Picture of Sharing O' the Green - Irish Maiden Made in Glass ( no pun intended)
May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
This gives me the opportunity to make something I have always wanted, to keep for myself. I have made several in the past in various sizes, but I have never kept one, although she is one of my favorite pieces!

I only hope that I can do justice to this instructable and to those reading it, so anyone who wishes can make one for themselves.  Following these instructions you should be able to create your own work of art in glass at home  Don't let stained glass become a dying art form! 

What you will need:

The Pattern (2 or more copies is best to have)
Glass scoring blade
Running Pliers
A suitable cutting surface (I use a grid for a drop ceiling placed over an old xerox glass plate)
A light table (the above surface is placed on an old aquarium stand with a clip-on work light below it)
Glass marker (a china marker works well since it will not wash off easily)
A flat surface with a large work area (mine is made from an old wire spool that is 4 ft in diameter and 3 feet high when turned on it's side)
A glass grinder
Copper tape (for Tiffany style stained glass. You can also do this using lead or lead free H came and glass putty)
Zinc U-came or sun catcher came)
70/30 Solder (type used for stained glass. Do NOT use plumbers solder or any solder with a solid core or acid core)
A small brush or Q-tip to apply flux
Aluminum push pins (to hold the pieces of glass in place while soldering)
A cork board (to piece and to hold the pieces for soldering)
A good soldering iron with a 3/8 in flat tip (you can purchase a tip especially for soldering stained glass)
Soldering iron tip in 1/8 inch for any decorative soldering
Coarse bristle brush
A mild ddetergent
Wipe-on patina (if desired)
Carnuba wax or good quality car polish
Soft cloths (for cleaning, polishing and just to keep handy as needed)
and of course the glass-
    1 sq ft of green (or color choice for dress and head piece)
    1 sq ft pale pink, or flesh tone
    1 sq ft golden yellow (or your choice of hair color
    1/3 sq ff or red (or desired flower color)
     2 sq ff or clear architectural glass for background
Came Stretcher
Lead Cutter
Wire Cutters


Gloves for working with chemicals and when grinding glass
Band-aids (because no matter how experienced you are you never know when you might get a nick)

Working with glass can be dangerous, as well as the chemicals and equipment you will be using.  For my own shop I stick to these rules:
NO eating, drinking or smoking (you may have pieces of glass or chemicals on your hands that will transfer to your mouth and cause harm). 
NO bare feet or open tow shoes (and although I am known as the barefoot bohemian I do wear moccasins when working. There are almost always slivers of glas or metal on the floor!
NO cchildren under the age of 12.
No pets, no matter how much they whine wanting in there
NO unattended persons are allowed in the shop at any time.  

If you chose to follow this instructable to make you a stained glass piece, please follow ALL safety guidelines. 

bajablue3 years ago
Beautiful work!
barefootbohemian (author)  bajablue3 years ago
thank you :)
hehehe... you're welcome, welcome. ;-)
barefootbohemian (author)  bajablue3 years ago
thank you :)
I just don't know what to say! Scooch said it best! Just amazing. I have been wanting to get into stained glass and you have given me the boost I need! I have a question. Do you order glass or where do you get it? I feel that is my biggest obstacle from getting started.

