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How to Display Vintage Magazine Covers Using a Window

I inherited a box of vintage magazines with interesting covers. To display the covers, I used an old window.

Vintage Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazine covers displayed in a window

My friend gave me two windows from Black Dog Salvage (read about my family connection to Black Dog here) and after seeing them, I knew that I’d use one for wall decor. 

I used the window to frame vintage Popular Mechanics and Popular Science covers from the late 1930s and early 1940s. 

My father-in-law is a retired engineer and I wanted to create some wall art for his room at the lake that I knew he would like. Just as I suspected, he was happy to see this hanging in his room at the lake.

Where Did I Get the Magazines?

When my grandmother moved into a nursing home, my aunt was tasked with the massive job of cleaning out her home. 

One treasure that I inherited was a box of vintage Popular Mechanics and Popular Science Magazines from 1938 – 1941.  One magazine cover had a last name written on it making me believe that these originally belonged to my grandmother’s brother-in-law.  

I have many more of these magazines and if you want to complete this project, contact me.

Vintage Popular Mechanics and Popular Science Magazines 1938-1941

Remove the Magazine Covers

I picked eight favorite covers to use for this window wall decor project.  Some of the covers were already torn off the magazines.

Popular Science and Popular Mechanics Magazine Covers from the late 30's and early 40's

It pained me to tear the covers off the complete magazines but I held my breath and just did it.  I figured that it was better to enjoy the cover than to stuff the magazines back in my attic.

Popular Science and Popular Mechanics Magazines from 1938-41

I love that a prediction for the future was to be able to fish using a television set.

Popular Science Magazines from 1938-41

Two more magazine covers were used but unfortunately the pictures were blurry and I didn’t realize it until this project was at the lake and I was back home at my computer.

Prepare the Window

The hardest part of this project was cleaning the window!  The two windows must have been stored in a wet area because both ends had rotten spots.  A cut with a circular saw fixed that problem.  You can see the cut end here.

1938 - 1941 Popular Science and Popular Mechanics Magazines Framed with a Vintage Window

Attach Magazine Covers to the Window

I didn’t want to damage the covers, so I used photo corners and glue dots to attach the covers to the glass. 

The photo corners are designed for scrapbooking and have an adhesive backing that is very sticky, so I quickly discovered that I needed to cut the corners out with scissors and then apply a glue dot to the back of the corner. 

D-rings were used to hang the window from the wall.  (This window is very heavy!) 

Popular Science and Mechanics Ads from the 1938 - 1941

The Finished Product

I had a devil of a time taking pictures of this project because of glare from the glass.  The 43 star flag belonged to my grandmother’s cousin, son of the uncle who built Mama’s Walnut Avenue home

I framed it as a Christmas gift to Mr. SP and it has been hanging over his desk ever since.  We now need something else to hang over his desk.   🙂  

The airplane painting is a Mr. SP original from his youth.  

Lakehouse Decor - Americanna Themed Bedroom

I think that this window wall decor will be a conversation piece when guests stay at our lake home. 

You can see more of the guest room here.

Use an Old Window to Display Vintage Popular Mechanics and Popular Science Magazine Covers

The Back of the Magazine Covers

The ads in the magazine are almost as interesting as the covers.

Eveready Battery Ad from 1938-1941

When I tore a magazine cover off, I wrote the date of the magazine on the back side of the cover.  The covers that were already torn off had no dates printed on them. 

I didn’t know that the NEA (National Education Association) used to be called the National Education Alliance until I saw this ad.

National Education Alliance Ad from December 1938

This Packard ad from 1941 is interesting.  I plan to leaf through the magazine for ads that I might frame for another wall display.  Perhaps that’s how I’ll use the second window that my friend gave me.

Packard Ad from August 1941 Popular Mechanics Magazine

I’m glad to both use a window that my friend gave me and to find a way to display these interesting vintage magazine covers.

Vintage Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazine covers displayed in a vintage window


28 Comments

  1. That is absolutely the coolest thing ever!!! I love how this turned out, so much so that I may now be on the hunt for some vintage, popular mechanics magazines. I know your FIL will feel very special that you made such a thoughtful piece of art with him in mind. 🙂 Pinned!

  2. I’m Paula’s FIL and I like the WWII vintage aircraft portrayed in the panels, especially since the Curtis P-40’s depicted were one of my favorite planes when I was a kid. I also appreciate the “Chicago School” mentioned.

  3. That window frame is gorgeous and this is such a fun idea of how to use it! I have tons of vintage magazines that I want to frame, and this is such a unique way to do it! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  4. I love this project!! What a fun idea to use some of your vintage items together like this. The window looks awesome with the covers in it!

    1. Thank you, Cecilia! Those cover designs are something. I’m glad that my grandmother saved everything which means that I have lots of unique vintage things to enjoy.

      Paula

    1. Thank you, Kristi! When people are taking a tour of our lake house, they always stop to look at the neat designs from those old magazines.

      Paula

  5. Thanks for sharing such a unique idea! It looks great. I have been looking for a way to make a gallery of farm animal pics, this inspired me.

    1. Displaying pictures of farm animals is right up my alley! If you complete this project, please email a picture to me as I would love to see it.

      Paula

  6. This is such a brilliant project! My father in law is still running his own sandblasting business and still has his Popular Mechanics subscription. This would be perfect for him, too! You have me already thinking about what other themes I could use for this fun project! Thanks so much for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

    1. Thank you, Chloe! We are thinking about getting our 1958 windows replaced. If we do, I’ll have a ton of windows to use for projects like this!

      Paula

  7. This turned out so beautifully! I love the idea and would love to do something like this. I’m featuring this post at Thursday Favorite Things tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much for featuring me this week! I love being able to display those old covers.

      Paula

  8. That’s brilliant, such a great way to be able to use some of those old magazines.
    This will be one of the features at this weeks Handmade Monday 🙂

  9. Paula, I love this idea! Very creative and a great way to showcase the vintage magazine. I am a pilot and this one really caught my eye. I have so many flying magazines and new airplane brochures from years ago. I need to do this when I move to my NC house in a couple years. Thank you for sharing.

    Catherine
    Smashing Plates Tablescapes

    1. I am so glad that you like this idea. Displaying flying magazines and airplane brochures will look great in your NC home.

      Paula

  10. I love this–but it would have killed me to rip the covers off of the still-intact magazines! You could also take color copies of the covers if you wanted to keep them intact.. I just ran across your blog yesterday (I’m not sure how. I followed a link from somewhere. My Wee Abode perhaps?) I sure am enjoying your beautiful projects!

    1. It pained me very much to rip the covers off of those magazines. Perhaps I should have done color copies but at the time my thought was that I could either use them and enjoy them or stick the box back in the attic, so I chose to use them. Thank you so much for reading my blog. I’m super happy that you found me and that you are enjoying it!

      Paula

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