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Faux Southwestern Stained Glass Transom Window | Killer b. Designs



Faux Southwestern Stained Glass Transom Window

After I found the perfect screen door for my kitchen pantry, I had to solve the problem of the 11″ gap above the top of the door to the top of the opening. I decided on a transom window. Ideally I’d have loved to also have found the perfect stained glass transom, but I know better than to push my luck. So I built a quick frame from cedar 1×2’s and nailed it into place above the door. Next up was to figure out the stained glass part.

Now for a permanent solution, I want to commission a local artist to make three panes that will fit in the window. But before I go to all that expense and time, I wanted to make sure I liked the look of what I saw inside my head. So I looked around the internet for a few faux stained glass tutorials, and adapted the methods to use the tools and supplies I had on hand. Here’s what I did:

• one sheet of plastic or plexiglass to fit (I used an old poster glaze I found in my mom’s attic)
• hot glue gun & sticks
• craft paints
• mod podge or decoupage medium

Step 1:

First I started by marking my glazing to size. I used a fine tipped permanent marker for my lines.


Step 2:

It was thin enough to cut with scissors, though there were a few hairline cracks near the cut. You can also use a razor to get a clean cut.


Step 3:

Next I held up the glazing to the window and made marks for each corner of the windows. Then I connected the marks with a straightedge to get my window frames.


Step 4:

Now its time for the art! I wasn’t concerned about being overly precise, as this was a temp solution. If you are, you can lay some graph paper below the design to get straight, even lines. If you mess up like I did, spray on some Windex or nail polish remover and scrub it off then start over.

I researched a few different patterns, searching for “Southwest” and “Santa Fe” fabrics. I really love the style, and I planned on having two bold colors so I wanted a really bold, geometric pattern to go with it.

I decided to do two similar (they were supposed to be identical, but oh well!) patterns on the ends, and a simpler one in the center. It took about 30 minutes to measure things out and draw my shapes.


Step 5:

Use your hot glue gun and trace over your pattern. I’ve seen people online use colored crayons in the glue gun, but I can’t attest to it working as I’ve never done it. However, it does seem like it would cut out some time! You could try black crayons for the “leading” on your glass.

Woohoo, it’s done! Now just let it set and its time for paint.


Step 6:

Next I used a tiny paintbrush and some black craft paint to cover the glue for the “leading”. This took the most time, you have to be careful not to get any on the glazing.


Step 7:

Almost done now! Let the black paint dry completely. I mixed up some red craft paint with mod podge to dilute it and give it that transparent glass look. I used a simple craft paint brush (the kind kids use that come in packs of like 45) and brushed on a coat, let it dry, then brushed on another. I followed that up by mixing some teal house paint with mod podge and repeating the two coat process. Looking good so far!


Step 8:

To attach it to the transom, I simply used pushpins to hold it in place. As this is a temp solution, I didn’t want to be drilling holes or putting screws in the wood just to take them out again. These hold the glazing firmly in place, and you can’t see any overlap from the outside. I think it looks great!

Yeah, it kind of looks immature since I didn’t bother to make my lines straight, and the hot glue gets a bit uneven. Plus there’s the whole “similar yet different” vibe on the two end pieces that needed to be identical. But, it served its purpose. I adore the colors, they work really well with the door and my red island. The pattern is bold but still a classic. Once I save up enough money I’ll bring the images and some better sketches to a stained glass maker and get things all set up for real, and have a truly grown up kitchen! I’m really pumped about that. It really will look fantastic.



  1. Meg Sluyter

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have this weird little window right by my front door, with birds and flowers that were colored in with markers on it and I can’t wait to try this. Such an inexpensive way to fix it, hope mine comes out as awesome as yours! :)

  2. Tammi D

    I love it, the only thing I might change would be the size of the frame, to match the width of the door.

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