Stained Glass 101: Supplies, Patterns, And Inspiration For Everyone

This hobby will require you to buy specific tools but most of the supplies are a one-time investment. Once armed, you will fall in love with this craft.

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Are you looking for a new hobby? Something that is simple yet different. Something that would turn your creative wheels and move those talented fingers. If yes, then keep reading as we introduce you to the world of stained glass.

Stained glass art is a type of art in which colored glass is used to make various designs and patterns. These patterns and designs can further be used in windows, logos, doors, and much more. The possibilities are endless. You just need a few supplies and passion to start.

Stained Glass Supplies

This hobby will require you to buy specific tools, but don’t worry. Most of the supplies would be a one-time investment. We have compiled a list of the things you would need to get started. You can buy the listed materials individually or you can buy the beginner’s kit, it totally depends upon your preference.

Glass

Stained Glass Supplies - Glass Sheets
Available on Amazon

First and foremost, you’ll need glass as your working medium. Mostly they are available in square sheets. Different types of glass will give you different visual results. There is antique glass if you want to go old school with traditional glass-making techniques. The semi-antique glass would be a budget-friendly option though. For an angled look and prism-like refraction of light, try a beveled glass.

If you plan on upgrading your windows and doors, the cathedral glass would suit your needs. To add textured glass to your work, use glue chip glass. Iridescent glass has a very beautiful, pearl-like surface that gives a shimmery look. Then there is opalescent glass, which does not allow a person to see through it. It is most commonly used for decorative items.

Safety Goggles And Mask

The next thing would be investing in safety goggles and a dust mask that would save you a trip to the ER. While you cut or grind the glass, small bits and pieces will fly everywhere. It’s inevitable. Your safety should come first and you should never work without your goggles. The same goes for your dust mask. A simple mask can easily save you and your lungs from fatigue and serious complications. Never, we repeat, never work without them, no matter how pro you become.

Gloves

The hobby of glass cutting is pretty heavy on the hands. Get ready to have cuts and splinters here and there. But that is what happens when you embrace the sharp angles of glass. You can avoid them though by using a pair of gloves when working. Plus if you get heat-resistant gloves, they would protect your hands when you solder. Also, have a tweezer on your workstation to quickly get out any splinter you encounter. Thanks us later!

Glass Cutter

Stained Glass Supplies - Glass Cutter
Available on Amazon $11.98 USD

Glass cutters ensure whether you will make or break the project. There are a lot of options to choose from. Some glass cutters come with oil reservoirs that not only ensure the quality of the blade but also aid in a cleaner cut. You can also buy the one without the oil reservoir and add the cutting oil manually.

Cutting Work Surface

You’ll need a work surface when you are cutting, assembling, and soldering the pieces. The homasote board works perfectly as it neither absorbs liquid nor gets damaged with the soldering iron.

Glass Grinder

Stained Glass Supplies - Glass Grinder
Available on Amazon $87 USD

A glass grinder comes in handy when the edges are rough yet they are too small to cut. You can easily grind them with minimum effort so that the pieces fit together like a well-constructed puzzle.

Running Pliers

Running pliers can help you achieve the perfect score without you putting too much pressure. They put pressure on the score and voila! You have your piece. They are available in both metal and plastic options, though the metal ones are preferred in the stained glass community. For one, they are not flimsy and are much more accurate. They have a better grip too. Both of them have the plastic coated jaw to avoid chipping.

Stained Glass Supplies - Running Pliers
Available on Amazon $11.99 USD

Grozer Pliers

Stained Glass Supplies - Gozzer Pliers
Available on Amazon $12.19 USD

These multi-purpose pliers can be found in every stained glass enthusiast. They can be used as running pliers and can also be used to chip away small pieces from the edges to make them neater, making your use of a glass grinder minimal. It has a flat side and a curved side. The flat side can be used to break along the score line and the curved one for grinding. Definitely a money-saver!

Copper Foil

Stained Glass Supplies - Copper Foil
Available on Amazon $6.98 USD

You’d need something to bind the pieces of glass together. This is where the copper foil comes in. Just wrap it around the pieces and stick them together. You can choose from three types; silver back, black back, and copper back. Different widths are also available but 7/32” is beginner friendly.

Soldering Iron

Stained Glass Supplies - Soldering Iron
Available on Amazon $69.12 USD

Soldering iron is a tool that uses solder on copper foil to firmly bind the pieces of glass together. Be careful though as it can get very hot. Always buy the one that is highest than 65 watts and has a tip of ¼” in width.

Solder or Stained Glass Lead

Stained Glass Supplies - Solder
Available on Amazon $20.99 USD

Solder is a thick wire that melts with the soldering iron with a shiny finish. It binds the glasses together firmly. Solder that has 60 percent tin and 40 percent lead work great.

Flux

Stained Glass Supplies - Flux
Available on Amazon $14.00 USD

Flux is a liquid or gel substance that ensures the solder flows on the copper file smoothly. Simply apply the copper foil with the flux brush before you start working with the solder. Makes the solder flow like a dream! Later on, remove the excess flux with flux remover.

Patina

Stained Glass Supplies - Glass Patina
Available on Amazon $14.00 USD

Patina can be used to turn your silver foil into copper or black. It depends upon your preference what you choose as both of them work great.

Polish

To ensure your piece of art looks amazing and shiny, apply polish to it. It not only cleans the surface and makes it shiny, but also locks everything so that no oxidation occurs.

