How to make and personalize a stained glass box!

Step 1: Tools & Materials

  • Glass (any type of glass will work, however you generally want all of your pieces to have roughly the same thickness. I find that buying glass from a store that sells window panes is a good way to get fairly cheap clear glass or even mirror. I buy glass that is 1/8 inches thick because its less expensive and easier to cut, but still sturdy.)
  • Copper foil (I usually get foil that is 7/32 inches wide and has a black back. The black back is so that when you place the foil around clear glass, there is no copper showing through, however this is optional.)
  • Solder (60:40, tin:lead)
  • Copper wire (for the hinge)
  • Flux & brush (this allows the solder to spread along the copper foil more easily)
  • Etching paste & squeegee (this gives the glass a frosted look)
  • Contact paper (sticky on one side but easily removable; used to create a stencil for glass etching; this can be bought at places like ACE Hardware)
  • Soldering iron (I have the 'Weller W1140a Stained Glass Soldering Iron' and it works great)
  • Fid (plastic tool about 7 inches long that is used to push/rub the copper foil onto the glass; the side of a plastic pen can also be used as a replacement)
  • Glass cutter (I use an oil cutter because it cuts glass better while requiring little effort)
  • Right angle ruler (can be replaced with a regular ruler)
  • Wire cutters
  • Wet sponge (to clean the soldering iron)
  • Exacto knife (for cutting the stencil)
  • Safety goggles

I buy most of my supplies at The Stained Glass Garden in Berkeley, Ca (http://www.stainedglassgarden.com/) however they do not have very much online. If there is a store that specializes in stained glass near you, they will definitely have everything you need. If not, this site works well for online shopping, http://www.lincolnglass.com/index.cfm?page=cat_home&altcat=2762 (the method you are using is the copper foil method and the flux is listed under chemicals).

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