Introduction: Faux Stained Glass

Picture of Faux Stained Glass

Make fake stained glass with hot glue, plexiglass, and paint! Cheap, easy, and pretty.

Supply list:
Hot Glue Gun
Black Hot Glue
Glass Paints
Thick Marker
Plexiglass (you can use glass, but it is heavy!)

Step 1: Black Hot Glue

Picture of Black Hot Glue

I found it online and have only used this brand so far. It is more expensive than regular hot glue. A 5 lb box costs about 50 dollars. Looks like it's main purpose is to attach weaves at beauty salons.

Step 2: Make Your Design

Picture of Make Your Design

Draw your design on a sheet of paper with a fat marker. You want to use a fat marker because if you can't make the detail with a fat marker then you won't be able to make it with a thick stream of hot glue either.

Once the design is complete roll some tape and put it on the front of your design.

Step 3: Tape Design and Begin Drawing With Hot Glue

Picture of Tape Design and Begin Drawing With Hot Glue

Tape your design to the back of your plexi glass. Begin to draw on the front of the glass with your black hot glue. The hot glue really likes sticking to the plexi glass so get comfy drawing with the hot glue on a test piece of paper first. You can scrape the hot glue off of the plexi glass, but it is a bit of work.

Step 4: Remove Design

Picture of Remove Design

Done tracing the design! I've removed the paper from the back. I also used a piece of glass for the eye. Using glass stones can get some really cool looks. I glued the glass on with clear hot glue then drew around it with black. That way it wouldn't shift around while I worked.

Step 5: Add Color

Picture of Add Color

Bust out the paints and begin coloring!

Step 6: Let Paint Dry

Picture of Let Paint Dry

Voila, stained glass Charr head!

This picture has only a single layer of glass paint. It looks okay, but for better colors and less paint brush streaks do several layers of paint.


bathsheba_everdene (author)2013-09-09

I saw some really enchanting LOZ The Windwaker stained glass panels that I think you could buy somewhere. Maybe I could make my own poor person's version. I might also want to try doing a church-themed panel for one of my church-going friends. This might be a silly question, but could there ever be a problem with the glue melting in the sun or a hot garage? Very nice job, by the way.

Most glue melts between 250 and 380 farenheight. So plan your work around those temps. For most people those should be very flexible temperatures to work with. A hot roof in a Texas summer may not be suitable.

Ha ha! Thanks.

bearcat73 (author)2009-06-26

Just an FYI, you can buy glass paint and faux leading paint at any craft store and it is pretty cheap. It is made by Plaid and called "Gallery Glass". The faux lead is called "liquid leading" and is less than $5 a bottle. I did cabinet doors last year. It's a lot of fun!!

kkherman1 (author)bearcat732016-02-27

That totally looks like what I want mine to look like!

juleebugg (author)bearcat732012-06-02

Those are gorgeous!!!

rshoma (author)bearcat732011-03-08

cute glass print

Rajminder (author)bearcat732009-11-14

I saw your cabinet doors done with glass paints.  I would like to know how you got the back ground effect.  It has a blurry background which looks very effective so how did you do that.  And a friend of mine had done glass painting and in the end all the coloured areas were not smooth but the paint had an effect like a honey comb.  do you know how to achieve that.

dyost1 (author)2015-01-11

I love this, I am a huge fan of stained glass. You do a beautiful job

Erchan (author)2014-03-12

Really cool project. I like it too much. It's good for wall art too.

Madkins007 (author)2009-08-31

If you search 'black hot glue', you'll find places like Direct Depot that saell it for about $10-15 for 10 sticks or so. Great instructable! Most 'paint stain glass' instructions make you buy 'liquid lead' or something similar for the lines- I like the hot glue option!

goosezilla (author)Madkins0072013-09-09

Try adding the word bulk to your search for cheaper results.

