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  • Writer's pictureSJ Winkler

DIY Adventures: Faux Stained Glass #1 "Shut the Front Door!"

As a renter who values plenty of natural light - but also prefers privacy - this inexpensive and easily removable faux stained glass technique was too fun to pass up.

In this article, I'll share my first adventure with a Zelda themed panel for my front door.

This small panel pops easily into the window within my front door, so that I can enjoy the light without feeling the eyes of tall visitors

Materials I used:

- acrylic plexiglass

- paper

- pencil

- sharpie

- exacto knife

- alcohol

- black puff paint

- clear craft glue

- white craft glue

- acrylic paint or alcohol ink or food coloring

- clear gloss spray sealer

Process Diary:

  1. Measure and cut the plexiglass to the size you want.

  2. Place the plexiglass over paper or poster board, tracing the outer edge onto the paper with pencil.

  3. Sketch the design you want onto the paper.

  4. Place the plexiglass over the paper.

  5. Use a sharpie to trace the design onto the plexiglass.

(Tip: If you make a mistake with the sharpie, simply dab some alcohol onto a cotton ball or tissue and wipe away the sharpie marks you don't want)

For my first try, I picked some favorite images from N64's Zelda Ocarina of Time

6. Trace the sharpie lines with black puff paint. This will simulate the leading in real stained glass while also serving as a helpful barrier that prevents the glue colors from mixing.

(Tip: the puff paint might leave an uneven line, but don't fret! Once it dries, use the exacto knife to lightly cut away the parts of the puff paint you don't want for clean lines. This part is oddly satisfying.)

7. Mixing Colors:

If you want sections of your glass to look opaque or frosted: use white craft glue. It'll go on white, but when it dries it'll look like frosted glass. Adding a little color from your paints to white glue produces frosted effects.

If you want sections of your glass to look vivid, clear, and translucent: add your colors to clear craft glue.

What's nice about this project is the ease with which you can experiment and make alterations. If you add color and decide you don't like how it looks when it dries, simply use the exacto knife to lightly cut it out and try again.

8. I used a small paintbrush to guide my colored glue onto the stained glass.

As I grew comfortable with the process, mixing my colors and experimenting with blending them on the plexiglass was satisfying and addicting.

When it was all dry, I sprayed it wit a clear acrylic gloss sealer and attached it to the window in my front door. I had to really lower the brightness on my camera to capture the rich colors in the photos, but in person the room and the colors look bright and cheerful. I really enjoyed this technique and plan to try larger panels soon.


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