I found this old colouring book that made pseudo stained glass. You colour it in however you want and then tear the page out and place it on the window. Certainly faster and cheaper then actual stained glass.

I had already finished most of the book so there was nothing for my kids to do. There must be something that I could use in place of whatever material the book was made from.

What can I use that I can give to my kids to make fake/faux/pseudo stained glass? What tools would best compliment that suggestion? Pencil crayons, markers etc?

7 Answers 7


If you want to make something your kids could color with pencils, crayons, or maybe markers, get tracing paper and draw stained-glass designs on it with a black permanent marker. (If you do the coloring with markers, either wait several days between doing the black parts and coloring them in, or flip the tracing paper around: do the black "leading" on one side of the paper, and the coloring on the other side. Otherwise, no matter how "permanent" you permanent marker, the colored markers can cause it to smudge.) The advantage of this method is that it's pretty cheap, and it will probably end up very similar to the coloring book you have, at least if your coloring book is similar to what I've encountered before. The disadvantage of this method is that it doesn't really look like stained glass.

The other option is to go to the craft store and visit their faux stained glass section. Yes, there is such a thing. :) It involves clear plastic sheets as a base, a faux leading that's basically black dimensional paint in a squeeze bottle (i.e. you pipe it on almost like cake frosting instead of actually painting with it), and clear acrylic paints to go between your leading lines. Again, the process is to paint/pipe the designs with the "leading", wait for that to dry, and then paint the designs. The advantage of this method is that it looks very, very similar to actual stained glass without involving cutting glass and soldering and working with actual lead (Pb). The disadvantage is that it gets pretty expensive. You can reduce the expense somewhat if you can find cheaper sources of clear plastic. For example, see if you can find plain clear plastic plates (like from the party goods store).

  • Like crafts.stackexchange.com/questions/545/…?
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 19:21
  • @Stephie: kinda, but without the "removable decal" part.
    – Martha
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 19:52
  • If you use the right (or "wrong', depending on perspective) plastic, you can't peel them off. Sorry, but I don't know the English term for them.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 19:54
  • 1
    For clear plastic sheets you may be able to use overhead projector acetate film - it works out to about 20p/sheet. Don't buy too much until you've tested your paints on it, but I've used glass paint on acetate sheet in the past. It's flexible so would need supporting if you use the thick leading.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 10:23
  • @Stephie: it's not the type of plastic, it's the type of paint. The niece just acquired some "dimensional glass paint" at a garage sale, which came with some plastic sheets for working on, and then you peel it off and stick it in the window. My sister tried her old Gallery Glass brand imitation-stained-glass paints on the same plastic sheets, and it doesn't peel off.
    – Martha
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 13:59

Depending on how realistic some people would like faux stained glass windows to be and what one's budget is, there are several solutions.

One idea is to buy some clear plastic form any arts and crafts store or fabric store. With scissors, one can cut out the size of your desired false window pane.

Then with a pencil one could measure out or trace the desired patterns to be placed on the false window from colored films, which if desired to could be cut to size to be simply taped to an actual window.

To make them realistic one could perhaps use frosted decorated film in various colors. The cut out pieces are simply ready to be put into place once cut out and pealed freed of their protective backing.

Here are some color samples from Decorated Films. My wife actually tried this very idea with these films some years back using clear plastic as a backing and then taped the design over real glass with some scotch tape.

Yellow Film

Yellow Frosted Film

Green Film

Green Frosted Film

Blue Film

Blue Frosted Film

Free samples are available from the product details for each film. You may order up to 5 different free samples per project. - Decorative Films


The easiest way is to use old fashioned "transparancies" - thin clear plastic sheets that used to be ubiquitous in schools and universities a decade or two ago, used with tri-projectors.

Use the ones that can be printed on using laser printers/copiers. Some printing shops still do them.

Print or photocopy your outline onto the transparancy, then let your kids colour it in using transparency pens or permanent markers. If you want mistakes to be semi-erasable, use whiteboard markers instead.

