DIY Lace Window Panes

I think I've mentioned before that we live in an old house - 98 years old, to be exact. I love so many things about our house. It holds so much history and charm, and has so many vintage touches to it. One thing it lacked when we moved in was more modern security and privacy. Aside from turn locks on the door handles, the only other lock in the house was operated by a very old and rusty skeleton key.

While I love skeleton keys (we still use it!), and am not particularly worried about anyone breaking into our house, it's better to be safe than sorry. So we installed deadbolts.

Another thing that's bothered me a little are our front & back doors. They're these amazing vintage 15 pane glass doors, and I wouldn't trade them for anything, but sometimes a girl wants to walk around the house in underwear and not be too paranoid that someone's looking in. The dilemma was that the doors let in so much amazing light, and we didn't want to lose that, so a curtain was out of the question.

I should also say that it would be really hard for someone to see in, because although we live in the middle of the city, we're a little off the beaten path, and are really very secluded with a lot of privacy. But still.

I had the idea a couple of months ago to adhere lace fabric to a few of the panes, but I wasn't really sure about the best way to adhere it. I knew I wanted it to be easy to remove, in case we ever want to take it down, or for reselling purposes. A quick google search showed me that I was definitely not the first person to have this idea, and provided me with a great tutorial on creating a sort of paste using cornstarch and water - easy to apply, easy to remove. 

I just purchased some vintage lace curtains at a thrift shop, and they came with two curtain panes, as well as two valances. I'm going to be honest here - I despise valances. I don't know why, but I just can't get behind them. So, I traced a template of the window panes, and cut up the valences.

I think one of my favorite parts of this project is now my doors match my living room curtains. 

Anyway, I mixed my cornstarch paste (2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons cold water + 1.5 cups boiling water), and I got to work. All in all, this whole project took about an hour.

First, apply the paste to the pane. Don't be afraid to be generous. You could also soak your fabric in the paste, if you prefer.

Then, position the fabric on the frame, and generously apply more paste. I found that the more paste you applied, the more opaque the ending result was.

Repeat the process for as many panes as you want! I chose to do the three in the middle - it adds a little privacy, still allows the wonderful light to come through, and the vintage cottage feel fits right in with our little house. I did this to both the front and back door.

This is the view from the outside, through the screen door, and the below photo is from the back door, with the screen door open.

It's an understatement to say that I love it (and it's Jake-approved, too!).


  1. What a great idea! It's beautiful!

  2. I LOVE this! It's really, really pretty! I have an odd shaped window off my kitchen that is currently uncovered. I think something similar to this might be a great way to decorate it without losing the light it provides. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks! I definitely recommend it - we love it so much! And the light coming through the lace creates great shadows!