DIY Faux Stained Glass Bottles

How to make faux stained glass (via How to make faux stained glass (via 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. 

Cactus garden from faux stained glass (via 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. 🙂

Supplies for faux stained glassSupplies: 
-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. 

How to (faux) stain glass 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. 

How to (faux) stain glassStep 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.

Cactus garden from faux stained glass (via Once dry you can display your handiwork or gift to a friend. Enjoy your new faux stained glass pieces! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • I love your bottles! I have been painting on wine bottles for a few years but just came across yours with the leaded glass look.
    I have to make one of these for my daughter to take to a friend in Arizona but am having a Problem using the lead. It comes out in globs when I’ve been practicing.. Do you have any suggestions? Can it be thinned down? Thanks for sharing.

  • Can you tell me what colors you used? I found the brand on Amazon but can’t make out the color numbers in the photos. Thanks!

  • this is really cool, love the cactus design. I actually did an article on this, would you mind reading it? Thanks:)

  • These are so adorable! I wouldn’t have thought they’d be this easy to make!
    Thanks for sharing such a lovely DIY 🙂

    The Everyday Life of Rachel

  • Great Idea lady’s! I’m a new blogger and a floral designer for Hobby Lobby. I will have to share this one with our customers!

  • this is so cute!!! love the idea and love the lights! where did you get them?

  • These are so stinking cute! I love this idea, cacti and all. Will likely be add a few to our home! Thanks for sharing!

  • SO DARN CUTE!!! This is super cute and I’m obsessed with cacti! Looks like I need to go get some gallery glass 😉 LOVE this!!!!

    xo, Brittany

  • Oh yes! I absolutely love the lights, such an amazing DIY!

  • OMG! This is such a cute idea! You styled them perfectly too – they look so cute by the window!

    xx, mel

  • Love this, currently working on cactus themed revamp of my sons room these will look great

  • This is so cute!! Just wanted to send a tip for the bottles over — if you’re buying them new there are nice ones for $1 in the “spot” at Target, I actually picked some up yesterday!!

  • They look so pretty with the fairy lights!!! xx

    VanessaVonJames | Fashion Blog

  • I love “painting” with Gallery Glass. They also offer the leading in strips and other pre-made shapes to make it even easier to create with it.

  • Love this! It’s such a cute idea! I’ve never used those paints before, but now I can’t wait to try them!


  • These are gorgeous! I love the different shades of green that you used for the cacti.

    Monica // Mocha and Moccasins

  • How easy and fun, I love this!

    <3 Haley @

  • Awesome tip! I’ll have to try that—sounds really easy.


  • Yes the liquid leading is pretty easy to use and allows for complete flexibility with your designs so I sort of love it. Of course, it doesn’t look quite as legit as real stain glass, but it’s not too shabby if you ask me. 🙂 I just love how my bottles turned out and I’m already dreaming up other faux stained glass ideas as I really want to make some gifts next.


  • Yes-wine bottles are perfect, especially with the clear glass. If you use any green glass bottles you’ll have to tell me how it goes as I’m curious how it would effect most colors.


  • Aren’t those marble ring dishes fun?! Just love all the colors you get to play with.


  • I’m the same—total cactus sucker over here. 🙂


  • These look so cute!!

    I have a tip for this, maybe somebody will like it: if you can’t find that kind of paint, you can use regular paint mixed with a bit of glue (the regular white glue you use for paper). Works wonders and the end result is pretty (I’ve done both and they do look different, the mix I mention has a matte finish, but I like them both).

  • What a fun project! It’s the perfect little forever alive cactus garden. 😉

  • These are adorable!! I especially love how you stringed the lights through them! XX

  • This is a lovely DIY – I had no idea liquid leading even existed. Definitely on the to do list now! xx

  • These are so cute! Love them with the lights!


  • So darn cute! I love the lights strung throughout! Such a sweet idea!

  • Eeeek! I love this! I’m a sucker for anything cacti-related. I’m going to make this my next DIY project for our home.

    Thanks for the idea!


  • Love this!! Been saving up wine bottles and now I’ve found the perfect project for them! Thank you so much as always!
    x Bex

  • Great idea! Love how beautiful they look with the fairy lights inside them too, would make a brilliant christmas themed display. Bookmarked! xx

  • This is super cute! I did you marble ring dishes for my birthday party this year – this might be next year’s activity!

    Warm Regards,

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