Introduction: Heart Stained Glass Garden Stone
I am always looking for new things to decorate my garden and things to make with items I have on hand so this garden stone is the perfect answer. This particular one is a heart shape as the design but I have also made ladybugs, dragonflies, turtles, and hummingbirds; all life forms found in a garden.
For this tutorial I use scraps of stained glass that I had on hand from previous projects, many of them from decades ago but I have also used seed beads and they turn out just as nice so long as the hearts are small.
Flat stone suitable for a heart design
· Scraps of stained glass
· Ball chain for the outline ( 1-2 feet depending on the size of the stone)
· E6000 glue ( so that it is weatherproof) can also use silicon glue
· A few beads to decorate the center swirl
· Grout ( I prefer black but any color is fine)
· Weldbond ( or similar glue to seal the stone prior to work)
· Clear spray sealer for completion
Wheeled glass nippers for trimming glass or glass cutter
· Wire cutters for cutting ball chain
· Goggles for cutting glass
· Dust mask for mixing grout
· Small spatula to mix and spread grout
· Piece of old cotton t shirt for final buffing
Step 1: Prepare Stone
The first step it to clean the stone with a brush and water and let dry. In a small bowl pour about a teaspoon of Weldbond white glue with water ( about 1:4 ratio). Stir and brush on the top and sides of the stone and let dry. This will help form a barrier so the glass will adhere better. Allow to dry. With a pencil, draw a heart and when happy with the design, use a Sharpie so it will be much easier to see.
Step 2: Glue the Ball Chain
I prefer to use E6000 as my glue of choice as it has a small tip which is perfect for drawing a line , it is waterproof, and dries clear. Be sure to have a fan on and plenty of ventilation while using this glue as it is recommended. Start with the inside of the swirl and lay a bead of glue just til the top of the heart. Lay the ball chain and then continue with the rest of the bead of glue to the bottom. Cut the ball chain to size. Repeat on the other side of the heart and set aside to dry for 24 hours.
Step 3: Place Your Glass Pieces and Beads
Next is to place the beads in the inside of the swirl. I usually cut my scraps of glass into triangular shapes as they seem to fit together pretty well. I precut some light blue pieces but needed to cut some more of the dark blue. Recommended but not necessary: place all pieces in a plastic container with a lid on and shake, shake, shake. This helps smooth out some of the sharp edges. Place the glass pieces inside the heart, trimming with the glass nippers as you go.
Step 4: Glue the Glass and Beads
Now comes the overall gluing. I prefer to take out one piece at a time and spread glue on the back with a toothpick and replace it. Use gloves and as it is unhealthy to get on your hands and continue using the fan, blowing the fumes away from your face. Since this glue dries quickly, only squeeze out a dime size glob at a time onto a disposable plastic container lid. Continue gluing until all pieces are secured. Allow to dry for 24 hours or longer.
Step 5: Masking the Stone
Once dry, you will need to mask the areas that you don’t want grout. A small circle cut out of masking tape works well for the beads in the center and small strips of masking tape, cut around curves is good for the outside of the ball chain.
Step 6: Grouting
This uses very little grout so place a few tablespoons of grout into a small yogurt container or other small bowl and wearing a dust mask, mix with a Popsicle stick with a small bit of water. Start small and add a teaspoon at a time until it reaches a kind of brownie batter consistency ( thicker that pancake batter and thinner than peanut butter). Hmmm …notice the food references?
Wearing gloves, spread the grout onto the heart and ball chain and press into place, taking off any excess. Let sit for 20 minutes and then use a wet sponge squeezed dry, gently wipe off the excess. Do not use too much water as it will take out the grout. You can also use a blue shop towel to take off the excess and when happy with the result let it sit for an hour and a half.
In cleaning the sponge, wring out in a small bucket of water and let the grout settle to the bottom over night and scrape off the residue. Any grout that goes down a drain can build up and clog the drain. The yogurt cup with any leftover grout and Popsicle stick can be thrown away.
Step 7: Finishing Up
We will now buff the heart and ball chain with a scrap of t shirt material and then gently remove all of the masking tape. This is roughly how the stone will look upon completion. Allow to dry for 48 hours and then spray with a clear spray. Again, use plenty of ventilation. You can alternatively use a grout sealer but it won’t have the clear gloss finish that the spray has. Allow to dry and you are ready to admire your new garden stone.
Admire it inside your house if you want and then put in the garden.
As mentioned earlier, you can also use seed beads in place of the glass and the only difference is to spread the glue onto the inside of the heart, sprinkle the beads and press down. No need for grout.
Participated in the