Make a Faux Tiffany Lamp From a Thrift Store Find!

Susan Myers
by Susan Myers
7 Materials
Create a faux tiffany lamp! A great way to revamp a thrift store lamp and create awesomeness using a faux stained glass method created with school glue and acrylic paint.
While perusing thrift stores during our trip to Gatlinburg, my sister-in-law pointed out a brass lamp to me. Brass with a glass shade, to be exact. A glass shade that can be taken apart.
To the average person, this might look like a piece of 80’s furniture that needs to be put firmly in the back of the attic, but to me, I see visions of loveliness. I see awesome potential. I see something amazing. I see a Tiffany lamp!
I began by taking the lamp apart, very carefully putting the glass pieces aside. I then spray painted all the brass with matte black spray paint. Sure looks better already!
I washed all the glass pieces.
I then took one of the glass pieces and drew an outline around it on a piece of paper in order to create my pattern. Feeling spring-like, I decided to draw in flowers, and leaves and deep blue skies. I wanted lots of color in this one.
I took my bottle of white glue and dumped just a small bit out so that I would have room to add color to it. I then added about a teaspoon of black acrylic paint and stirred it up with a wooden dowel. Add enough black paint to make a solid color. You will be surprised, but it doesn't take a ton of paint to change your white glue to black. Then put the nozzle back on. The glue is now ready for the next step.
I placed each piece of glass over my pattern and using the glue bottle of black glue, traced the design onto the glass. This will need to dry overnight. If you have shaky hands or the glue runs together where it shouldn’t, don’t worry; all can be fixed after the glue dries.

Once the glue has dried, take a craft knife and clean up any errors or shakiness in the lines. Simply cut where you want it cleaned up, and peel the glue up.
Mix your colors one at a time. I used a small muffin tin to contain it. Add about 2 teaspoons of clear glue to about 5 or 6 drops of acrylic paint. It doesn’t take a ton of paint to color the glue. Using a paintbrush, generously add the colored glue to where you want it, making sure to get all the way to the edges of your black glue lines.
I found it helped to periodically hold it up to the light to be sure I didn’t miss spots. Use a generous hand with the colored glue. Once all the areas are filled in, allow it to dry for about an hour.
Then I assembled the lamp. And there you go! A poor man’s Tiffany Lamp! Now I just have to find a place for it.
For more details on the process and some free patterns, be sure to check out the link below!
Susan Myers
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 23 questions
  • Brandy Farmer Brandy Farmer on Jul 16, 2018

    That looks like a touch lamp? Did the paint affect the conductivity?

  • Conscientious crafter Conscientious crafter on Dec 24, 2018

    Does it smell when it gets hot?

  • Doreen Wood Doreen Wood on Dec 25, 2018

    does it actually work as a lamp? the paint looks quite dark. does it still light the room through the paint?

Join the conversation
2 of 84 comments
  • Sherri55 Sherri55 on Dec 30, 2018

    So pretty! I did the sidelights and transom window surrounding my front door with Gallery Glass 16 yrs ago. It still looks great. Many compliments on it. I don’t think that product is still available though. I wanted to make a painted privacy panel look like stained glass and you have just solved my problem with your homemade paint! What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Jean Proctor Jean Proctor on Feb 02, 2019

      Galaxy glass is still available, I've seen it at Hobby Lobby...

  • Heather Green Heather Green on Oct 07, 2020

    Awesome!!! I’ve seen the hanging chandelier version of this lamp (inA LOT of thrift stores!!!) and have often wondered what I could do with them. You’rea genus! Next time I see one I’m snagging it! (Or two!) This would be an amazing gift!!