Family Name Sign

By  Debra Arch 

  • Family Name Sign


  • Black frame (at least 8” tall by desired length)
  • Gallery Glass Stained Glass Paints (Plaid): Black Liquid Leading; Window Colors: White Pearl (background); desired colors (lettering)


  • Graph paper, 1/4”, 8-1/2”x11”, two sheets
  • Typing paper
  • Fine-tip permanent pens: red; black
  • T-pin
  • Poster board (1” larger than frame)
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Brayer or rolling pin
  • Permanent glue stick
  • Optional: Light box

Pattern - Family Name Sign

  • 1. Print appropriate letters from pattern. Trace desired letters onto white paper. Use photocopier to enlarge letters if needed. (Note: Remove flourishes from letter patterns if desired.)
  • 2. Align graph paper grid lines and tap short ends together to create a frame template. Remove glass from frame and measure perimeter. Use black marker to transfer dimensions of glass onto vertical and horizontal lines of graph paper.
  • 3. Use red marker to trace a second line 1/2" from all drawn perimeter lines to create a margin. (Note: All lettering will remain inside this margin to ensure proper vertical and horizontal spacing within frame.)
  • 4. Use red marker to draw line on graph paper approximately 2" to 2-1/4" up from bottom red margin line. This is the placement line for the bottom of lowercase letters. (Note: Height of placement line may be adjusted accordingly for various sizes of purchased frames. Do not let any bottom extending flourishes of lowercase letters go lower than flourishes on capital.)
  • 5. Place graph paper onto light box or stand in front of a sunny window. Starting on left, slide capital letter under graph paper, keeping upper and lower lines of letter within margins and use graph paper lines to keep letter vertically straight and horizontally level. Use pencil to trace letter. (Note: Bottom of capital letter will not necessarily rest on placement line.)
  • 6. Remove capital and insert next letter under graph paper, spaced approximately 1/4" to right of capital. Align letter with vertical and horizontal grid lines and have bottom of letter on placement line. (Note: Flourishes extending below bottom of letter will fall below the letter placement line.) Trace letter.
  • 7. Continue to add and trace remaining letters to spell name, in same manner. (Note: If length of frame is too short to accommodate name, reduce size of original letter patterns to fit area, reduce distance between letters or purchase a longer frame. Extensions on letters and flourishes may also be reduced or omitted to get name to fit within margins. If frame is too long, enlarge letters, put more distance between letters or purchase a shorter frame.)
  • 8. Review overall look of traced name. Add or omit flourishes as needed or desired. Once satisfied with size, placement, spacing and balanced look of name pattern, retrace over letters of name pattern using black marker to show where lead lines will be placed.
  • 9. Center and tape pattern onto poster board. Center glass over graph paper with glass edges flush with black perimeter lines. Tape corners of glass to poster board to secure.
  • 10. Clean and dry glass surface.
  • 11. Apply black leading to glass following marker lines of letter. Turn poster board base as needed for easier access to form letters and flourishes. Use T-pin if needed to help blend lines into gentle curves of flourishes. Let dry overnight. (Note: If lead lines look sloppy, use box cutter knife to cut away any unwanted lines and reapply leading. Let dry overnight.)
  • 12. Fill in interior of letter using desired Window Color. Use T-pin to coax paint into small crevices and to pop any bubbles that appear. Let dry overnight.
  • 13. Apply White Pearl to lower right corner of glass, fill in between and around lettering, covering all remaining areas of background to within 1/8" of glass edge. Use T-pin, if needed, to coax paint into small crevices between letters and flourishes, pop any air bubbles and to create a texturized background. To create texture, doodle and swirl tip of T-pin randomly throughout all White Pearl painted areas. Work quickly to apply and texturize White Pearl as instructed. Drying time of paint depends upon humidity in workspace. Apply White Pearl paint and texturize same area before proceeding to adjacent area. Continue around name in counter clockwise fashion until reaching beginning lower right corner. Let dry overnight.
  • 14. Attach hangers to frame, if needed.
  • 15. Crumple aluminum foil gently in all directions. Use brayer to smooth foil flat. (Note: Foil refracts light behind framed name and gives a crackled glass and luminosity to the letters.)
  • 16. Lay frame backing onto foil and trace perimeter. Cut on traced line and glue dull side of foil to backing using glue stick.
  • 17. Insert name frame glass and backing into frame. Bend prongs of frame against backing to secure in place. Hang as desired.