5 Steps to a Beautiful Faux Stained Glass Masterpiece

5 Steps to a Beautiful Faux Stained Glass Masterpiece
Image courtesy: Create Art With Me

If you love the look of stained glass, but not the price tag that’s attached to it, did you know that it’s possible to make faux stained glass with commonly available ingredients such as acrylic paint and glue?

You can use this technique for windows in your home and glass panels as well. It’s perfect to cover sidelights in entry halls, bathroom windows, and to hide walls and fences. 

Stained glass lets in sunlight, but hides unsightly things. It’s a perfect solution with endless possibilities and uses. As an alternative to the paint, you can use food coloring, but the result will be much less intense. 

While it’s possible to create stained glass with water colors, stick to acrylic paint if you want a vibrant, thick result.

What you’ll need

  • ⬥White Glue (1 bottle)
  • ⬥Clear Glue (1 bottle)
  • ⬥Wooden dowel or chopstick
  • ⬥Black Sharpie Pen
  • ⬥Super Glue
  • ⬥Acrylic Paint
  • ⬥Clear Acrylic Spray Sealant
  • ⬥Photo Frame (8×10)
  • ⬥Craft Blade

The first step to creating your own faux stained glass is to find a template of what you want to make. Start with something simple for your first project such as a butterfly.

Tip: A page from a coloring book works well as a template.

1. Prepare your work area

If you’re using a dollar store frame, take it apart and set your glass on a protected work surface. 

Next, enlarge your pattern so that it’s the same size as your sheet of glass. This is an important step you don’t want to skip; the acrylic spray gives the glue and the paint something to stick to.

Place the sheet of glass over the pattern.

2. Prepare the leading

Open the bottle of white glue. Dump enough glue out of it to create space for the acrylic paint. Add approximately 1 tsp of black acrylic paint to the bottle and stir it with a wooden dowel (or chopstick).

Add enough paint so that you’ve got a solid black color for your “lead”. You will be surprised to see how little paint is needed to change white glue into black.  

Put the glue nozzle back on for the next step.

3. Outline your image

Squeeze the “lead” carefully onto the glass, following the lines in your pattern.  Ideally, you won’t have shaky hands, but even if you do, it can be fixed.

Once you’ve drawn all of the lines, let it dry for at least one night.

After it has dried, use your craft blade to correct any shaky lines or errors.

4. Prepare your colors

Next, using a small muffin tin, mix up your colors.  Add one or two drops of acrylic paint to about a tablespoon of clear glue. It doesn’t take a lot of paint to create rich colors for your faux stained glass project. 

Add the colors where you want them with a blunt paintbrush.  Put your colored glue on thickly and make sure it reaches the edges of the black lines. 

Use a toothpick to pop air bubbles in your glue if you see any. 

If you want a variegated, marble-like appearance, add some color to each side of the section you’re working on, then use your brush to push the colors together and combine them in the middle.

Let everything dry overnight.

Next, feel free to touch up any overlapped paint on the leading with the sharpie pen.  You might be able to skip this step if you are neat to begin with.  

5. Seal and frame your artwork

After creating your masterpiece, protect it with clear acrylic spray sealant.

Let it dry thoroughly and then place back into your frame or place it where you can enjoy your creation every day!

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