DIY Stained Glass Terrarium Part. 01

     I love the look of stained glass, and typically crazy me would probably try and go out and buy all the equipment needed to create stained glass. I know I do NOT need any more craft supplies or new hobbies. But when I do get an idea in my head and immediately try and execute it. I have had this wood terrarium sitting around empty after the ferns I put inside it died. (after I forgot to water it....and when I did the water leaked all over the floor). So I went out and got some stained glass paint! I had no idea how it would actually look, I didn't have very high expectations. But it turned out pretty amazing! Some of the colors like the more opaque, pearlescent colors don't look as good since you can see every brush stroke, but all in all it came out really well! This is only part one of the terrarium, the painting part, but next week I will be posting the planting portion. I think I am going to go for cactus this time. I've actually never been able to keep a fern alive for very long. Sigh.


Glass Paint kit (I got this on Amazon for about the same price at Michaels with a coupon!)

Glass Terrarium

Rubbing Alcohol

Q-tips. LOTS and LOTS of q-tips

Paper towels 

Print outs of designs, or paper to draw your own designs 

     I wanted to create a terrarium based on all my favorite things, cactus, mushrooms, aliens, fortune telling, moons etc. I wanted to keep this sort of simple but it didn't really end up that way. I traced each glass pane onto a piece of paper then drew my design and taped it to the inside. Next make sure to clean the glass with alcohol either on cotton balls or paper towels. This makes sure that the paint sticks. 

     Your kit should come with fake liquid lead made to look like the lead parts of stained glass. This is what you will use to outline everything. If you make a mistake, or it doesn't squeeze out evenly, you will need q-tips. I used a TON of q-tips. My suggestion is to try and apply even pressure all the way around. I wasn't sure how it would look, but it actually looks kind of like real lead. If your kit doesn't come with this bottle it can be purchased separately and in larger sizes but I found that I still had some left over after completing the whole terrarium.



     The leading has to dry overnight before you can paint the inside. It was really hard to hold myself back, after I had the outlines done I just wanted to see the final result. But I resisted, which was probably best anyway my back was so sore after hunching over this project all day. I worked for probably 6 hours straight. It was so fun!

     After you let the outlines dry, its time to paint! I suggest you begin by using the stick to drop a few big dots of paint in close proximity to each other and swirl them into each other. Push from the middle towards the sides otherwise you might end up with the paint overflowing out of the lines. If you have smaller pieces of leading like I did with the spines on the cactus, try and work around them. If you happen to get paint on them, which you will, just wet a q-tip and gently wipe it off. Trust me when I say you will use a lot of q-tips. The fun part about this whole process is there are really no strict instructions. You will get the hang of it, and into a groove after the first 10 minutes. 

     The kit comes with translucent colors, a few pearlescent and one glitter. The pearl colors require a little more finesse when moving the paint around because even when its dry you can see the smudges and ripples. Its better to stick with small areas with the pearlescent paint. I used it on the small moons around the bottom, but on the larger triple looks sloppy. All the other colors dry mostly translucent and smooth. Try to make the coat quite thin. They give you a plastic stick to push the paint around which I found odd and very time consuming but it was quite meditative to just work on this, and push paint around with a tiny stick. 

      After finishing this piece, I would suggest you don't paint all the way around the terrarium. In hindsight I would have left the front panel blank, or with a small design that didn't take up the whole panel. Its going to be a little hard to see inside, but I feel like I could almost use this as a lantern and put candles inside. THAT would be amazing. But if you mess up, the paint is super easy to remove. I would say that this paint is kind of like puffy paint. It peels right off. If there is a color you hate just peel it right off. But be careful if its stuck to the leading, you will have to use an x-acto knife to separate it from the leading so you don't peel the whole design off, unless thats your intention of course!

     In the end, I think my favorite part was the palm readers hand. It was just simple. The clear paint I think was the best. It looks the most realistic and it allows you to see pretty much right through. I might change it later on, but I want to see how the plants look like inside first. If you like this DIY or end up making it, I would love to see photos! Stay tuned for next week where I will show you how to plant the terrarium!