September 29, 2010

Tutorial...Faux Stained Glass

I always have the best intentions, but that doesn't mean that my plan will happen that way.  I know I am very late on this tutorial and do apologize.  My excuse...the husband went TDY and of course when he leaves everything must fall apart! Isn't that a given?  The good news...he will be back this weekend so now maybe things can run a little smoothly again.

I hope this will be easy enough to follow along with.  The frame that I made for the stained glass will come in a post on it's own...I don't want you to feel like your reading a novel! :) 

I found this product in the craft store years back and had some fun making a few things and then forgot all about it.  When we moved to Ohio for my husband to attend AFIT for his masters we were only going to be there for 18 months and decided it would be best to live in the new off base housing.  It sounded like a good idea at the time...that is until we tried to fit our very large family in a very small space...1500 sq. feet to be exact.  Needless to say...lesson learned, never again!

Anyways, there was a side window right by the front door that I wanted to give some privacy too without taking away all the light.  I then remembered my faux stained glass paint.  This was a great option to a window covering and it was a beautiful feature to our home.  The great thing was when we had to move...I just peeled it off! 

Forward to now 2010 and my problem window I needed to solve.  I realized I could use this same application for the idea I had and I knew it would look great.  The only thing I didn't think on...was how much of the clear white paint I would need to do such a big project.  The good thing, it is not that expensive so even though I used quite a bit it still didn't break the bank!

My design was done on a piece of plexi glass...not even real glass.  I didn't want it to be too heavy so that it wouldn't break, but the cost for such a big piece of plexi is much cheaper than glass.  I found mine at Lowes.  It comes in different cut sizes and thickness. 

Here are some of the tools you will need:
  • black marker
  • craft knife (razor blade)
  • tape measure
  • combination square (ruler)
  • level
  • plexi glass or glass (size depending on your design)
  • Gallery Glass paints
  • Faux lead lines (you will find these with the Gallery Glass)
  • Faux lead paint
  • pattern or template
I chose to create my own design, but they do have patterns and faux lead designs you can use too.

I wanted to have the look of some stained glass with a leaded window done in a harlequin pattern.  To do this I first had to create a template for my harlequin pattern. 

Using a thick scrapbook paper I made my template by measuring and cutting a square...size will vary depending on your project size.  My square was a 5"x5" inch square and my plexi glass is 25"H x 48"W.

One of the things I liked about using the plexi glass, it has two sides with plastic covering over it.  I used this to mark my design on.  If you did this on glass, you would want to use a non-permanent marker, something that could be washed off.

Starting on your design, you need to find the center. On the backside of the plexi, marking on the plastic covering this is where you will create your design.  By measuring your width and then dividing it in half mark a dot; then do this again for your height.  I then make a cross in the center.

Once my center was found I decided how big my borders were going to be.  Important to remember when you go to frame your glass some of  your design will get covered up, make enough of a margin for this.

I used my combination square to keep everything lined up and finding my border.

My level was used in drawing my lines and keeping them straight.

Once my borders were marked I used my square template (turned onto its points) at the center. I used my level again and made lines to my border.  This can get a little tricky with making sure every diamond is in the right place, I learned to start at the center, make all four diamonds from the center point and work my way out from each diamond shape.

Here's another look with the template.

There is another option you can add to your design if you would like. 
I was going to do this, but in the end decided not to. 

Using a nickel I traced around it and made a circle over the intersecting lines.  I was going to add some color here as well but then decided against it.  I would have drawn my circles using the lead paint.

Once the harlequin pattern has been created you are ready to put your lead lines on.  This is important...don't forget to turn your plexi or glass over now and take off the protective plastic on the other side! You wouldn't want to do all this work only to realize you didn't take off the plastic...yikes!

These come in long strips so it made it easier to keep the lines continuing.
They are a soft foam, very flexible and sticky.  Again, using the opposite side of your design put the lead lines on the side where you took the plastic covering off. When one line ends, just add another up against it. 

*If you need to cut a line don't use scissors it is hard to
get an exact cut and it won't leave an even line, use your craft knife to cut it.

