How To Make And Solder Hooks To Stained Glass

This stained glass tutorial shows you how to solder hooks to stained glass so that you can hang your piece up securely.  You’ll learn how to make recycled jump rings and how to solder them neatly to your stained glass sun catcher. Making sure these final touches are done neatly will make your work stand out from the crowd.

Now you’ve created a lovely beaded solder around the edge of your piece, you’re ready to add the hooks. Ideally, these become part of your sun catcher, rather than just a means of hanging. Make them part of your design if you can.

Jump straight to How To Hang Your Sun Catchers Securely

What You Need To Make And Attach Hooks

materials and tools for stained glass hooks
Tools needed for adding hooks to stained glass

60/40 Solder*


Soldering Iron* and Soldering Iron Stand*

Wet sponge for cleaning tip

Q-tips or cheap brush to apply the flux copper wire (either bought or recycled)

Needle Nose Pliers

Wire cutters and Bamboo Brushes or similar for making hooks.

(* = paid link).

Solder Hooks To Stained Glass

1. Make Your Own Jump Rings

You can make hooks yourself cheaply and easily. Either buy copper or tinned wire on a spool, or recycle electrical wire by stripping the plastic coating off with a craft knife. Be careful if you do this. Always direct the blade away from your body.

making hooks for stained glass
Making stained glass hooks for hanging

Here’s a short video if you prefer to watch rather than read:

  • Simply wrap the wire around your cylindrical stick (I use a Japanese brush handle) about 15 times. You might as well make a few hooks and keep them for future stained glass projects
  • You can make larger jump rings by wrapping the wire around a thicker stick
making stained glass hooks
Cut the ‘spring’ to create hanging hooks
  • Cut the wire and slide off the stick. You have created a spring of copper wire
  • Using the wire cutters, cut along the top in a straight line
  • Magic! Lots of hooks ready for tinning
  • If the ring diameter is big enough you can insert pliers into the ring at the point where the two ends meet. Squeeze hard to make a flat edge. When you join the ring to your panel the flat part on your ring is easier to solder and it hides the place where the ends meet. Thanks to Gene Salvino for this tip.

2. Soldering The Hooks On

When you solder hooks to stained glass the hooks should always be soldered at a joint for strength. Never attach one on a beaded edge, as the weight of the glass will pull the foil off in time. Make sure you solder on a heat resistant surface.

  • You need to tin the hooks first to strengthen them and to stop corrosion.
hooks for stain glass
Cheap, recycled hooks for hanging stained glass
  • Flux the hook
  • Hold the hook with the pliers, and smear solder on the front and back to cover all the copper
  • Now hang your sun catcher over the edge of your work bench
  • Flux the tinned hook and hold it where you want it attached. Make sure the open end of the hook is at the join (see photo, left below). The solder will close the ring and make it secure
solder hooks to stained glass
Attaching open end of hook to sun catcher
  • Solder hooks to stained glass by carefully melting a blob of stained glass solder where the ring meets the sun catcher
  • Hold the soldering iron over the solder to neaten it up
  • Turn the piece over and, if needed, use the iron to melt any solder that may have dripped to the other side
hook soldered to stained glass
Hook soldered to stained glass

3. Cleaning and Polishing

That’s it, you’re done! If it hasn’t turned out as neat as you’d like, let the solder cool before melting and having another go. Don’t re-do too often as the foil will start to come away from the glass.

Everything may look a bit messy at the moment, but that will soon change because now you’re ready for the final stage, Patina and Polish. You’ll soon end up with a sparkly finished panel to be proud of.

4. Hanging Your Panel Securely

Photo A. Supplies
  1. nylon fishing line at least 50 lb weight
  2. connector sleeves size 3 or 4. These are Berkley® Connector Sleeves and you can find them on here*
  3. wire wrapped leaders. Come in many different lengths. Up to 24”
  4. part of the leader. It is a spinner. Usually I just snip it off unless I’m using it on a twirler
  5. the actual fishing lure attachment. I snip that off too. But would be nice to keep if you were hanging a fish related panel or suncatcher.
  6. panel with hangers attached.
Photo B

Slide a connector sleeve over the leader or fishing line, loop through the hanger….

Photo C

Push the line back through the connector sleeve….

Photo D

Use snips to make 3-4 indents in the sleeve. Don’t worry you won’t cut through…..

Photo E

Cut off that extra bit of line sticking out. And….

Photo F

Hang your piece, securely!!

This excellent storyboard was compiled for us by Denise Whittle. Thanks so much, so helpful for everyone! 🙂

If you need more instructions on the copper foil technique there’s a list on this page.

Go to Everything Stained Glass home page.

(* = paid link).

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