Avera Cosplay shared this amazing tutorial with us showing her technique for creating a beautiful stained glass effect using Worbla’s TranspArt – shown above with her Mercy Sugar Plum Fairy costume from Overwatch, photographed above by Tonya Barnes Photography
If you’ve wanted to create a stained glass effect and haven’t been sure where to start, take a look at Avera’s process below! She walks us through the process of making a Beauty and the Beast shield for an armored Belle build!
Stained-Glass Belle Shield – Beauty and the Beast
- 2mm Craft foam (EVA foam)
- Thicker Craft foam 4, 5 or 6mm (EVA Foam)
- Worbla Transpart
- Unicorn Spit Sparkling Gel Stain- Variety of colors
- Unicorn Spit- artistic vivations- Zeus 24k gold
- Mod Podge
- Polyurethane – Floor Wax
- Exacto knife
- Contact Cement
- Super Glue
- Acrylic Paints for base layer on EVA foam
Step 1: Make Your Pattern
Find or create your pattern. Two options: find an image that is already stained glass or find a simple design you can alter to create the stained-glass appearance. Coloring Book pages are a good source for simple images and designs that can be easily turned into stained glass. Just make sure that your lines are relatively thick. If the foam is very thin, the gel stain could bleed, also it is not as sturdy. Cut out the parts of the pattern that will be the glass using an exacto knife.
Step 2: EVA Foam
The foam will act as your pattern and to give structure to the worbla. Transfer the pattern to both 2mm and 4mm eva foam and using an exacto knife cut out the pattern. The 2mm will be the front of the glass and the thicker foam will be the back. Heat seal the foam by using a heat gun.
Step 3: Flatten the Transparent Worbla
Transparent Worbla usually comes in rolls so you will need to heat it up to get it flat. Get all the wrinkles out. Transparent worbla will stick to itself so make sure it does not touch itself heated. Trace the base shape of the object and cut it out with scissors.
Step 4: Mod Podge
Apply a generous layer of mod podge to the worbla. You do not have to let it dry. Place the 2mm top layer on the top of the worbla and add more Mod podge. This will glue to the top layer to the worbla, but it will dry clear. In addition, it helps absorb the gel stain, and seals the 2mm foam for painting. Let this layer dry. If there are gaps between the foam and worbla that heat and mod podge is not solving, you can use super glue to make sure that the foam and worbla are connected. If there is a gap the colors will bleed into each other.
Step 5: Unicorn Spit
Unicorn Spit is a gel-based stain. There are a few different formulas. I use the sparkle version here, which is thinner and more transparent than standard formulas. Mod Podge is what will keep the spit stuck to the worbla and it also helps the spit dry translucent. For the Sparkle Version of Unicorn Spit: mix unicorn spit to mod podge in a 70:30 ratio, that will help to increase opacity and speed up drying time. If you use other formulas of Unicorn Spit, you will have to have mix with more mod podge to get the translucent effect at least 50:50. Do not apply it thicker than the foam, or it will spill over. You can mix colors directly in the cell to add depth and shading. You can also mix colors and mod podge first and apply. I use squeeze bottles to apply, just squeezing the spit in a circular motion. You can also play with the ratios of mod podge to get different levels of opacity.
Step 6 LET IT DRY
It is going to take a while, depending on how thick it was applied. Do not touch it, do not fix it, let it do its thing. It may appear like it is “pulling” away from the edge, or that it is getting bubbles. It is ok. Glass is not perfect, let it dry. It may look like it is losing its color, it is not. Once it is sealed it will be vibrant again. Right now, the stain is attached to the mod podge for the most part. If you mess with it, it will peel. It may take up to 48 hours to dry completely. If you must add a dab or two after it is dried to any mistakes.
Step 7: Assemble the Back
Using the thicker foam, follow the same steps as the 2mm, treated it with the heat gun and then seal it with mod podge. You will want to use super glue, in small dots around each part of the design to attach the foam to the back side of the worbla.
Optional Step: Details and Decorations
I added more details to the Shield, this is not necessarily specific to the stained-glass effect and may or may not be relevant to your project.
Using contact cement added as glue an additional boarder to the 4mm foam back. I drew a wood grain pattern and wood burned the pattern into the foam. I made the strap from 2mm foam and the handle from 4mm foam. The rivets on the front and back are painted googly eyes. I created foam flowers and filigrees by pressing foam clay in silicone cake molds. I put the molds in the freezer for 15 min to help them form quickly and dry faster. All these details were sealed with mod podge.
Step 8: Paint the EVA Foam and Any Details
Using a black acrylic paint, you will want to go over the black foam on the stained glass. This will clean it up a bit if there was any spit that spilled over. Pro-tip: use black foam it will minimize painting. I used a gilding wax for the base layer of gold. Then I used unicorn spit artistic vivations in Zeus to help the details pop.
Step 9: Seal with Polyurethane.
Unicorn spit is water based, if you use an acrylic sealer or anything water based it will reactivate it. You must use an oil-based sealer. Polyurethane will give it a gloss that helps the glass effect. Sealing it will bring the colors back to life as well as protect the shield from peeling or cracking. You can also use epoxy or lacquer on the spit depending on the project and how flexible you need it to be.
Enjoy! I have made bunny ears, wings and armor parts using the technique, so it is truly versatile.
(Belle photographed by Tonya Barnes Photography )