Introducing Our Unique Stained Glass Look Cut Files!
Sarah developed this technique with fond childhood memories of making “Fensterbilder” window decorations in Germany with hand-cut construction paper and transparent paper. The result of Sarah’s creativity is a collection of cut files for digital cutting machines.
For the ultimate stained glass look, we use transparent adhesive vinyl in assorted colors. But stunning designs can also be created with opaque adhesive vinyls, heat transfer vinyl, cardstock, and vellum.
Many of our basic designs are in a circular shape. These work well for window clings, disc tree ornaments, round suncatchers, and heat-transfer fabric applications.
Other designs are square or rectangular, designed especially for use on glass blocks and window panes.
We also sell stained glass frame cut files to use on non-circular surfaces. Any of our circular designs will fit inside the inner circle of the frame.
Ideas for Using Our Stained Glass Look Cut Files
For each project, first follow the layout guidelines on our Stained Glass Look Cut Files Layout & Cutting Tips sheet, included in your zip file. Want to practice before cutting your vinyl? Cut and assemble a cardstock version to see how the design comes together.
We suggest outdoor vinyl for designs that will be exposed to sunlight. We use a matte black vinyl for the outline and transparent vinyl for the colors.
Cut all pieces from adhesive vinyl. Weed cutouts away from outline design (leaving cutout spaces) and weed outline away from colored cutout segments.
Using transfer tape, apply the outline piece in place directly to a glass or plastic suncatcher blank. Using tweezers or fingers, fit the colored pieces in place like puzzle pieces and press to adhere. This method does not use the gray shape.
We use heat transfer vinyl. During layout, keep each group of colored pieces in their original places (no nesting) for easiest layering. Before cutting, mirror the design if direction matters.
Cut the outer edge only of the outline piece to cut a solid shape. (You will treat this as a background and layer the colored pieces on top of it). Cut out the multi-colored pieces. Weed excess vinyl away from solid shape and from colored pieces.
Press the solid background shape lightly in place and remove carrier sheet (save it for the finishing step). Then lay one group of colored pieces in place, press lightly, and remove carrier sheet. Repeat for remaining colors, removing the carrier sheet each time. When all colors are in place, place the larger carrier sheet over the entire design and complete the heat application. This method does not use the gray shape, unless you’d like to include an offset background.
For the backing, use clear or frosted cling vinyl. For the outline and colored pieces, we suggest outdoor vinyl for designs that will be exposed to sunlight. We use a matte black vinyl for the outline and transparent vinyl for the colors.
Cut the large gray shape out of cling vinyl. Cut outline and colored pieces from adhesive vinyl. Weed the excess away from the cling vinyl piece and lay the cling vinyl on its backing sheet face up on a surface. Press out any wrinkles or bubbles. Weed cutouts away from outline design (leaving cutout spaces) and weed outline away from colored cutout segments.
Apply transfer tape to the outline piece. To avoid stretching of the cling vinyl, we place the adhesive vinyl carefully to avoid removing the adhesive vinyl for adjustment.
Lay the outline piece, with sticky side up, over the cling vinyl and center it to get a visual idea of the width of the cling vinyl margin. Lift the outline piece off.
Place a scrap piece of vinyl backing sheet, shiny side up, over most of the cling vinyl, leaving an inch or two of the cling vinyl exposed at the top. Hold the top of the outline piece, adhesive side down, just above the top of the cling vinyl and center it visually, allowing for a cling vinyl margin. Gently lay the outline piece in place on the small exposed part of the cling vinyl circle and press to adhere. Gradually pull the backing sheet down, smoothing the outline piece farther downward until the entire outline is adhered to the cling vinyl. Remove transfer tape gently, peeling the tape backwards over itself while holding the adhesive vinyl in place.
Using small pieces of transfer tape, tweezers, or fingers, fit the colored pieces in place like puzzle pieces and press to adhere. If you need to adjust pieces, peel them off instead of pulling. Press to set in place. Lay the vinyl backing piece over the entire design and go over it with a scraper or brayer. Remove finished cling from its backing sheet. Moisten cling vinyl side before adhering to glass.
Follow steps for Suncatcher, using a flat or puffy-type disc ornament blank. When planning for a puffy disc ornament, consider the curved edges and size the design small enough to avoid wrinkles at curves.
For a removable cling design, follow the Window Cling steps. This way you can use the same glass block for multiple occasions. Choose either clear or frosted cling vinyl. For a permanently applied design, follow the Suncatcher steps. We designed our square and rectangular designs especially for glass blocks. Our frame designs with open center circles can be used with a circular design to fill out the surface of a glass block. For the 8″x 8″ DecoBloc with its raised rim, we size the outer edge of the vinyl at 6.5″x 6.5″. For a cling glass block, this piece would be cling vinyl. For a permanent application, it would be the black outline vinyl.
Glass & Plastic Decor: Window Panes, Vases, Jars
For a removable cling design, follow the Window Cling steps. For a permanently applied design, follow the Suncatcher steps. We suggest outdoor vinyl for designs that will be exposed to water. Hand wash finished item.
These designs can also be used with vellum for a different look. It is less colorful than the original design but in its simplicity it can be very pretty. This method uses only one part of the cut file: the outline part, which is used twice. First cut one outline piece and its cutout openings from cardstock. Then cut the outer edge only of the outline shape from vellum. Adhere the vellum to the back of the cardstock. This method does not use the gray shape or the colored pieces.
