DIY Faux Stained Glass Using Clear Glue

One might think, with my love of stained glass, that I’d go ahead and attempt the real thing already, but I have not yet. I’ve tried some different techniques to make faux stained glass over the years, and this is one I’d been meaning to do for a long time. Faux stained glass using glue? I’m in!

As always, I learned a lot from this process, and I even ended up changing things up a bit. I’ll get to that. But first, I’ll share what I ended up using.

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  • Picture frame (I used 8×10)
  • Traceable design
  • Liquid leading
  • Clear glue
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint tray


  • White school glue

When I started this project, I was excited to try the all-glue method. White glue colored black for the leading, and clear glue colored to fill the in the rest. I don’t know if I did something wrong or what, but I ended up switching gears just a bit.

The first thing I did was draw my design. I’d had a vision for a long time of a rainbow with the sun and raindrops, so that’s what I went with. I traced the glass from the frame onto a sheet of paper, and then I sketched it my design in pencil. 

For my first leading attempt, I squeezed some black paint into the bottle of white glue and mixed it up with a wooden skewer. I was surprised by how little paint it took to get a nice shade of black.

I set the glass over my drawing and attempted to trace the lines with the black glue. Unfortunately, this is where things started to take a turn. The glue spread out more than I wanted it to, so my lines were uneven and just too wide. Some of the details were small enough that it didn’t look good. You can see what I mean below.

Switching gears, I decided to buy a product I’d seen by Gallery Glass. It’s a liquid leading, and it has a very narrow tip that is perfect for this. It also isn’t very expensive, so it didn’t add a lot of cost to this project. You can actually buy a whole rainbow of Gallery Glass colors, but I decided to stick with the clear glue for the rest of the project. (Someday, though…)

Incidentally, I was able to easily wash the glue off of the glass, so no issues there.

I changed up my design a bit to make the sun rays wider, thinking it might be easier to fill the lines. It’s still not a design that you’d ever actually make out of stained glass, but for this, I love it.

Once I finally had the leading drawn so that I was happy with it, I let it dry for a full 24 hours. Something to note about the leading is that if you have any issues with it, you can just peel it up and start over. I didn’t experiment much, but I think you could probably draw the lines a lot thicker than I did if you want.

Then I started filling in the colors. For each color, I would mix together a tiny bit of paint with some clear glue. I used a paint brush to apply the color. I was happy with some of the colors after one coat, and for others I did a second. It just depends on the look you’re going for.

The only frame I had on hand was made of unfinished wood, so I painted that black. That part was very easy.

To attach the glass to the frame, I used super glue all along the rim inside the frame. And then I let it sit for a day.

Check out the extra shimmer my rainbow has. The very day I finished this, there was an *incident* involving edible glitter while I was out, and… yeah.

I don’t know if it will stay there forever, but right now my rainbow is sitting in my kitchen window. It makes me happy to see it every morning when I’m stumbling around half asleep. Then I appreciate it even more when I’m fully awake.

Next time, I’d like to try mica powder to color the glue. Or maybe food coloring. There are many different kinds of stained glass, so there are lots of different looks that could look pretty authentic.

What design would you make out of stained glass? If you decide to try this, I’d love to see!

Happy crafting!

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