Old Window Cabinet Main Image

Charming Old Window Cabinet: Affordable 8-Step Project

Buying new storage space for your home is a big investment. Whether you’re buying for your own benefit or with an eye towards selling your house, it’s nice to know there are ways to cut down on your expenses.

Old Window Pane Cabinet

Do you need a new cabinet or cupboard? Why not make an old window cabinet?

Turning an old window into a DIY cabinet is very easy. Plus, it can be much cheaper than buying a new unit, especially if you happen to own an old window already or have extra timber from a previous project you can use.

So forget about buying a new cabinet – this DIY project is better and more interesting! It’s rustic and unique, making it a piece of furniture with character. Now that’s another conversation starter you can have at home. ;)

Old Window Pane Cabinet

Is this going to be your next project?

Building an Old Window Cabinet


  • Old Window(s)
  • 1/2″ Plywood
  • 3/4″ Plywood
  • Hinges
  • Door Knob(s)
  • Wood Screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint of choice


  • Measuring Tape
  • Circular Saw
  • Brad Nailer
  • Cordless Drill
  • Spirit Level


Step 1: Design and Planning

  • Measure the old window to determine the size of the cabinet. Decide the height, width, and depth based on the window dimensions.
  • Sketch the cabinet design, including the frame, back panel, and any internal shelving.

Step 2: Cutting the Wood

  • Use the circular saw to cut the 3/4″ plywood for the frame and shelves. Ensure all pieces are cut to your specified dimensions.
  • Cut the 1/2″ plywood to size for the back panel of the cabinet.

Step 3: Sanding

  • Sand all cut pieces of plywood and the old window frame. Start with a coarse-grit sandpaper and finish with a fine-grit for a smooth surface.
  • Wipe down all pieces with a damp cloth to remove dust.

Step 4: Assembling the Frame

  • Lay out the sides, top, and bottom pieces of plywood.
  • Use the cordless drill and wood screws to assemble the frame. Ensure it’s square by checking the diagonals with the measuring tape.
  • Attach the back panel using the brad nailer.

Step 5: Installing Shelves

  • Measure and mark where you want your shelves to be inside the cabinet frame.
  • Cut additional pieces of 3/4″ plywood for the shelves if you haven’t done so already.
  • Secure the shelves in place using the brad nailer or wood screws.

Step 6: Attaching the Old Window

  • Attach hinges to the old window and then to the frame of the cabinet. Ensure the window opens and closes smoothly.
  • Install the door knob on the window to use as the cabinet door handle.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

  • Apply your chosen paint or finish to the cabinet. You may need several coats for full coverage.
  • Allow the paint to dry completely between coats as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 8: Leveling and Mounting

  • Use the spirit level to ensure the cabinet is level when you place it in its intended location.
  • Secure the cabinet to a wall if necessary using appropriate wall anchors and screws to ensure stability.

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You can get more step-by-step instructions here

Finishing Touches and Decoration Ideas

Adding the final touches to your old window cabinet can transform it from a simple storage solution into a standout piece of home decor. In this section, we’ll explore various finishing techniques and decoration ideas to enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your old window cabinet.


Select a paint that complements the overall theme of your room. For a shabby chic look, consider using chalk paint on your old window cabinet, which can be easily distressed for a vintage feel. For a more modern appearance, a high-gloss finish might be perfect. Apply at least two coats for durability, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.


If you prefer to showcase the natural beauty of the wood, opt for a stain instead of paint. Staining your old window cabinet can enhance the wood’s grain, giving it a rich, warm look. Make sure to prepare the surface properly with sanding to achieve the best results.

Decorative Hardware

Updating the hardware on your old window cabinet can significantly change its look. Choose a door knob that matches the style you’re aiming for. Antique brass knobs are ideal for a vintage look, while sleek, brushed nickel handles work well for more contemporary designs. Additionally, consider decorative hinges that can add an extra element of style.

