Making Jump Rings And Adding Hooks to Stained Glass

These stained glass instructions show you how to make and solder hooks on to a zinc frame. It uses a simple, nearly invisible method of adding hooks to stained glass to allow hanging that shows off your beautiful stained glass in the best possible light.

The rings in this stained glass tutorial are made from recycled copper wire stripped from electrical wiring. Alternatively – and this is my favourite option – you can use spools of pre-tinned copper wire (try gauge 14 or 16 if you have a smaller item to hang) which is easier than stripping and tinning your own, cheaper than buying ready-made rings AND more flexible with regards to size!) or you can buy ready made pre-tinned rings (the easiest but most expensive option).

Jump to the Handy hangers

What You Need

tools for adding hooks to zinc frame
Tools for adding hooks to a zinc frame

Adding Hooks To Stained Glass

1. Making the Hooks

These discreet hooks are going to follow the 45 degree angle at the corner of your panel instead of the more usual circular hoops.

Use of round nosed pliers (small ones available at craft shops and larger ones, size of the typical needle nose pliers, available at some tool stores) can ensure crinkle-free and nick-free bends in homemade hanging loops.

making stained glass hooks with pliers
Bend copper wire to make two hooks for your stained glass
  • Cut off a length of copper wire with wire cutters
  • Using the pliers, bend it into a U-shape
  • Measure the length needed by putting it over the top corner of your panel
  • Cut off the excess

2. Instruction for Tinning Hooks

This both strengthens the wire and stops the copper from corroding. You don’t need to do this if you’ve bought pre-tinned rings or wire.

tinning stained glass hooks
Tinning stained glass wire hooks
  • Flux each hook
  • Add stained glass solder to your iron tip
  • Holding the hook with the pliers, cover it on both sides with a thin coating of solder

3. Attaching the Rings

  • Balance or hold the hook over the top corner at a 45 degree angle
  • Melt a bit of solder on top
attaching hooks to stain glass panel
Soldering the hook on to the zinc frame
  • Hold the iron over it for a couple of seconds to smooth it out
  • Turn over and do the same to the other side
  • Hold the panel vertically and neaten up the area carefully with a corner of the iron tip
  • Repeat the steps above for the opposite corner
two hooks on stained glass
Hooks neatly attached at 45 degree angle

That’s it! I’d recommend attaching 2 separate pieces of wire to hang your precious panel so that if one should break (yikes!) the other one will prevent it from falling (phew!)

Handy Hangers with a Zinc Frame

One of my online students Georgia Hamilton has very kindly sent me these images showing how she cleverly makes a handy hanger tuck nice and securely into the corner of the zinc frame.

Here are the instructions for adding hooks to stained glass (images below):

  1. cut all the framing pieces with mitered corners with a mini cut-off saw, a 2inch Mini Bench Top Cut-Off Saw by Drillmaster
  2. flip the piece that will be the top rail and nip the corner off each end. This creates a small pocket for the Handy Hanger to drop into
  3. steel wool the Handy Hangers before you tin them. This helps it take the solder much better
  4. use liquid (not gel) flux for tinning as it tins more evenly
  5. solder the Handy Hangers to the inside of each side rail



This may not be as pleasing to the eye as some other types of hangers but it creates a really secure fixing.

showing how to make a hanger for a stained glass panel with a zinc frame

For added security you can clean the inside of the zinc where the hanger is going to go, put some solder inside the zinc and then reflow it when you insert the hanger. This gives you peace of mind knowing that it is soldered inside the channel.

Tips from Readers:

Abby suggests something like these ring crimp terminals below. She says just crimp the bottom so it fits in between the framing. They’re made from tin plated copper that can be crimped or soldered.


Sherren Says:

I create my own , with 14 gauge Copper wire … Use various shapes to elevate the pc.
Works very well for me    As most of my work is Fused ( 90% ” ish ” ). I use H channel Zinc framing too.

 

Now you’re ready for the final step – making your panel gleam and shine. Go to the patina and polishing instruction to finish off your panel.

How To Frame With Stained Glass Zinc Came

How to Solder Jump Rings To A Stained Glass Sun Catcher

Best Stained Glass Soldering Iron

 

 

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