How To Make Stained Glass

Stained Glass Copper Foil Tutorials

Learning how to make stained glass is easier if broken down into bite-sized pieces. The Copper Foil Technique Tutorials below guide you through each process, one at a time, in a logical sequence.

The how to make stained glass tutorials below start right at the beginning with some creative designing tips and pattern ideas. By the time you get to the final patina and polish tutorial, you to will be an expert too!
I’ve selected the best videos to make learning how to make stained glass easy for you.

If you’re new to stained glass or coming back to it after a break there are many tips and tricks you can learn to make it easier for yourself.

If you don’t have a local class my Stained Glass Made Perfect course has helped many beginners and refreshers nail the essential techniques and go on to find success with more ambitious projects. The course is self-paced and online so you can learn these techniques even if you can’t easily get to a class. You can find out more about it here Stained Glass Made Perfect.

How to Make Stained Glass Tutorials

stained glass decorative soldering edge Decorative Soldering Transform your gifts with this pretty decorative soldered edge. You’ll be surprised at how much it adds to your work.

Find out how to use masking tape to make decorative solder dots on your zinc or lead came here

measuring for stain glass  Measuring Tutorial See how to measure a window opening accurately. Skip this stage if you are not making stained glass to fit into a window or door.

Click here for 3 ways to work out how much glass your project needs.

designing pattern for copper foil  Designing or Finding a Pattern Follow these 5 design steps to create your own unique stained glass designs. Or simply find a pattern here to get you started.

Pattern designing and resizing software helps you get a full-size stained glass pattern printed at home. My preferred choice is Rapid Resizer and I have a review of it here 

cutting pattern pieces  Cutting Pattern Pieces Make sure your glass fits together by following this simple tutorial. Once you make perfect templates from your pattern you will get better fitting stained glass. With helpful information on pattern cutting shears.

Before you start to choose your stained glass colours you will want to watch this video on lead lining – it helps you avoid expensive mistakes and disappointments

Cutting Glass Tutorials

cutting green glass  How to Cut Glass Tutorial

Reduce wastage in your cutting. Drawings, photos and a video make accurate cutting easy for you. Money-saving tips showing how to cut stained glass without waste.

This page may help you if you’re not sure what shapes you CAN cut in glass

breaking brown glass over table  5 Easy Ways To Cut Glass, giving you the skills to cut any shape you need. Includes expert advice on when best to use each method and a troubleshooting section.

Learn to cut thin strips of glass – including narrow pointed shapes without breaking the glass

Copper Foil Tutorials

how to make stained glass using foil  Neat Copper Foiling Learn tips and secrets to help you wrap foil and burnish to perfection. Includes information on all the different types and widths of foil. With video.

Here’s what you NEED TO KNOW about copper foiling – all those ‘itty bitty’ questions you can’t easily find answers to

Fixing common copper foil mistakes like foil not centered or jagged edges

soldering iron on solder  Stained Glass Soldering

Achieve a lovely smooth solder seam. Solder your piece together neatly by following this simple making tutorial. Packed with annotated photos and helpful video.

iron tip edge beading  Soldering Edges Learn how to finish off the outside of your sun catcher professionally with a lovely rounded soldered edge. Suitable for those making sun catchers or small hanging panels. Includes one of the most inspiring videos on the web!

Find out how to solder neat mitred corners here.

two hooks on copper foil Fixing Hooks to Sun Catchers A simple tutorial showing how to add hooks to your stained glasswork. Includes making your own hooks from recycled wire.

Save some money by making your own tinned copper wire for stained glass  – I have a video to show you on this page

sawing zinc came Zinc Framing Tutorial Strengthen your larger hanging panel or stained glass window with a neat zinc frame. Shows how to cut mitred corners and solder the seams to the edge. With useful video.
fixing hook to zinc frame  Adding Hooks To Zinc Frame Show of your work to the world. Learn how to attach discreet hooks to the corners of your panel. Includes making and tinning the hooks. Packed with unique photos.
polished stained glass  Patina And Polish Tutorial The final stage. Polishing your lead came panel until it sparkles! With information on which type of patina to use and how to stop that ugly white residue building up. Includes video.
Mixing Lead and Copper Together Bonus stage. Mixing lead came and copper foil in one panel for design freedom and creativity

Copper Foil v Hobby Came  What are the advantages and disadvantages of hobby came over copper foil?

Reinforcing stained glasswhen you need to reinforce stained glass and how

More Free Stained Glass Tutorials

See all of Milly’s video tutorials here

Health and Safety

You’ll get used to the alarming skull and crossbones image that adorns the packaging of all you buy… Remember, it’s there for a reason, and while I can tell you about each process, I can’t be there to ensure your safety, and can take no responsibility for any accidents you may have.

Be sure to seek advice from individual sellers/manufacturers before using any dangerous materials or equipment.

