Jody Kerzman
Windows before. (Megan Milbradt)

Finished products. (Megan Milbradt)

If you ask my husband, I'm a hoarder.

And if you ask me, my husband exaggerates.

Ok, so I've brought home some "interesting" items over the years: an old door, an old filing cabinet, some old chairs and a coffee table from the curb, three old windows with broken glass. I always have a plan for the old stuff I rescue, it's just that sometimes it takes me awhile to complete those projects.

Sometimes it takes about seven years.

But when I get started, great things happen.

For example, let's talk about those three old windows I saved. It was at least seven years ago. A co-worker found them in the basement of his house and knew I'd love them (he was one of my favorite co-workers, because he knew better than to ask my husband before bringing them over!) Seven years ago - and long before Pinterest - I had a vision. Unfortunately, my sweet husband didn't see the same vision.

He saw firewood.

He threatened to throw them in the fire pit several times.

Each time I caught him just before he struck the match, and saved my precious windows.

As I rescued them from the junk pile yet again, I realized it was time to turn these old worn out windows into something really cool.

Turns out, it wasn't actually that hard and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to make my vision a reality.

Here's how I took my rescued windows from firewood to something even my husband says looks good on the wall:

* The glass was broken in two out of the three windows already, but there were lots of sharp edges so the first thing I did was break all the remaining glass. I decided to get rid of the glass in the third window as well. Actually, I recruited my husband and my son to do that - Brad removed the calking and then the glass came right out. Much less messy than if I would have just taken the hammer (or a baseball bat, as my son suggested) to it.

* The next step took the longest: removing the old paint. There were THREE layers of paint on these babies! I chipped some of it away with a tool that will remain nameless (because I have no idea what it's called - it's just something I found in the giant tool box full of tools I don't have names for. It worked great though!) Then I got out the power tools and sanded the windows. I was able to get most of the paint off with the electric sander, but did have to do a little hand sanding (and I when I say "hand sanding", I mean that literally. I actually sanded my thumb. Ouch.) Under all those layers of paint, I was happy to find what was probably a very beautiful maple wood. Sadly, the wood was pretty damaged, so I decided to paint them again.

* I dug through our cabinet of paint (another reason my husband thinks I have hoarder-tendencies: name a color, and I bet I've got that shade of paint) and chose new colors for my windows. I originally painted one black and two white, but decided the white was too boring, so I added a khaki layer to one and a blue layer to another. Once that paint was dry, I got out the sand paper and took some of the paint off. That gave them some character, and made them look old again. I thought the black one looked ok, but Brad, the self-proclaimed expert home decorator, thought it looked too "shiny," so he took a hammer/sandpaper/screwdriver to it to make it look "old." I hate to admit it, but he was right. It looks much better slightly beat up.

* The final step required more tools and a little help from my husband. I made one into a chalkboard by painting a piece of plywood with chalkboard paint. Brad attached that to the window frame with staples. I should add, this was originally a three pane window, but one pane broke during sanding, so I decided to just leave it out and add a picture to the smaller opening). He also used the staple gun to add chicken wire (straight from the recently cleaned out garden) to another, and I used small colored clothespins to attach pictures and notes to the chicken wire. Finally, we stole the kids' puzzle board, recovered it with new cork material and nailed it to the final window to make a really cool bulletin board.

Total cost to turn these broken, headed for the fire-pit windows into something really cool: $5. That's how much I spent on those cute little clothespins and cork material.

Sometimes it's good to never throw anything away.

Now I just need to find somewhere to display all these works of art.

I'm not sure where they'll end up, but I can promise you it won't be anywhere near the fire-pit!

Jody is married to Brad, and they have four super-busy kids. When she isn't at one of their events, she's probably driving them somewhere.