Make Fake Glass

    Kids, why aren’t people really hurt in movies when they appear to be thrown through glass windows?   To discover their secret you can make stage "fake" glass by heating sugar and spreading it onto a cookie sheet.

    Be sure to have adult supervision when you do this activity!

    Please note:  All chemicals and experiments can entail an element of risk, and no experiments should be performed without proper adult supervision.

    What You Need:

    • 1 cup sugar (sucrose)
    • a flat baking sheet
    • butter or baking paper
    • a candy thermometer
    • a small pan
    • a stove or good hot plate

    What to Do:

    1. Spread butter onto a baking sheet or cover a baking sheet with baking (silicon) paper. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to chill it.
    2. Pour the sugar into a small pan on a stove and warm it over low heat.
    3. Ask an adult partner to stir the sugar continuously until it melts. Be patient because this will take a while. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the melt.  Rremove the pan from the heat when the sugar turns clear (this is the "hard crack" stage on the thermometer). This will make a colorless transparent fake glass.
    4. If you heat the sugar just past the hard crack stage it will turn amber and it will make a colored translucent fake glass.
    5. Your adult partner should then pour the melted sugar onto the chilled baking sheet. Allow it to cool. You now have made candy glass.

    The candy glass can be used as windows in dollhouses or gingerbread houses, or for lots of other things we can surely be creative in finding.


    Boiling water can be used to dissolve the sugar residue and speed clean-up.

    If you like, the glass can be colored using food coloring. Add the coloring after the sugar has melted and has cooled slightly.

    Be extremely careful because molten sugar is very hot, and can cause serious burns.


    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs
    April 2013