Stained Glass Christmas Tree Pattern Instructions

Stained Glass Christmas Tree Pattern

This stained glass Christmas tree pattern is a spectacular 4-sided festive delight. It would look great as a table decoration as it stands up on its own. The pattern could easily be adapted for other designs. For example, you could make a 4-sided stained glass angel.

One of my talented online students, Gail Koebke, made this stained glass Christmas tree pattern and has kindly written out the instructions for you.
The photos look as if the trees have only 3 sides but they really have 4. The two trees are different sizes but the process is the same.

If you haven’t got time to make this but need some weekend project ideas for the new year I’d highly recommend this Stained Glass Project book (affiliate). The 31 projects get progressively more difficult and include frames and a beautiful Moravian star.

How To Make A Stained Glass Christmas Tree

stained glass Christmas tree pattern

  • The stained glass Christmas tree pattern is at the bottom of the page.
  • To make your stained glass Christmas tree draw one side of the tree (the 3 sections of each side)
  • I suggest making the stained glass Christmas tree pattern out of mylar (the same stuff as overhead projector slides). This is so that you can re-use it. This ensures that the pieces are the same size and line up correctly when the sides are put together.
  • The example Christmas tree pattern is at the bottom of the page. You can vary the dimensions and shapes to make different trees.
  • I made the bottom edges of each tree flat so it sits without rocking.
  • Cut the glass accurately to the pattern.
  • Once you foil the pieces use a square to line up the 3 sections of a side so the center line where the 4 sides will come together are at a right angle to the bottom flat side.

Soldering The Tree Together

  • Once I was satisfied the 3 sections were squared up correctly I used small pieces of tape to hold them in place and tack soldered in a couple places.
  • Then I removed the tape and soldered only the curved joints together.
  • When this was done to all 4 sides of the tree I used a straight edge to line up the first 2 sides. Lay them flat down, side by side with the bottom edge firmly against the straight edge. However, I found I needed to leave a space between them so enough foil would be exposed in the center for soldering.
  • To determine the space you’ll need, take one of the other sides and hold it perpendicular to the center line on the pieces that are on the straight edge.
    When you get the space right tape the 2 pieces together that are laying on the table. Then flip them over (tape side down), and put them back against the straight edge.

stained glass Christmas tree

Constructing The Christmas Tree

  • Now the hardest part. Line up the perpendicular piece to the 2 flat pieces, and tack it, but only one tack (you might have to take it apart and adjust the placement)
  • Carefully stand the 3 pieces up.
  • If you feel the bottom edges are lined up flat, hold the last side to the center and line it up and tack solder it to the remaining flat side. An extra set of hands is helpful.
  • When all 4 sides are tacked together, and the tree stands straight up without rocking, finish soldering the center lines together. There will be a small hole at the top and bottom of the tree because of the space.
  • After the 4 sides were soldered together in the center I finished soldering all the exposed foil.
  • I twisted wire and formed a star, and inserted the end of the wire in the hole and soldered it in place.

If you have any questions I’m sure Gail would be happy to answer them below… just fire away!

Stained Glass Christmas Tree Pattern For You

This is an example Christmas tree pattern. You can vary the dimensions and shapes to make different trees. You could even try an angel!


If you want to learn stained glass or need a thorough refresher to reacquaint you with all the processes, my online Stained Glass Made Perfect course will guide you through all the techniques needed.


Wooden-Framed Stained Glass Tree

This is a totally different take on a stained glass tree. It’s heavy duty and can be used to make a window sill statement 🙂
Many thanks to Joe Gentleman for sharing his project with us.

This project needs some woodworking skills and tools.
I won’t be able to answer questions on this as I’m definitely NOT an expert with wood.
My in-person class from years back tells the story… I had to run to Jan the Technician for help as I’d totally messed up the demo by cutting the wood too short and the angles back to front. My students never let me forget it LOL.

To Make The Frame

You’ll need: 2 X 2″ timber. Router. Biscuit Cutter. Screws. Wood Glue. Clear Mastic.

  • Decide your size and shape. Joe’s is 22″ at the base and 35″ high with an angle of 18 degrees at the top.
  • Make a rebate with the router on all 3 sides.
    Make a ‘stepped’ rebate if you want to stick a LED strip light inside all 3 sides for night time illumination.
  • Using biscuit joints, assemble and glue the frame together.
  • Shape and cut 2 X 7″ long feet from the 2 X 2″ timber. To do this, bevel the ends and cut an arch out of the middle.
  • Screw the feet on. This means you can slightly loosen the screws to transport or store the tree.

You could paint the frame a snazzy colour if you prefer it to bare wood.
If you want to make a smaller version or different proportions, feel free!

Designing & Making The Glass

  • Draw the pattern to size. Joe’s is all straight lines but yours could be anything you like. This is the fun bit 🙂
  • Make sure your design is structurally strong, with no obvious ‘hinge’ points. See the reinforcing page here if you’re unsure.
    https://everythingstainedglass.com/reinforcing-glass-panels
  • Make a jig for cutting. Make sure you leave a little ‘wiggle room’ for fitting into the frame.
  • Cut, foil, solder and finish.
  • Secure panel in frame with clear mastic.
  • Wait for the festivities to begin 🙂

You could also use the principle of the standing frame for all sorts of other stained glass projects, not just trees… the imagination runs riot.


More Festive Ideas

Since I first published this page I’ve had some additional ideas sent by readers. Jordan Pokrinchak adapted Gail’s design to make it 3-sided. This uses a little less glass, makes the tree more open in design and is easier to assemble.