A cardstock project may be made in more than one way.
1) Design with same-size same-color cardstock back (for gift tag, bookmark, etc.): First cut one outline piece and its cutout openings from cardstock. Then cut the outer edge only of the outline shape from matching cardstock. Adhere the cutout outline piece to the front of the solid piece. Cut out the colored pieces from cardstock and attach in place like puzzle pieces. This method does not use the gray shape.
2) Design with larger cardstock back (for bordered gift tag, bookmark, frameable design, etc.): Cut outer edges of gray shape from cardstock in background color. Cut one outline piece with its cutouts from another cardstock color. Center the cutout outline piece on the solid piece and adhere outline to solid background. Cut out the colored pieces from cardstock and attach in place like puzzle pieces.
3) Design to be applied to another backing (for greeting card, gift tag, or decorating another surface): Cut out the outline piece and its cutout openings from cardstock. Adhere it to card or other base surface. Cut out the colored pieces from cardstock and attach in place like puzzle pieces. This method does not use the gray shape.
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Cling vinyl for window clings, glass block clings, glass decor clings
- Clear cling vinyl to let the light through: Grafix Brand Clear Cling Vinyl at Amazon (Make sure you are ordering a CLEAR pack for this project—this page also offers colors.)
- Frosted cling vinyl for a different look: Cricut Brand Frosted Cling Vinyl at Amazon (Make sure you are ordering a FROSTED roll—this page also offers colors.)
Transparent vinyl for a transparent look on window clings, suncatchers, glass blocks, tree ornaments, and other glass and plastic projects
- Since transparent vinyl is not widely used by home crafters, we had to search for it to start making our stained glass look designs. We found Oracal 8300 adhesive transparent vinyl, which works perfectly.
- Oracal 8300 is not available at all vinyl suppliers, but one of our favorites, H&H Sign Supply has it! Order it by the foot or Build Your Own Oracal 8300 5-pack at H&H. H&H also has black matte Oracal 651, our favorite for stained glass look outlines, so you can buy all your vinyl in one place. You’ll find black matte at the very end of the scroll-down color list for Oracal 651. Try the H&H Build Your Own Oracal 651 sample pack. H&H also sells lengths and rolls of Oracal 8300, and we have seen rolls online at US Cutter and Sign Warehouse.
Opaque vinyl for outlines or an opaque look on window clings, suncatchers, glass blocks, tree ornaments, and other glass and plastic projects
- For our stained glass look outlines, we use matte black Oracal 651 with transparent vinyl for the colors. Oracal 651 matte finish comes in only two colors: black and white. You can buy Black Matte Oracal 651 (10 sheets 12”x12”) at Amazon or at H&H Sign Supply.
- If you’d like to use opaque vinyl for the colors in your stained glass look project, we recommend Oracal 651 outdoor vinyl for window clings and suncatchers, since sunlight and heat from windows could weaken the lighter adhesive of Oracal 631. All colors of Oracal 651, including black and white, come in a glossy finish. Any of the colors can be used as outlines as well. You can find an Oracal 651 starter pack at Amazon or at many other suppliers including H&H Sign Supply. Oracal 651 vinyl can be purchased by the sheet, by lengths, and in rolls.
- For other items away from sunlight and heat, Oracal 631 could be used. Because it is removable, Oracal 631 is also nice for temporary stained glass look decor. All colors of Oracal 631 have a matte finish. You can buy black Oracal 631 for outlines or a color starter pack of Oracal 631 for the design colors at Amazon.
Heat transfer vinyl for fabric items
- We have always used Siser EasyWeed for our fabric work. Siser EasyWeed Stretch is great for knit fabrics including T shirts. For tote bags, garden flags, and other fabric uses we like either type. Both are available from many vinyl suppliers.
- You can Build Your Own Siser EasyWeed 5-pack or Build a 5-pack of Siser EasyWeed Stretch at H&H Sign Supply.
Cardstock & vellum for paper projects
- Cardstock and vellum are readily available in big box craft stores, scrapbook supply shops, and other retail stores with paper or craft departments. You can also order them from Amazon, Joann, Hobby Lobby, and other suppliers.
- Our favorite glass block for the stained glass look is the Pittsburgh Corning DecoBloc with its smooth sides and an opening to insert lights. You can see the glass block here. These blocks are often on sale or coupon-eligible at big box craft stores.
- Smooth-surfaced glass blocks from home improvement stores also work.
Suncatchers, tree ornaments
- Darice clear puffy disc ornaments measuring 3-1/8” across are found here at Amazon. These, too, are available at big box craft stores and many other local retailers.
- We love these 4″ flat plastic discs from BC’s Crafty Creations on Etsy. They arrive safely covered in plastic film, but underneath is a smooth surface that accepts adhesive vinyl well. The hole in the top is perfect for a hanging cord or chain.
- Hang a suncatcher from a curtain rod, hook, or suction cup suncatcher hanger.
- T shirts are easy to find locally–cotton and polyester work well with Siser EasyWeed heat transfer vinyl. Need a lot of shirts? We have sold shirts for several years and buy quantities of blank shirts from Jiffy Shirts.
- Blank tote bags and banners can be found at local stores and big box craft supply stores. Amazon has this selection of tote bags. Flags and banners can be quickly made from burlap or canvas–either stitch the hems, use fabric adhesive, or leave cut edges for a rustic look.
We’d love to see what you make with our cut files!
Just tag us in social media or send a photo to info@HomesteaderChic.com.
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