If you have a basement or other dark and dingy room that could use a bit of extra light, perhaps the best – or indeed only – way to solve the problem is with a fake window. You can give yourself a fabulous view or you can brighten your room – the possibilities are endless.
If that sounds like something you’d like to try and you’re looking for inspiration, we’re here to help. We’ve been online to find out what other people have been trying – and here are our top 17 homemade fake window plans you can DIY easily.
1. How to make a fake window in your basement
With accommodation prices soaring, sometimes the only way of saving a bit of cash on your rent is to bite the bullet and go for a subterranean basement apartment. However, with no access to sunlight and the outside world, they can feel claustrophobic and depressing – but if you follow this plan for a fake window, you can trick yourself into believing you have a real window, and it isn’t even expensive to make.
2. DIY smart window made with LEDs for Reading
This YouTuber has an ambitious plan. He lives in a basement apartment with very little natural light, so he decided to build himself an LED fake window for Reading. Instead of just buying a reading light, DIY a fake LED reading window is not easy. However, more than this, he wants it to be a smart window that he can control from his phone or even by voice command. Does he manage? Check out the video to see.
3. How to make a fake window using electroluminescent sheets
You might not live in a basement, but sometimes another room in your home could do with an extra window to add some light and airiness. However, having a real one fitted might be way beyond what you’re willing or able to spend due to the structural work it would entail, and building a DIY fake one could be a much more affordable option. If that sounds like something you might be interested in trying, check out this plan for details.
4. Making a relaxing false window with old laptop screens
For us, the essence of DIY is being able to make something new from old materials you have lying around – repurposing scrap to create something new, functional and attractive. That being the case, you can see why we love this video. Here, this YouTuber shows us how he made a fake window…from old laptop screens. The concept sounds crazy – but give it a watch to see how he did it.
5. Smart LED window
Here’s a plan from the Instructables website, one of our favorite online resources when it comes to ideas for creative DIY projects and plans for simple home improvements. It shows you how to make a fake smart window using LEDs, and as with all plans on this site, you’ll find clear and logical explanations, useful photos and illustrations, and plenty of handy tips. Whether it’s for a basement, a loft or any other interior space that’s in need of some extra light, this could be a plan worth considering.
6. Faux window with your favorite view
We were looking for something like this plan, but we were surprised by how few we found. Most of the plans we found were for lights that are supposed to fool you into thinking there’s a window behind a curtain. This one, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to place an image behind the window, allowing you to have whatever “view” from your window you choose. Ingenious and well worth a look.
7. Fake window with artificial sunlight
What first struck us about this plan was the photo at the top of the page. Without the title just above it, there’s no way we would have guessed this wasn’t a real external window, which must mean this project was a success. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive way to make a believable fake window in a basement or other room, this one is another you need to see.
8. Creating a faux lighted window
This video documents how one YouTuber set about building a fake window for his windowless office – although you can easily put his ideas to use in any room in your house. He uses an old window frame he happened to have on his property and sets about restoring it to the kind of condition required for the installation. Following that, he takes you through all the steps, including installing an LED strip, until the window is installed and in place – with impressive results!
9. How to build a faux-window light box
Not all fake windows are destined for basements. Real windows open up a room, making it feel larger and more comfortable while also letting in the sunlight. However, not all rooms are endowed with windows that fulfil this purpose, and sometimes the best solution can be to create a fake one. The illusion can be convincing, even if you know it’s not real. And if you want to add one to your home, this plan will show you how.
10. Turning smashed TVs into realistic artificial daylight
If you enjoyed the video in #4, the same YouTuber is back – here, making an artificial daylight from a smashed TV. Is this technically a plan for a window? We’re not sure, but for us, it’s close enough – and since it’s such a great idea that helps add light to your room while also recycling old scrap, we think it’s worthy of a place on our list!
11. How to make a fake window
Some of the plans we found for fake windows were elaborate and complicated – but this one is the exact opposite. It’s so simple to make, and the financial outlay is minimal compared to some of the others, too. So if you’re looking for the easiest and most affordable way to add some extra light and space to a stuffy room in your home, this is a plan that should be of interest.
12. Making a faux window – decorating secrets
The YouTuber in this video faces an interesting conundrum – although it’s one that’s easy to imagine many other people find themselves trying to deal with. In his bedroom, there’s a single window on the right, but when he puts his bed up against it, it destroys all the symmetry. His solution? To build a faux window to restore balance and harmony to his space. And if you want to see how he went about it, check out the video to see for yourself!
13. DIY faux french windows
This plan is a little different from most of the others we’ve included on our list. Rather than being a design for building a complete fake window, it shows how to convert regular windows into french windows to add an extra touch of class to your home. It’s very easy to follow, and just about anyone should be able to achieve similar results at home. A great plan that should give you an idea of the kind of thing that’s possible with a little lateral thinking.
14. DIY fake window from cardboard
So some of the fake windows we’ve seen – and many we’ve included on this list – are highly advanced creations that can trick your mind into really believing there is a window there, making you think the light coming through is true sunlight. This fake window, on the other hand, is designed as a low-tech solution that can help add a decorative element to a wall without really trying to imitate a true window – here, your mind is not supposed to be fooled. However, as an attractive decorative element, it’s a winner – and it’s super-affordable and easy to make too.
15. DIY faux window frame
You don’t need to make anything as complicated as an LED fake window – if you’re looking for a simple but effective DIY project that will use up some basic materials you might already have at home while creating a striking effect on an otherwise empty wall, this could be perfect. You simply build a fake window frame and hang it on your wall, and you will give the impression of adding an extra window to your room.
16. DIY rustic faux window for $4!
If you’re looking for a simple and affordable but extremely rewarding DIY project to get stuck into, this could be the option you’re looking for. It gives you the details for how to make a realistic-looking faux window for no more than around $4. And at such a low cost, that’s got to be worth attempting.
17. DIY fake window
When we found this video, we just had to include it because it’s so cute. Sure, it’s not going to fool anyone, and it can’t replace a true window allowing the glorious sunlight to fill the room while giving you a view of the beautiful blue sky. But we have to try out best, right? And this YouTuber gets full marks for effort. Thanks, Sameera, you made us smile!
Loads of inspiration to be found
If you are looking for inspiration, you only need to do a quick search to find loads of amazing ideas. We love looking for plans like this because it always gives us that creative urge to have a go ourselves.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading and watching these plans as much as we have enjoyed finding them for you. And above all, we hope we’ve helped you find some fresh new ideas for your next DIY project.