Stained Glass Lessons
If you would like to learn about some basic stained glass techniques, then you have come to the right place.
We have everything you need to help you make beautiful stained glass projects.
Learn about the essential tools, find step-by-step projects, patterns and tips for success.
These are just some of the helpful things you will find here.
Why Create With Stained Glass?
Stained glass can cause technical challenges for hobbyists and professionals alike, but don’t let that discourage you. This medium is capable of inspiring many positive emotions, from the breathtaking awe experienced from a glowing cathedral window to the simple happiness created by a sparkling sun-catcher.
Change Your View of the World
Working with glass can even change the way that you look at the world around you. Notice the delicate shading of a flower, realize the range of colors in an amazing sunset or in the landscapes and surroundings of your daily life. You can feel these perceptions and emotions translate into your stained glass work. View the world through rose-colored glass (and green, blue, yellow …)
You Can Do It!
You might think that stained glass isn’t something you could make. It may seem difficult and time-consuming. Think again! Many amateurs practice this art and all it took was a bit of time and persistence. With the help of this site you can build a solid foundation of skills and knowledge. One upon which you’ll continue to build as long as you enjoy this wonderful craft.
Stained Glass Lesson: Butterfly Suncatcher
In this free lesson we will learn how to build a stained glass butterfly suncatcher. To get started begin by set up your working area. A good, inexpensive idea is to use ceiling tiles as a work surface. Then, choose the glass colors you will use for the project.
Next, print out 2 copies of the pattern . Using pattern shears, cut out one copy of the pattern. Next, print out 2 copies of the pattern. Using pattern shears, cut out one copy of the pattern. Pattern shears are made using a triple blade design. This will cut off the correct amount, leaving a space between your pattern pieces. That way the project won’t get too big when the copper foil is added to the pieces.
Glue your pattern pieces to the glass with an inexpensive glue stick. Then you can check out the effects by viewing the glued pieces through a window or a light table.
Cut and Grind Stained Glass Pieces
Now, begin cutting your glued pattern glass pieces out. Make sure you always wear safety glasses when cutting glass.
Grind your glass pieces. You will get nice, precise fitting pieces by having glued the pattern onto the glass.
Put the ground pieces of glass in water to soak and loosen the glue (it’s a good idea to keep a container of water beside the grinder). Then, towel dry the prepared cut piece of glass. Make sure to take note of the pattern number on your glass piece.
In the same manner, cut and grind all the pieces. Place them on the second, working pattern as you go.
Copper foil is a self adhesive product. There are black, silver and copper colored foil backs. Copper foil comes in various widths. A width of 3/16″ was used for the iridescent glass. A width of 7/32″ was used for the blue wissmach glass since it is thicker.
Wrap each piece of glass with copper foil. Apply the tape so that it is centered and even amounts of tape appear on both sides of the glass.
Pinch the copper foil into place with your fingers. The more evenly you put the tape on, the better the result will be after soldering.
After pinching the foil down with fingers, use a fid to press down with even pressure on all sides of foil. This will remove any air bubbles and secure the foil firmly to the glass.
If there is a tail on the join, use an exacto knife to trim it off. The more even the lines of copper foil, the nicer the solder lines will be.
Pin the finished pieces securely onto the working board. In this example “Morton system pins” are used to pin the pieces to the ceiling tile work surface.
Heat the soldering iron. Then, dab some flux on each point where glass pieces intersect and tack solder those areas.
Solder one side entirely. Leave about 1/4″ of the copper foiled lines at the outsides of the suncatcher unsoldered. This is the space needed to wrap on the border of U channel frame.
Remove the pins and flip the piece. Then you can solder the backside. When you’ve finished soldering, use an old rag to wipe off the excess flux.
Stretch the border U channel lead came framing material before putting it on the suncatcher. Then, cut the stretched U-came to the desired length for the piece and wrap it around. Tack solder where it joins. Be sure not to overheat since U-came melts easily.
Solder all the lines of copper foil (both sides) that intersect with U-came frame. Again, make sure not to overheat or the U-came will melt. Once the soldering is completed, wash the suncatcher with warm, soapy water.
Patina comes in various finishes. Black patina was used in this example. Use either a rag or a flux brush to apply patina to the solder lines. Make sure to wear gloves because patina is corrosive. Then, wash the piece again with warm, soapy water to clean off the patina.
Attach Hanger Loops
Make the hanger loops out of craft wire. Flux and solder then onto the frame. Attach the chain to the loops.
Wash the piece once more. Now you’re done! You can hang up your butterfly suncatcher and enjoy the beautiful stained glass piece.