How to Make a Stained Glass Window

By Contributor

How to Make a Stained Glass Window. Making your own stained glass projects is a beautiful and complex undertaking. Though it takes some time to finish a stained glass window, this creation will last for years and can bring beauty to any home. Here's how to make your own stained glass window.

Set Up

Design your window. Find an image or create one that you would like to translate into glass.

Draw your image onto a piece of paper the same size as the window. Draw your image with a pencil. Each shape that composes your image should be simple, and should not have thin lines. If you don't want to draw an image, find a pattern that you like and print out two copies of the image, one for cutting and one for reference.

Cut out the shapes in your image or pattern into separate sections, numbering each piece as you go. Also, note the same numbers of the pieces on your second copy so that each piece of your window can be correctly placed together during assembly.

Glass

Select glass colors that are appropriate for your image and assign your cut-out and numbered templates to each piece of glass.

Trace your cutouts onto the glass with a washable, dry eraser or glass marker, making sure you leave enough room between shapes to make a straight line across the glass to avoid cutting problems.

Score the sections of glass, using a glass cutter along the straight lines you have created to separate your shapes. Break these main sections apart by taking breaking pliers and holding the edge of your glass firmly. Break it in the opposite direction of the scored side.

Cut out your shapes. Score along the edge of the shape you have drawn. For each section where there is a straight line or a curve, make sure you have scored to the edge of the glass. Repeat the previous step to achieve your cutout shape. Depending on the difficulty of the shape, you may need running pliers to break the glass.

Lay out your pieces and determine if the shape you cut from the glass will fit together the same way it does in your image. Use a glass grinder to grind down imperfections or reshape your glass cutout.

Metal

Cover the edges of your shapes with copper foil, allowing it to overlap onto your glass shape. Remember that the width of your foil determines how wide your soldering lines will be.

Arrange your pieces onto a solid surface that will not melt or burn such as glass or marble and plug in your soldering iron.

Solder your pieces together. Solder comes in spools, so the best way to solder the piece together is to take a piece of soldering wire and unwind it. Take the tip of the wire and place it at the beginning of the line you are going to solder together, and use your soldering iron along this edge.

Wash your piece. Get off the excess glass dust and marker, and attach a chain if you'd like to hang it in a window.

Tip

Do not squeeze the pliers too tightly when breaking. This prevents cracking on the remaining piece of glass which may still have other sections that you will cut out.