And I love the red celtic knot one! Just beautiful!
Silly thing about tat red knot is my hubby had to hide it about halfway through because i was so frustrated i was ready to trash the entire piece! Getting it done made me like it all the more.
I have been down sick for a bit, but now that I am back and going I am hoping to make a series of idles on stained glass, just have to figure to how to get it started.
I'm glad he hid it because it is quite beautiful! I look forward to seeing them. I still haven't gotten myself to get stained glass tools. Maybe if you post more it will inspire me to get going and finally get everything I need :)
Thanks, I do with I had written this much clearer though. Was thinking of maybe doing a series of instructables starting with the glass then working through to leading and some other applications.
I think one of my biggest obstacles when I started was getting supplies and finding good instructions on how to do it. I live in a remote area where there aren't a lot of educational outlets. I did find a woman who taught some glass work, and took a few of her classes, but i really seemed to learn more through trial and error, and I made some big errors! In fact the red celtic knot was one of my big errors, but luckily I was able to fix it, for the most part. It didn't turn out the size it was supposed to be because of cutting errors, so i had to remake one for the person who commissioned it, and I kept the "oops" one. But it is one of my favorites as well.
I usually do order all my glass. You will get a better quality glass that way rather than buying it from a craft store, even though the prices always look better there. Shipping and crate charges have made it much more expensive to get glass.
One of the most affordable ways I have found is to approach churches who are replacing large, solid piece cathedral windows and ask for what is being removed. I have never had one say no. In fact this dove is going to be pieced over some glass that was reclaimed from a church that lost a window due to a BB gun, so I was able to get almost 8x3 feet of solid glass. In fact yesterday, and today will be spent pulling glass out of some windows and hopefully making some pieces for the places that let me do that. We had a nice little storm rip through and take out the electric so It gives me an opportunity and hoping i can give them back something special.
If there is anything I know that would help you starting up, please ask me. I love to share what little I know ;).
I am sure you will do great and make some wonderful pieces, I would love to see what you come up with!
still unfinished dove.jpg
shazni3 years ago
congrats!...it is obviously well deserved... :-)
wish i could do something as beautiful
barefootbohemian (author)  shazni3 years ago
Thank you, and I am sure you could do it. I think it I can learn how then anyone can learn it.
kmac13 years ago
Congratulation!! This is such a lovely piece. And your tutorial is full of great information, most of which would have made my one attempt at stained glass much less frustrating. I was never informed of the right and wrong side to score the glass. After around the tenth attempt and many splinters I lucked out.

Congratulations again. Very definitely deserved!
barefootbohemian (author)  kmac13 years ago
Thank you. There are so many little tricks that teachers forget to share, and i have had to learn by trial an error myself. with a few OUCH!'s along the way. :)
barefootbohemian (author) 3 years ago
Don't know which direction to say Thank you. The instructable bot probably doesn't get replie, but thank you very much. The timing was perfect to give me a boost in knowing the work I do has some meaning and worth :)
tinker2343 years ago
wow amazing i wonder how i could make this as a window to the outside
barefootbohemian (author)  tinker2343 years ago
What I usually do when I make an entire widow is build up the pattern to the window size and mount it on the inside of the widow. This way you aren't relying on the glass price to insulate and double pane windows stay intact. "Tiffany style" soldered windows such as this one aren't recommended for exterior placement so it's best to mount them to the inside. I covered my 4 ft diameter portal window this way. I did make the window with lead came just because the sheer size meant it would require strength to keep it stable. Guess it worked because my poor window has been sitting I the garage for 2 months now. I pulled it out while I was doing some redecorating in my kitchen. Thought it would be safer, that is until a cat moved into my garage and has taken up sleeping on it :0
oh maybe a pice of glass over the outside
barefootbohemian (author)  tinker2343 years ago
It would depend a lot on the type window, and if you ever wanted to open it. but there is always a way to do something, just takes some thinking sometimes :)
weekofmenus3 years ago
I think this is just amazing. Thank you for keeping lost art alive. I don't' know if I could ever make something like this, but it is truly lovely to look at.
barefootbohemian (author)  weekofmenus3 years ago
Thank you. And I really do believe it is something anyone can do. After I was no longer able to work in nursing, I taught myself painting, sculpting and glass work. Of course I am still in a huge learning curve, but I hope to be for as long as I draw breath. I believe that there will always be someone somewhere who holds onto the stained glass process, but the more I see of lights hanging in restaurants that were mass produced to make viable facsimiles of leaded glass, the more concerned it makes me that like so many things, cooking included, people will take what they see as an easier and cheaper path, even if it leads to inferior products (or more people eating out on a regular basis and using carry out in place of cooking).
And now I'll get down off my soap box lol!
PS- love your recipes. I will have to try more of them. I now remember where I saw the soy braised chicken I cut the chicken up for in my instructable. I'll go back and give you a credit there!
build523 years ago
Very pretty! Where did you get the glass?
barefootbohemian (author)  build523 years ago
I order almost all my glass online. Anythinginstainedglass.com, warnerstainedglass.com and delphiGlass.com all have a good selection and decent pricing, course shipping cost have made any online source more expensive. I have also gotten some by pulling out church windows after storms or vandals have broken the windows. When companies come in to replace the window they just trash the glass. Some of these windows are huge and what's left can be a lot of square ft. I usually try and make something for that church from the salvaged glass as a thank you. :)
scoochmaroo3 years ago
Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I may have to invest in one of those foilers!
barefootbohemian (author)  scoochmaroo3 years ago
Thank you
It's definitely worth the couple of dollars spent on one, especially for me with my shaky MS hands :)