Create a washable stained glass painted window

Use acrylic paint and washing up liquid to make a washable stained glass masterpiece at home for all to see for Glasgow Open House 2021!

How to paint a
stained glass window

You will need…

  • Acrylic paints

  • Foam brush or paintbrush

  • Thin black washi tape or masking tape

  • A pencil

  • Paper

  • Washing up liquid

  • A damp cloth

  • Recycled containers for mixing paint

Optional

  • A tape measure or ruler

  • Different shapes and types of foam brushes

Step to step guide

1. Start by deciding what style you would like your window to be made in? Are you going to incorporate any text or imagery? Will you go with basic geometric shapes (like above) or something inspired by art history?

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Make your voice heard by incorporating words to voice your support for a cause! Could you help fight for climate justice? or for better support and funding for the arts? 

2. Use your paper and pencil to sketch your window and your design. Make sure to draw it back to front so it will be readable from outside your home! 

3. Clean your window well and make sure it is dry.

4. Mark out your design on the glass with your black washi tape. If you make a mistake do not worry as the tape is sticky enough to reposition!

5. You can use your measuring tape to mark out key points of your design on the window with tape. If you are using text - measure the width of your window, then divide the width by the number of characters you are using (counting each space as an additional character). 

6. Make sure your paintbrush and any container used to mix paints are bone dry before adding or mixing any paint. Adding water to your paint mixture will make it prone to dripping and cracking when it dries.

* have a damp cloth on hand to wipe up any unwanted paint *

7. Decide what colours you would like to use for your design and mix up a good amount of paint for each colour in recycled containers. The colours will look different on the glass with light shining through and from outside, so doing a test run on glass for each colour is advised! Wipe away after with your wet cloth.

8. Add washing up liquid to your paints, I used the same amount of washing liquid as paint but you may want to play around with quantities depending on the consistency of your soap brand. Make sure it isn’t runny!

9. Using your dry paintbrush and sponges begin to fill in each shape with paint. Experiment with different brush strokes and different ways of mark-making to create interesting textures!

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Using your sponge to dab can create a lovely flat texture. Using your paintbrush to do small strokes makes for interesting lines and patterns that allow light to shine through. If you make a mistake you can use your damp cloth to wipe the paint away!

Don’t leave your paint mixture sitting for too long as it will congeal with the soap and make it difficult to work with.

10. Once you have finished you can leave the washi tape in the style of traditional stained glass, or you can pull it away leaving more space for light to shine through! When you are finished with your painting just remove the tape and wash it off with warm water. It will come off very easily thanks to the washing up liquid!

Take part in the festival or share your work!

Whatever design you choose we would love to see your paintings! Share a picture or video with us by tagging us on social media, using the hash-tag #GOHAFwindowbox or email us at: glasgowopenhouse@gmail.com

Tag us on social media:

twitter: @OHGlasgow

instagram: @glasgow_open_house

facebook: @glasgowopenhouse

This activity was designed by artist and Creative Director of GOHAF, Amalie Silvani-Jones. If you would like to use your window to take part in ‘Glasgow Open House Arts Festival 2021: Artists in Isolation’, between the 24th and 27th of September, you can add the location of your window or front garden to the festival map below:

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Buy this 'Window Art Activity Box'

Purchase everything you need to make your own version of this stained glass painting at home!

*The materials in this kit will cover a maximum area of approximately 2m x 2m (depending on the density of washi tape used in the design). 

The activity kit includes: 1 x set of 6 acrylic paints, 1 x A5 recycled paper, 1 x recycled pencil, 1 x round-headed sponge paintbrush, 1 x 1-inch flat square sponge paintbrush, instructions on recycled card, 1 x measuring tape & 5 x 10m x 6mm black washi tapes.