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Stained Glass – My Newest Ambition


For many years, I’ve wondered just how hard it was to make a stained glass window. I’ve got an insatiable need to learn new things, especially artsy things. I’ve heard rumors that it’s not so bad, especially for someone craft-inclined like me. And oh, the loveliness you can produce if you’re good at it….
I finally gave in to temptation and signed up for a beginner class. It starts in September. I didn’t really need another hobby to keep me busy – I have plenty I don’t have time for already – but this is something I’ve always wanted to try, so dammit, I’m trying it!

In my wildest dreams, I’ll someday get good enough to make sidelights for our entry door:


(this is an older pic, so never mind the random uglies hanging around – we’ve done some work since this photo!)

If I were to get good enough to do this, I’d stick to something fairly simple. I’ve seen a few houses around here with art nouveau style windows, like these designs:

Stained Glass Art Noveau

Victorian Stained Glass
Stained G

Have any of you tried your hand at stained glass? If so, share your results!!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

deb had this to say on 08.22.06:

i took a stained glass course through the continuing education programme and it was fantastic! it’s definetly an expensive hobby, and worth the investment in a really, really good cutter, and some of the art glass can be quite pricey… o, and be prepared with bandaids… no matter what your skill level is, you will get cut now and then.

i recently made a window that hangs in our southfacing front window that’s made of all beveled pieces and it casts the most wonderful light! i have also made our dining room fixture, and there are many other ideas floating in my head…

if you ever need any advice or comments, don’t hesitate to ask!!!

Eilis had this to say on 08.23.06:

Beat me to it! I’m dying to do stained glass too…though I don’t yet have a house to display my projects in! Let me know how it goes!

Jocelyn had this to say on 08.23.06:

I have not, but I read a good review of a class in our local paper a while back (Chicago Tribune). The reviewer seemed to think it was much harder than they thought it would be. But, they didn’t seem to be “tough” enough to snap the glass etc… Somehow I think you will do better :)

I suspect that curved pieces are more difficult and something more linear would be easier to start with.

Allison had this to say on 08.24.06:

I do stained glass – although I haven’t done anything in a while, too much else to do. It’s really not hard at all, getting a good teacher is the most important part. Jocelyn’s right – curves are hardest, and it’s harder to cut inside curves (concavities) than outside curves (convexities). Some people teach breaking with your hands (difficult, and not terribly safe), others use special pliers that put pressure on either side of your score mark (safer than the finger method, good for straight lines, not so much for curves). My old neighbor taught me how to gently tap a score-line with a metal tool (like the ball on the end of most cutting tools). It can be an expensive hobby, but if you stick to clearance glasses at the glass store, and buy supplies of the internet, it’s not too bad.

Good luck!!

Mindy had this to say on 08.28.06:

Good to know – I love the filtered light effects that stained glass creates, so I can’t wait to figure out how to make my own windows. I hope my teacher is good! There are 3 classes, I’m starting with the beginner so I can work my way up through the ranks.

I’m sure, like all my craft endeavors, it’ll end up costing more to make my own window than it would to just buy one. But, the pride in DIY’ing it can’t be beat!


Bruce had this to say on 08.28.06:

It’s also a hobby that a lot of people begin and then quit, which means there are many sources of cheap supplies out there. My wife gets most of her supplies for almost nothing at garage sales and by combing the classified adds. Don’t pay retail for anything. Also watch for the health hazzards: lead from the solder and some glass and silica dust from sanding the glass. Many instructors fail to mention these things or suggest totally inadequate measures to control them. A lot like some renovation contractors I guess:)

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