Two readers, Theresa Dolan and Pat Francis have added some snazzy decorations. Theresa says most of her beads come from discarded, broken jewellery.  The star is from a hair clip her daughter was about to throw away – recycling at its best! She recommends using 1/4″ foil to eliminate the need for a gap when constructing. Here’s Theresa’s twinkly tree:

And here’s Pat Francis’s tree with added decorative soldering and lights. Lovely.

Janusz Niedzielski has some great ideas for using scrap glass in this tree.

Donna has added some parcels to her tree and has made them as gifts, she puts a small candle goes between packages and tree.

All of these are lovely and once again thank you to everyone for sharing so generously.

If you like this idea and would like to Pin on Pinterest or Share on Facebook that would be brilliant. Thanks in advance.

Fancy making a butterfly garden stake? Find the project instructions here.

For more help with the stained glass copper foil technique go here

Return to Everything Stained Glass home page

34 thoughts on “Stained Glass Christmas Tree Pattern Instructions”

  1. Hi Milly just invested in a Hakko fx601 as you have recommended so excited to finally get one after a long wait. just one question do I need to get a different tip or will the tip it comes with be good for all my soldering needs. Thanks for all you invaluable help. I missed your20% deal off your courses I will definitely be on my toes for next time. Really enjoy all your tips and information sharing.
    Sheelagh

    Reply
    • I’m delighted to hear you have the iron Sheelagh. The tip it comes with should be the correct one for soldering stained glass – a chisel tip.
      Good luck with your new iron and thanks for your comments 🙂

      Reply
  2. I have refreshed the page and scrolled to the bottom, still not finding the pattern… Also, in the construction descriptions above, I don’t see anything about how the garlands/decorations were applied. In the string of beads garland, I can see doing it by soldering the ends of the garland to the points of the tree, but in the photo with small hanging ornaments at the points (directly above “Constructing The Christmas Tree”) they seem to be hanging from loops? Are the loops soldered in? You could then change the tiny ornaments at will?

    Reply
    • The example pattern is there Victoria. It’s just indicative so that you understand the shapes needed to make your own tree.
      As long as your garlands are threaded on to solderable wire you can either make loops so that you can change them or solder them directly to the tree.
      It’s your creative call!

      Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing my pattern “again” with everyone out there in the stained glass world! I really love the other tree designs by Theresa Dolan and Pat Francis. I’m honored if my design gave them inspiration for their trees. I hope ideas like these will inspire anyone that dreams of making stained glass items to jump in and give it a try.

    Reply
    • I love your Christmas Tree!!!, and as a beginner, I will try to make it for this side of Christmas, because of many other projects as well. I will first approach a carpenter, than the pattern. I think clean straight cuts would be better for me. I will attempt this.

      Reply
      • Thanks RoseAnn and good luck with the tree. It’s not mine though; Joe or Gail kindly shared their trees with everyone so it’s they who deserve your thanks 🙂

        Reply
  4. Thanks for the easy pattern, good to have directions right next to the pattern. I will put the pattern on mylar, makes it easier for soldering/matching up the sides. I have some beads left from other patterns for trees, thanks for the idea before next glass craft show. Merry Christmas to All!

    Reply
    • I’ll pass your thanks on to Gail, I can’t take credit here much as I’d like to 🙂 Good luck with it and a happy festive time to you too.

      Reply
  5. I’ve made this before. I measure and twist the star with a long tail first. Then cut excess from bottom of the tail so the star is right at the top when finished.
    Next using my sponge block, I hold two pieces of the bottom at a right angle and solder the tail into the two pieces. Then add a third, then a fourth. Now the bottom is done and you can easily add the other layers, offsetting them if you like.
    If you want all layers the same as in Molly’s picture, then make each of the four top to bottom with soldering the center line. Follow same instructions as before but you are soldering the tail into a full side…

    Reply
    • That’s a nice variation on a theme, thanks for the ideas Meg 🙂
      This is Gail Koekbe’s work and photo…just to make it clear. I don’t want to be taking credit for her considerable efforts!

      Reply
  6. THANKS FOR THE PATTERN!!!! Now I have it and can get going on making tree gifts for friends.
    Your tutorials are really great and I have been reviewing most of them periodically. My stained glass efforts have improved immensely and I thank you for all your hints and techniques!
    I’m one of the lucky folks who have come across your website. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    Dottie

    Reply
    • Aw, that’s really sweet, thanks Dottie. All the kudos has to go to Gail for this one; she did it, wrote about it and provided the pattern. Cheers to Gail 🙂

      Reply
  7. Don’t feel badly about the pattern, Milly! I, too, forget things all the time. Just tell everyone it was a test to see if we were paying attention!

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful little piece with all of us and for all your other efforts to help us learn throughout the year. And, many thanks to Gail. Gail: more please!

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all my fellow Milly groupies!

    Reply
    • Hi Sally, Gail has kindly prepared an example Christmas tree pattern now. Don’t forget to refresh the page and then scroll to the bottom to find it.

      Reply
    • Hi Mary, Gail has kindly prepared an example stained glass Christmas tree pattern now. Don’t forget to refresh the page and then scroll to the bottom to find it.

      Reply
    • Hi Kathy, my mistake… Gail has kindly prepared an example stained glass Christmas tree pattern now. Don’t forget to refresh the page and then scroll to the bottom to find it.

      Reply
    • Hi Debby, my mistake… Gail has kindly prepared an example Christmas tree pattern now. Don’t forget to refresh the page and then scroll to the bottom to find it.

      Reply
    • Hi Dottie, my mistake… Gail has kindly prepared an example stained glass Christmas tree pattern now. Don’t forget to refresh the page and then scroll to the bottom to find it.

      Reply
    • Glad you like it Karen… yes, should have thought of that with the pattern! Am hoping Gail has one that I can share on the site…

      Reply

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