How to Create a Stained Glass Looking Window

Updated July 20, 2017

Stained glass windows are a lovely way to bring colour and light into your personal space. Real leaded stained glass windows are very expensive. You can skip all that work and expense if you are willing to put in a little time painting a beautiful stained glass design on a strategically-located, well-lit window in your home. Pick up some stained glass paint and faux liquid leading from your local hobby shop, resize your favourite design to fit your window, and make your own stained glass magic.

Locate a design for your window or draw your own. Symmetrical designs with repeated patterns create beautiful kaleidoscopic effects. Or consider using a flower pattern, a scene or a still life for your design.

Use your ruler and pencil to draw a grid on your original design, dividing it into 1-inch squares, working from the centre outwards. If you don't want to draw on your original design make a photocopy, or trace the design onto tracing paper, and draw your grid on the photocopy or traced design.

Tape pieces of paper together to fit the size of your window. Working from the centre outwards, draw a grid of larger squares on the window-sized piece of paper. For example, if you are doubling the size of the original design, draw a grid of 2-inch squares, or if it needs to be 3 1/2 times larger draw 3 1/2-inch squares.

Copy the pattern, square by square, from the smaller grid to the larger grid. This will help you create a very close copy of the original. Go over your final pencil drawing with the felt-tipped marker so you will be able to see it clearly. On the enlarged paper design, use the felt-tipped marker to write the name of the colour you will be using in each area. This will help you avoid making the mistake of applying the wrong colour of glass paint to the window.

Use the razor blade to remove any excess paint drops or other hardened material from the inside and outside of the window glass. Clean the inside and outside of the window with window cleaner and paper towels.

Tape the enlarged paper design to the glass on the outside of the window, with the marker side facing in, so you can see the design and colour names through the glass.

Outline the design with faux liquid leading, squeezing the tube or bottle with even pressure to create smooth lines with consistent thickness. If you make a mistake use the razor blade to remove excess leading. Allow the liquid leading to dry thoroughly.

Paint the spaces between the lines of liquid leading with glass paints according to the colours you have written on the enlarged paper design. Paint additional layers on top of the original layers to deepen the colours and achieve the look of thick stained glass. Allow the paint to dry between each coat. Continue adding layers of glass paint until you are satisfied with the saturation of colour.


Before applying the liquid leading to the window practice following a line on a piece of paper. Paint the design on a sheet of acrylic that has been cut to fit your window. This way you can remove it and reuse it somewhere else. Paint your stained glass design on an acrylic sheet and frame it to hang as a divider between living spaces.


Immediately wash off any glass paint that comes into contact with your skin. Use caution with razor blades to avoid cuts.

Things You'll Need

  • Window cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Razor blade
  • Paper design for stained glass window
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Faux liquid leading
  • Stained glass paint
  • Paintbrushes
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About the Author

Carol Holaday's writing preferences are metaphysics, self-help, alternative health products, and general arts and crafts. She has written monthly columns for; direct marketing letters, brochures and leaflets for Sedgbeer Creative Media; ongoing special assignment writing for PP E-Commerce; and her own book, "Crafting a Magical Life," Findhorn Press, 2009.