I was looking for a way to make a stained glass effect on windows, and I came across something called 'window clings'.
To make a permanent window decoration you can buy glass paints, but for a temporary decoration, this easy method is ideal.
The best thing about this craft is that it's very accessible and you only need a few items. The window clings are almost entirely made up of washable PVA glue so it's easy to wash everything up afterwards, it's cheap to do, and it's a fun activity for children. I enjoyed making this tutorial and I'm no longer a child, so adults can join in too :)
I hope you like this Instructable!
Step 1: What You Will Need
You don't need very much for this DIY, and it's all easy-to-find.
- PVA glue; This is the most important ingredient, and I used a big bottle of washable PVA.
- Dish soap/washing-up liquid; I used Fairy liquid.
- Food colouring; Gel colours are probably a bit better because they are simply less runny, but I used liquid colours and it worked fine.
- A stirring stick; this is to mix the glue with. A paint stirrer or lollipop stitck would work.
- A squeezy bottle; I bought an empty one especially for this craft, making sure the tip wasn't too fine for PVA to go through, but you could re-use an old salad cream/ketchup squeezy bottle or similar instead.
- A sheet of plastic; I used a sheet of clear perspex, but you can use normal acetate sheets, a clear Zip-loc plastic bag taped to a table with masking tape, a clear plastic tablecloth...lots of options! I would not recommend wax or parchment paper though.
- Kitchen roll; For clean-up operations!
- Pen/pencil/black marker and pieces of paper (optional); To draw out your design on.
Other things you might like to use could be cookie cutters, which I've seen used to keep the glue within a certain shape. You could also use other 'barrier' materials - such as modelling clay perhaps - to keep the glue in a definite shape and stop it flowing where you don't want it to flow. There's lots of room to experiment!
I have also seen people just use puffy paint straight onto glass to make peelable shapes & pictures, but I haven't tried that method myself.
Step 2: Draw the Design
I wanted the 'stained glass' panel to be the same size as a pane of glass in my door, so I first cut a piece of paper to that size.
Then I drew the criss-cross design in pen, and went over the lines in black Sharpie to make them easy to see.
I then put this paper underneath my sheet of clear plastic.
Step 3: The First Colour
It's entirely up to you what colours you use and in what order, but if you want to make an 'outline' in your design, that will have to come first.
In this case, I wanted to make a dark outline and let it dry before filling in the gaps with other colours, as this prevents the colours all mixing into one.
OK, so to do this I first added a couple of drops of washing-up liquid to my squeezy bottle.
Then I poured enough PVA glue into my squeezy bottle to create the outline...and then added some more. It's best to overestimate!
I then added several drops of black food colouring and mixed it all together by putting the lid on and shaking the bottle around. You can use a stirring stick instead if you don't want such a workout :)
Once the colour is pretty much mixed (some marbling is OK), turn the bottle upside down and begin drawing your outline with the glue.
You want to try and be as consistent as possible to get an even line, and don't put the glue on very thickly or it will spread all over the place. It may take some practice!
Once you've done your outline, you need to leave it for overnight to dry.
If kids are doing this craft, they probably won't want to wait for the outline to dry, so they can either not do outlines at all (maybe use cookie cutters instead), or an adult could prepare a few outlines in advance.
Step 4: The Next Colour
I then cleaned out the squeezy bottle (fill with water, shake vigorously and leave for a while before emptying out).
Because I'm doing all shades of pink/purple, I don't need to clean the bottle out again because I'll be working from the lightest colour to the darkest from now on.
The next 'colour' I wanted was just clear glue.
I put a couple of drops of washing-up liquid, and lots of glue, into the bottle and stirred. I put plenty of glue in this time, as I wanted it to be enough to fill in all the gaps in the design.
I then used the glue to fill a few of the gaps, taking care to create a fairly thick layer, but not take the glue right up to the outline. I left a gap of at least 0.5 cm between the glue and the outline. This is to account for the glue apreading outwards.
I also put a little glue to one side of the plastic sheet, to use for some extra bits 'n' pieces later.
Step 5: The Remaining Colours
I then added a few drops of pink food colouring to the bottle that already had glue in. If you need to add more glue, now is the time to do that.
Shake or mix the colour into the glue. As you can see from the photos, I hadn't thoroughly mixed the glue so there was a (very pretty) marbled effect in the resulting glue shapes. Sadly, by the time the glue had dried, this marbled pattern had all but disappeared. My point being that the colour doesn't have to be thoroughly mixed with the glue before you use it :)
So I filled a few gaps with that new colour, then added several drops of purple colouring and filled in more gaps, and then added some drops of blue before filling in the final gaps.
As you can see I also put some down one side of the plastic sheet; this was for experiments! I added stripes and drops of different colours, drizzled some white PVA onto the purple colour, and used my lollipop stick to mix the colours at the edges and turn some dots into star shapes. It's all about trying different effects and seeing what happens!
Note : The glue I put into the gaps earlier had not spread all the way to the outlines, so at this point I used my lollipop stick to spread out the glue at the edges so that the entire design block was covered in glue - with no space between the colours and the outline. It's important there are no gaps because it will make the window cling too delicate.
Step 6: Cutting Out Shapes
Here you can see the glue once it is all dry, and as you'll notice, the colours have darkened.
All you now have to do is carefully peel the shapes off the plastic and stick them to the window.
If you look at the 'experimental' glue down the side, you'll see that the effects were mostly lost as the glue spread out and dried, although a slight bit of the marbling and a nice gradient effect did remain.
I used scissors to cut up this strip of glue into different shapes like hearts and stars, which is easier than trying to get the wet glue to stay in these shapes in the first place! I particularly like the raindrop made up of grey, pink & clear glue.
Step 7: Put Your Clings on the Window
The window clings should just stick straight onto the window (flat side against the glass).
My larger panel was peeling off at the top so I sprayed the back very lightly with a water mister - DO NOT do this! I ended up with water drop marks unfortunately as a result of spraying the water, oops :( If you need a little help sticking the clings, make sure the window is clean and spread a drop of water with your finger just along the edges of the shape.
You should be able to store the clings on your plastic sheet and reapply to your windows again and again.
I hope you've had fun making these!
Step 8: My First Attempt
This more detailed stained glass window design was my first attempt, and as you can see it wasn't that successful!
So I just wanted to add a couple of notes for anyone who wants to attempt something a bit more intricate;
First, accept that it's very difficult to add fine lines and details, so larger blocks of colour are the best idea for a design.
Second, glue runs as it dries. This means that colours that are wet will run together, and also glue will spread out, so bear that in mind. It's best not to fill a space with a thick layer of glue...instead, leave a space between the glue and any outline, as shown in the main instructable.
And third, don't let the glue dry on a table that is not level because then you'll end up with the glue flowing towards one end of your design and making a mess ...not that I did this or anything ;p
So forget the detail and (most importantly) have fun and get messy!