Flohmarkt flip - Window frame to art display

Flohmarkt flip - Window frame to art display

by Shereece Spain
Stripes Europe

Before I even stepped foot in Germany, one of the first things my friends told me about are the flea markets, "Flohmarkt." I had visions of Goodwill or Salvation Army stores in my head, so I really didn’t understand what the excitement was about. However, it all became clear after our first trip! It is more than just Grandma’s circa 1947 broken lamp or a piece of 1980’s artwork that should never see the light of day again. There are some truly unique hidden gems among the tables and tents at a Flohmarkt.

I had been noodling on how to display my kids’ artwork. Putting them up on the wall with push pins seemed way too plain for this girl. Then I came across this unique wooden frame. The clouds parted and the angels began to sing (in my head anyway).

Window frames seem to be very common at flea markets. The wood is beautifully worn and aged. I do not feel this urge to cover it up. If anything, I want to preserve the vintage character. Therefore, our project is very simple this month.

Prepare the wood.

Very lightly sand the wood with fine or very fine grit sandpaper to create a surface for your sealant to adhere. Then use a mild soap and soft cloth to remove any surface dirt and dust. Be careful not to remove any of the character from your piece.

Seal in the beauty.

There are so many options for sealant products. To save time, I chose an easy spray-on clear coat with a matte finish. It’s quick to apply and dries extremely fast. The matte finish allows the piece to still look natural.

Before you begin, cover areas of your piece you don’t want to be sprayed, to include glass or hardware. Complete this step outside or another well-ventilated area.

Hanging hardware.

When you’re looking for the appropriate hardware to hang your piece, make sure it can bear the weight. My piece is approximately 45 inches by 50 inches and weighs more than 50 pounds. I couldn’t find one locally that I felt comfortable using. Therefore, I went with this hanging kit. I’ve used the same product for previous projects, so I knew it would work well. Follow the product instructions to properly secure the hardware.


You can leave your piece as-is or add other things to display, such as items from your European travels (pictures, trinkets, post cards, wine bottle corks, etc.). I chose to showcase the talents of my budding Picasso and Pollock, but the possibilities are endless. To display your treasures, you can use string and clips to hang objects, cork board (mine is covered in fabric) or sheets of metal with magnets.

Don’t forget to step back and appreciate your work!

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