Making stained glass with colored cellophane

Written by andrea griffith
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Making stained glass with colored cellophane
Create your own stained glasslike artwork using cellophane. (Stained Glass Window image by Andrew Breeden from

Stained glass can add colour and drama to any room. Whether you want a small piece of stained glass to display in front of a window or a piece large enough to fit inside your window frame, stained glass is very expensive. If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive way to decorate your home, you can create imitation stained glass yourself. Using coloured cellophane, you can produce your own stained glasslike artwork that can be displayed wherever you like.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Coloured cellophane
  • Traceable shapes
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Picture frame
  • 4 tbsp white school glue
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Paint brush
  • Rag
  • Super glue or hot glue

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  1. 1

    Unroll your coloured cellophane. The more colours you use, the more brilliant the glass will look. One of the easiest ways to make your stained glass look realistic is to use a series of geometric shapes. Place traceable shapes onto your cellophane, and trace them with a pencil.

  2. 2

    Cut the shapes out of the cellophane with a pair of scissors. Arrange the shapes on a table so you have an idea of how to position them.

  3. 3

    Choose the size picture frame that you want to use. This can be either glass or plastic and can be purchased in a variety of sizes. Using the glass or plastic from the picture frame works well because you'll have a perfectly shaped piece of glass or plastic, as well as a ready-to-use frame when you're finished.

  4. 4

    Remove the backing from the picture frame and pop the glass or plastic out from the frame. Set it on a clean, flat surface.

  5. 5

    Pour 4 tbsp of white school glue into a bowl. Add enough water to the glue to turn it into a watery mixture. Stir the contents of the bowl using either a paint brush or a basting brush.

  6. 6

    Place a piece of cellophane onto the glass. Cut the cellophane so it's the exact shape of the glass. This will be your background colour. You can use any colour you like; however, lighter colours work better for background colours.

  7. 7

    Dip the brush into the glue mixture and paint the glue onto the glass. Place the background cellophane directly on top of the glue. Use a rag to smooth out the cellophane to remove any air bubbles.

  8. 8

    Arrange the cellophane shapes on top of the background cellophane. Position the shapes in any way that you like. Select the first piece of cellophane--the first shape on the upper left hand side--and brush glue on one side of it. Glue this piece down into it respective spot; again, use the rag to smooth out any air bubbles. Repeat this with all of the different coloured cellophane shapes.

  9. 9

    Allow the stained glass to dry for 30 minutes. Run a strip of super glue--gel super glue works best--or hot glue around the inside ledge of the picture frame. Place the stained glass inside the frame as normal, with the cellophane facing down. Press the glass into the super glue to ensure it permanently adheres.

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