How To DIY a Faux Stained Glass Seating Chart


Simple, scalable, and modern

by Lucy Bennett

Place cards and seating charts are the two areas of wedding decor where the Internet has the potential to drive you completely bonkers. Every day new ideas for these two simple things pop up, and they’re beautiful and lovely… and cost approximately a million dollars to create, when you get down to brass tacks. Or, the seating chart of your dreams turns out to have been made by a team of designers with access to more tools than you have names for.

So we asked Michelle Edgemont if she could come up with a modern, sleek seating chart without needing a design degree, or any fancy supplies, and she turned out this amazing faux stained glass seating chart. A seating chart is essential for showing folks exactly where to go (and for keeping tough family dynamics in check), and this one can be scaled up or down, done in any color under the sun, and the geometric possibilities are endless!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Steps:

1. Tape off your design. Plan the design of the escort card board to have the same number of sections as tables as your wedding. So if you have ten tables, you’ll need ten sections. The names will be written on the other side of the Plexiglass. This means that the side you are taping and painting is technically the back of the escort board.

2. Mix each color of paint with one part paint, one part glue, and a tablespoon of water.

3. Paint each section with a different color. Try not to have two sections of the same color next to each other. Let the paint create natural brush strokes and pools of color.

4. Let dry and remove the tape. You can clean the edges if needed with a wet Q-tip.

5. Write the table numbers and names on the other side of the board. Sharpie marker is easily removed with a Magic Eraser (found in the cleaning section of the store), so that you can change the seating assignments at the last minute.

If you want to go for an even more authentic looking stained glass, you can outline your sections in black stained glass paint. Or go crazy using All The Colors and make your own Tom Fruin-inspired seating chart. As long as people know where to sit, you can’t go wrong.


The Info:

Styling: Michelle Edgemont APW Sponsor | Photography: City Love Photography APW Sponsor

Lucy Bennett

Lucy a freelance designer/writer hybrid. When not coming up with weird self-challenges, she can be found marathoning TV shows or playing board games. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, her moderately internet-famous pup, and two cats. She takes herself very seriously.

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  • pajamafishadventures

    It’s not enough to get me to abandon my “go to whatever lengths necessary to not need a seating chart” stance, but I am impressed by how attractive and DOABLE this looks!

  • Sara P

    This is awesome! And it looks so easy! (Seating chart presentation problem solved?)

  • Elizabeth

    It seems like “make shapes with painters tape” is the best and easiest design solution for EVERYTHING. Love it.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Shhhh you’ve figured out our secret. Don’t tell anyone!

      • Elizabeth

        I think it’s great. It’s “cohesive,” which is apparently an important aspect of design. (So I’ve been told… I’m not super good at it).

  • kate

    2 things i’m left wonderings:
    1) is there a suggested size range by number of tables/guests? that would be helpful to gauge whether to scale up or down a bit.
    2) did you happen to test other colors and find that any work particularly well or not well? like, i see that there’s some neutrals included in the linked paint set, but i’m curious if the colors like ivory or gold sparkle are opaque enough to be easily readable and impactful. (and if you didn’t try a sparkle shade, then i don’t know what APW is coming to…)

    • This! I am wondering how I can make this work with our black/white/metallic/sparkly theme. :) I think it would work. I may or may not be attempting to convince my fiancé that this is way cooler than our original plan.

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        I bet if you did black and white tiles, with contrast lettering (silver lettering on black squares, gold on white, or something) it would look awesome. If you’re not worried about needing to change the chart too much, you could use those gorgeous metallic sharpies for your guest names and then just stick with black and white squares.)

        • I agree with Maddie. That sounds pretty. Or – keep it simple with all white squares and black writing. Then add a glitter border all around the plexi glass.

    • Jess

      For opacity, you could back any of the colors once dried with white. It gives a second coat and less of a “stained glass” appearance, but your colors would be super vibrant

    • Hi Kate! 1….choose a size of acrylic as large enough as you can a) transport and b) have table space big enough at your venue. I always recommend bigger is better for written seating charts like this so your guests aren’t crowding around a tiny thing trying to find their names. 2….I love color, so I didn’t try any neutrals. Although, I did buy a second, smaller piece of plexiglass to try different colors and types of paint. Definitely get a test piece!

      • kate

        thanks!!

      • AKH

        How big of a piece did you try? We have roughly the same number of guests that you put in your sample here so I want to copy it!

  • Lisa

    That is GORGEOUS!

  • Lawyerette510

    I feel like this technique could work well for other signage too, such as a bar sign or menu or welcome sign or directional signs or photo booth hype etc

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Totally. You could even make a cool faux stained glass backdrop if you wanted to (and lean it up against a wall or something.)

  • Sarah

    Unlike most of (any) tutorials (I am a decidedly uncrafty person), this looks like something I could actually do.

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  • Jess

    Just thinking about this – if you do it with a real glass pane ( less expensive than you’d think if you go on the smaller size and have a few glass companies in your area – I had one cut me a small piece to replace a shelf on my vanity once and got it free because they had scrap from that size off another project) and had some nail polish remover/cotton balls on hand, you could remove the sharpie and then hang it as wall art.

    Dual-purpose!!

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