Here is how your design should look once you have all the faux lead lines on.

To give the foam lines a realistic lead look I used the liquid leading over the top. 
You don't have to do this, I just wanted mine to look as real as I could.

I had more photos to share on the look of the liquid lead on top of the lead lines,
but for some reason can't find them.  It gives the lines a more textured look.

Now the fun get to start adding your colors of paint. 
 This is where patience and time really comes in, but so worth it when your done.

I chose to only use three colors in my design, but there is
such an array of colors it is whatever you want to create!

Here is an example of how the paint looks when put on the glass.  It flows out easily and you want it thick.  When it dries it does not look so thick.  I like to start along the lead lines and work my way to the center and down.  You will get bubbles here and there, using a toothpick you can pop them.  Using a back and forth motion with the toothpick it will help spread the paint out evenly as well.

*Another note on the paint, you do not want to shake it! It will not work the way it should and separate.  You will get clogs every now and then.  I would just use a tissue and pull some of the dried paint out while gently squeezing the bottle.

I worked on my design for several days.  It takes at least a day for it to dry...again patience.  I would work on it while I watched a show or keep it in an area away from pets and people and whenever I had a moment put more paint down.

In the end you finally end up with this...

A beautiful faux stained glass...can you really tell the difference? 

I will have another post on how to build the frame.  The great thing about is so versatile! This could be done directly on a window or a piece of glass in a picture frame...whatever your imagination can think of!  Would love for you to share your faux stained glass with me as well.

For now, I am back to my sofa...revealing all her under layers and getting to her true are some peeks at what I have been up to.

Uncovering her true beauty...

Even Felicity wants to help...

Fixing and making her frame stronger...

Adding a beautiful Whimsy blue...

Soon she will be revealed...for now, have to get back to work and dress her up!

Have a great week friends...hugs and love to you all!!!


  1. The window is fantastic! I would never know it was not the real thing! Gorgeous!

    And that sofa?? CANNOT WAIT to see it finished!!

    Lou Cinda :)

  2. What a wonderful tutorial. Can't believe how great that window looks. Love your kitty's name. It's a name that is dear to me:)

  3. Great tutorial and the window looks fabulous!!
    Loving that new sofa!! Can't wait to see it finished!

  4. Hi Victoria,
    Oh wow, what a fantastic idea and fabulous tutorial!

    Have fun with the sofa.
    Happy creating,

  5. that was a great tutorial!! thank you for sharing.

  6. I found some of this paint in my parents basement and I'm itching to try it on an old window I bought. Thanks for the instructions!

  7. Great tutorial Victoria. I am dying to see the outcome of the sofa redo, it looks great so far.

  8. Oh, the window is really cool! I have missed keeping up with you and am just easing muh way back into the online world! I also can't wait to see what you're doing with that awesome couch!! =-D

  9. Wow! You really can't tell the difference. It's beautiful. Thank you for sharing and the wonderful tutorial. I am looking forward to seeing what you do with the sofa. Based on the fabulous job you did on the chair I have no doubt it will be spectacular!


  10. LOVE your blog! HOw beautiful and creative. This window is so pretty! Your cat is so cute :) I am now following your blog!!

  11. Haven't seen you in awhile hope everything is okay!

  12. I couldn't figure out why I kept on reading your blog entry. I had been surfing knitting blogs ... and kind of got side tracked. (I think I clicked on a comment you made somewhere.)

    Am I ever glad I read on - what a beautiful window!
    Thank you for the directions - although I'm not sure I will ever use them, but at least now I have some instructions. With pictures!

    janeyknitting AT yahoo DOT ca
    (Change caps to symbols, and lose the spaces.)

  13. Victoria!
    That stained glass window is BEYOND amazing!
    And that fancy a DREAM!
    You go girlie!
    And just so you know.
    Everytime I use the lotion you sent me in your giveaway beauty prize...I think of you!
    KISSES to you!

  14. This is VERY cool! I would love to do this to replicate the original stained glass in my house (that the previous owners took with them.) I'm so glad I stumbled upon this!


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