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Tuesday, August 15, 2023

How to Make Stain Glass - The Easy Way

Crafting Elegance: Transforming a Stained Glass Vision into Reality 

Get ready for a budget friendly adventure in creating stain glass panels with minimal effort.  Follow our step-by-step instructions which covers everything from repurposing frames to seamlessly bringing your project to completion.  Elevate your decor with this DIY inspiration. 

Sometimes, the allure of a good splurge is hard to resist, don't you think?  Personally, I have a deep affection for the elegance of stained glass and leaded windows.  Over time, I've managed to gather a few pieces, although I won't shy away from admitting that they come with a rather hefty price tag.  In fact, let's drop the "kind of expensive" charade - they are undeniably a significant investment.  

Fortunately, fate smiled upon me last year when I chanced upon a stunning piece at an incredibly reasonable price.  Without a moment's hesitation, I seized the opportunity and added it to my collection.  Recently, I proudly showcased it alongside a bottle craft project I completed not too long ago. 

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Do you spot it subtly peeking out from behind the DIY bottle craft vase?  Despite its color palette not quite aligning with our home's aesthetics, I simply couldn't let this gem slip through my fingers.  There's a story from the past - a grand window that I missed out on last year - and I've since learned to trust my instincts.  How about you?  Do you ever find yourself in similar situations?  I've developed quite the habit of second-guessing myself, prompting my husband to offer a resounding "Go for it!" whenever I hesitate. 

Prior to stumbling upon this newfound treasure, a creative idea had already begun taking shape in my mind.  I envisioned crafting my very own DIY stained glass art, destined to grace the walls of our bedroom.  As luck would have it, I uncovered a modest, unassuming frame in our basement.  This frame had been a gift from a friend who once ran a shop.  While her primary venture was in cabinetry, she sought a touch of excitement in her life and ventured into the realm of secondhand retail.  

Oh, how I wish her shop were still open - I have a feeling I'd be a regular visitor once again.  Unfortunately, life took an unexpected turn after her husband's passing, leading her back to the realm of cabinetry.  Her aspirations once involved crafting those trendy worded signs that captivated the masses.  When she tasked her staff with creating a rustic sign, they came up with something entirely different.  

As you can see, it deviated from the traditional rustic frames of yesterday.  Instead, it boasted a smooth finish, meticulously mitered joints, and a sleekness that rendered it far more suited to being an elegant frame than a mere sign holder.  Recognizing its potential, she handed it over to me, confident that I would discover a creative purpose for it.  

Unfortunately, the frame sat neglected for far too long before I decided to put it to use.  A backing that once occupied its interior was set aside, as I embarked on a project to transform it into a frame for a stained glass panel.  

A couple of coats of black paint, applied by hand, enveloped the frame in a new identity.  I opted not to paint the rear, as you'll see in the upcoming details.  

Have you come across those privacy vinyl sheets used to cover windows (there are certainly more available on the market than when I began planning this project)?  Well, that's the very material I chose to conjure our own DIY stained glass window clings.  An economically savvy choice for any DIY enthusiast seeking to delve into the realm of stained glass artistry.  

Trimming the vinyl to match the desired dimensions was a breeze, no elaborate cutting instruments required; a simple pair of scissors sufficed.   

With precision, I positioned the frame atop the vinyl, cutting it to align with the exterior measurements of the frame.  

Once the vinyl was tailored to fit, I deftly laid it onto the frame and grabbed a manual Stanley staple gun to secure it to the inner ledge.  

I'll be completely transparent - I'm not entirely at ease wielding power tools in the absence of my husband, which led me to this alternative approach.  It required a bit more determination, but I persevered and felt a rush of satisfaction as each staple found its place within the wood, with a touch of effort.  


Oh, the happy dance and ear-to-ear smile that followed - I had successfully crafted a stained glass window that only cost me a fraction of what a store-bought counterpart would have.

Initially, my plan involved a horizontal display, with intentions of complementing it with additional vintage artwork to fashion a captivating gallery wall within our bedroom.  Yet, once the stained glass window graced the wall, its impact wasn't quite what I anticipated.    

I opted to rotate the stained glass panel, aligning it vertically, and found this orientation far more aesthetically pleasing.  This pivot presented a conundrum for my original gallery wall concept.  Despite allowing the piece to hang for a substantial period in contemplation, a fresh plan failed to emerge.  

Guess what?  Inspiration never did strike.  The ceilings in our upstairs area barely reach eight feet, and devising a new strategy for that particular wall proved to be quite the puzzle.  Persistence, as they say, pays off, and I eventually devised a fresh vision, identified a new wall, and formulated a strategy that would do justice to the loveliness of this DIY stain glass panel.  

In my eyes, it melds with the true antique lead glass window that adorns our wall, along with a vintage flower advertisement, a wedding photo, and alongside the mannequin form where I store my necklaces.  Vintage pieces are thoughtfully woven throughout our home, making me feel fortunate to have been able to create this eclectic feel throughout.  I find great satisfaction in the outcome of my homemade DIY stain glass window.  I'm curious - would you be tempted to embark on a similar journey?  

Since I have an entire roll of the DIY stained glass window kit, I have more plans for it in the future, and cannot wait to get started on a new project to share.  I think it compliments the painting over our bed nicely, who knew lavendar would become a favorite color of mine?

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Cara, I love how this turned out! I saw some stained glass decorations recently at Home Depot and I almost purchased them. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. :)

    1. I am so glad you liked it Stephanie. I was so happy with the way it turned out, I do think it needs to have an aged frame though, maybe in the future I will fix that part. I've got a few more tricks up my sleeve, but I need some help in making those creations. Have a great week Stephanie!

  2. Cara, I can't get over how realistic it looks! What a fun project! I need to check out the privacy vinyl you used!!

    1. I originally had another project in mind for the vinyl, but it kept getting put on the back burner, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and do something with the frame in our basement. There are so many more stain glass vinyl options now than when I picked this one up. Thank you for your kind words, I kept going back and forth if I should share it or not.

  3. Oh my word, Cara, this is such a genius idea! I'm so excited for you. It looks just like the real thing! You are seriously on fire with the fabulous ideas lately and I'm so thankful you share them with us. Love, love, love how this came together! Hugs, CoCo

    1. Thank you so much CoCo! That means a lot to me. I was someone who was told I was not creative and my art work was terrible when I was in school. Unfortunately, I spent way too long not being creative since I did not think I was not good at it. To have folks like yourself tell me some of my projects are a good idea means a lot to me. I had visions of faux transom windows in older homes. Our house is not old enough for interior transom windows, but we did have transom exterior windows. I cannot wait to get started on the next idea I have for this vinyl. :) Thank you, thank you!

  4. Cara, I would love for you to share this at my newest link party on my second blog! Yes, I have joined the blog link party train. -haha. Hopefully I will have more people join. It opened today and runs until Tuesday. Have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Thank you for inviting me Stephanie, I linked up! Congrats on the new party. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  5. That turned out nice and I love the purple shades of color. It really does look like stained glass. Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedLinkParty 125. Pinned

    1. The purple has really grown on me in our bedroom. I was never one for much color, but I like it. I was happy with the way this one turned out, but I almost did not share it here.

  6. Cara, CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at the #UnlimitedLinkParty 126!