Hokiepokieful (author)2011-03-27

I like the Charr design :)

jakyo (author)2011-03-07

I love this idea ,and i am definitely going to try this *** thanks **** :-)

EoghanInAus (author)2010-12-18

I absolutely love it. I started doing projects with my daughter using this idea, she is always testing my copying skills and soon she will be doing these for herself. Well Done!!

michaelp (author)2008-08-28

This is a great idea. Another temporary "stained glass" treatment is to stretch clear plastic on a frame (PVC), draw on the pattern on the plastic, cut tissue paper to match the pattern, then using spray glue attach the tissue to the plastic. Go over the joint lines with a black marker and voila. When lit from behind they look pretty good. Great for large. lightweight, displays. The pictures actual sizes are 5 feet x 10 feet.

goosezilla (author)michaelp2008-08-28

Sounds fun! THough I think liquid lead or the hot glue technique here would still be better than the marker, they give that 3d leaded look and are completely opaque. Markers I've tried out still let light through, though maybe a paint marker would work?

jallen732 (author)goosezilla2008-09-01

I am an elementary art teacher and used the top domed portion of plastic 2-liter soda bottles upon which the kids designed Tiffany-inspired lampshades. As hot-glue guns are "out" with kids, for the "leading" I went to Home Depot and bought bronze color latex caulk. I pumped it into a Yorker-spout bottle and then diluted it a bit with some water for better flow. It was still dimensional. The spout bottle was easy for 8 year olds to squeeze and the bottle allowed for good detail. Even diluted some, the caulk clung extremely well to the plastic.

Madrigorne (author)jallen7322010-09-23

That's awesome

goosezilla (author)jallen7322008-09-01

Great idea! I wonder if you could mix some dark pigment powder into the caulk to darken/make other colors?

jallen732 (author)goosezilla2008-09-01

The bronze colored caulk was a deep (slightly metallic) burnt umber. I have seen the caulks available in silver, gold, black and other colors as well, and these were all available at Home Depot. Because they are latex I imagine a white or translucent (but not the silicone variety!) caulk could be tinted with artists' tube acrylics to be any color. I experimented with metallic powders, like those made by the Jacquard company. They weren't effective when mixed into the caulk, but were spectacular against the dark bronze color when lightly rubbed onto the dry caulk lines. No sealer was needed after to keep the metallic powder bound to the caulk. I omitted this from the kids' work as it was just another step for them to do, but it did look great.

goosezilla (author)jallen7322008-09-01

Thanks for the tips!

goosezilla (author)michaelp2008-09-01

Awesome! This technique reminds me of the paper lantern forms some people make. I think they use strips of bamboo for the frame and layer tissue across the open gaps for very strong and somewhat flexible structures.

rimafeathers (author)2010-05-14

Nice project, but I absolutely agree- What kind of paint?

ab73037 (author)2009-06-23

What kind of paints?

StoryAddict (author)2008-11-03

Very cool. This gives me some ideas for some doors to my wall-length media cabinet / bookcase. You said the black glue sticks are like $50 online for 5lbs. About how much glue do you think you used on this one project? I'm curious how cost-efficient buying a 5lb. supply is if making several of these.

goosezilla (author)StoryAddict2008-11-03

I went through about seven glue sticks for this project, which is on a 10x14 panel. You can measure your doors and estimate how many sticks you will need based on how much glue I used. I would guess that the project I posted is fairly dense detail wise. A 5lb box has 235 sticks of glue in it. Happy project making!

tonipmd (author)goosezilla2009-05-18

This is f***ing FABULOUS! How much would you say it cost you to make this piece?

goosezilla (author)tonipmd2009-05-18

The initial setup probably cost around 60 dollars for all the supplies, but that is enough to make tons of these. Individually it probably cost around 4-5 dollars to make. Less if you can just find some plexiglass! I bought a sheet from home depot.

Omensinsmoke (author)2009-04-20

That is freaking awesome!

dmodlin71 (author)2008-12-22

puffy paint such as this....

Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint

goosezilla (author)dmodlin712008-12-27

Puffy paint should work. Plus it has tons of colors. However I think that puffy paint is more expensive unless you can find a really good sale on it. Also when I use puffy paint I always get air bubbles at some point that make holes in my lines, which is one of the reasons I like the hot glue.

dmodlin71 (author)2008-12-22

What about that "puffy paint" that you can use on fabrics, etc. - I wonder if that would work for the 'lead', instead of the glue sticks? Unless it is too thin.... but it would certainly be cheaper. I love this idea! It would be fun to try this on an old window from a junk store - something with a nice frame and shape - paint/stain the frame, stain the glass... and hang it somewhere from hooks where the light would catch it.