If you can't find transparancies, you can experiment with other plastic sheets, e.g. cover sheets used when binding documents (some of these are textured or frosted on one side, which gives an interesting effect if you colour the smooth side).

Once they are done, let it dry for at least 24 hours before you cut out the shape. You can then go over your outlines with a "steel" or "silver" metallic marker / paint marker to emulate lead. Once the marker is done, let it "cure" for a few days and if you want the project to last longer, you can then seal it with matte acrylic spray varnish. Use several very thin coats if you do this, and don't hold the can too close to the sheet, otherwise the solvent in the spray may "lift" and smear the markers.

You can use tiny dots of clear-drying silicone-based glue to stick it to a window, or tape it in place with narrow strips of metallic tape to form a frame if it is square or rectangular. You can also glue it to a frame and hang it in front of the window if you prefer not to stick it to the glass

If you want something more realistic, there are paints that are used on glass specifically for a faux-lead glass effect, as well as tubes of "fake lead" that is applied on the surface of glass to look like lead seams, but that gets expensive and a bit messy for kiddy projects.

Another option is shrink plastic (shrinky dinks / shrinkles). Apart from the pre-printed colouring sheets, you can also buy clear sheets of shrink plastic and do your own designs. When they shrink upon heating in an oven, they thicken and harden, and the colours deepen. The finished product looks very much like glass. Just remember that they end up 20-25% of their original size, so don't make the design too small.


I've also achieved a simple stained glass look with tissue paper glued onto something clear. Modge-Podge or elmer's glue your cut shapes onto glass, "transparency sheets" or even clear plastic bottles, then brush another coat or two over the top of the project. You can either glue black strips over the edges, or use a black permanent marker when completely dry. This does take some dexterity, the tissue paper is delicate, and once it's wet it's even more so. But search for tissue paper stained glass and see what comes up.


When I was a kid, Elmer's glue came out with a colored glue product intended to create window clings, which had a pleasing stained-glass effect. While I'm not sure that the product is made anymore, as it's simply colored white (PVA) glue applied to a surface from which it can be peeled away (plastic sheet or wax paper), it's quite simple to make at home, if a bit messier than the other suggested answers involving markers.

In a nutshell, you'll add a coloring (food coloring seems to work; alcohol inks would likely also do the job) to a bottle of inexpensive school glue and shake to mix, then use the bottle to draw. Black coloring could be used to create fake leading, then after allowing the outline to dry (either letting the kids draw it, or drawing it out yourself), the kids can pick their colors of glue and use it to fill in the outlines. After it's fully dry, it can be peeled away from the plastic or wax paper and stuck to a window.

The blog Life as Mom has more detailed instructions, as well as photos of the process and finished product.


When I was a kid, we would make a type of suncatcher using wax paper, crayons, random colored paper/fabric, dried flowers & leaves, and whatever else looked cool.

We'd usually go outside a few days beforehand and look for cool leaves & flowers and then press them between the pages of a book until dry.

Then we would lay down a towel. On top of that, we'd put a sheet of wax paper, then we'd layer all the stuff in a way that looked nice. The crayons are important here because they act like a sort of glue that keeps everything in place and seals the wax paper together. Typically, crayon shavings went on the first layer, then the leaves/flowers/scraps of colored paper were arranged over the crayon shavings. The next layer would be more crayon shavings, then another sheet of wax paper. We would use stick pins to hold everything together, then cover the whole thing with another towel.

Using the highest setting, we'd run the iron over the towel, checking often to make sure that the crayons were melting. Your iron should get hot enough to melt both layers of crayon shavings, but we always made sure to turn the whole thing over to iron both sides.

Then they'd hang in the window.

I know this might sound like sort of a weird craft project, but it's sorta like stained glass and the results can be interesting.


I'd be inclined to use oiled paper. I suspect you'd want to color it first, then oil it ... but I'm not sure what types of colors would stick best for this application, and/or give the proper translucent effect.

If you want something with less effort (and possibly mess) -- find a place that sells drafting vellum, and use colored pencil on it (as it doesn't fill 100%).

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