Organizing Theory & Artistry

Ruly Holiday Tip: Glass Wax Window Stencils

Holiday window decorations are fun and festive.  Many people refrain from doing them, however, so they avoid “messing up” their windows, since window washing is low on most people’s house cleaning tasks.

At some point in the past, some enterprising individual found a way to both decorate and clean your windows at the same time!  Enter Glass Wax.  Glass Wax is a window cleaner that goes on as a clear liquid but dries with an opaque finish.  Someone figured out that it would be great for stenciling windows for the holidays or even making freeform designs.

Glass Wax window stencils appear to have been popular in the 1940’s and 1950’s and then fell out of favor.  You can still buy a Glass Wax-type product at the Vermont Country Store, “purveyors of the practical and hard-to-find.”

I cannot think of another example of decorating/cleaning but I applaud the inventiveness and multitasking nature of this product!  We have fun putting them up.

Nerdy Fact about Glass Wax: I learned about Glass Wax for the first time in law school.  It is one of the classic cases in trademark law. The trademark office refused registration of the trademark “Glass Wax” in 1947 or so because “if it contains wax it is descriptive and if it does not it is deceptively misdescriptive.” (209 F.2d 802 (1954).)