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How To Decoupage Glass Into A Pretty Paperweight

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As I am redoing my studioffice, I still need to work in the room and keep things organized. I realize that even in all the mess, I am a pile-er not a file-er when it comes to organizing my papers.  I have tried to change my ways as every organizing guru will tell you to file properly. My mind just doesn’t work that way.  I know if I label my piles I can keep things organized enough until I can file or toss.  I eventually get them filed, but have a hard time keeping track of what pile is what.  I have tried writing the name of the pile on a sticky note to differentiate them, but they have a tendency of  sticking to the back of a paper and then there goes my pile name.

I have been trying to come up with a better plan, not to change my ways, but to find a way that works for me.  So I made these decoupage glass labeled paperweights using a thrift store light fixture.  They seem to be working!

At the end of the post is the link for the free printable for you to download.

DIY Glass Decoupage Paper Weights

When I went to NYC in December to do the video taping for House Beautiful magazine and Glidden, I as most people who get into the city for the day – went shopping.  One of my favorite places to browse – never buy – way out of my price range, but just for inspiration is Bergdorf Goodman  – the 7th floor is where the Home section is.  Lots to swoon over.


Bergdorf-Goodman Logo

Bergdorf Goodman's 7th Floor

I saw these pretty paperweights.  The price tag was  – $100 – yes!!! For a glass paperweight.  They are  beautiful and I wanted to take all of them home.  They are made by John Derian Co.  Of course my mind when into creative overdrive thinking of how I could make something like them to help me label my piles.  Especially when summer comes around as I don’t want a breeze to blow my papers all over the room, which has happened in the past.

Bergdorf Goodman Bergdorf Goodman's

After I got home I kept the paperweight idea in the back of my mind and then inspiration struck after reading a project post that Brittany at Pretty Handy Girl did on how she made photo Christmas ornaments. She used beveled glass from a thrift store light fixture. I went to my local Restore and had no trouble finding one. It was $2.00.  The glass box in the photo below is my own, but has the same beveled glass – just in a smaller size. *I later tried Tiny Prints Glass Prints which worked very well.


The light was already broken and coming apart, so removing the glass was not hard. I used tin snips and wire cutters to grab and carefully pull away the metal strips from the glass. Wear gloves and eye protection.

How to repurpose a light fixture

This is what it looked like after I took all the flat pieces of glass out. I did save the angled glass, but don’t have any ideas for re-purposing it yet.   I washed each piece of glass in hot soapy water and used a razor blade to get the caked-on gunk off.

How to make a glass paperweight

How To Decoupage Paper Onto Glass

supplies needed:

  • Beveled glass
  • Mod Podge
  • Spray Bottle of water
  • Paint brush
  • Computer print outs with your words or images on them ( print out a day before to make sure ink is dry)
  • Scraps of gift wrap or scrapbook paper
  • Felt
  • X-Acto knife
  • Marking pen
How to decoupage on glass

You can decoupage any type of paper to the back of the glass. Gift wrap, tissue paper, napkins, scrapbook  paper.  Instead of a word – decoupage your initials, monogram, or favorite quote onto a piece of glass to personalize your paperweight.

How to make a glass paperweight

My first attempt at this was a total failure.  There was streaking under the glass and shiny spots showing up even when it was dry.  I finally figured out a way to lessen or eliminate the spots. If there is a John Derian Co. secret anyone wants to share, please do so.  :)  I brushed it, rolled it thin and thick on the paper first, and vice-versa.  I finally figured what worked.  Any failed attempt can just be placed into a sink filled with water for a few minutes and the paper will come off so you can reuse the glass.

Craft fail projects

1. Brush on an even thick coat of Mod Podge on top of your printout.  Don’t move the brush around too much as you don’t want to smear the ink.  Let it dry thoroughly on a flat surface. When it is dry it will be clear and shiny.

2.  Add a second even coat of Mod Podge over your print-out and then spray it lightly with water.  Roll or brush a thin even coat of Mod Podge on the back side of the glass.   Place print face down on the back of the glass. You will have a few minutes before it dries to get it into position.  Use a wet finger to gently go over the back of the paper to get rid of any air bubbles and creases.  Keep your finger wet and your touch light so you don’t rip the paper.


