Recycled Glass Pendant With Waterslide Decal Art




Introduction: Recycled Glass Pendant With Waterslide Decal Art

Most people know me as "the cookie lady" :) , though I've been drawing, painting, sewin...

Turn ordinary window glass into a beautiful, eco-friendly amazing art glass pendant. This tutorial is aimed at Instructables members who have basic glass fusing knowlege, access to a glass kiln, and basic glass tools.

You will need the following materials and tools:
-window glass, or other flat broken glass
-a glass cutter
-a sharpie pen
-your own artwork
-a Hewlett Packard Laserjet 1020 printer with genuine HP ink (check or for suitable printers and inks. HP Laserjet ink has a high level of Iron Oxide in the ink, which will not burn out at glass fusing temperatures and therefore leaves you with a nice sepia image)
-a glass kiln
-Beldecal Laser waterslide transfer paper
-distilled water
-kiln shelf paper
-a kiln shelf
-solid copper (or silver, or bronze) wire (about 20 guage)
-wire cutter
-round nose pliers (or something to bend your wire on)
-Glassline lining and shading material for glass

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Step 1: Preparing the Glass Pendant Shape

Step 1Select your window glass. These happen to be from an old home nearby that was renovating to more energy efficient windows. It is a good idea to give the glass a quick basic cleaning before you start cutting so your cutting wheel doesn't get tripped up on dirt. Goo Gone will take care of any yucky black tar that remains on the glass before you start cutting if you happen to have this kind of window.

Step 2: Design your pendant shape.

In this design method, the drawing that you create to decorate your pendant should be in black and white, drawn with either a felt tip pen, or you can use your photo editing program to create a black and white image. Photographic details will turn out well if the image is converted to a high contrast black and white image (grey scale won't work as well). Scan your artwork into your computer. Print your pendant onto plain paper. * Remember that if you are using text in your image, you may want to reverse your image using your photo editing program before printing (a friendly reminder from "Wombatmorrison").  Cut out your pendant shape from the sheet of paper to create your pendant template.

Using your glass cutter, cut out a section of glass from your window that is large enough to cut out two layers of identical sized pendant templates.

Step 3: Trace your paper pendant template  with a permanent ink pen onto the piece of window glass, TWICE.

Step 4: Use your glass cutter to score, then break the glass pendant shapes from your piece of glass.

Step 5: If necessary, use a glass grinder, or glass/concrete wet/dry sandpaper blocks to smooth and shape the edges until your two pieces of glass are the same size and shape.

Step 6: 
Clean your window glass using plain liquid dish soap and warm water, or basic glass cleaner (don't use scented, lotion added products). Dry your pendant glass shapes with a clean dish towel. Once it has been cleaned, try not to get fingerprints on it :) 

Step 2: Decorating the Glass

Step 7:  Double check your pendant shape and your artwork to make sure that you like how the design fits the glass pendant shape, and that your artwork has enough contrast to stand out in sepia tones rather than black and clear. If you are using text in your design make sure that it will be legible based on where you plan to position your transfer, keeping in mind that you may need to reverse your design to have your printed words in proper reading order.

Step 8 Print your image onto waterslide laser transfer paper. This paper is available from a variety of sources such as:
Both Delphiglass and Beldecal have knowlegeable staff members who can help you to purchase the paper.

Follow the manufacturers instructions for printing onto waterslide transfer paper. Be sure to remove the thin sheet of protective tissue paper before printing, and also be sure that you are printing onto the glossy side of your transfer paper.  In this case, I printed multiple pieces of art onto my paper. The other designs will become pendants, soap dishes, sushi dishes, etc....but that's another story :)

Step 9: Trace around your cut glass pendant shape onto the waterslide transfer paper, and cut out your image. Cutting close to the edges of your printed artwork will improve the overall look of your image when fired rather than leaving a large area of clear waterslide material to fuse.

Step 10: Pour a thin layer of distilled water in a shallow container large and deep enough to hold your design.  Soak your decal image for just long enough that the image. (Tap water may contain impurities that might show up in your final design)

Step 11: Slide the decal off the backing paper and onto your glass pendant shape. Position the decal where you want it to be on your pendant, then wipe the waterslide decal/ glass surface with a clean, dry lint-free cloth to smooth it onto the glass. Make sure that you smooth over any wrinkles, and wipe away any bubbles trapped between the decal and the glass.

