Nerdy Faux Stained Glass: Mario & Yoda

 In DIY Projects
I live in an apartment that is part of what use to be an old mansion. As a result, my apartment is filled with charming detail, including a column fireplace and original stained glass windows. It was from these rich accents that inspiration was sparked!….
Love the look of stained glass, but can’t afford it? Want to add a stained glass piece to your decor, but can’t find that perfectly nerdy piece to fit in? Problem solved today! Below I will share with you a tutorial that is fun, easy, and decently inexpensive for creating your own geeky fake stained glass masterpieces that are great looking!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

craft liquid lead and instant lead lines


  • Gallery Glass paints (Purchase the 31 color value paint set like I did, or plan out your design and the needed colors 1st, then buy individual colored bottles of paint)
  • Instant lead lines and/or liquid lead (I used both products)
  • Window surface, glass pane, or sheet of plastic to be used as your painting canvas.
  • Toothpick
  • Paper towels

outlining a dragin with liquid lead paint

  • To find an image- either draw your own or search on Google. Follow your search subject with the word ‘outline’ or ‘coloring page’ to get results that are great for this project. Images with less detail will work best.
  • Google ‘stained glass’ to get a feel for the paned glass look, including border designs & backgrounds.
  • The leading and paint is removable from glass surfaces. If you mess up, you can always wipe or peel away a particular section and redo it. The paints are NOT removable from plastic though.
  • Feel free to try different techniques -mix the paints to generate different colors or swirl them together (without fully blending) to get different textures and patterns.
  • Do allow your liquid leading to fully dry (naturally -no hair dryers) before painting in the color.
  • Try to smooth out your colored paint for even layers (something I was bad about doing 😉 ). If you want darker layers, or feel your initial layer was too light/spotty, go ahead and paint a second coat once the first is dry.

dragon template for stained glass
Some tips before starting:

  • I would recommend a canvas surface that is 8×10 inches or larger. Smaller can be done, but this increases the skill level/patience needed because details become very fine and close together at smaller scales. (you can see that I abandon my 8×10 sized dragon image because the lined details were too close together for me to make it look good)
  • Take your time and feel free to practice a little first. The liquid lead doesn’t have the thinnest application tip, so it’ll take some time getting use to the pressure and speed you’ll need to use when laying lines down. I found I was most steady when holding the bottle with both hands, and both forearms resting on the table. The instant lead lines can be cut with scissors or a razor blade for finer detailing.


1. Print or draw out your design to scale.
2. Clean your canvas surface so it’s free of dirt and oils.
3. Tape your canvas on top of the design to prevent shifting when tracing.
using craft liquid lead to outline super mario
4. Using yourinstant lead lines and/or liquid lead, trace the image outline. If using instant lead strips, add a drop of liquid lead to all joints to more accurately simulate real stained glass. Allow to fully dry.
 creating a super mario stained glass paine
Outline of Yoda ready for stained glass paint
5. Start filling sections in using your colored gallery paint. Be sure to push the paint against all lead edges. Pop any bubbles that appear using a toothpick. Try to make the paint as smooth and even as possible. It’s best to go one cell section at a time rather than squirting or dabbing paint into numerous cells all at once. Allow to dry.
 using color stained glass paint to fill in the mario outline

adding stained glass paint to Yoda

6. Add a second layer of paint if desired. (For the textured crystal clear paint around Yoda, I heavily applied and swirled the paint, then dabbed/tapped the paint with my fingertips.)
 wet stained glass paint

creating swirly clear stained glass effect

7. If using a framed pane of glass or plastic, hot glue the pane into the frame.
8. Lean on a ledge or hang using a chain or suction cup and enjoy your geeky work of art.
Mario and Yoda stained glass
Low Budget Version-
Bottle of white school glue
Bottle of clear school glue
Acrylic paint
Clear acrylic spray
(Follow above instructions except for these changes)
  • Whereas the Gallery Glass paint will peel off glass, this method is a little more permanent. To be on the safe side, please do not directly apply to window or mirror surfaces.
  • Prep your glass surface by coating it with the clear acrylic spray (after cleansing it) to create an adhesive for the glue and acrylic.
  • Mix a teaspoon of black acrylic paint with your white glue. Stir thoroughly. This will serve as your liquid lead.
  • Pour your clear glue into individual cups (or trays of a muffin tin) and add the colored acrylic paint. 2-3 drops of paint per tablespoon of glue is a good ratio. This will serve as your colored gallery glass paint.

What do you guys think? Questions? Did you make your own faux stained glass? Tell me how it turned out in the comments below!




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Showing 4 comments
  • GreenBryn

    I am ALWAYS looking for more ways to incorporate geeky touches into my life. Thanks you so much for this tutorial – as soon as I can decide on an image (which might take a while) and get the money together, I’m so excited to try this!!!

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)

      Glad you like the tutorial GreenBryn; the project is a lot of fun! Deciding on an image was one of my biggest dilemmas too 🙂

  • Kelsey

    That is such a great idea!

    • Jessica (aka The Nifty Nerd)

      Thanks Kelsey! It was a really fun & relaxing project to make.

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