3.  Apply another coat of Mod Podge to the back of the print. Using the brush to continue getting creases and air bubbles out.   Let it dry overnight.  The Mod Podge will appear white.  It will dry clear so don’t worry.  Some spots may stay whiter longer, but they will all dry clear.

Mod-Podge Projects Glass paperweights

4. Once it is completely dry, use an X-Acto knife to trim all the edges by running the knife along each edge.  Use glass cleaner to remove any Mod Podge that may have gotten on the top and edges of the glass.


5. Cut a piece of felt to the size of your glass and use Mod Podge to attach it to the back.  Trim with scissors if necessary.

Mod Podge Projects

I used scraps of gift wrap from a previous project to make a border around the “To Do” paperweight.  I created it first on paper. Glued it down and let it dry.  Once it was dry, I applied it to the glass the same way I did for the FILE paperweight above.  The Typeography giftwrap can be found at Luxe Paperie.


My paper scrap file.  Comes in pretty handy when I am creating small projects.

Tips for organizing scraps of decorative paper

Now my” To Do” and “File” piles are neat, look pretty, and hopefully will keep me organized.

Free Printables

Download here:

Image:  FILE


Image:  To Do


For more ideas on how to use Mod Podge check out my posts below:

Custom Fabric Rug     Birdhouse     Gift Wrap Dresser     Updated Table

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  1. I like your site! I supply items such as glass etching cream and stencils to crafters and wanted to see if you would test some of my products for free in exchange for feedback. Will you please let me know by email? I will try to come back to this page later to see if you replied in the comments too. Shipping of the supplies will be free as well. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks in advance for your reply. Eric

  2. This is so cool! I don’t even really need a paperweight, but I almost want to make one just for the fun of it because they’re so neat looking :)

  3. Any suggestions about making the paperweight if we can’t find a light that needs repair- what other glass could we use?

  4. This is my first time visiting your blog and yes, I have a blog crush on you now! =0)

    This project is Genius! Thank you for this post. My mother’s birthday is coming in March and since my parents recently remodeled one of their two guest rooms into an office/study for her, these weights will make the perfect gift!

    Thanks also for showing what the ‘failed outcome’ looked like. That helps me know what to watch for. Have a beautiful week.

  5. Great tutorial!! What font is the “File” Font? I want to make another one with my husbands initials. Thanks!

  6. Hi :)! Great craft! What did you lay your paper on to put on the first coat of MP? I keep MPing my images to whatever they are laying on – plastic cutting board, oilcloth table cloth, vinyl placemat. When they’re dry & I try to remove them, they rip. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Jen – Don’t cut the image out from the paper until after it is dry. This way you have some extra paper around the image. I would cut a line up to each corner and then fold under the excess paper and use it to prop up the image on the paper. Once dry, you can cut this excess away. It woudl be like you were creating table legs for the image. You can also clip it up with paper clips or clothespins – one attached to the excess paper on each side. Once dry – cut the excess paper away. Another idea – try plastic wrap.

  7. These look very professional. Nice Job!

    I was thinking about the curved pieces – and I guess since it’s Christmas, I immediately thought of ornaments. You might be able to dremel a hole for hanging or you could glue a hanger to the back of the glass…

  8. What a fantastic tutorial – thank you so much! I’m currently in xmas present frenzy and this is giving me great ideas to try! :)

    1. Thanks Shellie – Recently I was out shopping at an antique store and came across two unique clear glass insulators with beaded edges that they used to use on electrical poles. I am going to apply my two sister’s monograms to them and give them as Christmas gifts. Wish I could have found 3, that way I could make one for myself, too. Happy Holidays.

  9. I want to make a paperweight with fall leaves in to to send to my son thats overseas and unable to see the beautiful colors. thanks

  10. Thanks for sharing this great project, the results are beautiful! A point of interest — my initial worry is that the glass might not have smooth edges, since they were concealed in the light fixture; did you do anything to the edges, to prevent cuts, etc, or was it necessary?

