Stained glass windows add drama to a room. Many homeowners love the look of stained glass windows in kitchen, bathrooms, front or back doors along with any other window in the home. Real leaded stained glass windows are very expensive. Thankfully there is a very inexpensive alternative – making a faux stained glass window. Faux stained glass windows look just as beautiful in a home as the real thing without all of the expensive tools and classes necessary to create stained glass. A creative side is helpful, but yet again not necessary. Making your own faux stained glass can be successfully created by those who have little to no artistic ability as well as those who have a highly creative side.

Faux stained glass can be used to create beautiful candle holders, glass lamp shades, windows, decorative vases and bowls. If it is glass – it can become stained glass.

Finding a Stained Glass Pattern

If you are artistic, draw a pattern onto any type of paper. Make the pattern with wide lines and no small details because the fake leading will be difficult to apply to an intricate lines or small areas.

Do a google search for free coloring pages or stained glass designs. Print out a coloring page that has a nice design, but remember not too intricate.

Buy a stained glass pattern book. Stained glass pattern books are sold at craft stores and online. You may find one in a local library.

Look for inspiration all around you. Trace the design on your curtains, drapes or upholstered furniture onto a piece of paper. Use any design that appeals to you ranging from geometric designs to fruit designs.

When tracing or drawing your design use a fairly thick dark marker so you can see your lines and not try to guess if they are there.

Preparing the Glass

Peel off any labels or price tags from the glass surface. If the labels are difficult to remove soak the label with vegetable oil and allow it to remain on the sticky residue for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub the label away.

Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray the glass surface with the white vinegar and wipe it with crumpled newspaper to remove dirt, dust or an oily residue.

Adding Your Design

Place your design on the opposite side of the glass that you want your design to be on. For example, if you are making a stained glass window align and attach your design to the opposite side of the glass with masking tape. If you are creating a stained glass vase, hurricane lamp, or glass candle holder – roll the paper with the design on the outside of the roll. Insert the roll into the vase, hurricane lamp or candle holder and allow the design to unfurl taking up the space inside the vessel. Tape the design in place with masking tape.

Lay the glass down with the design taped to the underside of the glass.

Making Faux Stained Glass

Open a tube of simulated or faux liquid leading. Liquid leading is available at craft stores, online and some hardware or home improvement stores.

Pierce the end of the tube with a small nail or snip off the inner skin with scissor. Match the size of the hole to the size you want the stained glass lines to be. Some liquid leading comes in a squeeze bottle.

Begin at the top of the glass. Hold the tube or bottle of liquid leading at a 45 degree angle to the glass. Gently squeeze the tube as the lead begins to flow. Pull the liquid leading along the line on the paper pattern. Continue to follow all of the lines until the entire pattern outline is done in leading on the glass.

Go back to the top and squeeze a drop of liquid leading at the point at which each line meets another line. The drops will resemble solder marks that would be found on real stained glass.

Allow the liquid leading to dry and cure for at least eight hours.

After the liquid leading has dried completely, it’s time to add color to your stained glass design.

Choose glass paint in the appropriate colors for your design. Some glass paints come in a squeeze bottle and some do not – either type is fine.

Place the tip of the squeeze bottle in between the cured leading and gently squeeze a few drops of paint into the space. If the glass paint you have chosen does not come in a squeeze bottle, squeeze the bulb of a glass eye dropper and then insert the tip of the eye dropper into the bottle of paint. Release the bulb so the eye dropper fills with glass paint. Add paint drops to the space between the liquid leading.

As soon as the paint drops are in the space between the leading lines use the flat side of a toothpick to spread the glass paint around the space until a thin layer of paint covers the section of glass. Use the pointed side of the toothpick to break any small air bubbles.

Continue to fill each section of glass one by one with the appropriate color until all sections of clear glass have been fill with paint.

If you are using an eye dropper clean it before moving to the next color.

Allow the paint to dry for the amount of time as specified by the paint manufacturer. Some are dry in as little as six hours while others may require 24 hours or more.

Remove the design from the opposite side of the glass.

Plaid Gallery Glass Liquid Leading Value Pack
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DecoArt DASK270 Glass Stains Sample Pack
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Faux Stained Glass Tips

Choose a stained glass paint that can be baked so the color cannot be removed from the glass surface.  Some glass paints are baked on so they become permanent, microwave safe, UV resistant and dishwasher safe.

If you do not like the colors you have chosen, use a utility knife to scrape away the paint before baking it on.

Clean faux stained glass with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and four parts water.


My Masterpiece: Tiffany Stained-Glass Kit
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(price as of Oct 12, 2013)