Decoupage Glass To Make a Pretty Paperweight

How to make a customizable DIY paperweight by repurposing glass from a thrift store light fixture. This easy DIY paperweight project will not only hold your papers down, but they also make a great gift idea that can be personalized in many colors and styles depending on the decorative paper, fabric or printable words you use.


In my quest to keep my papers on my desk better organized I made two pretty paperweights by repurposing glass from a broken outdoor light fixture.


With a printed copy of the words – To Do and FILE, decoupage medium, scissors, and glue I had myself two brand new handmade paper weights for my desk.

Where to Find Beveled Glass To Make a DIY Paperweight

My inspiration to make a useful pretty glass paperweights was a broken light fixture I found at the thrift store for a $2.00.

What makes this style of brass and glass light fixture ideal to repurpose into a paperweight is that each section of glass is beveled with finished edges.


The type of beveled glass can also be found in brass and glass boxes as shown in the photo above. This type of beveled glass is great to use as the edges are not sharp. They are smooth and finished and ready to use once you remove them from the fixture.

How To Make a Pretty Glass Paperweight

You can decoupage any type of paper to the back of the glass. Gift wrap, photos, tissue paper, napkins, scrapbook paper, a computer printout with a quote or favorite design.

You can make a computer printout of your initials using a favorite font decoupage a monogram print, or favorite quote onto a piece of glass to personalize your paperweight.

supplies needed:

  • Printable for FILE
  • Printable for TO DO or To Do .pdf  
  • Typography gift wrap used on To Do paperweight can be found at Luxe Paperie
  • Beveled glass or flat glass that has smooth finished edges
  • Tin snips or point nose pliers
  • Razor blade
  • Mod Podge
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Paint brush
  • Piece of gift wrap, card stock, scrapbook paper, fabric or computer printed designs on paper
  • Felt in coordinating color
  • Craft knife
  • Pencil
  • Spray glue
  • Scissors
  • Safety glasses and work gloves

Time needed: 1 hour

How to Make a DIY Glass Paperweight

  1. Download .pdf or Make Your Own

    If using the download printable .pdfs. Use your printer interface to print to size needed.

    Print out a few hours before to make sure ink is dry before making the paperweight. Once Mod Podge is brushed over it – cure time is a few hours.

    If using your own image or decorative paper, cut to the size of the glass.

    To Do free printable to make a paperweight

  2. Remove Glass

    Put on work gloves and safety glasses. Use tin snips, wire cutters or point nose pliers to grab and carefully pull away the metal strips from the glass.

    Wash each piece of glass in hot soapy water and use a razor blade to remove any caked-on adhesive along the edges.

    taking apart brass light fixture to repurpose the glass to make a pretty DIY paperweight.

  3. Cut Images or Paper

    Using scissors or craft knife, cut out your paper and images to size.

    How to make a glass paperweight

  4. Brush On Mod Podge

    Brush on a thick even coat of Mod Podge on top of your .pdf printout or paper.  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.

    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.

  5. Place Design Face Down

    On the back side of the glass, place print or paper 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 or paint brush to gently go over the back of the paper to smooth out any air bubbles and creases out to the edges of the glass.

    Keep your finger wet and your touch light so you don’t rip the paper.

    Let dry.

    Add Mod Podge to the back of glass

  6. Apply Mod Podge to Back of Print or Paper

    Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the back of the print or paper. 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. Some spots may stay whiter longer, but they will all dry clear.

    Use Mod Podge to glue felt to back of DIY paperweight

  7. Trim

    Once the paper is completely dry, use a craft knife to trim all the edges by running the knife along each edge of the beveled glass.

    Use glass cleaner to remove any Mod Podge that may have gotten on the top and edges of the glass.

    cut excess paper to fit glass for paperweight

  8. Add Felt Backing

    Cut a piece of felt to the size of your glass.

    Spray glue on back of the felt. Let it get tacky, then center felt on the back of print and on top of the paper.

    Use your hands to smooth. Cut excess felt with small scissors.

    add felt to back of DIY glass paperweight


Once the DIY paper weight is completely dry, it is ready to use or to wrap to as a semi handmade gift to give.

DIY Glass Decoupage Paper Weights

More Decorating Ideas Using Mod Podge

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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. Christina says:

    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. polly plum says:

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

  4. Dina Preuss says:

    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. Christina says:

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

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Christina –

      The font I used for the word “FILE” is EcuyerDAX.

  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. Diane Henkler says:

      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…

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura – You could drill holes in them with the right drill bit – they would look great as ornaments and would catch the tree lights.

  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. Diane Henkler says:

      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. Reb Smith says:

    What a great idea and a good tutorial. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Theresa McConatha says:

    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!

  13. Connie@Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    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!

  14. Michael @ Blue Velvet Chair says:

    Diane – I am absolutely loving these! AND you made them with recycled glass…happy! Going to splash them everywhere so that Blue Velvet Chair readers can enjoy.

  15. Coastal Decorating Blog says:

    Awesome idea! I’m definitely going to keep my eyes open for an old lamp or similar glass item.

  16. 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.

  17. What an amazing idea! I, too, have piles of of papers. Great solution!

  18. 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:)

  19. Simply Sara says:

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

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. Oh my gosh girl…these are GORGEOUS!!!

  23. 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 :-)

  24. Cindi @ Rustique Art says:

    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? :)

  25. Ashlyn@Pinecone says:

    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

  26. What a great idea……..I love the way they turned out!

  27. Shauna@ Satori Design for Living says:

    Fantastic ingenuity! I love these and I’m definitely going to try making something like them for my office.

  28. Aisling Beatha says:

    Those are absolutely gorgeous. Well done.

  29. I love this idea! I can’t wait to try it myself… thanks!

  30. Upscale Downhome says:

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

  31. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    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.

  32. Suzy @ Worthing Court says:

    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!

  33. Great upcycle idea. I pinned this…totally neat.

  34. Nancy@Life: Designed says:

    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!

  35. Now I have to go find one of these lights!!! BRAVO!!!!!

  36. 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.