Instruction To Make Stained Glass – Resources

The Art of Stained Glass has many good tutorials. There’s one on Stained Glass Selection which I think is particularly helpful.

Return to Everything Stained Glass Home Page

Decorative soldering and wire work

18 thoughts on “How To Make Stained Glass”

  1. Hi Milly,
    I just started back to my stained glass after a 20 year break. Life events took me away from my crafting and art. I came across all my equipment while rearranging my shop/storage building. I am going to town making sun catchers and getting my skills back. Thank you for your tutorials. You explain all the steps and techniques so easy to follow and preform. Foiling still is intimidating but I am getting there. I just purchased a handheld foiler. It was so hard to figure out how to load since it came with no instructions. I finally got it and can’t wait to get to use it. I am starting a kaleidoscope pattern with a ton of small pieces, wish me luck. I am a 64 year old man with kind of fat fingers and arthritis. I cut a few pieces today that are the size of a dime. Any tips on foiling tiny pieces. The foil may cover the whole piece and cover the color. Thank you again for your professionalism and awesome teaching skills.
    Joey – Brandon, Florida

  2. I have been working with glass for several years an have found an easy base to put a piece together. The table I have to assemble a piece is topped with a piece of drywall(sheetrock). It taked the pins nicely and the pins can be applied in all necessary places and changed to a different place without moving the glass.

  3. Hello Milly, I really enjoy your newsletter and hope to be able to sign up for of your courses soon. I’m currently working on my first practice piece (using picture frame glass) and trying to learn all I can. I recently saw an article about using petroleum jelly in place of flux. Is this true?

    • You can but it’s hard to clean so I wouldn’t recommend it. Make the cleaning as easy as possible I say!
      Thanks for your kind comments on my newsletter Iris, I’m glad you’re enjoying it 🙂

  4. Hi Milly, you answered my question about soldering indoors, and I do have a fume extractor. Now I’m wonder what room would be best to do this until I can move back to the garage. My bedroom the living room or guest bedroom?

    • I can’t answer this Mindy as I don’t know your set up. I would choose the least-used room. Probably the guest room, in these Covid virus times! Just make sure you leave a day or so between stained glass and guests arriving.

  5. Hi ,
    I having trouble with copper foiled project. I have foiled all the pieces like I suppose to and soldered. But the project is wobble wonder why ? any thoughts??

  6. I’m doing a rather large panel of a tree with branches and such, lots of detail/pieces. Can I foil and solder the trunk and branches, then add on the leaves and fill in the other areas? I’m having trouble keeping things lined up.

    • Yes, you can do panels in sections. Just make sure that you are 100% accurate with each section, so that they all solder together as you go.

  7. Can you cut a shape besides a hole in a piece of stained glass. I want to suspend a star or other object within the edges of a piece of glass. I have never seen this done. If it were possible it opens up lots of possibilites. I can do this with wood. Why not with glass?
    Thank you for considering my question.
    Phil Duke

    • I can see you have a creative mind Phil! You can cut amazing shapes out using glass saws but you always have to keep the stability of the piece in mind. Wood is a completely different material to glass, much easier to cut things from without breakage.
      Even if you did manage to create what you’re suggesting with a saw it would be so fragile and unstable it wouldn’t be practical.
      I always hate to quash a creative mind though, so I’d say give it a try and see if you can prove me wrong!

  8. Hi, I am a 72 year Young widow who is going crazy this winter. Snow, snow and more snow. I usually quilt in the winter but I am up for a new challenge & hobby. I have done many things over the years (Mosaics, sewing, quilting, DIY crafts & Deco’s but never Stained Glass!!! I know NOTHING about it…… Help…… Where do I begin? What fo I need to purchase? And on & on & on .
    There is a Joann’s craft store In the next town over, would I be able to get supplies there? Thank you so much for your advice & help.
    Looking forward to learning a new skill & having fun with it along the way!! 🙃😀

    • Hi Harmony, I love your enthusiasm! I have absolutely the right online course for you – Stained Glass Made Perfect. It takes you through every step from beginning to end, with pattern, videos and workbooks. It gives advice on the best tools, too.
      Good luck with your stained glass journey. It’s a beautiful craft but I’m warning you… very addictive 🙂

  9. I would love to purchase your books on the art of stain glass making . I am very new at this and bought all my equipment already, I plan on getting into this art once winter rolls around . I would love to make a window out of opaque glass to hide my entry door. As people approach my door , they can see in , any king of books or patterns would be helpful
    Thank you Brenda Chilton.

    • Hi Brenda, what a lovely time you have ahead of you learning stained glass! Your idea of making a window obscuring people’s view into your house is one of the things that stained glass does so well. What a great project to aspire to.
      I have a Stained Glass Foundation Course that will be perfect for you, taking you through all the steps you need to make a panel. You’ll be hearing about it in the next couple of weeks in my newsletters, so watch out for my emails in your inbox.
      Thank you for your interest in my teaching.


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