Thursday, 5 September 2013

How to write/paint on glass tutorial...the easy way

Okay, this isn't a proper tutorial. I am not an expert. In fact, this is the first time I have done a project like this in my life.



But, it did work and was far, far easier than I anticipated. So I will share what I did even though I just got lucky.

I've seen on a few American blogs, they use these machines called Silhouettes for cutting text out of plastic stickers to help you create signs.

There are three reasons I didn't go down that road.
1. They are expensive.
2. I don't know if you can get them here in the UK.
3. If I had one I wouldn't be able to work it as I'm technically challenged.

My way was simple and cheap.
Let's face it, if your window cost 20p, you don't want to have to spend hundreds on some fancy machine to make it look good.

I figured out what words I wanted on the window, and scrolled through a LOT of fonts. (Why do words look very wrong if you do this? 'Bakery' looked like it was in Russian!) I like to use several different fonts to make it more interesting.

We (okay, mostly my husband) ensured that the words would fit on the panes of glass.
If you use a program called Word Art you can make your words bend to add another dimension. However, this can distort the letters and look pants. Apparently.

I cut my word up and arranged the letters in a curve.


But before I did this, I flipped each letter/word over and traced it through to the back of the paper. This gives you a double sided word/letter. The back one being the reverse image.
You could print your text straight onto printer compatible tracing paper if you want to save yourself some time. We tried ordinary tracing paper and it made a right old mess.

You could also print out just the reverse image, BUT, it is easier to see how it's all going to look if you can actually read it. Trust me on this.

So, on the reverse of the window you have this...


Make sure those letters are securely taped to the glass on the front and you're ready to paint on the back.

And here's where it gets super easy. Because you don't need to paint at all.

I was thinking of using my blackboard paint for this as I use that for doing lettering on my crates. But I popped into the Art shop in town and asked what they had for writing on glass.

The lady showed me these pens...


They are Zig Posterman Waterproof pens. They come in many colours and nib sizes. They are just like using gold and silver pens. You give them a shake and pump the nib a few times.
What I like about them is that they are completely opaque so you need only do this once. They are waterproof when dry but you can wipe off mistakes whilst they're wet. They are designed for permanent writing on chalk boards, windows, mirrors and ceramics. You don't need to cook your window in the oven to harden the paint. Which is good. And they are only £2.99. (I used the extra fine nib.)

So where were we? Ah yes, the reverse letters on the reverse side of your window. You just go over your traced outline and colour it all in. Simple as that. The ink dries in  minutes. If you stuff it up, just wipe it with a finger or something more sensible whilst it's wet. The writing is done on the reverse of the glass to keep the front shiny and more authentic.

Told you I had man hands.
The font for 'Bakery' had an inbuilt shadow so I used a white glass pen to do this part.



Turn it over and pull off your bits of paper and admire your handiwork. If you can colour in, you can do this. Couldn't be simpler!


Funky Junk

56 comments:

  1. Well done you! I must say you do make it sound simple and those pens were a great find, much easier than fiddling around with messy paint. Yes, Silhouette's are available here, us crafter's use them...but not me because like you say they are tres pricey and I am a tight old skinflint!

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    1. It's far easier to use a pen than a paintbrush. I'm so glad I popped into the art shop!

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  2. Looks fantastic. People would pay a lot of money for a window like that! M x

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  3. Thanks M, I shall have to find more and make my millions! x

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  4. You've made it look really easy but I guarantee mine wouldn't be a patch on yours! xxx

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    1. Oh yes it would! I can see it now! Kinky Meons vintage boutique in the GROOVIEST of fonts! xxx

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  5. Thanks for sharing your secret. Well done! x

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  6. Magic! Thanks for the tutorial ♥

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  7. Great Tutorial - I'll have to try this because I'm in LOVE with that window!!!
    Here's my technically challenged smile :)
    XOX

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    1. I hope you can get those pens in Canada! xxx

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    2. What about sharpie paint pens?

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  8. Blimey Emma Kate, you make it sound so simple that I may be tempted to do something to the glassy bit (don't know what else to call it) above our bedroom door. Pens are definitely the way forward....xx

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    1. Yes, we have one of those above our bathroom. Is it called a fan light? Ours is knobbly glass ( to stop someone 8 feet tall from spying on people in the bath?!?) so I can't do it. But that is a great idea! xx

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  9. Your window looks fantastic. Your tutorial makes me want to have a go with those pens xx

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    1. Thanks Nicci. Go for it. Tracing and colouring in are very relaxing! xx

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  10. Wow thats so easy! I want to have a go now! I'm off to the shed to see what windows i can find!

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  11. It really is easy. I hope you're not removing your actual shed windows! ;)

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  12. Thanks for providing such a clear, concise way to paint a sign on a window. This way is much easier than the method I have been using. It looks great!

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  13. You have a knack of making these things sound so easy, when I'm quite sure they are NOT! You have a steady hand and a good eye, not things I am blessed with, and the end result looks fabulous. xxxxx

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    1. The only difficult bit is the computery printery part. And that is why I keep my husband around! xxxx

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  14. Brilliant! I love your choice of fonts :)

    Tom got me loads of those pens for Christmas. I might have to now draw on our actual windows. And our French doors. And our glass porch doors and front door. I may run out of ink. xxx

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    1. Blooming heck, don't forget your mirrors and glassware Katie. xxx
      P.S. and your milkbottles!

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  15. Oh my gosh! Instead of zombies invading you have now created an army of talented creative ladies running around with their pens, count me in! What a great tutorial, fun, and easy. Keep them coming your ladies are waiting for more wonderful ideas! Mary Anne

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    1. Heheh! What a wonderful picture you paint! An army of creative ladies! x

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  16. This is SOOOO cool thank you for sharing this I want to try this!

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  17. I love the way your window sign turned out and I so want to try this!

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  18. oh my goodness....I am so going to try this. thanks so much for sharing:)

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  19. This is so cool...and easy! Thank you so much for the tutorial~

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  20. I found you on Elizabeth & Co.! I just bought an old window pane and was wanting to put a saying on it for Fall! Your tutorial came at just the perfect time! Love your blog-following along too!
    Warm Hugs,
    jemma

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  21. I going to have to try this, thanks! In fact I have 3 glass doors that I just removed off a hutch dresser, was wondering what to do with them, thanks for the inspiration :)

    xx Karen

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  22. Well that is just fabulous. Seriously. Thanks for sharing the how-to!

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  23. Hello, just discovered you from Elizabeth & Co. - what an absolutely fantastic project!! I have several old windows, but was hesitant to try painting on them - but now I am excited to give it a go!!!! So glad I found you - I have been enjoying my evening reading all of your previous posts.

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    1. Thank you Lala! I thought I had a lot of page hits today!

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  24. do you happen to remember what font you used for bakery? i really like the look of it! thanks for posting such a helpful tutorial!

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    1. Hi Ian, I'm sorry, I don't know what font it was but I think it was a standard font...
      I'm glad the tutorial was helpful.

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  25. A million thanks for this tutorial, I just tried it and it worked great!

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  26. I used this technique today on an old vintage window for Christmas, it works great! Thank you!

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    1. So pleased! I'd LOVE to see it! Send me an email?

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  27. PS
    Sorry, but have to mention the Zig markers, absolutely LOVE them, I use Zigs all the time for other art work, but had not found these...my new favorite!

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  28. OH my goodness! I did this on the door to our guest cottage today and I cannot tell you how great it turned out! Thank you so much for posting this tutorial!

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  29. Thank you for sharing! Great tips!

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I love to hear your comments!