Repurposed Window into Giant Message Board

This is great way to use an old window for any classroom project/ fundraiser/ youth group project. We did it for the older kids who were apart of our Vacation Bible School this year.
I have combined two of my Message Board Projects together so you could really see how awesome and easy this is! It is also a great project when you need to use lots of hands on.
Supplies: Old Window Frame, razor, wood burning tool, plywood (cut to size at Home Depot or Lowes), 1 x 4 blocks (cut  to size), circular saw (can ask your neighbor to cut your wood like I do), pencil, paper, paint, drop cloth, water, paint brushes, paper towels, 3 M spray mount, wood glue, clear polyurethane, fabric or wallpaper, tack, patience, and scissors.
Ok, First step: Here we go!

Select your old window. I have gotten windows from the side of the road as well as purchased them from antique shops. This one was in BAD SHAPE. I had to scrape off the old paint, reglaze, wash with bleach, and repaint. Try to find one that is in better condition. It's a lot easier ~ and I just told you this was an EASY project! I won't lie, this project does take some elbow grease to get the window ready for the kids to paint.

Once you have gotten your window primed, have a piece of plywood cut 4 inches wider (all around) than your window frame. Use a lightweight board because this project can get heavy fast. Depending on how many kids you have involved, cut 1x4's to frame the window. This will take all the math you learned in High School~ yeah, I know, you thought you would never use it again. Lay out your blocks to make sure you have the perfect dimensions. You can also cheat and cut to fit. I made the end pieces into squares.

Now you are ready to meet the kids. I chose a theme to make the project flow. This one was the Fruit of the Spirit ~ Goodness. Because God is GOOD, I read the creation story to the kids from Genesis 1. While I read, they "drew" what they heard. They sketched on scratch paper first, then transferred their design onto the block in pencil. TIP: Tell the kids to keep the drawing VERY SIMPLE. I had to restate this concept ~ often.

* Before the kids start drawing on their block, have them sand the block to get rid of the rough edges.


After the kids have drawn their images onto their block, burn the image into the wood using a wood burner. THIS IS ONLY FOR ADLUTS. I have the Walnut Hollow Creative Woodburner.

After all the blocks have been burned, I placed them back into my frame to get a picture of the end result. This is optional but it helps you get the big picture ~ and might give you inspiration to keep on going!

At this point, you take the blocks back to the kids to paint them. Depending on the age, I have let the little kids just "stain" the block with one color and let the bigger kids paint. *TIP~ YOU CHOOSE THE COLOR PALATE. This keeps the project within the same color tones.

This is an example of just painting with one color. But make sure they don't fill in all your HARD WOOD BURNING work~ have a paper towel handy to blot the burned design. I have also gone back and quickly reburned the pattern.

This picture will make you want to complete the project! The illustrations that the children do NEVER cease to amaze me. And just like bridesmaid's dresses, the more you have, the better is always looks!


Find a beautiful piece of fabric, or in this case wallpaper, that is neutral in color to be the background for your message board. This is a piece of grasscloth. Using Spray Mount (I prefer 3M), glue the fabric onto the board. Using a credit card, I smoothed out the fabric as I glued to ensure zero air bubbles. As another security measure, I also used tacks. Using wood glue, glue generous strips of glue then CAREFULLY placed your window on top of the fabric covered plywood.

You are almost finished! Glue generous amounts of wood glue onto the sides and back of each block. Continue until you have completed framing your frame. As a optional step, I burned scripture into the old window. I sketched it in pencil first, then burned the lettering. It is an extra step, but looks very cool. Then again at this point, you may not be looking for cool, just done.


Voila! You have completed your message board! I painted two coats of clear polyurethane to make it glossy and also to protect the artwork. As far as hanging it, leave that up to whoever it is going to. It really depends on the type of wall you are hanging it on. I will tell you that it will be very heavy so you might want to take it to a professional framer to install. This Message Board is going in our church office where our staff can write down prayer requests.


This Message Board was made by the fifth graders at our school for the annual fundraiser. It raised $1000.00 for the school! How good is God and ALL that HARD work ~ and the burns. Just kidding.

And as you can see, everyone was happy and very proud of their art! I hope you are too! Please remember to send me pictures of your finished products.

1 Comment
  • Elizabeth Edge
    Posted at 08:14h, 05 April Reply

    Hey Annie! Love the website! I saw it listed in the auction catalog. My son Christopher is a budding artist so I can’t wait for summer to start doing some fun projects. Hope y’all are doing well. Love all your ideas!

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