I’ve been interested in stained glass for years now. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to see exactly how one goes about making stained glass. I also recently decided that just with the necessary tools alone that I won’t be delving into that until i’ve had at least two mid life crisis’. Which was very sad until I saw some cheaper and easier alternatives for the meantime. The product I found is called Gallery Glass which you can find in most arts n craft stores as well as online. I watched some Youtube videos and looked up some reviews and at first it seemed a tad on the “kid’s-crafty” side…especially when i watched one video tutorial conducted by someone’s grandmother who demonstrated that you can peel off your picture/dry paint in one piece and slap it on any glass-like surface. After a few minutes I figured, “So what!” If it comes vaguely close to the desired effect it’s worth a shot and I’ve gotta say, the finished piece was better than I expected. I can’t wait to mix up the paints and get weird with it next time!
This brand had a decent amount of variety as far as colors go. Definitely enough that you could mix colors to create a pigment they’re lacking. They also have a white paint that dries opaque that you can swirl around or make patterns to create some textured looking glass. Then there’s my favorite part….Leading! The “Leading” creates the thick outlines. This brand offers both Simulated Liquid Leading in a bottle and also premade strips of leading which look very useful for straight lines and edges.
Here are some pictures from my first project…
First, I drew out an image. I chose Jake from Adventure Time (cuz I love him so!) and his ultimate sandwich. I then went over it in a THICK black marker. Thick lines are important. At this stage you can also add little color keys to help remind you what colors will go where.
I had previously swung by Home Depot for some glass. I got a few different sizes of glass, plexiglass, and acrylic so that I can experiment and see which I like best. Super cheap! Hooray! For my Jake I used plexiglass. After I had my Jake image inked out I then placed it under my sheet of plexiglass and taped it in place. Then, with the Simulated Liquid Leading I traced over the black lines straight onto the plexiglass.
Next, you just leave it to dry. The bottle recommends 8 hours but as I wasn’t in a hurry I left it over night. One nice tip I picked up via youtube is that once it dries you can use an exacto knife to cut away little splooges or mistakes. Had I remembered how terrible I am with straight edges I would have used the premade strips for the border but this was an experimental first attempt so pfff.
After your leading is dried you get to add color! Wee! I’ve seen people use paintbrushes, chopstick like sticks, and even just the tips of the bottles the color came from to spread the paint out in each section. I did the latter which seemed to work just fine. You need to watch out for tiny bubbles that may form. One lady on youtube said to just spank the bottom of the glass and that’ll help the bubble pop. Not for me. I had to swirl the paint until they would pop….BUT if you do it too vigorously you’ll just create a little army of tiny bubbles. The colored paint also takes about 8 hours to dry but once again I let it dry overnight. I’ll get a better angled picture later but here’s my finished result.