    1. Hi Rosanna – Good question. The edges on each piece of the glass I used was smooth. I didn’t have to do anything to them. Perhaps since they went through a beveling process at the factory the edges got smoothed out unlike a non-beveled piece of glass that you would find in a photo frame. The metal part of the light had sharp edges and I had to wear gloves to remove each piece of glass from the metal, but the glass itself was smooth all around.

  11. Great project! I keep everything and I’m pretty sure there’s an old broken light fixture down on the basement with my name all over it waiting for just this. Thanks for posting it!

  12. Oh man! I just threw away all the beveled glass from a thrift store light fixture :-( They would have been a bit oversized but would have worked nicely for this project. Oh well…. I guess I can’t keep everything. ;-) Nice work and creativity!

  13. I agree with everyone else – these look fantastic! I love your way of thinking – to work *with* the way you are, instead of trying to fit yourself into a round hole (or whatever shape it is!)…

    I have had extraordinary outcomes with Diamond Glaze for adhering paper to glass. The only catch is that it will smear freshly printed stuff. (I use a lot of magazine images and scrap book paper, which don’t smear.) If I do need to use something printed, I laminate it first. If it’s small enough I just use packing tape. (I call it the poor girl’s laminator). I wonder if you could get away with it on this size? Once laminated or covered with packing tape, apply Diamond Glaze to the paper or glass. Press together and smush out any air bubbles (so easy to do). It dries hard and permanent.

    I have a necklace made from a large glass pebble with a magazine pic Diamond Glazed behind it. It went through the washing machine in a pocket and came out completely unharmed!

    Thanks for your continuing inspiration.

  14. Just found your blog and loving what I see! I would never have thought of buying a broken light fixture and turning into something so cute. You are one creative lady and I’m off to see what ideas I can steal, I mean borrow, from you:)

  15. Love these!!! Would love to try it myself….gotta find the glass!! I lovethe idea of a Monogrammed paperweight!!!! Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  16. What a great idea! Who can’t use a paperweight for something or other; even if it’s just to look pretty! Thank you for sharing!

  17. These are fantastic! All of your stuff is amazing! I’m your newest follower!
    PS- I’ve started a Blog Hop- would love for you to stop by and join in.

  18. I love this Idea I saw some paper weights today shopping in Pottery barn NOT near as nice as these for $20….
    oooo & I just saw the craft cart its perfect I’m stealing that :-)

  19. okay. I want to meet the person who would spend $100 on a paperweight! yagottabekiddingme!!!!!

    What a brilliant and creative mind you have.
    You know there will now be a shortage of crappy lights at all the thrift stores across the nation? :)

  20. Yikes – $100 for a paperweight is pretty frightening! Of course you had the perfect solution and they turned out so fab ; )!! You come up with such great idea! xo Ashlyn

  21. Another great project. I especially love the bevelled edge of the glass it really gives a finished look. Will share on FB!

  22. Oh Diane, these are beautiful.

    And so very clever, and resourceful and just pure genius. I believe you should be declared a USA National Treasure.

    My classmates from high school (1965) think I am so resourceful.. chuckle, they should pay attention to me, when I tell them to sign up and read your blog. Then they could ‘borrow’ your ideas and pretend to be so clever also.

    Brilliant, just brilliant.

  23. Diane – You are so smart! I’ve admired those overpriced paperweights many times. I’m so glad that now I can make budget friendly ones myself. I just passed up one of these lanterns the other day in a thrift shop. Now I’m kicking myself!

  24. Oh I love this! SO cool! I’m currently working on a mod podge project and with the left overs, I’m going go be on the hunt for some glass! That was such a great thrift store find! And thanks for showing the trial and error. Way to keep it real!

  25. Wow these are absolutely amazing! They look beautiful, and just as if they came from Bergdorf Goodman (love that place too!)!!! Beautifully done, and I love the idea of using paper weights as “labels” – awesome!

    1. Thanks Maria. Hopefully I can get one with my initial made next. Bergdorf’s 7th floor is a fun place. I remember the first time I went Charlotte Moss, the designer had a shop with a huge assortment of goods. It was so much fun to roam around, but it was before camera phones. I remember jotting and drawing every cool idea I saw down on a scrap of paper.