Making Art Glass Windows With Recycled Plastic

What You'll Need
Recycled plastic sheet
Clear double-sided tape and/or scotch tape
Pattern or template
Self-adhesive leading strips
Liquid leading tube
Stained glass paint
Craft knife
Measuring tape
Glass paint sealant

Art glass windows add to the beauty of your home, but they are expensive. If you choose to make stained glass windows yourself, it can be a tricky project, requiring considerable skill. A more environmentally friendly means of creating the same look is by using recycled plastic. These are not only easier to construct, but also cheap, light, and eco-friendly. Although it seems almost contradictory to make art “glass” windows out of “plastic,” it is a perfect way to recycle and reuse plastic.

Step 1 – Preparation

Before you begin coloring your plastic art glass window, you should cut out the sheet to match the size of your window. Always cut the plastic a little smaller than the actual window; this comes in handy when you are mounting the plastic onto the window.

Step 2 – Making a Pattern

Once your plastic sheet is cut to size, then either stick on the pattern or trace it. If you have your design on a template, stick this template to the back of the plastic sheet (facing upwards) using scotch tape. You should be able to see your pattern through the plastic. If you prefer drawing freehand, you can make your design directly on the plastic sheet itself.

Step 3 – Tracing the Design

Trace the pattern on the plastic sheet using the self-adhesive leading strips. Ensure that the strips are firmly in place. Use the craft knife to cut the strips at the edges. Keep in mind that the strips will not adhere to the surface if you have already placed them once and are trying to reposition them. So, it is best to do this step very carefully. You could also use liquid leading; however, it will require a lot more precision. If you have used leading strips, squeeze out some liquid leading at the points where the strips meet. This is not compulsory, but it allows for a more authentic look. If you have used liquid leading either for the entire design or at the edges, then let the whole thing dry overnight.

Step 4 – Adding Color

Use stained glass paint to fill out each individual section. Apply the paint directly onto the plastic by squeezing the paint bottles. Keep in mind that stained glass paint does not need to be stirred or mixed with thinner. Also, shaking the paint bottle will result in more air bubbles. Remember to start coloring from the edges of the leading, but from the center of the plastic sheet. Keep a look out for air bubbles and use the toothpicks to pop them as and when they appear. Lastly, remember to let the paint dry completely (at least 24 hours) before you tilt or hold the plastic sheet upright.

Step 5 – Applying the Sealant

The last thing that you need to apply is the sealant. Sealants are useful because they protect your artwork from stains, dusts, and changes in the temperature and humidity.