Alcohol Ink Stained Glass

16 Materials
1 Day

Traditional stained glass panels are gorgeous but putting them together requires a diamond bit grinder and several specialty tools. Fake the look with some quilting tape and rubbing alcohol.
You’ll need: (proceeds from the affiliate links on my blog are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations)* Glass cleaner* Paper towels* 1/4" thick Quilter's Tape* Razor blade* Glazier Points* 91% or higher rubbing alcohol* Plyers* Three 2-oz bottles with lids* 3 permanent colored markers and one black marker* Ruler or other straightedge* Picture frame with glass* Aluminum foil* A can or two (you can get these from your pantry* Safety glasses* Level* Long multipurpose lighter
***Please don’t use a small standard lighter for this project.
First, take the three colored markers apart with plyers and remove the inner ink.
Use the razor blade to slice the protective outer plastic so the inside is exposed.
Place the marker ink in a plastic bottle then fill it about 3 quarters full with the rubbing alcohol. I’m making only three colors for this project as I found that more than three didn’t give me the impact I was going for and just mixed together.
Allow the inks to sit for a day and soak.

Next, remove the glass from the frame and clean it off. Bailey’s version of “clean” leaves streaks so I’m using glass cleaner and paper towels.
Draw a pattern on one side of the glass with the black marker and ruler. I’m creating a geometric pattern with only straight lines as this will be much easier to construct with the tape.
On the other side, go over your marker lines with the quilter's tape. These will be your faux lead lines. Press the tape down very firmly with your fingers once you have it in place. You don’t want any ink to bleed underneath.
Once you have all of your 'lead lines' covered with quilter's tape, flip the glass back over and remove all of the marker with the glass cleaner.

Find a fire safe setting – an open spot outdoors or inside a large fireplace – please use common sense here and don’t do this step on the stove or on the kitchen table. I’m just sayin'. I’m using my fireplace as my glass will fit inside.
Prep the area underneath where your glass will sit to catch any extra ink that may drip off of the sides. I’m lining the area with aluminum foil.

Prop the glass over the foil with a can or two. Use the level to ensure the glass is straight as this will keep the ink on the surface.
Once level, drip your inks all over the surface of the glass in random patterns.
With your safety glasses on and all hair, fur and filmy sleeves pulled back, stand clear and use the long lighter to ignite the surface of the glass.
I have experience in glass fusing so I was initially concerned that the glass would crack once I lit the alcohol. However, the glass doesn’t get hot enough as the alcohol burns off quickly. It will be warm to the touch but not hot…and not hot enough for the glass to break.
Allow the alcohol to burn off and the glass to cool for a bit – about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, repeat the process for a second and third time and allow the glass to fully cool. Remove the tape to reveal your faux lead lines. If any tape residue remains, use the razor blade or a glass cleaner soaked cotton swab to carefully work it off.
Avoid touching any ink areas as the cleaner will take off the color.
Return the glass to its frame and secure in place with a few glazier points on each of the four sides.
If the points are hard to push in, use a flat blade screw driver to drive them in.
Display in front of a window for a colorful, light-catching focal point!
Watch the easy-to-follow video tutorial here:
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Lori Holcomb
    on Feb 11, 2020

    Why quilters tape instead of painters tape...? Does it resist the alcohol better?

    • OnTheFly...DIY
      on Feb 11, 2020

      I use the quilter's tape because the 1/4" size is readily available in my area (Hobby Lobby). No one carries the 1/4" painters tape locally, even the large stores like Lowes or Home Depot.

      I can get 1/4" painters tape online (Amazon) but it's significantly more expensive. I prefer to offer project ideas that aren't crazy expensive to people who are trying to recreate them. The quilter's tape does the same thing but it's a cheaper option. You could totally use the 1/4" painters tape but I'd hate for you to spend more money on materials than you have to :)

  • Michelle Anderson
    on Feb 20, 2020

    Can anything be done with old doilies?

  • Sandy
    on Feb 24, 2020

    Can you use regular “Alcohol Inks” instead of making your own?

Join the conversation

2 of 16 comments
  • Leana Foss
    on Feb 11, 2020

    I prefer to use glass paints/ stain and acrylic leading this makes for a much safer realistic looking project

  • Gary Oldman
    on Feb 20, 2020

    So good.. really nice..

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