How to Make Fake Stained Glass

When you simulate stained glass on acrylic, you don't need a soldering iron.
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Making faux stained glass is quicker and cheaper than making real stained glass, and because it involves no lead soldering or glass cutting, it is safe for children to do. After creating a design on a sheet of acrylic and coloring it in, you can frame the final piece and hang in a window, or you can simply leave it unframed and tape it to a window or a cabinet door with a glass front as a display piece.

    Cover the work surface with newspapers. Lay a sheet of clear acrylic plastic on the surface. Don't remove the protective covering from the sheet.

    Use a black permanent marker to outline a design on the protective covering. If you have a sketch of a design that you want to transfer to the acrylic, place the sketch under the acrylic sheet and trace the design on the protective covering. If the covering is opaque, tape the sketch to a window and tape the acrylic sheet over the sketch so that you can see the design through the covering.

    Flip the sheet over to paint the design on the acrylic itself. If you do not want the design to be reversed, peel off the covering you drew on, flip it over and re-adhere it to the back of the acrylic sheet. Peel off the top protective coating, then neutralize static electricity by wiping the acrylic sheet with a clean, damp cloth and allowing the sheet to dry.

    Make a small opening in the tip of a tube of black "Gallery Glass" paint and squeeze out a short line of on a piece of scrap paper. You are aiming for a line about 1/8-inch wide. If you need to, enlarge the hole in the tip a bit more. When you achieve the correct size "beading" or leading, begin to carefully trace the pattern on the acrylic. The lines should be slightly domed so that they resemble real lead. Don't panic if you make a mistake; you can use a razor blade to remove any stray lines after the paint dries, which takes about 12 hours.

    Choose a tube of colored paint and squeeze some out, making sure it makes contact with the black "leading." Use a paint brush to spread the color evenly in each section, and use a straight pin to burst any bubbles that you see. You can create different textures by dabbing with the corner of a sponge. The paint should be about 1/16-inch thick, and will dry to half that thickness. fill in all parts of the pattern with colored paint to simulate colored glass. Allow the paint to dry for at least 12 hours.

    Things You'll Need

    • Simple stained glass design
    • 8-inch by 10-inch piece of clear acrylic
    • Large tube of black plaid brand "Gallery Glass"
    • Fake glass
    • Smaller tubes of various colors of plaid
    • Paint brushes
    • Sponges
    • Black permanent marker
    • Newspaper


    • This paint stains fabric, so wear old clothes.

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