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calculate how much stained glass you need
Work out how much stained glass you need

 

How do you work out how much stained glass you need for your next project? This page will help you calculate how much glass to buy before you get started on your stained glass piece. It’s important that you don’t run out half way through and end up having to use glass that doesn’t quite match. Yikes!

Calculate How Much Stained Glass You Need – Method 1

The method below might help you:

  • Make a coloured pattern first. This will help you visualise what percentage of each colour you need.
  • Multiply the height by width to get the total area. You can do this in inches to get square inches if you find it easier than feet.
  • Add between 15 – 25% for wastage (this varies, depending on whether the pattern has mostly straight lines, whether there’s lots of difficult cuts, whether the glass you’re using is easy or difficult to cut)
    You might want to increase this to 30% to be totally sure you won’t run out if your cutting is a bit ‘rusty’!

You now have a new total – the area + 30%

  • Now work out by eye the % of each of the colours. E.g.: red = 25%, blue = 25%, clear = 50%. They need to total 100%
  • Then work out the area needed for each colour:
  • Let’s take the easy one (clear = 50%). Divide your total (the area + 30%) by 2 to get 50%. That’s the amount of clear you need – in square inches!
  • To get it into square feet, divide it by 144. That gives you the area of clear you need.

This isn’t as complicated as it sounds if you do it step by step. It will at the very least give you a ball park figure to start from.

Estimate How Much Stained Glass You Need – Method 2

Another way you can estimate how much stained glass you need is favoured by those who find maths a bit difficult. It’s more of a visual calculation:

  • Lay your stained glass pattern out on a work surface
  • Cut some 12″ squares out of tracing paper. Cut one for each colour you’re using.
  • Trace the pattern pieces on to the tracing paper according to colour. You may need more than one square for each colour if it’s a fair-sized pattern.
  • This will give you a rough estimate of how much stained glass you need.
  • Add an additional percentage to cover breakage and wastage.

It’s always safer to have ‘extra’ glass, rather then ‘just enough’.

Work Out How Much Stained Glass You Need – Method 3

If you use software for designing your stained glass patterns you can use this to help you work out how much stained glass you need.

Glass Eye 2000 and Rapid Resizer┬áboth have features that estimate glass usage. It’s a bit of outlay and time to learn how to use them but in the long run it may save you time and money.
The decision is one of those balancing acts – to splash out or not to splash out!

Add your comments below sharing what method YOU use to calculate how much stained glass you need. Thanks in advance.

Learn about Pricing Stained Glass here

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