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A visit to an architectural salvage yard can be a rewarding experience and a good yard can be a real treasure trove for anyone looking for unique items.  If you've never visited one before, I suggest heading to a yard situated near the older suburbs of your city as there you can usually find more character pieces and vintage hardware.

Be prepared however, salvage yards are usually large, dusty and you'll need to go with a tape measure and a good dose of imagination. Items such as old doors, boards and windows are commonly stacked deep but often incredibly affordable and ready for a makeover.

I loved creating this shadow box frame recently for a TV story for Better Homes. A simple update was all it needed. I love the rustic look and it suits the beach style perfectly.

It was painted white already so I actually sanded and 'aged' it a little more to reveal the colours and wood underneath.  To add lustre to the old paint, I lightly rubbed in some clear furniture wax with 000 grade steel wool.  Once the wax was dry, it was buffed with an old towel.

The glass panes were removed to make the whole thing weigh less.   To create the shelf, I built a very simple pine box frame with a timber nailed across the middle.  Scrap booking paper was pasted to the 3mm MDF backing board and a sturdy chain added for hanging. 

See you at the salvage yard!

Tara x



Janis 25 Jun 2015  
Love this idea and I'm going to try to make one. Very pretty! Thanks for the idea.
Robyn Goulding 05 Sep 2013  
Thank you Tara for all your wonderful idea's. I am looking for a salvage window to have a go at this project. Wish me luck.

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