Every time I go to an antique mall where I have a chance to interact with a dealer or an owner, I am thrilled, because I invariably learn something new.  Last weekend, I learned that people collect old glass slides that were used to teach art history back in the day.  Oh yes.  It’s a thing.

Magic Lantern Slides on Window Ledge

They look extremely cool displayed on window ledges!

Prices for these things are all over the map.  Some are rare, and some are hand colored.  Those all cost more, so I suggest avoiding those.  I bought a “lot” of them on eBay, and after I paid for shipping, the slides were still less than $2 per slide – which was about $10 less per slide than I had seen them selling in the antique market where I discovered them.

I plan to use these slides in several projects down the line, but first things first, I wanted to display one in the negative space in my dining room wall, also known as a “pass through.”   I dragged my son to Goodwill, where we found a frame that would fit the slide for $0.99 cents, and I used some eye hooks and random chain I had around the house.

Gesso and Paint Frame

I see a cheap frame and I want to paint it black.

Oh Right - Back will be visible

Oh wait. The back will be visible, too. Guess I’d better paint that!

Eye Hooks

Adding eye hooks.

Proper Back

Can I still make a “baby got back” joke? No? The moment is long gone?


Here’s the slide on display!

Slide Clean Shelf

Woo! I found a way to hang art in negative space!

Slide Far

I would like to pretend this makes me a wizard, but I have to let my beard grow out first.

If you’d like to get your hands on some of these, you can search Etsy or eBay for “art history glass slides” or “Magic Lantern slides.”  Have fun!

Categories: Blog Post


Ann D'Angelo is a dedicated drinker of diet Coke who has never spotted a thrift store she didn't want to visit or an item she didn't want to alter. Check out Ann's shop.


Sarah · June 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

That looks amazing!! You totally are a wizard.

    AnnDAngelo · June 5, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Woo! Beardless wizardry! I feel so free! 😉

M Mathey - POMI · June 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

Yup – you never cease to amaze me!!

    AnnDAngelo · June 5, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Thank you so much! 😀

Banana · June 6, 2015 at 11:19 am

Wicked cool!

    AnnDAngelo · June 6, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Thanks, Banana!

Ruth · June 15, 2015 at 11:34 am

Ann, you have the most remarkable ability to make art from found things that makes me want to fill my home with everything I find! Thank you for another spectacular way that I can ease myself into crafting for my space and decorating from the things that I really love! YOU ROCK!!! xxoo

    AnnDAngelo · June 15, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Wow, what a fabulous comment! Thank you so much, Ruth! (And secretly, I hope you do fill your home that way, because it's really fun to do!)

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