DIY Leaded Glass Material

Written by erin fitzgerald
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DIY Leaded Glass Material
Put your favourite design on glass. (Stained glass vitrage image by asmik from

Faux stained glass is a relatively inexpensive way of getting the style and look of real stained glass. It can be used on all kinds of materials including windows, vases and sun-catchers. There are a few techniques to experiment with, each creates their own effects. Trying different styles can also increase your skills in this craft.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Glass paints
  • Self-adhesive lead or liquid lead
  • Brazing tool (If self-adhesive lead is used)
  • Sharp craft knife (If self-adhesive lead is used)
  • Flathead nail (Optional)

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  1. 1

    Draw your design or print an already made design to use it as a template.

  2. 2

    Clean the glass or other material thoroughly with warm soapy water and let it dry. Dirt, grease or dust will show up in the paint.

  3. 3

    Secure the template to your project. Clear tape works well. The design should be where you would want the finished work to be and must not move while you work with it.

  4. 4

    Apply self-adhesive or liquid lead, working from top to bottom. If you are using self-adhesive lead, lay it out correctly and remove the paper backing. Use a brazing tool to flatten it to the glass and remove extra liquid lead with the craft knife, leaving a little length at the ends to overlay and prevent gaps. Use a brazing tool to smooth out overlaying edges. Carefully follow the pattern on your template until all the lines are covered.

  5. 5

    Clean the glass or other material between the lead. Working on the project may have left dust or fingerprints, so clean before you apply the paint. Liquid lead needs to be completely dry before you do this.

  6. 6

    Paint one section at a time. The method used for applying paint varies. Use a paintbrush but if you find it leaves brush strokes, put a small bead of paint in the centre of the section and spread it evenly toward the outer edge using the head of a nail.

  7. 7

    Remove immediately any air bubbles or debris that may have fallen into the paint so that they will not be in the finished project. Let the piece dry thoroughly.

Tips and warnings

  • It is easier to do simple designs if you're a beginner.
  • Take your time applying the liquid or adhesive lead, so that you do not misplace the lead and have to spend extra time and effort correcting it.
  • When selecting a brand and type of glass paint to use, have in mind the conditions in which your finished piece will be. Some paints wear better than others. Indoors, outdoors, shade, and sun are all factors to consider when choosing paint.
  • Use paints and adhesives in a well-ventilated area.
  • Wash your hands well after using lead and paints. They can be harmful.

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