jhorn51 (author)2008-11-12

What size are the glue sticks you use? I found some on eBay that are 7/16" in diameter and 10" long, 87 to a 5 lb. box, for around $36 with shipping.

goosezilla (author)jhorn512008-11-12

I'm not sure the diameter of the ones I have because the box doesn't say. They are 4in long and fit a regular glue gun. Whatever those take these fit into.

piper1234 (author)2008-11-11

; ) plexiglass will last much more than glass and avoid to get shards in your fingers and chips around if you cut wrong an expensive colored glass :O

kg1 (author)2008-10-10

Soooooo cool!

groovezilla (author)2008-09-22

good stuff. and i dig the name as well!

goosezilla (author)groovezilla2008-09-22


gannon (author)2008-09-06

Wonderfully easy--thanks for sharing!!!

goosezilla (author)gannon2008-09-18

You're welcome!

Doc Holliday (author)2008-08-24

Great idea. Doing this on acrylic allows curved facades as well. Imagine a shower stall wall. You might be able to help out local churches replacing broken windows as well, because you won't have to cut out the old came (lead) to make the fix. Replacing broken leaded glass is REALLY expensive, and Really dangerous to the replacer.

goosezilla (author)Doc Holliday2008-08-24

That is a pretty good idea. It may not be the ideal solution, but if you just need a temporary fix for a window it's not too bad. Imagine a giant tunnel of stained glass to walk through!

Doc Holliday (author)goosezilla2008-08-24

Well, I've repaired a few for free, since there was no income and thus I couldn't be paid. Pulling out the broken glass,widening the old came, cutting another piece of glass to fit, tapping the came back; all "in place" takes days. Most of that time being spent finding suitably colored glass. Glass is a liquid; so old glass is thicker at the bottom then at the top. This creates additional problems, because the whole window sags in time. Actually your "tunnel" idea was instantiated when I built a gazebo in my country garden about 30 years ago. Bought surplus glass doors/panes and used silicon to glue them all together. I was still working on creating glass Tiffany lamp shades at the time, so never merged the two ideas. Maybe somebody reading this will have a breakthrough

Grey_Wolfe (author)Doc Holliday2008-08-25

I thought the term was morphic solid.

KaptinScarlet (author)Grey_Wolfe2008-08-28

metals and crystalline plastics creep at 0.7 of their absolute melting temperature (as taken from 0K) which means that the lead on roofs of very old churches in hot countries may be thicker at the bottom than at the top due to creep after long exposure in the hot sun. (at least I think that's right)

I can't believe that glass installers (glaziers) put all the panes in thin side up. Go to "ghost towns" in the US Southwest and see for yourself. Or look at where an old house in your neughborhood needs re-spackling around panes. Still, we're digressing from a great Instuctable, and I really want to see the focus on it.

It is a great instructable, but your comment about the glass being a slow liquid and that was the reason for sagging over time was not right. The most likely reason for the window sagging is either creep of the lead cames themselves (unlikely unless the window was very old and in a very hot country on a south facing wall or roof, or more likely to be low cycle fatigue stress of the lead cames from stress oscillations due to wind (in the case of a fixed window) or opening and shutting in the case of a door or opening window, or even more likely an age related brittleness (oil plasticiser evaporates over time) and thus loosening of the blackened putty grout that fixes the highly rigid stained glass elements into the matrix of more ductile lead cames.

Maybe. I won't live long enough to test the issue. I've seen the aftermath of fires, and glass pooled, steel beams bent, and wood beams charred but held up the steel ones. So, I'm not sure at what temperature glass "starts to flow", not "melt". I'd really like to know that! Because then I can crank out Tiffany-like 3D objects on demand.

I thought that glass flowed (albeit slowly, but after doing some research i found that the prevailing scientific view is that it doesn't, and the more I tried to look into it the more I found that really know one knows what is going on inside an amorphous solid. (being amorphous means that it doesn't have a crystal structure and therefore can't (decrystalize) melt per se.). But your comments about Tiffany glass hit home, because it was the fact that Tiffany made all his own glass that gave them such a unique look, so in fact glass making is an important part of the perfectionists way of doing stained glass.

About This Instructable



More by goosezilla:Twist Wire Fast! (and make things like bubble blowers)DIY Squid HatLearn To Love Brussel Sprouts
Add instructable to: