Although I’ve mainly been posting about the potagère I’ve had some projects bubbling away in the background and I want to share this one with you today.
I’ve posted some of the stained glass doors that I love here, but as I said in my post about our house front it’s uniform, drab exterior was one of the down sides of our otherwise wonderful home. I’ve racked my brains to make it more ‘us’, whilst not spending a fortune or opening up our house to the elements. Having rented in an old, Normandy farm house with traditional wood windows I treasure our double glazing!
So when I saw this video of a couple creating a stained glass window effect on their doors I bookmarked it for later.
I really would take a look at this, anything I’m writing here is an add on to this helpful video.
Find a design
First to my inspiration…….
I love it and as we have white, double doors it seemed to fit perfectly. I approached the project a bit differently than the couple in the video as I had a design to work from. There are loads more photos of stained glass on Pinterest as well as designs for you to copy.
I used one of these for my upper window…..
the centre is obviously intended for a house humber, but having just been to La Basilique du Sacré Cœur I’ve included that in the centre
Make a plan on plastic backed, squared paper
So, studying the door, I made a plan of it on squared paper. I used the kind of stuff you cover school books with as it has a plastic backing. This meant that I could just stick the plan to the other side of the front door to follow and if it did rain there was a little protection whilst I got it inside.
The first thing I did was to measure a piece of it so it matched the door’s window area. This meant I had something to scale.
I found if you look at the door design it naturally fall into thirds, so having marking off the exterior border, I divided my door plan similarly. You can see by the series of photographs I took below how I made my version section by section….
The circles were made by drawing round a glass pebble as I intended to use these in the final design. There were occasions when I made mistakes, but any time I did I just went over that area with a red line so I knew to ignore it.
The final design wasn’t perfect, and the end result I adapte a little, but it was a good place to start.
Put the design on the exterior window to follow
I just stuck mine to the outside window with masking tape and followed it internally.
Cut approximate lengths of ‘lead’ and follow the design
Unwrap a length of ‘lead’ to the size of whatever part of the design you’re copying and cut it with scissors. It pays to add a little extra on to ensure you have enough. Unpeel the backing then attach that strip to where you want to start applying. Using the tool given rub the strip really hard to get it to stick well. Continue removing the backing, following the design and rubbing until the entire length is applied. Be prepared for a sore arm! Once you reach the end, if you need to, trim the length to fit the design.
Whenever you come to an overlapping part press down and rub really hard to ensure it’s stuck before continuing.
For curved pieces consider cutting the tape in half
On the video she scores the tape prior to cutting, but I found I couldn’t cut it in half as it was difficult to be sure I wasn’t at an angle. So I just ended up cutting with a sharp pair of scissors and that worked fine.
With half the thickness the tape is more flexible and easier to create the line you want.
Stick glass beads to the window with waterproof gel glue
When you’re approaching a point when you need to apply a glass bead add a little glue to the bead base and some to the point you want to stick it. Continue working leaving the bead to the side so the glue becomes tacky, then stick the bead on. Keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t fall off, pushing it back in place when necessary.
When the design is finished use liquid lead for joints and surrounding beads
Just go over any joints with it to ensure it’s secured well, and encircle the beads too.
Take a step back and look at the design to ensure you’re satisfied
When I did this I wasn’t entirely satisfied; this is what I saw….
I suddenly realised the design I was copying was on a slimmer door and mine looked squatter. I chose to broke up each section by adding dividing details as you can see in the final section.
When the design is in place use glass paint to finish
My husband, who is never one to hide any scepticism of my decorating projects, kept coming and going throughout giving me funny looks. However when I took the plan down from the door and called him over he looked so pleasantly surprised it was comical!
Painting the glass with glass paint is relatively easy but be careful not to overload the area with the liquid as it will seep into the leaded areas and will show up on the other side. So lots of light layers.
I used these colours…..
I’d sometimes add layers of different, complimentary colours after one had dried. Sometimes I’d do this more towards the base or top or outer edge depending on the effect I wanted. Add several layers to get a more authentic look.
It looks good from the outside too, but I’ve got another little project currently being worked on so I’m going to post some pictures of that later. In the meantime here’s some close ups…..
I love the way it compliments the chandelier.
Some men came to deliver something to the house the other day. It was nearly done at that point, but I still had most of the colour to do, so it was evidently an ongoing job. He asked if I’d done it and seemed impressed. When the second man came over and they thought I was out of earshot they were discussing the window. In French one was pointing out the intricacy of the design in seemingly glowing terms and the other was saying he loved the colours. So between them and my husband I’ll take it as a job well done.
If you have any questions drop me a line and I’ll do my best to answer them.
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