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Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, and for good reason. They’re a proven way to calm the hell down, which is a total necessity when you’re planning a wedding. This DIY takes that coloring book idea, crosses it with some good old fashioned paint by numbers, then at the end you have a gorgeous display-worthy piece that will not only be a beautiful addition to your wedding decor, but look great in your home long after you’re unpacked from the honeymoon!
On the long list of things I love to DIY, cutting glass and soldering it together never made it to the list. It’s a shame because I’ve loved the look of stained glass for about as long as I could remember. The huge, colored windows were a big factor in choosing my wedding venue and I tend to gawk any time I pass a church or old home, so I was super excited to discover a way to recreate the look easily and relatively quickly.
Vitrail is the magic potion that makes this a reality and while it’s tucked away with some of the more advanced supplies at your local art store, it’s surprisingly easy to use. You can find starter kits in six and 12 colors; I recommend 12 to get all of your basic colors plus a few extra (including gold!). The colors are extremely easy to mix to get any specific in-between shades you want. You only need a few other supplies to get this project going, so let’s take a look!
Start with a glass piece that curves in no more than one direction. This can be a cube, cylinder (my piece for this project) or a flat plane of glass. Grab a template. This can be something you freehand draw or download from the internet (just Google “stained glass template” for a huge selection ranging from easy-peasy to intimidatingly intricate). You can even borrow a page from one of your adult coloring books! Grab a roll of tape, a paint brush or two, an oil-based solvent (like mineral spirits) to clean your brushes, a few disposable cups if you want to mix colors, a tube of cerne relief outliner, a pair of protective gloves and you’re ready to go.
Place your template inside of your glass and secure it with a couple pieces of tape. This gives you something to trace if freehand drawing isn’t your cup of tea.
Take the tube of cerne relief outliner and snip the tip close to the end. This will give you a fine line to outline your work. Start tracing the lines on your template with the outliner. It easily wipes off if you make a mistake, so don’t worry if you didn’t get it perfect. If you plan to paint a large portion of the glass, go in stages. The outliner will be dry to the touch in about 10 minutes, which keeps you from dragging your hand through wet paint (I totally made that mistake!). Once you’ve outlined your whole template, set it aside and catch up on whatever you’re binge watching for an episode or start outlining a new piece. About a half an hour will give everything time to completely dry.
Start painting just like you’d color in a page. Use your brush to apply a very thin coat of vitrail, filling in each of the spaces as you go. The paint is translucent, so if you’re using a dark color outliner, you won’t be able to tell if you got outside the lines a little. Keeping the coat thin will keep it from running down the side of your vase.
If you want to mix colors, use your brush to add a few drops of each to a disposable cup and swirl together. It’s that easy. Adding a bit of gold will give you a pretty shimmer, if you like. Once you’ve painted the project, let it sit overnight to fully dry. Clean your brushes well with a solvent, otherwise the vitrail will dry and the brushes go in the trash.
Touch up any thin spots or colors you think need a second coat. The more vitrail you add, the bolder and brighter your colors will look. When the paint is dry, you’ll have some smooth texture which adds to that genuine stained glass look!
Let any touch ups completely dry, and that’s it! You’ve got a super gorge, waterproof piece that will look lovely with fresh flowers or just housing a candle or LED light (especially housing a candle or LED light)!
Now it’s up to you to figure out how to use your new skill. Stained glass votive holders that double as table numbers? A window pane that serves as a bar menu?