you want your window to hang from the ceiling flush against a wall.

The black kitchen back splash is chalkboard paint!

You will need:

Old Wood Window

Lead test swabs

Drill and drill bits

2 Screw in eye bolts

2 Ceiling swag hooks and anchors


Tape measure

Stainless steel hanging wire

Wire cutters

Level or a second pair of eyeballs – probably both. Eyeballs in a real live person I mean. Don’t just scoop out somebody’s eyeballs and put them in your pocket while you work on this project. It’s rude to take someone’s eyeballs when they are using them. End of PSA.

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Make it:

1. Test the window for lead following the directions in the lead test kit. You can read my lead paint testing tutorial on Condo Blues here if you want extra help.  I like to carry lead test swabs in my purse so I can test salvage materials for lead before I consider bringing it home to upcycle or repurpose. I personally won’t use items that test positive for lead in my projects and especially above my kitchen counter where we prepare food.  As always, your mileage may vary.

My old window tested negative for lead. Let’s hang this vintage bad boy!

2. Use the drill and drill bits to drill a pilot hole in the window frame for each eye bolt to prevent the wood from splitting when you screw the eye bolts into the wood window frame.

3. Screw the eye bolts into the window frame.

4. Determine where and how far from the wall you want to hang your window and mark where you want to install the ceiling hooks with a pencil.

5. Use the drill and drill bit to drill a hole in the ceiling for each ceiling swab hook wall anchor.

6. Install the swag hook anchors in the holes in the ceiling per the directions on the package.

7. Screw the swag hooks into the ceiling wall anchors.

8. Use the measuring tape to determine how far you want the window to hang from the ceiling.

9. Make the window hanging loops:

 I think  is is easier to wrap the wire around itself with a long tail. 
I trimmed it when I finished making the hanger.

  1. Cut a piece of wire to length with several inches extra to make the top and bottom hanging loops. Cutting more length is better in this case than less. We will cut the excess wire away when we are finished making the window hangers.

  2. Fold the top of the wire in half to form a loop.

  3. Wrap the excess wire around the hanging wire several times (I wrapped mine 6 times) to keep the hanging loop in place and cut any excess wire away using the wire cutters.

  4. Repeat Steps 1 through 3 for the bottom window hanger with the exception of running the hanging wire through the eye bolt before you form the hanging loop.

10. Hang the hanging loops on the swag hooks.

11. Use the level to double check if the window is hanging level and make adjustments to the length of the hanging wire if needed. This is where having someone to double check that you are hanging your window evenly  comes in handy if your window is like mine and delightfully worn and a little uneven with age.

I like how the old window window treatment makes the bare kitchen window look a little more finished. Although now it calls attention to the builder light above the sink we’ve been putting off replacing along with our plans for a kitchen remodel.

A kitchen remodel isn’t in the plans but replacing the light just hit the punch list.  I’m not sure if I should replace it with another flush mount or a pendant light. What do you think?

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