How to Make Stained Glass? – The Ultimate Guide

How to Make Stained Glass

For many years, the popularity of stained glass windows has increased. The fear that only rich people can afford has highly reduced. For a long, you could mostly see them in catholic churches. But of late, you can see them in offices, business premises, churches and even in homes.

Why is their price high? The process of making stained glasses for your window is complex and thus takes time. Again, there is a danger of lead poisoning. The glazier must be skilled in dealing with stained glasses. By the time you get the final result, a lot of glasses will have gone to waste. All these factors combined make stained glasses expensive.

What Do You Need window stained glasses?

Stained glasses add value to your house. Remember, when you add them, they make your home stylish and unique. Before relocating, you can sell your home at a higher price courtesy of a stained window. 

Privacy is another reason why you require stained glasses. You don’t have to buy expensive curtains. Stained glasses are translucent. The light will go through, but people will not see through the window.

What Do You Need window stained glasses?

Stained glasses add value to your house. Remember, when you add them, they make your home stylish and unique. Before relocating, you can sell your home at a higher price courtesy of a stained window.

 Privacy is another reason why you require stained glasses. You don’t have to buy expensive curtains. Stained glasses are translucent. The light will go through, but people will not see through the window.

Can You Make Them?

Visitors are coming for the holiday season at your house. You have always presented yourself as a stylish and person of class; you can’t afford to give them a different perception. When trying to make your house better, you think of stained glasses, and there is no glazier around. Don’t give up yet, be patient, and follow the right procedure. Your visitors will be impressed by the beauty of your windows. How do you make stained glasses?

Gather The Right Equipment’s

Any stained glass supply shop near your area should have the right stained glasses. Speaking of the right one, do you even know different types of stained glass in existence? Maybe you should have the characteristic of the right one before purchasing it. For starters, price is one primary consideration. Some imported glasses from certain countries are expensive.

Other than price, check how transparent the glass is and the color. It should also have the right texture. Maybe you can consider a combination of a streaky and textured glass. The size of the glass will depend on the intended use. Remember, there is a lot that goes to waste when you trim it.

So after purchasing the glass, buy a glass cutter. You can consider a tungsten carbide wheel cutter. You need Grozer pliers and an electric grinder. If you are broke, instead of using an electric grinder, go for Carborundum stone. Copper foil, lubricating oil and safety gears are also vital. Don’t forget the soldering iron and solder.

Get Started

You need a spacious, well-ventilated room that has a flat counter. Wear protective gear since glasses can be dangerous if they get into your eyes. Ensure that kids don’t come to your working station since they might get injured.

Get A Pattern

You can walk around and check the patterns in the neighborhood. If none impresses you, Google some simple patterns or even check some in the book. You can sketch or even download the pattern.

Trace The Outline

Put the design under your glass and use a marker to trace your outline. If you don’t have a marker, use a special pen made for that work. You can number all the pieces to avoid confusion.

Score Your Glass

Once you outline, it’s time to score your glass. Remember, glass can be dangerous and can cut your hand, or the pieces can enter your eyes. Wear the right gear. Use a high-quality glass cutter to score your glass.

The pressure you apply will depend on the glass type. You can’t apply the same pressure when scoring opalescent and cathedral glass. But note that, Excessive pressure will make your glass break beyond your score line, causing much waste. Again if you score too deeply, the glass will break awkwardly. Keep on listening to zipping sound to know if you are applying the right pressure.

Breaking The Glass

If you want a straight line, score continuously without repeating. Once you form a line, snap it using your hand or even a plier. In case you require a curved piece, snapping with your hand will ruin the pattern. So use a glass cutter to cut the curved line.

Grind The Jagged Pieces

If you have an electric grinder, grinding becomes easy. But if you don’t have a grinder, Carborundum stone is a better alternative. Carefully grind the jagged edges until they acquire your desired shape. Avoid excessive pressure to protect it from chipping. Add flux, tackle the edges. Add solder and melt it once you are through tin seam.

How to Cut Stained Glass

Whether you want to cut straight lines or curves, cutting accurately can be tricky. Note that that the tools and experience matters. When looking for the cutter, get the one whose head is not so long. You should be able to see where you are cutting. The pressure you apply matters. Excess pressure will ruin your glass. When scoring the glass, be consistent and avoid repeating scoring in the same line. Take time and practice cutting.

Cutting a Straight Line

With the right tools, achieving a straight line should not be a challenge. Start by getting a flat workspace and ensure that the counter is clear. You can’t afford to place a glass on top of a nail. Ensure that children don’t come to your working area since small glasses can harm them. Wear protective gear before scoring.

Lubricate your cutter in oil. Some use vegetable oil, and others use kerosene. The problem with kerosene is that it leaves behind a strong smell, especially if it spills. Mark the line and use the cutter to score the line. A zipping sound should notify you that the pressure you are applying is okay. Once the glass weakens, snap it with fingers or use the plier to fold and separate it.

Cutting a Curve

When cutting a curve in your glass, you should follow the same process when cutting a straight line. You require a clean, clear, and flat working environment. When handling the glass, be cautious. Remember, it can easily break or even injure you.

After placing your glass on the counter, draw your curve using a marker. You can draw different patterns. Wear safety gear since the tiny pieces that come from your glass when scoring can harm you. Lubricate your cutter. If you don’t have any special lubricating oil, cooking oil is perfect.

When scoring, several small pieces of glass will accumulate on the surface. They can harm you or even interfere with the angle of your glass. Take a brush and wipe the surface. Score the line continuously without repeating to scratch in the same line. If the glass is large, you can consider scoring when standing. If it’s a small glass, it’s good to sit when scoring.

Continue scoring until the line weakens. Tap it with a steel ball then fold it using your hands. It should break easily.

How to Cut Stained Glass Patterns

Another technique you require to master as a beginner is working with patterns. Apart from knowing how to cut the patterns, you should know how to use them. Luckily, learning about patterns is not complicated. To become a pro, check and follow these steps.

Decide On The Pattern

Is there a special pattern that you would like your business/household windows to have? Maybe you’re clueless. Google some patterns and print. You can also get some from a book and photocopy the best pattern.

Make A Copy

Label the pattern’s parts by color or using a letter. Use an arrow to show the grain direction. It helps you remain organized. Labeling the parts is essential, especially when dealing with large patterns. Using scissors cut the labeled pieces. Once you are through with the copies, you may use them in similar future projects.

Transfer Your Pattern

The best way to achieve a perfect cut when transferring the pattern is by using a spray adhesive. It will help you stick the pattern on the glass. If you lack a spray adhesive, you shouldn’t abort your mission. You can still use a pen to help you trace the pattern on your glass. The problem with a pen is that you can wipe it without knowing; hence you can quickly lose the track. Use a sharpie to help you with the pattern.

Cut Your Glass

Wear protective gear since small glass pieces may enter your eyes when cutting. The pieces can also injure your hands. Arm yourself with a small brush to help you wipe the surface as you continue with the job. Take your cutter and lubricate it first. Lubricating offers protection to your blades. Cut the glass following the parts. Ensure that you have extra glasses in case of an accident. Decide on the front side and cut the smooth and shiniest side of your glass. Score keenly without repeating. Remember to leave enough space between your pieces.

Use the right pressure. If you see some tinny shards of glass flying all over as you cut your pieces, then you are using excessive pressure. When you use the right pressure, it should produce a zip sound.


Making a stained glass should not be an impossible task. With the right materials, instructions, practice, and patience, you can perfect your skills. You don’t need a glazier to make and sell expensive stained glass to you. Make some and save the cost.

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