How to Make Sugar Glass

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Introduction: How to Make Sugar Glass

I've always wondered about sugar glass, and was surprised at how easy it was to make. You can buy everything you need for homemade sugar glass 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



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.

Step 2: The Mix

It doesn't get any easier then this. The proportions I used for a 17"x11" sheet of glass is as follows.

2 cups water
1 cup corn syrup
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

Now mix these ingredients into your pot and SLOWLY bring them to a boil. If you heat it too rapidly the mix sugar will caramelize (become yellow and burnt). Depending on the altitude your sugar glass mix should start to boil around 160-200*F. Your mix will start cloudy and white, but as it starts to boil it becomes clear.

If you're heating it at the right pace, it should take at least an hour to reach our target temperature, which is 300*F. My first batch started turning slightly yellow at about 290* and resulted in yellow glass. The second batch I removed at 260*, and while being more clear, it was very soft. My remedy, put it in the refrigerator until you need to break it.

Step 3: The Mold and the Pour

The simplest mold to use is just a big cookie sheet. I used a standard 17"x11" size. First thing you want to do is spray the crap out of your sheet with cooking spray. This will allow the glass to come out of the mold when dry. Now once your sugar glass mix comes off the stove it will start to dry fast. So don't wait long to pour. Go slow making sure to spread the mix evenly across the mold. I even picked up the mold and rocked it back and forth to get the mix level and in all the corners.



There might be some small bubbles on the surface. Most of these should go away, but feel free to (carefully) pop them with something pointy. Now just wait 1 hour!

Step 4: The Removal

This can be a difficult process. What finally worked for me was to take a knife and heat it up under hot water, then carefully cut along the very edge where the glass meets the edge of the pan. After that I was able to carefully pry it up. Then flip it over and slowly lift the pan away from the sugar glass that is resting on you hand.

Step 5: The Execution

Sugar glass does not last long...at all. As I said before, keep it in the fridge until you need it. After only 10-15 minutes at room temperature the glass will start to sweat and get sticky. The longer you leave it out the more it will just bend instead of break.


There are tons of creative ways to use this stuff. You could try and make a big window out of smaller sheets, break a fire extinguisher case, or just break it and stick it to your actors face to make them look like they just went threw a window. Just keep in mind that you can still cut yourself with this stuff.

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82 Comments

I need a sugar glass globe. Is there a way to do this? It's supposed to be a crystal ball prop.

kind of late here, but you probably need a hollow ball that splits apart. you would dump your stuff in, close it up and spin it round like a glass blower.

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.

Hey I used just water and sugar on Martha Stewart blog. And how long does it take to turn brown, and how long to harden

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 I tried making it with sugar and water. App. How long does it take to turn brown. And how long to harden?

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