Monday, December 2, 2013

How To: Make Faux Stained Glass for Cardmaking


This whole post came about as an experiment with making a stained glass look.  I had wanted to make a card with an angel on it – and come to discover, strangely I don’t have any!  (Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.)  So I wanted to create a stained glass look with an angel, and the idea took off from there, playing around with different mediums.  This is a very long and hopefully informative post, so grab a cuppa and enjoy, and please pin the above image to save! Smile

Experiments with the following mediums:

  • Copic Markers on paper
  • Twinkling H20 Watercolors on paper
  • Prismacolor Colored Pencils on paper
  • Copic Markers on Sookwang tape paper with Glitter Ritz
  • Perfect Pearls on black paper
  • Smooch Ink on paper
  • Liquid Pearls on paper
  • Copic Markers on acetate (aka clear transparency)


Copic Markers on paper

For the initial card, I did a brief step-by-step:

Source:  Handmade Artistic Pendants

I googled ‘angel stained glass’ and this was on of the images that came up.  Perfect!


I sketched this out using a very light hand with pencil.  It is actually lighter in person but I wanted you all to be better able to see it.  Notice it doesn’t match exactly – it doesn’t have to!  Don’t panic, just take your time.  It’s pencil after all and you can always start over or adjust to make it work for you.


I chose several colors and filled them in, piece by piece.


Black Copic Marker outline really makes it look like stained glass!


Here’s the finished card, I did spray a bit of Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Pearl over top.

Twinkling H20s on paper

Here’s the inspo for this one:

Christmas Decorations Nativity Stained Glass Cling Image


And here’s what I did with it:


A much more intricate design, and more geometric.  Also more colors.  I again started with the border, then I did the star.  The manger shape with top hill outline came next, followed by the star’s rays, the sheep and shepherds, then Mary/Joseph/baby Jesus and the hills filled in.  It’s easiest to do this one color at a time.


Here’s a shot catching the ‘twinkling’ part.  Hard to see face on from the camera.  Note that the Copic used to outline shows the shimmer underneath.

Prismacolor pencils on paper

Source:  Hannahradenkova


This one is the most intricate of all of them.  The pencil did start to hurt my hand after awhile because I was using significant pressure to achieve these colors with no pastel look.  I like the star’s rays in this one.  I drew the arch shape first, then the star.  Wise men, red, green, blue then hills and rays to fill.

Copic Markers on Sookwang tape paper with Glitter Ritz


This one has no inspiration photo and is perhaps one of the least yet most stained glass like.  What I mean by that is those shapes are Elizabeth Craft Designs so the black part actually dictates the shape.  To make this one I started with a sheet of sookwang paper, it is basically a super sticky paper tape that I’ve trimmed down.  I poured Glitter Ritz in Warm Highlight over the tape, and burnished it in so no flaking.  Then placed the stickers and colored very gently with Copics.  To get the glitter off the Copic, just color on some scrap paper.

Perfect Pearls on black paper

Source:  Will Paint Nails for Food


At first glance this one looks really dull.  Where is the glitz and glam!?  This one isn’t a screamer, but it whispers pretty when the light hits it just right. 


Check out the transformation!  To do this, I drew my design in pencil.  The lead shines slightly but still difficult to see on black paper.  Using a Ranger Inkssentials Black Embossing Pen, I did sections of two to four at a time.  I brushed on the Perfect Pearls in the one color for all sections, and brushed away the excess.  Repeat until finished, outline with black Copic.  When doing these sections I tried not to fill in all the way so there would be less shine under the outline of the Copic if that makes sense.

Smooch Ink on paper

Source:  Kiki Quilts


This one was super easy.  The Smooch Ink has a nail polish style bottle, so it is easy to get in relatively small areas.  A great shimmer too, check out when the light hits it:


Liquid Pearls on Paper

Source:  Embroidery Library


The Liquid Pearls game out great.  I sketched design in with pencil, then filled in color at a time.  I waited until all was dry before doing the Onyx (black) Liquid Pearls on top.  The black really looks like the lead piping on real stained glass, so it’s a really cool look.  The paper will curl slightly, but with just be a little more generous with the foam dots on the back and it will be fine.


A straight on shot without the glare.

Copic Markers on acetate (aka clear transparency)

Source:  Quilts and Heirlooms

This may be my favorite:


The card is slightly open here, so you can see some light through the transparency.  This technique was done with Copics, although it could be done with an Alcohol Ink Pen + Tim Holtz Adirondack Alcohol Inks.  They dry quickly, and black Copic was drawn on top.  The black paper at top and bottom is just to hide the acetate where it was adhered, as well as give some space to write under.


Outside of the shot I am pinning the card front down.  See how much darker the colors become?


A shot from the side so you can see the light go through.  It’s beautiful!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Pick a design that suits both your skill and your medium.  i.e., if you are comfortable with freehanding, or do you prefer using a ruler (I prefer freehand!)?  Are you using something with a fine tip like colored pencil or a bigger water brush?
  • Sticking with primary colors generally gives you a more true stained glass look.
  • Google images to give you inspiration.  That’s what I did and I ended up with so many ideas!
  • A black Copic Marker seems to be the best in general to outline.  Though I might try some Copic coloring with a black Liquid Pearl outline, that might be cool to do.
  • If you have arthritis/tendonitis issues, I’d recommend the Copics or Twinkling H20s (water coloring).  The Liquid Pearls and pencil coloring hurt after awhile (though admittedly I was crankin ‘em out!)
  • Experiment to see what you like, and feel free to use this post as explanation to your spouse of why you need to purchase more products to create the look you’re after! Winking smile


Please tell me in the comments what your favorite one is and why.

Please pin if you learned something or just enjoyed the post.  I’d so appreciate it!

Thank you for joining me today, Happy December everyone!