The kids and I made faux stained glass Valentine’s this past week with black glue and watercolors.
I did a similar one with Maia when she was younger, preschool age I think, and then kind of forgot about the whole idea. It was one of those ideas that we found online, tried once, and it was successful, but then for some reason I checked it off in my head as “done” and we never revisited it, even though there are so many different ways to approach it.
I know that we should revisit art techniques and activities over time for many reasons, and yet I don’t always do it. I always seem to get shiny object syndrome and start thinking about the next cool art idea…
But this time, we did actually revisit the faux stained glass technique and I’m so glad we did. We all had fun with it!
The basic idea is to mix white school-type glue with enough black acrylic paint to color it. Squeeze out a glue design onto heavy paper and let it dry, then paint with watercolor paints.
The black glue acts as the “lead” in the stained glass and keeps the paint colors separate in the finished artwork.
Here’s how to do this activity, with step by step photos and instructions…
Faux Stained Glass Valentine’s
- Half-empty bottle of Elmer’s white glue (or similar… PVA works, too)
- Black acrylic paint
- Watercolor paper (or cardstock or poster board or blank note cards)
- liquid watercolor paints
First, make your black glue. Open the top of your half-empty bottle of white glue.* Add a good squeeze of black acrylic paint to the bottle and, if you’re slightly unsure of how well they will mix together, add a touch of water, too. If you have a more liquid-y craft acrylic paint, skip the water. Screw the top of the glue bottle back on tightly and shake well to mix.
*A note on glues :: We used Elmer’s white school glue. I think you could easily use other brands and other white glues. For those of you in the UK, I hear that PVA is what you want to use.
Next, squeeze out a glue design onto watercolor paper.
You can do this with any sort of image, scene, or abstract art. We used the technique to create hearts for Valentine’s Day.
Let dry completely. Overnight worked for us. The black glue will flatten somewhat as it dries and that’s okay.
Finally, paint your heart art or other glue design with watercolor paints. You can use either watercolor cakes in tins*, as we did, or liquid watercolor paints.
*Since I always get asked what kind of watercolor paints we are using, here are the three different brands we had on the table for this project ::
- Lyra Watercolor Paints (my fave out of these three; pictured below)
- Jolly Watercolor Paint Box
- Loew-Cornell Simply Art Watercolor Cakes
The black glue looks like the lead in real stained glass windows and also helps to keep the colors separate in the finished painting. Neat, huh? I especially like how these scribble art hearts look!
Ready to try this? You probably have everything you need, already, except perhaps the black acrylic paint which you can pick up at the craft store.
Here are a couple of posts on using the black glue for more than just Valentine’s ::
- Black Glue and Watercolor Resist (on Pink and Green Mama)
- Stained Glass on Paper (on That Artist Woman)
And if you want some more stained glass art ideas, here’s a post on 16 Faux Stained Glass Crafts for Kids on Buggy and Buddy
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