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Glass Painting Designs - Drinking Glasses Set With Painted Leaves

Updated on August 22, 2015

Glass painting is quite easy yet very rewarding. You can quickly create amazing designs your friends and family will admire. There are endless glass painting ideas available online, still I hope you will like these unique drinking glasses with colourful autumn leaves presented below.

Hand painted drinking glasses set with leaves and trees
Hand painted drinking glasses set with leaves and trees | Source

I have created drinking glasses set presented in this project as a house-warming gift for my mother. She has decorated her new flat with leaves and trees so I would have trouble buying something suitable off the shelf. Instead, I went for handmade gift and she was delighted.

For this project, you will need:

  • high-ball glass set,
  • designs to paint from,
  • paints for glass,
  • a few free evenings,
  • and a good mood.

I have used a set of four glasses but you can do as many as you please. You can also use different types of glasses but then remember to adjust the design to fit new size.

Glass painting designs and patterns for non-artists

I wanted to create a matching set of glasses, yet I also wanted to make every glass a little different from others. I searched online for leaves and trees free cliparts and used them to create four different glass painting patterns.

I used cliparts as they are much easier to trace than photos. I am not an artist so I had to use work of other people but if you want - draw them yourself.

Inkscape - an alternative to Photoshop

Designs were easy to rescale as I used images in vector graphics format. I have used Inkscape – amazing free software for vector graphics – to create a layout for each glass.

Each final pattern is 18 cm wide and 11 cm high as this was a perfect size for my glasses. Download and print PNG version of each design before you start or make your own.

Design for Glass 1
Design for Glass 1 | Source
Design for Glass 2
Design for Glass 2 | Source
Design for Glass 3
Design for Glass 3 | Source
Design for Glass 4
Design for Glass 4 | Source

Pebeo glass paints and outliners

I have used a selection of Pebeo Vitrea 160 Glossy Paints and Outliners. I like these paints as they give the glass this great transparent look of stained glass and I can bake them later to make glasses dishwasher safe. Still there are many other paints suitable for glass painting so feel free to experiment.

My limited collection of outliners
My limited collection of outliners | Source

I have used yellows, oranges, reds and browns along with some shades of green. I had quite a few colours in my jars but still I was mixing them together to get even more shades.

Autumn leaves are great to paint on glass as they can be in any colour you can imagine, so mix them as you go and don’t worry if the shade is different than on another leaf – it will create more variety.

I like using outliners for tracing the shape but I avoid black – it is a bit too intense for painting a nature. Unfortunately, I had only few outliners so it wasn’t enough to create the variety I wanted. Instead of spending money on more outliners, I have used paint and applied it with toothpick to create a contour.

Glass painting is all about fun and creativity

Before you start, ensure you have all necessary materials and tools, check with the list on the right hand side if you have it all.

Materials and tools
Glass set
Assorted paints and outliners
Assorted brushes
Printed design
Tape to attach design
Glass with water to clean brush
Colour mixing palette

You will also need a well-lit workspace, a kitchen or even a coffee table will do. Gather all materials together and thoroughly wash glasses. You want them to be oil free.

Have a selection of brushes, palette, and toothpicks ready. You will also need a pack of tissues, either for drying your brush or for wiping off painting mistakes.

Don’t forget to put on your favourite music or even pour yourself a glass of wine. It should be fun end relaxing time, not a chore.

My workspace - ready to start
My workspace - ready to start | Source

Placing the glass painting designs

Start with printing and cutting out glass painting patterns to the required size. Then roll each and try to position inside the glass with the contour visible through the glass. Ensure edges don’t cover other elements - I had to cut out some of the design in the middle of the edge as it was overlapping with the leaf on another end.

Once you are happy with the result, you may like to tape it with a tape inside of the glass to avoid it moving when you will work on the glass.

Notice the cut out to make the design work inside the glass.
Notice the cut out to make the design work inside the glass. | Source

Outlining leaves shapes

Put the glass comfortable in one hand and start outlining contours. Work on one side first to avoid smudging your work. Pick leaves at the top and paint their contours either with an outliner or with a toothpick covered with your chosen paint.

