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Stained Glass Window Pattern Design Tips

These tips are for beginners to the art of stained glass.

So you want to design your own piece or your own window. Here are some guidelines that will help.


Quick Links to this section:

Main Page - Stained Glass Books - Tools and Kits - Stained Glasses - Tutorial - Tips and tricks - Tips for designing stained glass



First off, I recommend you do some stained glass work based on other peoples patterns before you tackle your own pattern. This way you get a grasp of what you can do and what you can't do. Or what is difficult and what is easy. It will make a difference and might be the deciding factor on whether or not you finish your project!


A difficult cut

Internal cuts of glass can be tricky and take some practice. Shown here is a stained glass window with only two pieces, a blue and a red. That blue piece is going to be difficult to cut easily because of that internal angle.



An easier cut

So, as a beginner you might consider breaking that blue piece up into two pieces like you see here. It will be much easier. As you get better with glass cutting you will be able to do these cuts but as a beginner you might consider not incorporating them into your early designs.



Cutting Circles

Cutting circles If you want to cut a circle manually you have a couple of options. These two illustrations show you. I prefer the second option. Either way, circle cutting takes some practice. Consider this when designing your window.

If you have a circle cutter or have acess to one I find it very easy to cut the circle by first using the cutter then manually adding the scores as in the second illustration.


Size of each piece of glass

I generally recommed that you don't have any single piece of glass over 12 inches in any length. This is because of the weight of the glass and the strength of the solder. So, if you have any large pieces in your design consider breaking them up.

A similar thing applies to small pieces. They can be difficult to cut accurately, and can be difficult to hold against a grinder. Consider this when designing your project.


Color, color, color!

No doubt you are taken by the beautiful colors in stained glass. This is probably part of the reason why you are pursuing the craft. And the colors you choose in your design makes all the difference. You can put two pieces side by side. They have the same exact pattern but different color schemes and they will evoke very different feelings. Poor choice of color can bring down the aesthetic appeal of a piece. And good choice of color can dramatically improve an average design.

So... I recommend you actually color in some of your design drawings. Get a sense for how it will look with different color schemes.

Remember there is came or solder between all those pieces!


Label each piece

I recommend you number all your pieces as you make them. It is very easy to start confusing pieces! The more pieces you have in your stained glass work the more easily you will confuse them. Numbering them also helps you to orient them correctly. It is easy to lose track of which way is up.






Stained glass kit

Delphi Stained Glass Start-Up Kit -

Getting Started in Stained Glass is Simple with the Start-Up Kit We've taken some of our favorite tools and supplies for getting started in stained glass, and put them all in one ready-to-go start up kit, for maximum savings and convenience. Perfect for the beginner that wants quality tools to fit their workshop and budget. A Delphi Exclusive Start making beautiful stained glass projects right away. The included DVD provides instruction start to finish for your first project in handy sections for easy review. Top quality tools make it easy to get fantastic results from cutting to shaping and soldering. Kit Includes: Gryphon Gryphette Grinder Studio 100-watt soldering iron with built in temperature control 8 piece Wissmach English Muffle glass pack about 8" x 10" ea. Supercutter dry wheel glass cutter Delphi Stained Glass Made Easy DVD Breaker/grozer pliers Running pliers 60/40 Solder Copper foil Flux pen Marking pen Safety glasses



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