How to make a paper stained glass window

Updated February 21, 2017

Stained glass windows stream vibrant colours and design patterns into a room. Real stained glass is expensive, but you can make a paper stained glass window to mimic the real thing for a fraction of the cost. Create paper stained glass panels to hang in a window, or decorate your existing window panes to resemble stained glass art. Get the kids involved to make window art that will perk up any room in your home.

Place the glass panel on a flat work surface. Clean both sides of the glass panel thoroughly with window cleaner. Wipe the side of the panel you plan to decorate with rubbing alcohol. Let the alcohol evaporate.

Tape the stained glass template face down to one side of the glass panel so the pattern shows through to the other side. Free stained glass patterns are available online. You can also trace an image from a colouring book.

Trace the stained glass pattern onto the glass panel with a black glass paint pen.

Cut different colours of tissue paper to fit the sections in the stained glass pattern.

Spread a thin layer of découpage glue onto one section of the glass panel and traced pattern with a paint sponge. Press the coloured tissue paper onto the découpage glue. Smooth the glue on top of the paper with a paint sponge.

Cover each section of the glass with colourful tissue paper using découpage glue. If the glue runs, smooth it with a paint sponge. Allow the glue to dry.


You can use self-adhesive leading strips in lieu of the black paint pen, and coloured vellum instead of tissue paper will create a thicker paper window panel. You can also use the same techniques to glue colourful tissue paper to a window pane. Another way to create a faux stained glass window is to use stained glass paint and leading strips.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass panel
  • Window cleaner
  • Soft cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Stained glass template
  • Tape
  • Glass paint pen, black
  • Colourful tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Découpage glue
  • Paint sponge
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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.