Stained Glass Supplies - Glass Polish
Available on Amazon $32.00 USD

Where To Find Stained Glass Supplies Near Me

Now that you know what to buy and how to start, you would need a place where all of these things are available. Fear not, for we have you covered!

Michaels and Hobby Lobby carry a great variety of glass sheets, cutters, pliers, and other supplies with them. You can also find great deals on Amazon too, just be careful to check the reviews of the supplier. If you want cheaper supplies and are willing to wait, the Aliexpress is a great option too.

Stained Glass Doors

Bored with your ordinary door? Want to amp it up a bit? Take out those supplies and check out these ingenious ideas.

Classic colors that never go out of fashion, the beautiful patterns here ensure privacy along with a level of class.

Stained Glass Door
Image by Costwood DoorSpecialists Limited

This stained door will be an inspiration for all those homies out there who feel like their entrance lacks sunlight. The cool-toned patterns along with the transparent pieces let in enough light to illuminate the entry with a spice.

Oh, where to begin! This design gives us straight beauty and the beast vibes. While the patterns are intricate and time-consuming, they are so worth your time.

Stained Glass Doors
Image via Flickr

Stained Glass Windows

Your windows would be an easy DIY project for you. They are easy to remove, they already have a frame for holding the glass, and are a way to display your stained glass skills with ease. Once thought to be exclusive to the churches, stained windows are now making a comeback in home settings. Here are some inspirations for you.

Lots of colors with a simple setting, you can never go wrong with it!

Stained Glass Window Ideas
Image via Flickr

This one looks straight out of those middle-age movies! Can you imagine the photo shoot here? Would totally blow your Instagram.

Stained Glass Window
Image by TheMindCircle Tumblr

In the mood for something floral? Try this one here.

Stained Glass Window Ideas
Via Pinterest

Stained Glass Yard Decor

Time for you to make some significant and exclusive pieces for your yard. Add a little life to it. Maybe a wall hanging here, an exclusive item there. Those stained glass pieces will surely be compliment getters. Like these ones here.

Imagine the light reflecting from it as it hangs and spins in the day. Just make sure you hang it somewhere safe.

Stained Glass Yard Decor
Image via Pinterest

The cutest idea ever! These chirpy little creations are sure to brighten your day.

Stained Glass Yard Decor
Image via Garden Lovers Club Blog

Or maybe have a mushroom garden. An adorable one on that.

Stained Glass Yard Decor
Image by VitrazhStainedGlass via Etsy

 Stained Glass 3D Patterns

If you think stained glass will have you working on a 2D plane, you are wrong. Creativity has no boundaries and it is reflected by these creators perfectly.

I am sorry, but this dragon is too cutely terrifying.

Stained Glass 3D Dragon
Image via BestGlassPatterns.com

This is perfectionism on another level.

Stained Glass 3D Lamp Fox
Image and Piece by Artist Zaytsevaglass via Pinterest

Genius! Put a candle in it and marvel over the colors!

Stained Glass Lamp
Image via Pinterest

Stained Glass 3D Flowers

Flowers might be delicate creations, but creating them in 3D and with glass is a challenge only the bravest would take. Like these ones.

Do you see the delicacy? Because we do.

Stained Glass 3D Flowers Orchid
Image via Pinterest

You need this one.

Stained Glass 3D Flowers Pink
Image by SunartGlassGallery via Etsy

And this one too. Talent is out of this world.

Stained Glass 3D Lotus Flower
Image by Ccanovad via Pinterest

Stained Glass Look With Paint

Want a color but don’t have it in stained glass? Let us tell you a trick. Mix glue with a bit of acrylic paint and paint it on transparent glass. But spray the glass with acrylic sealer before. This will ensure that the paint sticks to the glass. Pretty genius, huh? You can learn more about it here in this article, Faux Stained Glass: A Beginner’s Guide.

Are Stained Glass Windows Expensive?

That would depend on what type of stained glass window you are choosing. Its design, size, width, and installation, everything counts. That being said, buying a stained glass window to use as decoration can cost around $150 USD or more, while having it done custom made for your home will easily be more than $10K USD. Having a stained glass window as part of your home, does increase the value of the house and is a pretty good investment, for stained glass windows can last more than 75 years.

Does Stained Glass Have Lead?

It depends upon the solder. Most of them have some degree of lead in it. Lead came is also used to hold the pieces of glass together in some pieces. It is safe to work with lead as long as it is neither ingested nor inhaled in larger quantities. That means is really important to keep any stained glass work away from children. Poisoning can happen by touching the solder and bringing the hands to your mouth or, obviously, licking it.

Stained Glass vs Leaded Glass

There are two types of glass in the world of glass art. Stained and lead glass. Stained glass is one that has a color to it, while lead glass is transparent in nature. It is easy to distinguish them. The glass is plain? Probably lead glass. Does the glass have color in it? Then stained glass it is. Many designs are made with a combination of both types or just one type.

Stained Glass Beginner Kit

The beginner kits are great for those who don’t want to source each and everything. You can get almost everything you need to start working from the beginner kits. Some of our favorites are:

  • Delphi Glass Ultimate Stained Glass Start-Up
  • Stained Glass Beginner Tool Kit
  • COLORFUL Stained Glass Paint Set

Visit our Etsy Shop for our new Cactus Patterns for Stained Glass – Beginner to Intermediate Level

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