Go for lighter colours first and then follow to darker ones, otherwise you may accidentally pick the darker colour on your toothpick and have the unexpected result when colours start mixing.

Try to use darker colours for contours as they will define the shape of leaves. When you work with glass paints that seem to be more fluid than others are, you may want to apply one colour at a time and leave it to dry a little before adding more colours.

Notice different shades of green on the same leaf and a mixture of black and yellow on another in the top left hand corner
Notice different shades of green on the same leaf and a mixture of black and yellow on another in the top left hand corner | Source

What design do you like the most?

See results

Once you finish outlining all leaves and potentially a tree on one side, put the glass aside and move onto the next one. You may prefer to lie recently painted glass down instead of standing it up if paint is too liquid to avoid it flowing down and destroying your hard work.

Paint contours on all remaining glasses, mixing colours on your palette to add variations to your leaves. When mixing, remember to use more of the lighter colour and only a small drop of a darker one as the latter have a tendency to dominate.

After finishing with fourth glass, it should be safe to go back to the first one and repeat outlining on the other side. Position the glass carefully in your hand avoiding painted areas. Please have a look at the way the colours change after drying out, they become more transparent so you may want to use either darker colours or thicker lines to achieve the result you want.

Continue as before until the last glass but this time you should not lie glasses down as you may destroy other side. If you notice that a glass cannot be left in upright position, just hold it in your hand horizontally for 10 minutes or more until it dries a little. Leave all glasses to dry for a day.

Painting away – let the creativity take the lead

Now it is time to give the leaves their crazy autumn colours. Mix different shades of oranges, browns and greens in your palette. Don’t be afraid to experiment but don’t mix too much in one go, you can always add more later.

Don’t use white paint to lighten the colour as it is an opaque paint and it will destroy the transparent look of your work.

To achieve a warm bright green, mix five or more drops of yellow with one drop of green. To get a lighter shade of any dark colour, use five drops of gloss medium with one drop of your chosen colour.

Follow the same routine as with outlining the contours and paint on one side only. This time apply darker colours first. To add variety, avoid covering a leaf evenly with one colour, just cover few spots and leave the rest for another shade. Don’t try to fill in the whole leaf in one go, use one colour at a time and then move to the next leaf.

Notice how hard is to see the shape of the yellow leaf - it needs darker border
Notice how hard is to see the shape of the yellow leaf - it needs darker border | Source

Once you have used one colour on each leaf, you can go back and add other colours to the leaves. If colours still seem to mix a lot and you don’t like the result, just wait a little longer. After finishing with one glass, lie it down on unpainted side and move onto the next glass. Repeat with all remaining glasses and leave it all to dry for 24 hours then do the same on another side of each glass.

Baking and presenting your work

After a day or so, your drinking glasses should be completely dry. Now it is time to remove the designs and check your work. I’m sure it looks awesome but check carefully as you may find places that are not covered with glass paint where they should be. Just add the final touch to your work and when you are happy with the result, leave it for another 24 hours.

Then put all of them into cold oven and heat it up to 160°C (325°F). Allow it to bake in this temperature for 40 minutes. This will make the drinking glasses set dishwasher safe and resistant to common detergents.

Serve the juice or any other drink in them on your next party and enjoy all those wow comments from your friends admiring your glass painting skills.

Notice how different is the look of the glasses with and without paper
Notice how different is the look of the glasses with and without paper | Source


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    • Ania L profile imageAUTHOR

      Ania L 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Go ahead and try favthef :) I was surprised myself how easy it was. Of course it won't be perfect first time but if it was it wouldn't looked like handmade work :)

    • faythef profile image

      Faythe Payne 

      6 years ago from USA

      This looks like fun..Something I think I would like to up and across.

    • Ania L profile imageAUTHOR

      Ania L 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Lady - thank you for your comment. I found leaves a very forgiving design - even if I did put too much of the paint in one colour I could easily add some more and stir it around. It makes this a good project for beginners.

    • profile image

      Lady Wolfs 

      6 years ago

      Looks like a fun and creative way to dress up your glasses. I've always loved designs with leaves and trees. You did a good job explaining how to do this project. Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up and useful.


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