How to Make Stained Glass Jewelry

By Aksana Nikolai

Who said stained glass was only for church windows? If you enjoy making your own jewelry and are tired of using conventional beads and materials, then this article is for you. With a little practice, soon you will be making beautiful jewelry from colorful glass in your own home.

Select the pieces of stained glass that you would like to use for your jewelry and arrange them on the work board in the design that you would like to make.

Peel away a small amount of the paper backing of the copper tape. Apply the sticky side that you have exposed to the edge of one of your glass pieces. Repeat this step until all exposed edges of the glass are covered.

Cut the foil to disconnect the roll of copper tape from the glass piece, making sure to leave approximately 1/2 inch extra. Apply this extra length on top of the foil on the edge with which you started, so that there is a bit of overlap. Foil will hang over the edge of the glass on each side; squeeze the foil with your fingers so that the overhang sticks to the glass on both sides.

Repeat steps two and three for all the glass pieces in your design.

Select the first two pieces you would like to attach together. Use a brush to apply flax to the foil-covered parts of both pieces of glass. Plug in the soldering gun and wait for it to heat up. Once it is hot, hold the soldering gun in your dominant hand and solder piece in the other. Melt the solder by touching it with the tip of the gun and watch it cover a small area of foil. Continue to do this until the space between the two pieces of glass is completely covered with solder.

Flip the two pieces over. Fill in with solder any unfilled areas that remain in the seam between the two glass pieces.

Repeat steps five and six to attach the remaining pieces to the two that have already been soldered together.

Use the special adhesive to glue a jewelry bail to the top or side of your piece (depending on if it’s a necklace or another type of jewelry you’re making).

Apply glass cleaner to a rag or paper towel and wipe the surface of the stained glass to remove any grime.

Complete your stained glass jewelry piece by putting, for example, a chain or cord through the bail so that you can wear your piece as a necklace.

Tip

Making abstract designs is often easier than making something more specific, for example a flower. For an abstract design, you can use randomly shaped glass pieces that you find instead of having to cut intricate shapes out of glass.

Warning

Working with stained glass involves using materials that must be handled with caution. Sharp-edged glass pieces, chemicals like glass cleaner and flux, and the very hot soldering gun must be stored and used out of reach of children.

Unplug the soldering gun and leave it aside to cool off as soon as you are done soldering. Do not leave a plugged-in soldering gun unattended.

Make sure that the molten solder does not drip on your skin while you are soldering, as this will cause serious burns.

About the Author

Aksana Nikolai is a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in language studies and international affairs. Nikolai is currently working in online marketing and communications. She has been writing since 2008, specializing in made-for-Web content and maintaining her fashion and beauty blog.