Instructables

How to make Sugar Glass

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I've always wondered about sugar glass, and was surprise at how easy it was to make. You can buy everything you need at the grocery store and make it in your kitchen. In the end this recipe produces a sheet of sugar glass that is perfect for your indy movie.

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Step 1: Shopping List

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1. A big bottle of white corn syrup.
(I bought the one quart size.)

2. A can if non-stick cooking spray.


3. A big bag of white sugar.
(You can always use more sugar, buy a pound!)

4. A candy thermometer.
(Chances are you can borrow one of these.)

5. Cream of Tartar.
(Turns out this is actually a powder, you can find it in the spice section.)

6. A big pot.
(I read somewhere that the pot would be ruined after you make this, but mine was fine with a
wash.)

7. Measuring cup.
(Again you should be able borrow this if you don't already have one.)

8. A Mold.
(For a sheet of sugar glass all you'll need is big cookie sheet, but you can make more
complicated molds.)

9. Water.
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oniman75 years ago
Do you think a higher-end airsoft gun would break this? I was thinking I would make some of this and shoot it with my airsoft gun, maybe send the video to my uncle stationed in Japan. See if he could figure it out.
it really depends on the thickness an air soft gun couldn't shoot through a sheet of aluminum but could definitely shoot through a sheet of aluminum foil same idea a thick sheet i think not a thin sheet i believe so. if you make it as thin as you can it should work in your favor. hope you find this helpful. -Parker

My friends Electric Airsoft gun was actually able to tear through a thin sheet of steel 2 mm thick... It took quite a few shoots but it does work... I would say if you had a decent enough airsoft gun you should be able to tear or chip your way through at least a decent thickness of it like nothing...

big-jamie3 years ago
hey there, i decided to make sugar glass, i didnt have any cream of tartar, so i didnt use that, and in britain corn syrup isnt all that common, so i found that golden syrup (light treacle) can be used as a substitute for it, and i used that but found it turned it yellow...so i didnt know wether it was burnt or not...percivered with it for about an hour and 20 mins, until i had a lovely looking and smelling gloopy liquid, let it set and BAM.....pure deliciousness, tastes amazing, and if i used corn syrup i think it would of been perfectly clear, its just yellow clear now lol.

If you heat if to much, if even just a tad... It'll get that yellow color to it... It is very difficult for it not to... Also, Pip Pip Cheerio XD

Hey Dude, Glad to know Golden Syrup works. I'm from LA but live in Scotland and, you're right, hard to find Karo syrup. Was gonna try the Golden stuff but managed to find a website based in the UK that has American sweets and cooking stuff. Funnily enough, it's www.americansweets.co.uk . They sell Gallon size (3.78 litres) for £22.99 or smaller 470ml for £3.99. Clear or Dark Brown in both sizes. I recommend the dark if you want colored cause I added food coloring in mine and it just burned the food coloring and didn't go green. It was boiling though. AND, if you have an option between pliable PVC rubber compound or more firm...definitely go with the firm. Moveable stuff is rediculous to keep the mold shape and you look like you're holding a fish when you try and rotate the bottle. - LA Drew
It's humidity that causes sugarwork to fall apart; sticking it in the fridge will hasten this process - water will condense on the colder than room temp sugar and cause it to get sticky. A better solution might be to get some dessicant (those silica gel packets) and store the glass in a bag with them until you're ready to go. Ideally, though, you'd just wait for a really dry day to do this. :)
There is more to it than just humidity. Sugar crystals tend to bend when they are at higher temperatures. Try heating the glass very lightly and after sometimes it becomes a liquid. Keeping it in the fridge helps this way. On the other hand, putting the glass in water, and it would become sticky, not exactly bendy, and even if it does, I doubt that would happen with just humidity.

It can the sugar is very hygroscopic, especially seeing as when you add the Cream Of Tartar is breaks down from Sucrose into Glucose and Fructose, which is especially hygroscopic... Like syrups for instance, which you can leave on a surface yet they will never truly dry because of their affinity for water... That's the same stuff this glass has been made of... Only without the moister... Which will be picked back up if given the chance...

In culinary school we did some pulled sugar work, and making basic sugar glass, but I don't remember how to do it, it's been over 10 years now since I've worked with either pulled or poured sugar. We used light boxes with various wattage of bulbs to heat the sugar to the degree we needed it -- if a 60-watt bulb didn't heat it enough we stepped up to a 100-watt or flood-type bulb that really puts out some heat to keep the sugar warm and to allow is to bend it as much as we needed to. When we needed it to go back to a really melty stage in certain spots we used a small blow torch like you'd use to caramelize the top of a creme brulee (you know the ones I mean - not available in the hardware store - you gotta get these little ones from a culinary tools store. The little "pen" type soldering torches didn't put out enough to do the job.)

