Whimsical Decor on a Vintage Window

Whimsical Decor on a Vintage Window

Whenever I’m in a creativity funk, I head into my garage or Craft Room to do some tidying up and rearranging. Why? Because I usually unearth something long forgotten and it’s the shot in the arm that I need to get back in the proverbial (crafting) saddle! And that’s how I decided to upcycle this vintage window into some whimsical decor to celebrate Spring.

vintage window

Believe it or not, but I’ve had this vintage window since before I started my blog! Old, rusty, and crusty, it was the perfect project-to-be.

So, I decided to upcycle it into whimsical decor for Spring. And I would use my very first blogging project (this shabby chic wall decor) as my inspiration!

Framed doilies as shabby chic wall decor

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Refreshing a Vintage Window

Now, as much as I love a little rust and crust, this guy was a little overwhelming. The mesh screen on the back was old and, well, menacing! It grabbed, snagged, and sliced anything that came near it!

So, I decided to give the whole thing a makeover- without really changing its appearance. Kind of like wearing makeup that looks so natural that it doesn’t LOOK like you’re wearing makeup.

removing the screen from a vintage window

The malevolent screen had to go!

First, I carefully removed the window screen and the crumbling staples that held it in place. A wire brush came in handy for really scrubbing the back of the rustic window frame and helped to clean it up nicely.

cleaning a vintage window frame

Next, I decided to freshen up the rustic window frame. I had virtually the same color craft paint leftover from this project!

painting a vintage window frame

So, I dry brushed some on the frame just to brighten and liven it up. I wanted it to remain that dusty shade of green which seemed perfect for my whimsical decor plans…

Next, I cut out a rectangle of window screen that was just smaller than the frame and spray painted the screen white.  A cheap clip hanger works perfectly for spray painting screen!

Then, I just attached the screen to the back of the frame!

attaching new screen to a vintage window

Vintage Doilies for Whimsical Decor

Now the rustic window frame was fresh and clean, and ready for next steps!

vintage window for whimsical decor

As I mentioned before, I was using my shabby chic window decor with vintage doilies as my inspiration. But I wanted to use colored doilies in Spring colors instead of natural or white.

First, I selected a few of my smallest doilies (purchased from this Etsy shop) and arranged them on the screen.

doily decor for spring

I snapped a photo to remember the arrangement on the window screen frame. Then, I gathered some Rit dye in Springtime colors to dye my doilies.

You may remember that I’ve done this before for my doily table runner that I made for Spring decor, too!

After dyeing the doilies per the directions on the bottles of dye, I ironed them and placed them back on the window screen. I pinned them in place and grabbed some all-purpose thread in coordinating colors.

doilies as flowers

My whimsical decor was really coming together now!

For a bit more whimsy, I grabbed some sage green embroidery floss. My plan was to add some floral embroidery in between the colorful doilies so that they looked like flowers on a trailing vine.

embroidery on window screen

Whimsical Decor on a Vintage Window

When all was said and done, this is what my vintage window looked like all gussied up!

whimsical decor for spring

It had all the elements of cottage style decor that I love: vintage doilies, pastel colors, and a sweet upcycling idea!

AND I used something that had been in my garage forever, which always makes me feel good.

doily decor on a vintage window

I think it’ll be perfect as Spring mantel decor, don’t you? Either way, whimsical decor like this feels so fresh and uplifting as winter comes to a close!

whimsical decor

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for Spring decor, then you’ll love this simple craft project for Easter decor with hobnail milk glass!

Decorating with hobnail milk glass for Easter

Craft on!


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whimsical decor with doilies

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. This is why I follow your blog. You took something so random and made it so interesting and pretty. Such creativity. Thanks!

  2. Perfect! I have an old ugly screen that I have wanted to lighten up for awhile. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  3. Kimberley A Mason says

    Loved this, its very cute. Also inspired me to get my crafting organized as well I need inspiration. Checked out the Etsy Shop too, WOW tons of fun stuff. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea.

  4. Girl, even in your so called dry spells you come up with the best ideas – love this!

  5. chris tucker says

    wee doggies woman, i adore this so much i wanted to hug my pc xx

  6. Thanks for the tutorial! I have a black frame and screen that I want to stitch with a tree of life pattern. What would be a good weather proof ‘thread’ to use?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Mary! Unfortunately, I don’t know- I’ve never needed an outdoor or all-weather thread…hmmm…I’m sure that there are synthetics out there that are colorfast.

  7. What a cute idea! I never would have thought of something like that. Now I need to find an old screen!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      You can fake it with a distressed picture frame and new screen! Shhh, don’t tell anyone… 😉

  8. LOVE this project! So pretty and perfect for spring.

  9. That is so pretty. Thanks for the instructions.

  10. We’d love to have you share with us at #CCBG http://tryit-likeit.com/link-party-it

  11. So cute! Love it!

  12. Ernestine Quinn says

    Love love love love love!!!!!!!

  13. Very pretty piece of artwork. I like how you showed step-by-step the process and how you put together the old frame, doilies, and new embroidery to create the piece. So creative!