I happen to have been making two pendants at once. One with 90 coe Bullseye turquoise opaque and clear glass, and the other completely of recycled window glass. Both are shown in this photo.

To make the window glass pendant as shown, place the waterslide decal onto the top side of one piece of your cut glass pendant shape, and cap it with the remaining matching piece of your cut glass pendant shape.

Step 12:
Use wire cutters to snip off about a 3/4" length of solid copper, fine silver, or bronze wire. In this case my wire is about 20 guage. I'm shaping mine into little "U" shapes with curled ends, which I will later insert between the layers of glass so that I'll be able to use them as loops to join the necklace to the pendant.

Step 3: Painting Details, Firing, Finishing :)

Step 13/ 14: If you have access to Glassline glass paints (available at many glass suppliers including, you can add colors and details to your pendant which will be fused into your glass while in the kiln. If not, you could skip this step and perhaps add colored details after firing your pendat by using Pebo glass paints which are available at craft stores such as Michaels.
For my two pendants I used slightly different techniques:

On the window glass pendant:
-I placed the waterslide decal in between the two layers of glass.
-I turned the glass pendant "sandwich" upside down so that I could paint with Glassline paints onto the back of my pendant. I filled in the birch trees with white, the sky with turquoise, and the grass with light green.
-this pendant will be fired paint-side-up as shown in the photo.

On the Bullseye glass pendant:
-I placed my waterslide decal artwork on TOP of my clear glass TOP LAYER (often referred to as your cap).
-I used white glass paint on the BOTTOM SIDE of my TOP GLASS LAYER to add detail to my birch trees, and a little green glass paint to accent the ground.
-I allowed the paint to dry, then placed the clear glass cap on top of my turquoise glass.  My little glass "sandwich" now has
turquoise glass on the bottom
paint on the inside of the clear glass top
decal on the outside of the clear glass top
This piece will be fired decal-side-up as shown in the photo.

Go ahead and experiment with your own design and techniques to make your glass art pendant uniquely yours!

Step 15:
-Place your decorated glass pendants onto a kiln shelf lined with kiln paper or coated with a fresh layer of kiln wash
-insert your little wire "u" hooks between the layers of glass so that they sit securely, making sure that your glass layers all line up neatly on all sides.

Step 16:
-Fire your pendants in the kiln, following your own program, or use the one below:
-Ramp 1: 250degrees/hour to 750 degrees with 0 hold
-Ramp 2: 900 degrees/hour to 1530 degrees, 15 minutes hold
-Ramp 3: Full speed/hour to 1000 degrees, 20 minutes hold
-Ramp 4: 300 degrees/hour to 500 degrees, with 0 hold.
-Allow your pendants to return to room temperature inside the kiln before removing them.

Finish your pendant with any necklace of your choice. Think beaded, chains, leather, paracord , etc.

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    6 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 3

    the fire schedule you have in step 16 - would that be for bulls eye or for window glass?


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 3

    I fired them both on the same kiln shelf together using the schedule listed in the instructable. Generally window glass melts at a higher temperature than Bullseye 90 coe glass, but 1530 was sufficiently high to melt both glasses and round the edges slightly on the window glass. Kiln temperatures vary from kiln to kiln, and the window glass will vary in melting temperatures as well, so you may have to experiment a little.

    Good luck! I would love to see how your pieces turn out!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I added a note with a credit to you on step 2, and a reminder on step 7 to check the text.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I absolutely love your Instructables name! Yes, the decals work so much better than I imagined, and allow you to create both images and text with much more detail than I thought possible. I didn't mention in the instructable that you should reverse the image for text, but probably should add it in to one of the steps.

    My Dad always used to say the "round tuit" phrase too!
    thanks so much for your comments

    I've been meaning to write an instructable about DIY iron-oxide/toner glass and ceramic decals, just haven't gotten around to it. I'm glad you shared the technique as I think it is very useful. Have you tried using text? You just need to reverse the image before you print the decal. I make lots of custom name and saying pendants with DIY decals. (say... next time I should make one with circular text saying, 'round to it' on it! MI remember that my grandpa had 'a round tuit' made from wood.)