Instructables
This instructable will show how to make stained glass objects. This process is good for such objects but is not recommended for windows. For this, you will need to know how to solder.
You can make 3D items or sun catchers, they make great gifts.
 
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Step 1: Gathering materials

You will need:
-A pattern (find one on the internet, alot of times i can't find one so i use simple children's coloring pages for a pattern, or you can just draw your own)
-Safety glasses (glass goes everywhere)
-Gloves (optional- i dont use gloves but i also cut my hands when doing this)
-Glass (you can even use mirror if you like)
-Copper Tape (i use 1/4 in thickness)
-Solder (50% Lead, 50% Tin)
-Flux

Tools:
-Glass Grinder (you can do without one but it is easier and makes edges cleaner)
-grozing pliers (these or ones specially made for glass)
- Glass Cutter
- Flux Brush
- Sharpie

Step 2: Get Pattern

Cut out your pattern, if you are going to use this pattern alot then you can trace it on a thin piece of cardboard.
With your sharpie, trace the pattern on your glass. For dark colored glass i use white out to trace it.
iPodGuy3 years ago
There's a stained glass supply shop by me. I think it's time to take a trip over there...

Thanks!
really nice tutorial, surprisingly little on this subject on this site.  Its mostly faux style. 
ravencrow095 years ago
rad man id like to stay and chat but my girlfriend is here
Any chance you could post the layout for the bird you made? It looks great. Thanks a lot for posting this.
I would suggest altering the pattern so that there are no lines that go all the way across the design— it seriously weakens the piece. It's okay for small things like this, but eventually the weight of the glass itself can cause bigger pieces to break.
happylue (author)  French t0ast5 years ago
Sorry, i drew the bird directly on the glass without a pattern. its quite easy to draw. the body is cut in half so it is easier to cut out the body pieces and to attach the legs.
guy905 years ago
I've always wondered how to do stained glass, this seems basic enough for me to understand, thank you for the upload
Actually this technique is fine for most windows. And is actually stronger than windows made with lead lines, since there is much more solder holding it together.
I don't know your glass experience level, but in MINE, it is NOT stronger. Properly stretched and mudded lead cameing is superior in all ways, except ease of execution. Not to say foil/solder isn't perfectly acceptable. It is... In effect, a fully foiled and soldered glass joint IS cameing, only thin, and using adhesive instead of mud. In the short term, the foil will probably be as good, or a little better... but in the long term, the adhesive WILL fail, and then you're left with inferior 'quasi-cameing'. It may be 30 years down the road, so for craft quality glass, that is fine. For an heirloom quality work though, lead came is THE way to go. I have seen 200 year old stained glass done with lead, still in place, and almost like new. To be fair, modern copper foil hasn't been around that long, to even be able to tell how it will hold up over that span of time.
Hmm, I may use bits of this technique for replacing the damage to my stained glass windows, mainly the cutting out, then have to open and seal the leading again, which is tricky but would be better than losing them...
there is a slightly different technique of you're working with lead cameing, instead of copper foil. though they CAN be mixed. Basically, in that case, you can remove one side of the cameing(turning the H shape into a T shape). Then, for a cheap fix, replace the broken glass with new glass and tape foil over the joint. Run a lead bead over the fresh foil, and call it done. For a 'proper' fix, you'll need to remove the old cameing from all around the broken glass. the replacement cameing is h shapped. Foiled new glass is then put in place, and the missing leg of cameing is fluxed and soldered. And all the new cameing joints are also resoldered. Finally, re-mud the new cameing. Repairs will never look as good, nor be as strong as the origional work... but 'it will hold' and if the missing leg side is on the back, it should be an invisible repair. and even if o9n the front, should be visible only on close inspection. If that STILL isn't good enough, take it to a professional glass shop, and have it re-leaded entirely. It's not very expensive, and the finished product will be as good as new.
Unfortunately most of the windows can't be removed from the frame with out replacing the entire thing, however my parents replaced the odd one when they lived in the house, I was able to work out the technique from the repairs, which did blend in really well because they took care making the cuts in the leading and putting it back in. Also need to resolder on the ties that go across the door bars, because one of the panes is large is has a set of bars with ties to the leading to keep it strong, some of which have let go over the years, though them being of will make replacing the little panes easier as it gives a little flex. One issue is that some of the glass is very old deep coloured glass that's rather expensive apparently, though the lighter blue you used and the green are close so I'm guessing it can be found. The reds and magentas may be more of an issue... Thanks very much for the extra info on this, one other thing, what kind of solder would you recommend for the job, especially in terms of blending in to the old stuff. One thing I do need to do is get them cleaned up aswell, which is quite a nuisance since they've been around for 80 odd years so some have a litle lead corrosion, plus they're textured both sides and I'd like to match them up, since they'll eventually be sandwiched in double glazing to keep the original look of the house while improving it's insulating properties immensely and having seen the neighbours various works They definitely look better if the windows are totally perfect in terms of cleaning first.
There are a few places, where you can order antique panes of colored glass. that's your best bet for matching, if a stainedglass supply store can't find new stock. Double textured glass is less common, but available. For cleaning, Non-ammonia based glass cleaners, Old toothbrushes, and #0000 steel wool are your friends. Afterwards, to match the old lead color... you'll probably want to patina the new work(or everything at once, to match). 1 tbsp white vinegar or 1 tsp salt added to 1 to 4 ounces of black patina to make it come out darker and shinier will look pretty good. As a side note, with double textured glass, Mudding is SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT. Not just to act as glazing(sealing the air) but also to prevent chipping and cracking. The texture looks good, but makes the glass MORE prone to cracking.
cerene5 years ago
I just wanted to add a quick heads up...solder often contains lead, so handle it accordingly. And...be sure to solder in a WELL ventilated area. Breathing in solding fumes is a big no-no. And on a positive note...doing stained glass is actually not hard to learn. Your first projects can be very simple, like this 'ible, suncatchers, night-lights, etc. So give it a go! :)
and don't use your electronics solder iron for this. Spend the $15 and get a dedicated lead-solder solder iron. Oh, and avoid washing your hands with citris based soaps for a few days, or you'll find out where EVERY little cut is :-)
clark5 years ago
Neat instructable! very well put together!.
Sandisk1duo5 years ago
so that's how the make stained glass!
ChrysN5 years ago
Nice, I've always wanted to try to make stained glass, but didn't know where to begin. Thanks for posting!