  14. I’m truly shaking my head slowly from side to side, in the best way, just smilin’. SO. BEAUTIFUL. That is all.

  15. This is so pretty and yes very spring like.

  16. That is very cute and creative! Sure looks like Spring!

  17. Am so doggoned glad I clicked on your post in link party. This is such a great and lovely project. Will be out scrounging in my frame box tomorrow and seeing if we have some screening to be used for it. Also digging in my doily collection.
    My decorating is quite cottagey, suits our little singe wide mfg. home well. Good thing it’s not bigger, already have too much stuff stuck out in shed and other places.
    Love this incredible Springy project, gets my creative juices flowing which have needed for while. Am working on coming out of grief over losing our 22 yr.old grandson and after having shoulder replacement surgery/physical therapy, been long enuf, now it’s time to get with it, miss making things to refresh our little house. Have been inspired by you several times before, have gotten me going again with your wonderful projects..
    Love that what your projects are, are doable and affordable and so inspiring.
    Hope you and yours are having wonderful Spring weekend

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so, so much- I always love your comments. They just make my heart swell with happy. 🙂

      • Well, have frame ready to paint, bugging hubs to get screening out, only thing left to do is clear a path to my doily box. that’s hardest part, lol. Can hardly wait to get started.
        been working on figuring out what I want for new art, like to change out in Spring/Summer especially. Usually make my own from printables so generously shared by bloggers and Graphics Fairy. Go thru lots of ink but enjoy making own rather than buying. Paying for ink cartridges is my one luxury.
        When people share their homes I like to see what art they have and how they display, then make what appeals to me. Have lots of thrift store frames plus frames we make with lathing strips and few other ideas. To me that’s half the fun and challenge.
        When our daughter comes over she walks around looking for new art have made.
        Have wonderful week

  18. What a beautiful project! Love it. Pinning.

  19. I absolutely love this – and the way you displayed it!! Had to pin! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party! (Checked out a few ads while I was here too!)

  20. Love it, so cute and perfect for spring! Visiting from Inspiration Monday party.

  21. acraftymix says

    Oh I’m so glad you’re out of your crafty downer Sarah. We can’t have that at all, where would we find our inspiration 😉 Your doiley work of art is beautiful and super creative. Love it!!

  22. Just charming. The way you created the vine sets it off nicely. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Beautiful vignette – wish I had an old screen! Doily art is one my favorite crafts.

  24. This is darling Sarah! I love how you painted the doilies to add some spring color! 🙂 Have a great rest of your week!

  25. What a lovely marriage! You’e given me ideas…

  26. It makes me smile too. It also reminds me that I should go through my stashes and see what treasures I’ve been overlooking. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, and I hope your week is going great.

  27. Adorable project. Thank you for sharing at Vintage Charm.

  28. WOw, what a transformation, it’s so pretty!

  29. I love everything about this project! I love doilies, but want to use them in fresh, new ways and sewing them to a screen is definitely that! I’ve got a few crusty, old little screens hanging around too and replacing the scary screen is a great idea. Kudos! Love your style!

  30. Visiting from A Wonderful Thought party-I love how your spring decor frame turned out, the colors are perfect using the Rit Dye. Adding the leaves and vine with embroidery was genius!!! I would love to have your drop by and share on one or both of my weekly Linkup parties if you can make your way over. Pinned and Tweeted -:)
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 🙂
    Karren 🙂

  31. Ya gotta love “Pure Whimsey” . . .

  32. I just love this project! You are so creative! I always purchase doileys when I am visiting antique shops and I can’t wait to go through my stash to begin assembling choices for this project. Thanks for sharing.

  33. oh, so sweet and springy looking! I love this!

  34. Adorable and so stylish.

  35. Barbara Warner says

    Your doily/embroidery craft looks just like a garden of spring flowers welcoming the sun and the birds. I just love it. You have done a wonderful job upcycling the screen and frame for a doily garden.

  36. Josée Paquin says


    I love that idea, thank you

    have a nice week

  37. Love your screen with the doily flowers.

  38. Omgosh! I am out the door looking for a small old window and doiles! This made me smile, so cute and clever!

  39. I follow a LOT of blogs and have begun loosing interest in many of them…becoming older and cranky LOL, BUT, you always, always come up with the most creative ideas!!!!! I am beginning to think of you as one of the powerhouses of the blogging world, up there with Martha (gasp!) You totally rock it, girlie

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      WOWOWOWOWOW, well you just made my day! I really do appreciate that, Susan, wish I could hug you in real life right now!

  40. What a cute and fun way to brighten up an old screen. I never would of thought of this. Love how it turned out and how you added the vines and leaves connecting it all together. <3

  41. I
    The same thing when I’m in a funk. I guess it good to be in one since you created such a gorgeous sign :))

  42. Solo quiero decirle que es la primera vez que entró a su página y estoy maravillada de sus proyectos, que no solo son fáciles, sino bonitos y lucidores. Saludos.


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