Don’t throw away empty jars, outdated windows or fragments from broken glassware. Use creative projects to give old glass new life.
Turn old windows into rustic wall art. Glue your favorite family photos to the glass for a homemade gift with meaning. Use paint and brushes, glass paint markers, or sticky stencils to create a unique piece of art. Clean the glass before starting your project for the best results. Select paint suitable for glass, as well as a sealer to protect your designs. Attach sturdy hangers that will support the weight of your window artwork.
Don’t waste money on pencil holders. Make your own from empty glass containers like jelly jars, spaghetti bottles or tall marinade jars. Decorate the outside with fabric, scrap wallpaper, buttons or ribbons. Fill an undecorated jar with colorful candy if you have a sweet tooth. Collect matching glass jars to hold paper clips, push pins and staple strips.
Turn glass beads, marbles, buttons or shards into artwork. Glue old glass to a sturdy item, like a piece of wood. Use a pencil to sketch out a pattern or create a freeform design as you attach the pieces. Leave a little space between each piece. After the glue dries, fill in the empty spaces with mosaic grout. Make a piece of wall art or use this technique to hide a scarred tabletop. Add glass pieces to plain stepping stones to create a more attractive garden path.
Save money by creating your own decorations. Skip candle holders in favor of old glass containers. This idea works well for evening parties, weddings and receptions. Create a romantic atmosphere with pillar candles, tea lights, floating candles or battery-operated candles. Decorate the containers with glass paint or glitter. Glue velvet, satin or silk ribbons to the outside of the glass. Make centerpieces that complement your event’s theme. Fill glass containers with sand, seashells or flowers. Use candy- or sand-filled containers to display edible decorations like cake pops. Weave ribbons, white Christmas lights or garland around each centerpiece.
Enhance your kitchen table with old glass. Serve your family members and guests iced tea, lemonade or punch in old Mason jars. Include lids and straws when you’re serving young children. Fill small, squat glass jars with ice cream, cobbler, parfaits or pudding. Use an old glass jar in place of a sugar bowl.
Beautify your yard with creative glass projects. Hang one of your painted windows on a fence or nestle it in the corner of your yard. Fill colored glass containers with water or seeds. Set them on pedestals, tree stumps or railings for your feathered friends.
Peter Wendt is a freelance writer and artist residing in the great city of Austin, Texas. Peter enjoys creating new art out of recycled materials and has found that by going to this local windshield repair shop he can collect glass for future projects.