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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Stained Glass Bottles and Jars

Here's an easy, fun way to keep glass bottles and jars out of the waste cycle that requires no specialized equipment or skills- just an artistic eye and a few bottles of inexpensive paint!  It's so safe and easy even a kid can do it, but adult artists will also enjoy the ability to recreate "old world" techniques with modern, water-based products! 

Gallery Glass paints are one of those "sleeper" products that sort of "undersells" itself on the shelf at the craft store, with a lot of the example creations looking sort of juvenile and "crafty".  Miss Ginger's taste is a bit more "traditional", so she prefers to use the products to reproduce the look of stained glass, but it just underscores the fact that this craft has something for everyone!

What most of us think of as "stained glass" is actually "leaded" glass; thousands of pieces of colored glass, cut into sort of a mosaic, and pieced together with flux and solder. Beautiful, long-lasting, and expensive, real leaded glass is hard to come by these days. The work is tedious, somewhat dangerous (hot soldering irons, sharp glass, and molten metal!) and requires a lot of patience, practice, and trial and error! 

These products give the look of leaded glass with no lead, no heat, and no sharp edges!  The secret to the most traditional-looking results are the Redi-lead® strips  that provide the look of soldered lead from a self-adhesive vinyl product! The flexible "lead" lines peel off the backing paper with their adhesive intact, ready to smooth onto any glass surface. Easily cut to length with an Xacto® knife, the strips provide a consistent width and depth, similar to the lead wire that would have been used in days of old- but without that pesky problem of lead poisoning- not to mention the hassle of soldering!  With a paper pattern under the glass, it's easy to follow along the lines and curves from the outside to create the "seams" between your "pieces of glass"!

Liquid Leading® provides the look of soldered joints, without the hassle of a soldering iron and the danger of lead solder.  With the consistency of thick black paint, it's easy to dab Liquid Leading® onto butt joints to create the sections that you will paint to mimic colored glass. 

Once the leading is in place and the "solder" has dried, it's time to apply the color to the pattern pieces to finish your project. You don't even need a paintbrush! The bottle has a sharp tip that allows you to flow the product right up against the lead lines, and then quickly flow enough paint across the surface to create a solid section.

The color goes on opaque but dries to a translucent finish, with a wavy texture that mimics old-fashioned stained glass. Keep the surface horizontal until the paint has set, to keep it from flowing to the bottom of your shape.  On a round jar or bottle like this, you will have to apply the color in 4 "strips", rotating the bottle after each strip to bring the next area to the top.  Although the color dries to the touch in a few hours, it doesn't "set" for several days, so as you move from one section to the next, you will need to devise a way to "hang" your project so you can work on a section while the previous sections cure.  If you set it down on an uncured section, it will stick, and you will have a mess on your hands! 

A rod or dowel wedged into a drawer provides a stable way to apply color to the top of your project without ruining the bottom.  You will have to let one side dry for a few hours before you can turn it upside down, but that's better than waiting three days for it to cure completely! 

Once all your colors are applied, you're done!  Here's the pickle jar you saw earlier. With it's lid sprayed green, it makes a beautiful storage jar with a "Craftsman" feel to it. Or, leave the lid off and it can be a period-sensitive candle holder! 

Miss Ginger's first project was these Modrian-inspired spaghetti sauce jars. Instead of using leading, she used masking tape to tape off the sections, then sprayed matte black spraypaint over the whole thing.  When she peeled off the tape, she was left with clear windows. In authentic Modrian style, she left many of the sections clear, and colored only few.  Maybe not museum-worthy, but quick, cheap, and easy- just like Miss Ginger! 

The next project was these wine bottles decorated with an oval-cut jewel pattern.  Here, she used black vinyl in her Silhouette® machine to create the pattern, hence the more modern appearance.  The only problem she found with this technique is that there isn't much depth to the sections, so the paint went on kind of thin.  She's going to fill them with blue Listerine® and put one in each bathroom, so it won't matter if the pattern is kind of weak! 
As she prepared to complete the "fully-leaded" project you see at the top of this post, she realized that the colors dry to a very different hue than the way they appear in the bottle, so she made herself a "swatch bottle" to show how each color looks when dry.

The paints cost less than $2.50 a bottle at Michael's; less when you buy a set.  The bottles you paint are free, so what's stopping you?!  Leave a comment and let Miss Ginger know how your project turned out! 


Bob said...

This is very cool.
And with all the empty wine bottles that seem to accumulate at Casa Bob y Carlos, I like the idea of reusing them.

theminx said...

Groovy. If I didn't already have 1000 craft projects underway, I'd start one of these, too. :)

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous-you could sell these.MBC

Sonya said...

Very cool project. Take your project up a notch with a stained glass pattern from You could transfer the pattern to the glass and have an intricate design.

Wains of Tunbridge Wells said...

A Glass Bottles wall. This particular example was actually made with glass bottles
, but glass bottles can be used as well. Bottles as architectural features can be employed like this to allow light in while retaining privacy, and they can also be used in decorative designs in cement, cob, adobe, and other types of walls.

Amy Song said...

How a wonderful making art on the glass bottles. The offer glass bottles, if somebody need them, welcome to contact.

Nancy Garero said...

The flip top glass bottles are usually used for drinking the beer or wine, these bottles are made of the glass and they are looking very beautiful and when we remove their caps than we will feel very glad by drinking beer by this glass bottles.

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