Making the Faux Stained Glass Window -or- The Days of Hearts and Roses

Sometimes success lies less in the final destination, and more in the journey to get there. I think I can safely say this faux stained glass window project is a good example of the voyage being more prized than the ultimate arrival.

As readers of my earlier post might remember, I was hoping to create an inexpensive "stained glass look" window to hang in my kitchen and go along with my kaleidoscope of Fiesta dishes.

I was aiming for a sort of Arts & Crafts Period meets Alice in Wonderland feel. This was my initial design....
Using an old window I got at Construction Junction for $1.06, I added the pattern in stick-on leading I'd picked up discounted at Michaels a while ago...
The pattern progressed (if a little bit crooked here and there, but hey, it's Wonderland, it's allowed to be wonky)....
And finally, it was all transferred. Not perfect, but you can see where I was going with it, anyway.Now it came to filling it in. I used a couple of different types of glass paint, including Gallery Glass brand, made specifically for these sorts of windows. Unfortunately, the directions on how to go about it indicated "Follow the directions on the pattern." Y'know, the pattern I didn't have because I made my own pattern.

So initially, I was painting the color on with brushes. And that made things really streaky. In fact, you can't see just how streaky it was in this photo...
But here in the light-- yipes!
I liked how fluid the roses and hearts turned out, but that was a different type of glass paint, and that brand didn't come in the colors I needed. So I decided to try sallying forth by squeezing the paint on thickly-- as I did the hearts, the background paint, too.

I was a little like icing a very large, very cheerfully-colored, but very untasty cake...
And as it dried, the paint began to change color rather dramatically. I found myself just a bit mesmerized by the way it crept across the window from block to block getting darker... darker....
So now it hangs in my kitchen. I think it still could dry a little more-- it tends to smooth out slightly the more it's dry...
But the whole thing does have a rather textured appearance I hadn't planned on, anyway. Better than streaky, but not quite as placid and smooth as I'd hoped...
Still, it catches the light nicely...

I think in terms of Lessons Learned, I would experiment a little more with different types of glass paint, and understand their surprising behaviors, before embarking on a full-fledged project like this.

Anyway, I enjoyed the process. Honestly, what's nicer than a quiet weekend afternoon listening to a favorite film and surrounded by a whole rainbow of craftable colors?

May the rest of your week be shiny, too!

10 comments:

Heidi Ann said...

It certainly does catch the light nicely, and I'm impressed. It looks beautiful.

TJ Lubrano said...

Yay! It's here! After seeing your previous post on Sunday, I waited patiently for this moment.

I know how difficult it is to wait for paint to dry! I have to put myself to this test every time with watercolors -_-. Very good that you did wait though ^_^. I really really like it and it turned out really cool! I love the colors you used too. I thought you always had to use a 'liquidy paint', that automatically flows till it covers the area.

Can't wait to see more of your stained glass adventure in the future!

Ciao *waves*

Alex M said...

Waaaay cool! And when you start your own "Church of the Thrift," you can decorate your place of worship with faux stained glass.

Hmmm... Our Lady of Perpetual Thrift

featherbed said...

It adds such a nice pop of color in the room :)

Lisa said...

You said the journey was better than the product, but I say the product is cool beans. What a great idea to create art to highlight the colour scheme of your dishes! TFS.

Colleen said...

Don't ya just love the feeling of accomplishment? Your project is awesome! If I had made such a cool stained glass window like this, I'd probably be staring at it all day and night with a big cheesy grin on my face!

Beth @ Blue Socks said...

I am definitely going to try this. Wish I could find a pattern though .... making my own is not really something I want to tackle. Any recommendations for a pattern source? I'm looking for Victorian appropriate.

Lindsey said...

so many questions!! i've not seen a project like this look as good as yours!!

what is this "stick on leading" that you speak of?

did you fill your black lines later to make them look more soddered?

what brands of paint did you use??

this is just fabulous and opens the door to so many new possibilities!! thank you for sharing!

Jenn Thorson said...

Heidi Ann- Thank you. It was a fun project.

TJ- Aw, you're a sweetie!

Alex- "Our Lady of Perpetual Thrift"-- Ha, I like it, it has a ring to it. :)

Featherbed- In Pittsburgh, we need all the color we can get.

Lisa- Oh, thank you. I think I just had different expectations based on what I'd pictured in my mind. But hey, it was a great lesson!

Colleen- I DID sit on my couch staring at it for a while, trying to see how I felt about it. The extra color was certainly welcome.

Beth- If you search on "stained glass patterns" online you should be able to find some good free ones. There will definitely be some in the Victorian style.

Lindsay- The stick on leading is, I believe, from the Plaid company. It's a grey-black rubber strip you peel off, and it has sticky stuff on one side which you can press and adhere to your glass piece. You cut it to size with a little razor blade. It seemed a better option than using the black paint to create lines. This way, things are more precise.

The paint I used was mainly called Gallery Glass. It's in Michael's in the stained glass paint section along with the faux leading.

Ellen Flaire said...

Lovely! It adds color to the room. But really needs an artistic hand to be able to do this. You're good, really!