Lighting Enhancements

Adding lighting inside or under your old window cabinet can highlight the items displayed and add ambiance to the room. Install small LED lights inside the cabinet to illuminate glassware, books, or collectibles. This not only makes your items easier to view but also turns your old window cabinet into a focal point in your home decor.

Using the Cabinet as a Display Case

Your old window cabinet is perfect for displaying various items. Arrange your favorite collectibles, such as vintage dishes, antique books, or handcrafted ornaments, inside the cabinet. The glass panes of the old window offer a clear view, protecting your items while still showcasing them beautifully.

Creative Backdrops

Consider adding a creative backdrop inside your old window cabinet to make the items stand out. Wallpaper or decorative fabric can be used as a lining material to add pattern and color. This not only enhances the items displayed but also adds a personal touch to your old window cabinet, making it uniquely yours.

Decorative Molding

Adding decorative molding around the edges or across the front of your old window cabinet can provide an extra layer of sophistication and detail. Choose styles that complement the existing design—ornate patterns for a vintage look or sleek lines for a modern appeal.

Reflective Surface

A mirrored panel installed behind the shelves of your old window cabinet can instantly brighten the space and make it appear larger. This is particularly effective in smaller rooms or areas where you want to amplify light.

Hooks and Rails

Install small hooks inside or on the sides of your old window cabinet for hanging keys, jewelry, or kitchen utensils, depending on the room it’s used in. Adding a rail under a shelf can allow you to hang towels or cups, enhancing functionality.

Plants and Accessories

Utilize the top surface of your old window cabinet to display items that complement the interior decor. Small potted plants, a stylish lamp, or a collection of candles can add life and warmth. Be sure to balance the items in size and color to create a harmonious look.

Themed Displays

Switch up the contents and decorations of your old window cabinet with seasonal themes—fill it with holiday-specific decor, seasonal flora, or culturally significant items during different times of the year to keep your space fresh and engaging.

Your old window cabinet will become a charming accent piece to your living area in addition to being a useful piece of furniture by implementing these decorative ideas and finishing touches. Take pleasure in customizing your cabinet and observe how it improves the atmosphere in your house.

Incorporating Old Window Cabinets into Home Decor

Incorporating an old window cabinet into your home decor is an excellent way to add a unique and personal touch to your living space. These versatile pieces can serve both functional and aesthetic purposes, blending well with various interior design styles. 

Here’s how you can seamlessly integrate an old window cabinet into different areas of your home:

Create a Welcoming Vibe

Place your old window cabinet in the entryway to make a charming first impression. Use it to store daily essentials like keys, mail, and shoes. Decorate the top with a vase of fresh flowers or a small lamp to create a warm, inviting atmosphere as soon as you walk through the door.

Showcase Collectibles and Books

An old window cabinet in the living room can be transformed into a stylish bookcase or display case. Arrange books, framed photos, and collectibles inside to draw attention and start conversations. The glass panes offer protection while allowing guests to admire your displayed items.

Elegant Storage Solution

In the kitchen or dining area, use the old window cabinet to store dishes, glasses, or your wine collection. The visual accessibility provided by the glass windows makes it easy to organize items effectively while adding a touch of elegance to your dining space.

Personalize Your Space

Incorporate an old window cabinet into your bedroom decor by using it as a jewelry cabinet or for storing other personal items. Lining the back with a soft fabric or paper can add a subtle, personalized touch that complements your bedroom’s overall theme.

Functional Decor

A small old window cabinet can be particularly useful in the bathroom for storing toiletries, towels, or decorative items. It serves as functional decor that enhances the bathroom’s aesthetic while keeping essentials neatly organized and within easy reach.

Integrating an old window cabinet into your home decor not only maximizes storage but also enhances the beauty and functionality of your living spaces. With the right placement and styling, it can become a cherished piece in your home.


Constructing a vintage window cabinet blends style and use and is a satisfying do-it-yourself project. This one-of-a-kind item gives distinct appeal to any space in your house in addition to providing useful storage solutions. Accept the ingenuity and sustainability of transforming used materials into something exquisite and practical.

We have more upcycling projects. Check out our old chair into dog bed guide!



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