A simple craft project to make little sparkling windows. This is a frugal, easy version of homemade stained-glass windows.
A Quick DIY Project Using Leftover Materials
I love stained-glass windows to I thought I’d try making a quick and easy version using some leftover beads and small picture frames. If you want to create something that really shines, the trick is to use translucent beads—ones that will allow light through to show off the beautiful colours.
Design Ideas: flowers, patterns, letters (words), house numbers… Or make a whole bunch of them with each one having its own theme or colour scheme. Smaller beads allow more intricate designs.
There is a supply list with full instructions at the bottom of this post.
1. Beads, stained glass pieces, small mosaic tiles, flat-bottom marbles…
-Pick translucent items that the sun will shine through.
-The larger the picture frame or window, the larger the decorative pieces you can use.
2. Old picture frame or window with glass. You won’t need the picture frame backing.
3. Silicone sealant (waterproof, clear-drying) or other reliable adhesive that dries clear. You can get it in a squeeze tube or cartridge (which requires a caulking dispenser but is far more economical).
4. Old comb for spreading the sealant on the glass.
5. Read the label on your adhesive product and have appropriate clean up supplies ready.
I used silicone sealant to attach my beads because it has proven to be a very reliable adhesive. Make sure you pick a clear-drying one.
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, try out some designs until you have something you like. You might want to photograph your favourites so you have something to refer to as you work.
Before attaching the beads, draw around the inner edge of the frame with a Sharpie to mark your work area. This line will tell you how much of the design will be visible.
Remove the glass from the frame and you’re ready to start attaching beads. Apply a thick layer of silicone sealant on the glass and spread it evenly with an old comb. How thick you want it depends on the size of your beads. I applied the silicone sealant approximately 1/8″ thick. It dries fairly quickly (setting up within a half hour), so only apply it to a small area if you like to work slowly.
You can leave the silicone sealant visible between beads for an opaque background or apply background beads. I used some clear florist vase beads.
Allow to dry for several hours (read info on silicone sealant container). When dry, shake the glass to dislodge any loose beads. Place your masterpiece in the picture frame and display it.
- Gather your supplies.
- Test out designs until you find something you like. Photograph it for reference while you’re working.
- Use a Sharpie marker to draw a line around the inner edge of the frame to mark your work area.
- Apply silicone sealant to the glass. How thick you need it depends on how thick your beads or glass pieces are. You need it thick enough that they will be snugly secured in the sealant. I applied it about 1/8″ thick for my beads.
- When all beads are applied, leave project to dry for amount of time recommended on the sealant label.
- When completely dry, shake the glass to dislodge any loose beads.
- Place in frame. If your frame doesn’t have clips, apply sealant around the edges at the back of the frame to hold the glass in place (and allow to dry).
There are many possible variations to this idea—follow your own creative muse and enjoy!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