Usually, when we talk about stained glass, we mean putting piece of glass that already have colors together. The color has been created when metallic salts were added to the glass. Stained glass is usually seen in churches, where elaborate works of art have been created, but also in mirrors, windows and lampshades. If you want to know how to make your own stained glass, you have to first understand that it does take precision and skill. However, it is something that you can learn.
Steps to Make Your Own Stained Glass
The first thing you have to do is decide what you actually want to make. If this is your first time, start with a panel, which is easy to do. From there, you can move on to boxes, lampshades and so on. It is always best to start with something easy to get you going.
Next, you need to choose your pattern. Inspiration is all around us, including in nature. If you are very artistic, you can come up with your own pattern as well. Once you know you pattern, you can start looking into the glass itself. Your budget will be a main factor to take into consideration, but also the color and texture, and whether or not it is available. Do remember that you can use various types of glass within a single project.
You should now be ready to actually purchase the glass. This is sold in sheets of varying sizes. Always buy slightly more than you need for your dimensions, since you will trim pieces off. You need to make sure that the pieces fit with the template that you have drawn. This must be an actual size template, so that you can create your pattern properly as well. You have to trace the outline of your pattern on the glass, so that you know where to trim and cut it.
You are now ready to score your glass, which is the part that takes the most skill. You need to hold a glass cutter in the same way as you would a pencil, pressing ever so gently into the glass. Scrape inwards towards your body and take your time to get it right. Once you see the formation of a line, you can place pliers inside them and separate the piece. If this is your first time, it is likely that this will go wrong numerous times. It does demonstrate the importance of wearing protective equipment, covering your hands and your eyes, however.
Once you have your pieces, you need to wash them with a tiny bit of ammonia and then dry them properly. You then copper foil all of the edges. Use a tongue depressor or a tool called a fid to make sure it is in place and sticks. Once that is done, you can solder the glass, heating your soldering iron and applying flux to the seams. Make sure you solder both sides as well. Finally, you need to frame your creation so that it is safe and stays together.