Introduction: Glass Tea Light Holder

About: I love making things. I have for as long as I can remember liked to make stuff. Now days I have two kids (Thomas and Emma) and most of the things I do are safe for them! I love electronics and Microchips, I ha…

Relatively simple and quick tea light holder.

This is a little project i designed for the kids to have a go at copper foil glass work. there are a few lessons which can be learnt like how to cut glass and how to use a datum to mark out the glass.


  • Glass, mine comes in foot square pieces and you could fit 3 onto one sheet.
  • Copper foil.
  • lead/tin solder.
  • flux.
  • decent glass cutter.

Step 1: Mark Out and Cut Out.

Ii have done a comprehensive instructable about cutting glass so if you need anymore information please look here. So its important to start with two edges that are square, then choose the direction of the glass as you wish it to appear? Either horizontal or vertical. Some glass wont matter which way it goes but most have a distinct flow. Then mark up the width across the glass (91mm) the using the edge as a datum make out all the cut marks along the line and on the bottom of the sheet. look at the photos and layout design above.

Then cut out the pieces. Firstly cut out the strip then both ends, then half the glass and cut the last pieces in pairs.

For the base i cut out a template and stuck it on 3mm plywood. I draw around the template then cut it out.

Lastly you need to cut the bottom off one side piece. This was done free hand then cleaned up on a diamond grinder. You could get away without using a grinder or just cut it straight.


Step 2: Foil Them Up.

Not a lot to say about the foil. Its the easy (boring) bit.

But the simple rules are:-

  • Try to start at a corner.
  • Never leave a gap.
  • Push down the foil firmly using a piece of dowel if needed.
  • Always use clean copper foil and dont leave it too long before you solder the pieces together or the foil will tarnish.

Step 3: Solder Together.

This is a freehand project, however if i was to make more i would make a jig to hold the pieces correctly. For this project i simply tape the sections together then tack them in the corners with the solder. Then turn upside down and tack the base on. If it all looks good then fully solder all the joints. I use 60/40 tin/lead solder and a powerful large tipped soldering iron. Flux should be used, else you will struggle to get the solder to stick! Try to keep the joints horizontal, otherwise the solder will run away!

Step 4: Clean Up and Finish the Joints If Required.

Once all the joints have been soldered in and out then give the item a good look over and check for holes and dips in the solder. If all is good then give the item a good clean in soapy water. Then use steel wool to buff up the solder joints.

If you prefer the joints to be blacked then brush on the Black Patina solution and give it time to work.

Finally wash of any excess.

And that is it! there really isnt a lot to this project!
Oh and if you are worried about the burning tea light you could always use the battery powered ones.

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