Learn how to make faux stained glass valentines with black glue and watercolors.
The kids and I made faux stained glass valentines this past week with black glue and watercolors.
Maia and I did a similar project when she was around preschool age, I think. Then I kind of forgot about the whole idea.
It was one of those ideas that we found online and only tried once, despite it being successful. 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 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 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.
How to Make Faux Stained Glass Valentines
- Half-empty bottle of Elmer’s white glue (or similar… PVA works, too)
- Black Acrylic Paint
- Watercolor paper (or blank note cards)
- Lyra Watercolor Paints
1. Make black glue
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.
2. Create design
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.
3. Let glue dry
Allow glue to dry completely. Overnight worked for us. The black glue will flatten somewhat as it dries and that’s okay.
4. Paint with watercolors
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 Paints
- 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.
More Faux Stained Glass Art Ideas
Here are a couple of posts on using the black glue for more than just valentines ::
- 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.
Want more ideas? Click here for 30 Valentine Crafts and Activities for Kids (with a FREE printable list!)
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