Tutorial: How to Hang an Antique or Vintage Window for Wall Display

Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don't pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Read our full privacy and disclosure policy here.

I’ve had a few emails asking about the best way to hang old windows for display.  Since I have one on my front porch and used to have one in my laundry room, I’ve had some practice figuring out the best way to hang these old pieces!

vintage window in laundry room

My windows are from the Nashville flea market, and I paid a whopping $5 apiece for them.  You can expect to pay more for ones that are larger, square (versus rectangular), or made of leaded or stained glass.  Some antique/vintage vendors make a habit out of collecting old windows, and those are wonderful places to frequent!

window front porch


Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Read our full disclosure policy here.

If your window is of average weight, a simple hook and eye screw will hold its weight without any problems.  That’s what I used for mine.  If your window is heavier, or it will be exposed to a lot of wind, you might try a d-ring or a cup hook.  If you’re hanging an old stained glass window, like mine (below), then you need to do something completely different to be sure you protect it–I recommend these French cleats for stained glass.

how to hang a stained glass window

{Here} are the hook and eyes that I used:

hook and eye hardware

I placed them about an inch and a half in from the edges.  Sorry about the dirty fingernails–I was pulling weeds out back just before I took these snaps!

hook and eye to hang windows

If you give a hook a small tap with a hammer, then it bites into the wood enough that you can usually screw it in by hand, without drilling a guide hole first:

hook and eye hammered into antique window

Like I mentioned before, these windows are relatively lightweight, and I usually hang them flush against a wall, so I use the hooks and eyes with picture hanging wire to hang them.  For a heavier window, or one that hangs in a way that leaves it open to wind (at the side or on the front of a porch, for example), I’d use D-rings and chain instead.

Here’s what D-rings look like:

d-ring picture hanger

You’d have to mount the D-rings on the back of your window, instead of the top.  I would probably use a chain from a lighting kit (the kind you hang a chandelier with); those are available in the lighting department of big-box or hardware stores.  By the way, you can spray-paint those suckers if you want a custom color–they usually only come in gold, silver, brass, white, and black.


Back to my inexpensive, light-weight window…here’s the picture hanging wire I used.  It just happens to be silver to match the hook and eyes, but it also comes in gold.

picture wire to hang vintage windows

Send the wire through the eye screw and bring the short end underneath the long end.  If you leave about 6″ as your short end, you’ll be fine.

how to hang a window

Now, bring your short end through the back of the hook and eye and through:

how to hang a vintage antique window hook eye wire

Pull the knot so that it’s snug.  Now, take what’s left of the short end and wrap it around the long end:

how to hang an antique vintage window

Here’s a nice graphic I found online–I used option #1:

how to knot picture wire


When you repeat the process on the other side, you need to determine where you’ll be hanging the window and how much wire you’ll need.  In our old house, I needed the wire to be long so that I could hang the window in the crown molding instead of the brick.  In this house, that’s not as important.  When in doubt, leave more wire rather than less–you can always trim more off later.  And don’t forget to add an extra 6″ or so for the other knot!

I decided to hang this window on the wall in my laundry room.  Because it’s hung on drywall, it didn’t need a long wire.

window in laundry room


It also only required a picture nail to hang it:

nail to hang window

The window on our front porch has a longer wire, and I used a much larger nail to hang it.  Even though it’s against the wall, it still has to stand up to wind (hurricanes!) and lots of thunderstorms.

how to hang a window

And because I love you, I made you a nice, pinnable graphic:

how to hang a vintage antique window for display

My tutorial on how to hang silver plates, bowls, and platters on the wall is {here}, if you’re in a hanging frenzy.  Don’t go too crazy and hang everything at once, though! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Final New Christy headshot 2015
icon-facebook-1icon-instagram-1icon-pinterest-1icon-twitter-1NEW Google+
Click here to subscribe


  1. Was it ok with just one nail? I bought a kit that is rated for 50 lbs, but am still nervous.

  2. I am writing for your tips on hanging a heavy vintage stained glass window. Thinking of hanging it in front of a window.

    • Priscilla, I use French cleats to hang my stained glass window on the wall. Here’s a link to one at Amazon so you can see what I’m talking about–http://amzn.to/1OCoxl4

      You’ll need something different to hang it in front of a window. I’d probably use heavy chain along with eye screws to secure it on the top and the bottom. However, I’ve always hung mine on a wall so I can’t say for sure. Good luck with your window!

  3. I want to hang a antique window that’s very heavy (I am going to guess about 60-65lbs) but I would rather not put holes in the window itself…any suggestions?

    • That’s a tricky one, Whitney! Either lean it against something rather than hanging it (but it’s still not stable then) or wrap a chain around the support bars/brackets if it has one. My stained glass window has iron bars on the back to stabilize the frame, but regular windows with panes don’t have them. You might have to consider something like a French cleat (see the comment above for an example). Good luck!

  4. I have a old French door I want to hang length wise on the wall to display pictures and use as a coat rack. Any suggestions on how to hang this?

    • Jill, I would use two french cleats–one on either side of the door. You can look at the link I posted above in the comments to see an example of a French cleat and where to buy. Hope that helps!

  5. I was wondering does the windowpane flush against the wall? I have an art piece from an old windowpane and have it hanging exactly like yours but it sticks out at the bottom.

  6. Ginger Williams says

    What gauge wire did you use? Was it reg picture hanging wire?

  7. Did you repaint your windows?? I recently bought one and am a little nervous to think that the paint may have lead in it because the window seems so old…

    • I did not repaint mine, but my dad did years ago. I think he wore a respirator just in case, but it was so long ago that I’m just not sure. Sorry I’m not more help!

  8. Jennifer snouffer says

    Thank u so much for your wonderful directions! I really appreciate you being so thorough! I’m going to use the wire and hooks that you recommended. Thanks And God bless you!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2017-2019 All Rights Reserved