Layered Glass Art




About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instr...

One day when I went down to the parkade of my condo to throw out the trash, I found a pane of glass leaning against the side of the dumpster. Although it had a few chips along the sides it still looked pretty good, so I thought I would rescue it from a sad (shattered) fate at the dump.

I cut the glass into smaller pieces to make a dimensional glass painting (basically painting on layers of glass to create a three dimensional appearance.) The problem was that I don't have any artistic talents , I could neither draw nor paint well at all. So I decided on something abstract, an imitation of Piet Mondrian, since I could draw lines and squares (provided that I have a ruler, of course).

Although this did not really demonstrate the 3D effect you can get with layering glass, I think it still looks kind of nice in my living room.

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Step 1: Material

  • A pane of glass
  • Glass paint or pens and a sharpie
  • Wood
  • Glass cutter, ruler, board, cardboard or newspaper
  • Saw (and mitre box)
  • Masking tape

Step 2: Cutting the Glass

I basically cut the glass in half again and again until I could get as many of the same sized pieces out of it as possible.

This was my first time cutting glass so I used this instructable as a guide.

  • Draw a line with a ruler, where you plan to cut.
  • Add oil to the wheel of the glass cutter (I just used mineral oil, sewing machine oil may be better.)
  • Applying steady, even pressure on the glass cutter, score a line along the length of the glass. Use the ruler to make sure it goes straight, and only score once (don't go back and forth with the cutter.)
  • Align the score line along the edge of a board (so that one side of the score line is higher than the other.)
  • Cover glass with cardboard or newspaper (in case it shatters.)
  • Apply gentle even pressure on both sides of the score line on the glass, it should break cleanly at the score line.

Repeat until you have all the pieces you need, I ended up with 11 pieces of 15cmX11cm.

Step 3: Cutting the Wooden Stand

To make a stand for the glass, I used two pieces of wood and made some notches in them to create some separation between each panel of glass. I used a hand saw and mitre box to make the notches.

I used two 20cm long (1.8cm width and height) pieces of wood, when sawing the notches I taped them together to make sure each piece of wood was cut the same.

  • Draw 11 marks, 3mm wide, 7mm apart. (The glass I had was 2mm thick, so it fit in the 3mm notches)
  • Saw each notch 1cm in depth.

Step 4: Paint the Glass

I thought about buying glass paint, but it was $5 for 45ml for each colour, being cheap, I just used Crayola Window Clingers (which I already had at home) and a black Sharpie. Before painting the glass I cleaned it first with a glass cleaner to get all of my little finger prints off.

  • Resized the pattern to match the size of the glass panels.
  • Lay the glass panel on the pattern, and with a ruler, draw the black lines with a Sharpie.
  • For the coloured squares use masking tape to tape around the area that you will paint.
  • Paint the squares (try to apply evenly and avoid bubbles).
  • When it is dry, carefully peel off the tape and clean up the edges with a knife.

Finishing up

Place each panel of glass in the correct order into the notches on the wooden stand.

Step 5: Other Things I Tried

I had a few smaller pieces of glass left over, so I tried a few other things...

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    53 Discussions


    10 years ago on Step 4

    Mondrian's been dead since 1944, i don't think he'll mind too much lol :-)


    10 years ago on Step 4

    i like it alot, i looks like a painting that commander data made on star trek i think.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 4

    Thanks. I remember Data liked to paint. It is actually an imitation of the painter Pieter Cornelius Mondrian's work.

    Love the purple flower. My Mom bought me a folding screen that holds like 15 5x7 pictures. While not quite my cup of tea....I removed all glass, backing ,and added rice type paper to frames to make a Soji type screen. Been looking for something to do with panes of glass.

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    this gave me an idea..... im going to do this with a multi layer stencil and i will put different parts of one layer to many layers of glass

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    About ten years ago, I was at a modern/contemporary art museum in Boston and saw something very similar, but on a much larger scale. It included a 3-D effect. Each pane was an image in its own right, but the pane preceding or following it differed slightly. If you stood in the correct spot and looked at it obliquely, it literally was like seeing a real girl laying on the grass with butterflies around her. It was a very impressive piece of work, and I've kicked myself ever since that I cannot remember the artist's name. This is a lovely project; well done!!

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Totally dig it. Awesome 'ibles-robot, too! I must get a hot-glue gun. FTG