Sharpie Art - How to Make a "Stained Glass" Window
Sharpie Crafts Make Great Projects
Doing craft projects with Sharpies promises to be a colorful adventure. Over the years, I’ve created various gifts with Sharpies, but most I have given away.
After doing an abstract painted flowers project, I still had more windows with which to do projects. I’d collected a few windows from ads on Craigslist thinking I would decorate them and put them around the garden, patio and even inside my home.
I was staring at the next window, wondering if I should paint it or if I should try something else. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I wanted to make a “stained glass” of sorts. I didn’t have any stained glass materials, but…I did have Sharpies!
I have lots of Sharpie markers – they’re great for creating handmade cards, labeling, and other craft projects. Having seen how they write on smooth surfaces, I wanted to try my hand at making a “stained glass” with a Sharpie.
Creating a Sharpie Craft
If you want to replicate this project, I’m here to tell you that minimal artistic skill is required. Basically, you’re drawing lines and more lines and coloring them in.
The work involved is more about cleaning and taking the time to color in the glass. You’ll need to devote at least an afternoon to this project.
What You’ll Need:
- An old window
- Glass cleaner
- Palette knife
- Razor blade
- Paper towels
- Water for rinsing
- Acrylic craft paint (I used white)
- Sharpie markers – in the colors of your choice – I used black, dark pink, purple, blue and green
- Depending on the shape the window is in, you may need to prep the frame by sanding and scraping the old paint off. With the particular window I used, I found that the old paint was still intact and I didn’t need to scrape it.
- You do need to clean the window, however. I recommend doing this outside, especially if the window is large. I find it best to take a 1:1 ratio of water to distilled white vinegar and spray onto the glass and wood. Wipe clean with a paper towel and rinse with a hose. Let dry. If you need to, go over the glass with a palette knife or even better, a razor blade to get any stray marks or debris off the glass. Clean again, if necessary.
- Once the window is dry, you can then paint the frame. I took my white acrylic craft paint and applied two coats of paint, then I let it dry.
- As the paint was drying, I wanted to figure out what I was going to design for the glass. At first, I wanted to do abstract lines and dots. However, I had seen photos of different kinds of op-art and I decided to go with that.
To Do the Op-Art
- For the first panel of glass, take a black marker and draw wavy lines from top to bottom. Then draw arcs that point upward in one direction until they get to about the middle, and then change direction.
- For the next panel, I changed directions with the wavy lines and drew them horizontally. I drew in arcs going in one direction and then changing direction at about the middle.
- I continued to do this, alternating between vertical and horizontal for all the panes of glass.
- Once I finished making all the lines, I began to color in the first panel. Using two colors - blue and green - I began to color in the shapes I created. I colored in each separate wavy line, alternating between blue and green. Each column was its own color, and I skipped to every other arc that I made, so that I could create a striped effect. With the blue, I did color in one column to make it solid as a design tool.
- I then moved to the next pane of glass, where the lines were horizontal. I used the pink and purple here, and repeated the process that I used for the first pane of glass. I did not create a solid line; I decided to only do that with the blue.
- When I finished, I got a pair of eye hooks and screwed them into the top of the window frame. I then attached galvanized steel wire so that I could hang my project.
Do you like to draw with sharpies?
A couple notes about Sharpies:
Once you have drawn on the glass, if you mess up or otherwise don’t like the design, you can spray on some of the vinegar/water solution and start over. If it dries completely, though, you’ll want to use rubbing alcohol to wipe off the glass.
Some Sharpie colors are more “fluid” than others. The green that I used really seemed to create a “liquid” effect, making it look more stained-glass-like. The other colors didn’t do this as much.
Allow for minor mistakes. The imperfections you create with your hands add to the character of your work. Don’t worry if your color isn’t perfectly inside the lines you made. Those lines are arbitrary anyway.
Sharpies were invented in 1964. Since then, many types of Sharpies are now on the market. You can get really big and thick Sharpies, or you can get very fine-tipped markers. They come in an array of colors, shapes and for many different types of uses.
- Old windows are pretty easy to find on Craigslist or you might have one lying around.
- Sharpies are available at office supply stores, on eBay, and sometimes in the grocery store.
- Acrylic paint, eye-hooks, and galvanized steel wire are easy to find at craft supply stores.
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Cynthia Calhoun