Stained glass windows are so beautiful. My husband and I began looking for one to hang in our kitchen window to add a pop of bright color but we didn’t have much luck. We had a difficult time finding any in our favorite antique shops and when we did find one it was a bit broken or very expensive. We decided to make our own! One day I will take a proper class to learn the real process, but we came up with a pretty great option so I just had to share.
I saw several tutorials for glueing those flattened glass marbles to old windows and they looked great but we really wanted more of a traditional stained glass look. That’s when we came across these mosaic glass pieces at our local craft store. You could upcycle an old window but we couldn’t find one in the size that we needed. So we chose to use a picture frame. They come in such a wide variety of sizes and styles that it is easy to find what you want.
What You Need:
picture frame- size, shape, finish that you like with tiny metal pieces that hold the backing in place.
mosaic glass pieces (we buy 2 boxes so we can pick and choose our favorite pieces)- These are what I use.
glue- You can use any glue that dries clear and is suitable for glass. I use this.
black grout- The grout I use.
wooden craft sticks
2 or 3 sponges
So the first step is choosing a picture frame. For demonstration purposes I chose an 11×17 white worn finish frame. It’s important to choose a frame that has glass included as well as the small metal pieces that hold the glass in. Then remove the backing and paper from the frame by bending the metal pieces up (I like to use a wooden craft stick for this).
Once the backing materials are removed bend the metal pieces back into place to secure the glass into place.
Pour your pieces onto a large sheet of paper so that you can easily pick through them.
Squeeze some glue into a plastic cup and apply with a brush. Work in small sections so that the glue will not dry before you can place the pieces. We have found that a thin layer of glue applied in a stippling or dabbing motion gives the tiles enough to stick to the glass. If the glue is too thick or too much it will not dry clear under the glass pieces. If you use the smallest pieces of glass they will likely pull out of place when you reach the grouting part of the process.
I really enjoy the random placement look but you could very easily create any pattern or even place a pattern under the glass of the frame as a guide.
Continue applying glue and working the pieces in small sections. My kids really like to help with this part because it’s like a puzzle when trying to fit pieces side-by-side. My kids are 9 and 11- I wouldn’t let small children help because of potential sharp edges, very small pieces, and the use of glue. It’s okay to leave some cracks and spaces because these are the areas that will be filled with grout later and give the appearance of the leading that is used in real stained glass windows.
Once the entire glass of your frame is filled with glass pieces and designed they way you want, run a bead of glue around the back sealing the glass to the frame. Then you will need to let the glue dry. The glue I use says to allow it to dry for 5-6 hours before grouting. I always let it dry overnight anyway.
Protect your work surface and hands from the grout because it can be a real mess. Follow the instructions on your grout. Basically you will mix it into a paste and then use a sponge to cover your entire glass area. Never wash any of the grout down your drain.
Make sure grout gets pushed down into all of the cracks and crevices.
Let the grout set for about a half an hour and then very slightly damp sponge to remove the excess grout and begin to reveal the glass pieces.
Wait another night before using a clean barely damp sponge to polish up your final work of art.
These picture frame “windows” are at their most beautiful when sunlight filters through them. Here is how we hang them for display in our windows.
What You Need To Hang Your Mosaic:
4 eye hooks
2 equal lengths of chain- Measure what you need to hang at your preference.
Pre-drill the holes for you eye hooks because we have found that the picture frames we use are not sturdy enough to screw the eye hooks directly in. they crack and split. Tiny pre-drilled hole solves that problem easily.
Measure the distance between the eye hooks on your mosaic and mark the distance on your window frame. Pre-drill holes, screw in eye hooks, and add your lengths of chain. Finally just hook your mosaic onto the chains.
I have yet to hang the one we created in this tutorial but here is the first one we ever made hanging in our kitchen window.
We have made several of these and have more planned. They are beautiful and so easy!
Pin it for later!