Some of the projects were so fragile that they didn't hold up until judging time . . . my partner's project broke just as she was taking it up to be judged -- we couldn't put enough of it back together in order to save her grade, though, with either torch or light box. (That was when we learned the wisdom of making a "back-up" just as ready to be judged. If you don't need it you can always eat it after class!)

For my gingerbread house windows I think I am gonna have to mold it already in squares instead of trying to cut it which could be a real disaster! It would likely shatter when being cut . . .
jimbo-g2 years ago
I need a shatterable mirror for a prop. You can make normal mirrors by spraying a high gloss metallic paint on clean glass. Would using spray paint on this sugar glass corrode it or distort it? Any other way to make a prop mirror?

You might want to use a resign instead of sugar glass in that case

lukeyj155 years ago
Can you eat it?
Tastes like plastic, but...yeah.

Mine tasted fine...

ya, it just tastes like mintless candy cane
bauer137 months ago
I need a sugar glass globe. Is there a way to do this? It's supposed to be a crystal ball prop.
mgrim1 bauer137 months ago
what you can do is take a ball (whatever size the crystal ball needs to be) and cut off a chunk at the bottom. after you've made the sugar glass (and dyed it if you want) pour it into the ball. the bottom will be flat, but that also might help so it can stand up on its own.
g33klaura4 years ago
Is it just the photo that makes the glass look so yellow? I'm thinking of using this in a cake creation but I'd need it to be clear. :)
its just the light i think
tinker2342 years ago
i like the idea of sugar glass but i was wondering about rubber glass i know it feels like rubber is it a good alterintavie to sugar glass
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Cream of Tartar is in fact pronounced "tar-tar." If you ever spent time in a professional kitchen or time around any culinary experts you'd know this. Also if you look the word up, the first syllable in either form of "tartar" doesn't include the 2nd T. 3rdly, try not to make blatant typos such as "neah" while in the process of trying to sound smart by correcting someone's grammar. kthxbai
Actually, it IS pronounced "tar-ter." Tartare, as a culinary entity, is raw, finely chopped meat, and is of a French derivation, while "cream of tartar" is actually tartaric acid, which is harvested from the insides of wine barrels. Check your sources before acting like a smartypants.
luhe989225 years ago
could this perhaps be used to make low quality and not-so-long-lasting lenses?? for example, the base of a beer bottle is slightly curved. so if u break off the bottom and pour about 0.5cm of the solution in (and IF the Glass doesn't shatter... but u could counter that by preheating the glass perhaps) wouldn't the result be a lens?? Now that I think about it u could even make interesting filters for your camera!(coloured ones or ones that give a result similar to the first pic......... ible idea folks..
Couldn't you cut the bottle with a glass cutter, break it, then wash out the mold you just made to avoid incorporating any glass fragments? We used to cut wine bottles that way, and granted they didn't always break where you scored the glass, but when heated with candle flame we had better results on that. I could see a set of "sunglasses" with lenses you could eat on film, and I agree that this could produce some interesting filters for camera work . . . I think I have another photo project on my hands now! Thanks for the cool ideas.

My original idea visiting the site was to make sugar-glass windows for my gingerbread house, and am already thinking of NEXT year's house -- what if I made a "glass house" made of sugar glass? You could do some cool Lloyd-Wrightean designs using this technique, and if I spark somebody else's brain with my toss-out idea, so much the better!
So my cosplay group is hosting an Alice and wonderland tea and I was considering making a few cups and plates out of sugar glass so they can be thrown at a wall and will shatter like in the movie. How would you reccomend going about this if it gets sticky after 15 minutes?
jackyboy2564 years ago
could you put it on baking paper??
brad6 years ago
Old chef's trick: to get the bubbles out, pour VERY SLOWLY, thin enough that bubbles can't form in the stream.

Tall pour - thin stream - no bubbles =)
wouldn't the stuff start hardening though?
I've not had that experience. Usually there's enough residual heat that it won't harden right away.

If you pour high and evenly, you should avoid bubbles just fine.
Ok, thanks
(removed by author or community request)
 w00t!

They did!
greinight6 years ago
"(I read somewhere that the pot would be ruined after you make this, but mine was fine with a wash.)" If you have issues with getting the stuff out of the pot once you are done (i.e. clean up), you can add water to the pot and boil the heck out of it. The water helps breakdown whatever is sticking to the pot, and helps with restoring the pot to useable condition.
I wouldn't see why the pot wouldn't be usable with a good ol' wash, after all it is edible stuff (and probily water soluble) I think it might be about one method of making a smoke bomb with KNO3 and sugar that you heard it was unusable after
 I was able to clean my smoke bomb pot by leaving lukewarm water in it overnight. It turned into a solution which I poured out.
 What's the opening song in the test film called?
NInja994 years ago
Does Dark corn syrup work?
Deven475 years ago
Also try running a cooking blowtorch over the top in a quick smoth motion this will break the top of the bubbles and remelt them back in
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