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Making Stained Glass

By Wendy Williams  ·  June 19th, 2008

This is a tutorial that I have had a lot of requests for. I have been putting it off, mainly because it is actually quite difficult to explain. However, with Christmas coming up I thought that now was the time to do it. I do hope that you enjoy it.

1. First we need to create the glass, so create a new File. (File>New>Blank File) 1000 pixels x 1000 pixels, resolution 300, RGB with a white background.

2. Next, set your foreground and background colors to the default by pressing D on the keyboard. Then do Filter>Render>Clouds. Your image should now look something like mine, but if it doesn’t then simply apply the filter again until it does.

3. Next, do Filter>Blur>Motion Blur and use the setting of 43 degrees with a distance setting of 220. Hopefully yours will now look something like this.

4. Then do Filter>Distort>Ocean Ripple using the settings Ripple Size 8 and Ripple Magnitude 18. Once you have done that your image should look like this.

5. That looks OK but it needs to be lighter, so do Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Levels and drag the white slider inwards as I have done.

6. Once you have done that, then the glass is completed.

7. Make sure to save copy of it at this stage so that you will be able to use it next time you want to create a stained glass image.

8. OK, now let’s move on to making something with the glass we have just created. To make things easier I am going to use a custom shape to show you how to make a simple stained glass panel.

9. Select the Custom Shape Tool and choose this shape from the Custom Shapes.

10. Make sure that your foreground color is set to black and then drag the Custom Shape tool across the image. Make it about this size.

11. Set your foreground color to a mid-grey. I used 757474. Create a new layer above the shape layer and call it “Lines”.

12. Go to the Layers Palette and Control-Click (Mac: Command-Click) on the Shape Layer thumbnail, switch off the eyeball on the Shape Layer and click on the “Lines” layer. At this stage your marching ants should still be active.

13. Then do Edit>Stroke Selection and choose 9 pixels Inside. This is how it should look at this stage

14. We are now ready to start coloring the glass. First make a selection like the one in the next image.

15. Then go to the Layers Palette, click on the “Glass” layer and do Edit>Copy, then Edit>Paste.

16. Set your foreground color to ffed4d and do Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue & Saturation, check Group with Previous Layer and click OK. Then when the next box comes up, click on Colorize and adjust the Saturation and Lightness slider until the color looks something like mine.

17. Next, make a selection of the area that is green in the next image. Then go to the Layers Palette, click on the “Glass” Layer and do Edit>Copy, then Edit>Paste.

18. Set your foreground color to 40b94d and once again do Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue & Saturation, check Group with Previous Layer and click OK. Then when the next box comes up, click on Colorize and adjust the Saturation and Lightness slider.

19. Continue repeating these steps until you have colored in all the areas of the glass as I have done in this next image.

20. Here’s an extra tip – you can use the Magic Wand to make the selections, but to do that you have to make sure that Contiguous is selected, that the “Lines” layer is the active layer when you use the Magic Wand, and that you click back on the “Glass” layer before you do Edit>Copy. A little more complex to do, but once you get the hang of it then it works really well.

21. When you have completed all the glass sections then go to the “Lines” layer and apply a Bevel Layer Style to it. I used Simple Sharp Inner Emboss and here is how it looked once I had done that. This finishes off your stained glass panel.

22. You can use your stained glass panel to make various things, but I decided that I would use mine to make a Christmas Card.

Do hope that you enjoyed the tutorial and remember that there are lots of other things that you can make in stained glass. I look forward to seeing some of them. Just experiment and enjoy.

4 Replies to Making Stained Glass:

  1. Kate

    July 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I love this tutorial. It looks amazing printed on glossy photo paper. Thanks for this fabulous technique, Wendy


  2. alice

    July 23, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    WOW!! Very cool.


  3. Robert

    October 1, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I liked this tut. After completing this it, I was motivated to find another design and try it again. Here is my second go at it:

  4. Henry

    February 12, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I’m running PE 9 and am having trouble after step 10. Cannot duplicate what is being shown.

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