Faux Stained Glass with Glue and Acrylic Paint

Hello fellow artists!! So nice to have you back for another art project!

This time of the year is always very bizarre in my opinion. While many of us are finishing up the school year and beginning our summer break (woohoo!!), the weather does not complement our excitement. It’s currently the awkward transition from spring to summer, when the sky is gloomy and grey but doesn’t at least give us the satisfaction and relief of rainfall. SO, to sum up, I have not enjoyed the gloomy weather of L.A. lately and I am VERY eager for days of sunshine.

With that, I would love to do some projects that let us look forward to the upcoming days of sunshine. So, this month we will do a faux stained-glass project and, to carry on the summer spirit, next month we will be doing a few suncatcher projects!

Let’s get started! Here’s what you’ll need:

Pane of glass (most likely from a Picture frame, which you can get at a dollar store)

Acrylic paint (black and assorted colors of your choice)



Template (optional)

Sharpie (optional)

Squeeze Bottle (optional)

Ziploc bag (optional)

Also: a cup of water and some Q-tips will be useful!

To get started, find a template to trace on your glass pane, or you could even draw something freehand (if you dare….). You could find some classic stained glass-inspired designs, or find any image that brings you joy. For my design, I chose my favorite page in this coloring book that I’ve had for a while.

If you are finding your own image (and also if you’re drawing a design freehand), it’s best to not have many small details. These will most likely get buried under your outline— unless of course you’re able to create extremely fine lines, in which case kudos to you! I do not have the kind of patience for that.

First, you’ll need to mix your glue with some black paint in order to use it to trace your drawing, and there are a few ways you could do this.

  1. Pour the glue and some paint into a small bowl and mix until the color is a black or a dark grey (the dark grey will probably turn black when it dries so don’t worry about the mixture being dark enough). Then, spoon the mixture into a zip lock bag and seal it. Then cut off a tiny piece of one corner and use it as a makeshift piping bag.

  2. Do the same thing as above except skip the Ziploc bag and just use a small paintbrush to trace your drawing. If you are going to use this method, keep in mind that you want your black outlines to be kind of puffy; that way, they are super opaque and serve as helpful boundaries for you when you paint the rest of it.

  3. Pour the glue and paint into a squeeze bottle and mix using a skewer or butter knife. Then, you can trace the glass directly from the bottle. If you’re lucky, you might have bottles of glue that already serve as squeeze bottles— in which case you could just add some back paint directly to the glue bottle and mix.

Tape the template to one side of the glass and begin tracing! I started using the squeeze bottle, but that was a little harder to control, so I ended up using a paintbrush instead.

If you’re not using a template, draw your design with a sharpie and trace the outlines with the paint/glue mixture. As you can see, I had to omit or change a lot of the details from the original design to account for the thickness of the glue that I was using to trace it. I was a little disappointed when I realized this because I love the original design SO much, but I remembered that stained glass art is generally pretty simple anyway. Plus, this allowed me to be more creative and give it a bit more personality.

As you being tracing, keep some Q-tips and water nearby to quickly wipe away any mistakes you make.

Important!!! When tracing your design (or drawing it yourself), remember that you will have to flip the glass pane over so that the finished product will be on the opposite side from where you are tracing. You may want to draw or trace your design backwards, or leave it as is-- it's totally up to you.

This is what my design looked like once I finished tracing what I wanted to (it's still attached to the page from my coloring book).

This is without the coloring book. There are still some smudged places where I tried to clean up my mistakes, but they won't be noticeable once you finish painting it.

This could take a couple hours to dry, so be patient! Or, if you’re like me, you might cheat a bit and use a hairdryer to speed up the process. Once your outline is completely dry, start mixing different acrylic paint with some glue in small containers and get to painting!

I found this step to be a bit challenging actually. Because of the consistency of the glue/paint mixture, it’s not terribly opaque (which is a good thing! You want lots of sunlight to shine through your masterpiece), but that meant every paintbrush streak was visible. Me being my OCD