Earlier this year Mandi created a really beautiful faux stained glass panel for her kitchen window. I just loved the effect and have wanted to create some kind of stained glass project myself ever since.
I decided what I would really love is some kind of collection. I finally landed on trying to create my own little cactus garden with glass bottles. I can place the bottles in window sills or fill them with little led lights for pretty effect. I plan to display these mainly as a centerpiece for my dinning room table. And the best part? I don’t ever have to water this little “garden”, which is perfect for me. 🙂
-Gallery Glass window color in 3 shades of green, yellow, and pink
–Gallery Glass Simulated Liquid Leading
-clean glass bottles (you can buy these or reuse ones you have)
-scrap paper and a marker
I purchased my bottles new (on sale), so that added to my overall cost which was $35 for this entire project. You could cut that down if you reuse bottles or glass objects you already have, or you could thrift them over time.
Step One: Draw your design onto scrap paper and cut them out. I created three different cactus shapes for mine. If you are comfortable free-handing, you may be able to skip this step. But I don’t feel that sure of my doodling skills. Once your design is cut out, tape it to the outside of your bottle and trace around the edges with a thin black marker. This is an outline for you to follow once you start using the liquid leading. If your bottles have a larger opening (like a mason jar), you could place your paper inside the glass and use that as a guide instead, but my bottles didn’t allow for this.
Step Two: Trace your design with the liquid leading. I found that placing a towel under my bottle as I worked helped me keep it steady (so that it wouldn’t roll). If you have some liquid leading go astray, you can easily wipe it off before it dries. The liquid leading I used is water-based (containing no lead), so you can easily wash the liquid off your hands if needed. Allow the liquid leading to fully dry (2-3 hours) before beginning the next step.
Step Three: Fill the inside of your design with the window color. You can use the tip of the bottle to easily push the liquid so it flows into place. For small corners you can use a toothpick to move the liquid too. I did a small “practice leaf” on a separate junk bottle before I began so I felt comfortable working with both these liquids as they flow a little differently than each other. But remember, if you make a mistake, you can easily wipe the mixture off before it dries and you’ll be OK. The window color is a bit fume-y, so be sure to work in a well-ventilated space. Allow the color to fully dry (another 2-3 hours) before moving or displaying your bottles.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.