Faking the Funk: Adding Stained Glass to Your Windows

Faking the Funk: Adding Stained Glass to Your Windows

Grace Shu
Feb 26, 2009

When it comes to the popularity of stained glass in windows, it seems like it's much more common in San Francisco or Chicago homes. In fact, the only place we can think of in LA that has an abundance of beautiful stained glass windows is in Pasadena's own Bungalow Heaven neighborhood which is lined with gorgeous Craftsman homes, most of them restored to their former glory. However, if you're lucky enough to live in an apartment that's full of character and charm and you're trying to come up with a new way to introduce some color into your home, you could go out on a limb and try your hand at creating faux stained glass...

This "stained" glass window echoes the same simplicity as a Frank Lloyd Wright design, but it's really just a vinyl sticker cut to fit each pane.

There are a few ways to do it:

Option 1: Go to your nearest crafts store and buy glass paint. This gives you some flexibility create your own design...Depending on how intricate and how large the surface area of the glass is, it can get pricey. If you rent your place, it might be best to get a piece of glass to work on and then hang in the window. On a personal note, I recall having done this project when I was a kid (it fell somewhere between the Garfield shrinky-dinks and the baking plastic jewelry in the oven); and the effect wasn't as cheesy as it may sound. In fact, had I not created an homage to a Lisa Frank winged unicorn, this endearing craft project circa 1985 might still be hanging in my window. Sure, it won't look like the real deal; but it's not a bad fake.

Option 2: Browse a few vinyl sticker options. like the one pictured above. There are ready-made faux stained glass designs all over the internet, ranging from floral patterns to full-on landscapes of wolves howling at the moon. We particularly like the Textured Glass sidelight film available at Window Film World. (Also, it's not a bad online shop if you're looking for privacy film).

Option 3: If you're a fan of the real deal, consider getting a window panel. We love LOVE love these stained glass panels inspired by the Prairie School and the Arts and Crafts movement over at Maclin Studio. Each panel is hand crafted and measure about 20" x 16" with prices in the $100-$150 range.

[ Photos from Living Etc. and Dan Manley's Flickr ]

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