How to Paint a Colorful Kaleidoscope Table

Paint a decorative glass tabletop inspired by the symmetrical, geometric patterns seen through a kaleidoscope.


Materials and Tools:

round glass tabletop
kraft paper
clear, heavy acetate
red, blue and yellow acetate
permanent marker
translucent red, blue and yellow glass paints
small to medium paintbrush
felt feet


1. Trace the outline of the round glass tabletop on kraft paper. Cut out the traced pattern.

2. Fold the round cutout kraft paper into eighths like pie wedges. Crease paper heavily and unfold.

3. Take a piece of heavy clear acetate at least as big as one of the wedges and, with permanent marker, trace the wedge shape onto the acetate.

4. Cut pieces of red, blue and yellow acetate into random geometric shapes.

5. Take the clear acetate wedge and colored acetate shapes to a color copy center. Arrange the colored pieces on the wedge in a pleasing pattern. Make eight copies onto copy-ready acetate (available from most copy centers) then cut away excess from acetate shapes.

6. Position the eight wedges of copied acetate on another piece of acetate slightly larger than the tabletop. Tape wedges in place to form a circle.

7. Place the glass tabletop over the large, circular acetate pattern.

8. Recreate the pattern on the glass with red, blue and yellow translucent glass paints, applying the yellow paint first and building on the design. Remove errant wet paint with a cotton swab, or with a razor blade after paint dries. If desired, overlap the primary colors to create secondary colors.

9. After letting the paint dry (approximately 1/2 hour), apply felt feet to protect the glass. Place tabletop, paint and feet side down, onto the table frame.

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