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