Faux Stained Glass Valentines with Black Glue
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How to Make Faux Stained Glass Valentines with Black Glue


Learn how to make faux stained glass valentines with black glue and watercolors.

Faux Stained Glass Valentines

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 a video showing the Black Glue Stained Glass Activity in action! If you want to see how we used this process to make Valentines, keep scrolling for step-by-step instructions.

Black Glue Faux Stained Glass Valentines

How to Make Faux Stained Glass Valentines 

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How to Make Black Glue for Faux Stained Glass


  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. Squeeze Black Glue Designs on Paper

  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. Designs in black glue for faux stained glass valentine

  3. 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.
    Black Glue Hearts Drying on the Floor

  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 Watercolor painting faux stained glass valentine

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!

Faux Stained Glass Valentines with Black Glue

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 ::

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.

30 Valentine Crafts and Activities for Kids

Want more ideas? Click here for 30 Valentine Crafts and Activities for Kids (with a FREE printable list!)

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How to Make Faux Stained Glass Valentines

How to Make Faux Stained Glass Valentines with Black Glue


  • Reply
    February 3, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Hi Jean, thank you for the great idea! Do you think black tempura paint would work?

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      February 4, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Maybe, Dena! I haven’t done this with tempera paint, but it would be worth a try! I think the important thing is to dye the glue. It might work slightly differently (tempera takes longer to dry and dries flat instead of dimensional as acrylic can) but I don’t know that it would make that big of a difference. If you try it, will you let me know how it works for you? Thanks! -Jean

      • Reply
        February 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm

        Hi Jean, it works!! I did the half and half mixture in the bottle and it came out great! Drying time was only about a few hours……I wasn’t watching closely. Depending on how thick the glue was squeezed was how flat it came out and I don’t have the other to compare to but so happy as I have lots of black tempura paint. As I was doing it I was thinking that would be a great post, 10 ways to use black tempura paint (or something). Not that you need any ideas! Thanks again!!

        • Reply
          Jean Van't Hul
          February 9, 2016 at 4:58 am

          Awesome!! That’s wonderful, Dena! Now I want to try it… :) It sounds like you used as much paint as glue, right?

          • Dena
            February 10, 2016 at 2:40 pm

            I did. But I’d like to add a couple of things now that we have painted several of them. In a couple of spots where the black glue was really clumpy, if too much water color painted over it, then the glue softened up a bit; this was only temporary and very minor. I don’t know if this happens with the acrylic paint since it’s permanent. Also, the water color paper buckled but was fixed with a stack of books.

  • Reply
    Nina Lewis
    February 10, 2016 at 12:25 am

    I love this idea! I have pinned this so that I can do this with my grandkids. I think that they would have loads of fun doing this activity!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      February 10, 2016 at 5:02 am

      Wonderful, Nina! Hope you and your grandkids enjoy it!

  • Reply
    February 10, 2016 at 6:16 am

    We need to do this again – the kids always love this! Thanks for the reminder.

    What kind of art display line is that in your studio?

  • Reply
    February 10, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Do you know which grade level is this most appropriate for?

  • Reply
    January 26, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    THank you so much for this project. I’m going to do this with my kids today. Your work is appreciated. ?

  • Reply
    February 6, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Can you use tempera paint instead of acrylic?

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      February 12, 2018 at 4:25 am

      It would probably work fine, Norene. Acrylic is waterproof and tempera will dissolve in water, so using the wet watercolor paint next to the black glue lines might have some effect on the art if you use tempera paint.

  • Reply
    Molly Lockwood
    February 4, 2019 at 6:30 am

    I used half a bottle of glue, a generous squeeze of black acrylic paint, and a quick spoonful of water, and although the outlines were great and thick, they are STILL not dry after 15 hours!! Ah! I’ll keep waiting patiently. :)

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