How To Make a Beautiful Stained Glass Effect Using Glue

Stained Glass

DISCLAIMER: This post uses Gorilla Glue products which were sent to me free of charge to use on craft projects. All views and opinions are my own and not influenced by this in any way. 

I absolutely love stained glass, especially when the sun shines through it reflecting the beautiful colours on to anything nearby. Stained glass items can cost a lot of money though, so I decided to have a go at making my own. Well ok, it’s not actual stained glass, but the effect is very similar.

The trickiest part if you are as indecisive as I am, is finding a design you like. You can Google “free stained glass patterns” and you will find gazillions! Or you can design your own. I found the heart pattern above on Google. I also made a hummingbird picture, but that was taken from a photo I took of a stunning bird bath I saw in a garden centre.

You don’t need much for this project. Obviously you need glass or similar. I had a spare small picture frame lying around, so I took the back off it and used the glass in that for the heart design. The hummingbird was made on a sheet of clear perspex. You could even use a sheet of acetate and then cut around your design to turn it into a suncatcher on your window. If you saw THIS PROJECT you could decorate the sides with a stained glass effect and place a small candle inside (make sure the design is on the outside).

As well as the glass or perspex, you will need 2 types of glue. Gorilla Glue have every kind of glue imaginable, so they are the perfect brand to use. You need wood glue, and clear glue. Luckily Gorilla Glue have both, and they are top quality. You can buy these in most craft shops, Amazon, DIY shops… they are everywhere so very easy to find.

You will also need something to colour the glues. It took me a lot of experimenting to find the best type of product to use for this, so I have saved you the hassle of that. The black lines use wood glue and have to be very thick to hold their shape, and so adding any liquid colour makes the mixture too runny. I tried mixing the wood glue (which is white) with black acrylic paint but I kept getting various shades of grey, not black. I found the perfect colour and consistency was achieved using black food colouring paste. It has to be the paste or gel type though. Liquid is too runny. Dr Oetker has an Extra Strong Black food colour gel, but I used Sugarflair Black Extra. I hardly needed any to get a very strong black colour.

The colours on the design use clear glue, and you don’t want the mixture to be too thick or the light won’t come through as much. After lots of experiments I found liquid colours to be best for the design. You could use liquid food colouring, readily available from most supermarkets. Or you could use alcohol inks, which is what I used.

Gorilla Glue and alcohol inks

Now I’ve explained the importance of the right types of colours, let me show you how I did it.

HOW TO MAKE A STAINED GLASS EFFECT PICTURE

You will need:

  • Sheet of glass/clear perspex/acetate
  • Gorilla Glue Wood Glue
  • Gorilla Glue Clear Glue
  • Black food colour paste or gel
  • Liquid food colours or alcohol inks
  • Cocktail sticks or thin paint brushes
  • Yoghurt pots or similar to mix colours in
  • Disposable piping bag

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Print out the design of your choice and place your sheet of glass on top of it.

  • Pour some wood glue in to a pot and mix in some black food colour paste until you get a rich black colour. Pour the black glue mixture into a piping bag and cut the very tip off. Practice piping some lines of the glue on to some scrap paper. If the lines are too thin, just cut a tiny bit more off the tip of the bag to make the hole slightly bigger.
  • When you can pipe lines of the required thickness, pipe the lines of the design on to your glass, simply piping over the printed outline which you can see below the glass.

  • When you have finished the outline, leave to dry completely overnight.

  • Now it is time to colour in the design. Pour a small amount of clear glue into a small pot and add a few drops of your chosen liquid colour. Mix well with a cocktail stick. Using either a small brush or the cocktail stick, fill in any sections of the design which require that colour. The mixture starts to set fairly quickly so do all the sections for that colour first. (I found it much easier to use just a cocktail stick by scopping up a blob of the mixture on to the end and gently spreading it to cover the section, making sure it went right up to the black lines).

  • Repeat this with each colour you need for your design, until it is completely filled in.

stained glassstained glass

  • Leave until dry.
  • When dry, if you are putting it in a picture frame, simply use some clear glue or superglue around the inside edges of the frame and place your glass on to the glue, pressing firmly but gently for around 30 seconds to bond. Leave until set before displaying it.

And there you have your stained glass masterpiece! Place it in a sunny spot in your room so that the light can shine through it and make the colours dazzle.

Just look at the reflection of the design as the sun shines through it:

If you do try this, I would love to see your finished design. Let me know what you make. Have fun!

Stained glass effect