Stained glass studio spaces are our little piece of heaven. We obsess over them… how best to store stained glass sheets, how to organise work areas and how high the cutting bench should be…

…and that’s before we get on to ingenious stained glass tools to fill them with. You know – the ones that you’ve made cheaply or adapted from something else. It’s such a thrill to make or find stained glass tools that work for you.

Tip 1. Make Your Own Stained Glass Storage Rack
Tip 2. Make Your Own Layout Bars
Tip 3. Make Your Own Grinder Splash Guard
Tip 4. Removing Water from Grinders
Tip 5. Shelving Your Studio
Tip 6. Storing tools

This article contains some affiliate links – look for the *. Just so’s you know, if you click and buy through the link within 24 hrs I get a small % from Amazon, (not you!). Thanks in advance but no worries if you have a local store – I’d always support them first 🙂

Get ideas for your stained glass studio spaces

Stained Glass Studio Spaces – Ideas

Ever wished you could see a whole load of stained glass artists’ studios to see how they organise their spaces?

Well now you can. Delphi Glass have put together this fascinating slide show of stained glass studio spaces entered for their “Most Organised Studio” competition. Hit the pause button if you want to have a good look at anything in particular.

Which one do you envy the most? You’re welcome to add other ideas of your own below.

Stained Glass Tools – Cheap Ones!

Tip 1. Make Your Own Stained Glass Storage Rack

These shelves will give you a lovely tidy mind which will spill over into your pleasure when you make stained glass.

The board was about $10, and the dowels cost about $17. If you don’t have the time to make you own you can always *buy ready made ones from Amazon here. (affiliate)

stained glass storage rack for your studio

Thanks to Gail Koebke for sending in the photos and idea:

  1. you need: 4′ x 12″ x 1″ board/s and a quantity of 1/4″ dowels, drill, 1/4″ drill bit, wood glue, hammer
  2. drill 1/4″ holes all the way through the board 2″ apart
  3. cut the dowels into 7″ lengths
  4. put a dab of wood glue on the end of each 7″ dowel and tap into the holes with the hammer
  5. leave overnight for the glue to set
  6. that’s it! You now have tidy stained glass sheets 🙂

I think you’ll agree they’re a MUST HAVE for all stained glass studio spaces. Gail says the rack is very strong and that “the dowels barely flex when several sheets of glass lean against them.” Thanks so much for sharing!

make your own stained glass storage rack

home made glass rack using dowel to store stained glass

P.S. Everything Stained Glass follower Janusz N has added a simple idea for racking. He uses a plate rack from IKEA for small pieces of glass and says “it is portable and works well“. I think we can see that below! Thanks Janusz.

Plus Kathleen says:

I made my own glass storage system using file folder racks and pencil grips. I just cut the pencil grips in half lengthwise, filled each halfway with hot glue and pressed one onto each rack section. It was simple to make, works well and cost a lot less than the ones they sell at glass shops. It holds my small pieces as well as 12″ squares and circles. Here’s a picture. I got the supplies on Amazon but I am sure any office supply store will have these items.

glass storage rack


Ron has this clever idea for glass storage: “I use an old wire shoe shelf rack at 48″ x 12″, with the outside rod cut off. The wire tines are 1″ apart so this gives 48 slots at 1″ x 12″. It is mounted 8″(can be more or less depending on your median glass size) above a 48″ x 12″ x 5/8″ shelf with 3 strips of weather-stripping to grip the glass pieces. Works like a charm. The only hassle is cutting off the outside rod with a wire cutter, Dremel or metal saw. It takes a little time and effort but the result is a 48-slot frame to hold any size of glass.”


More storage cleverness from Ron using coat hangers – thanks Ron

Paula sent this great idea to share:

Here’s a different idea for storing glass: a Baker’s rack. They are light (made of aluminium), sturdy, ready to move around, and you can adjust the shelves. Look for used ones on Facebook.I used pieces of 2×4 for the shelves and pipe insulation to protect the glass from unused shelves.

Beverly kindly sent this idea using magazine racks.”You may be familiar with these organizers for magazines that I just found on Amazon but they are perfect for storing those odd shaped smaller pieces of glass that sometimes get lost on the shelf. This magazine holder has a handle on the back which is a cut out it’s also ribbed on the bottom so it feels safe.  So I can take the holder out of my glass closet safely to see what pieces of glass I have. *On Amazon the 3 inch comes in a four pack  or an eight pack. I especially like that it has a “handle “

Tip 2. Make Your Own Layout Bars

Here’s a top idea for making Layout Bars instead of buying them. Simple and effective. If you don’t have the time (or the will!) to make your own then you can buy * affiliate – Morton Layout Bars here on Amazon


Thanks to Maggie Winters for sharing this. She suggests:

  • buying strips of  3/4″ aluminium angle stock at Home Depot. She recommends  the 1/16″ thickness
  • drilling evenly spaced 1/16″ holes along it
  • cutting them to your desired length
  • and voila! You have all the layout bars you need

Here are the layout bars in action (photo courtesy of Hubbit Terry B)

Tip 3. Make Your Own Grinder Splash Guard

Here’s the second Cheap Stained Glass Tool Tip for you. This one was kindly shared by follower Diane Ritter. If you have any more ideas for tools, feel free to add them below. Thanks, we need to fill our stained glass studio spaces with them 🙂

Sparkling stained glass studio – no more mucky splashing when grinding
  • Instead of buying a splash guard box, Diane suggests the following:
  • Buy a cheap a plastic storage box.
  • Set the grinder in the box with the opening facing you. Having the top and bottom catches a lot of water and stops it going everywhere.
  • Cut a small hole in the back for the cord to pass through.
  • If you need to put the grinder away, turn the box back to the normal top up position and reposition the grinder in the box. Put on the lid and you’re ready to go.

Diane says she needs a lot of light, so she bought a light strip and put it around “top” of the box (i.e. top when in use.)

The splash guard works perfectly and costs less than any of the 3-sided items seen online. Thanks to Diane for sharing.

Floyd T. Hopkins has kindly shared his idea for a splash guard too. Floyd uses a 20 gallon aquarium on its side.  He says: “It’s clear and the lip works great for holding water” and suggests putting a LED light with a magnifying glass on top. Ingenious. Thanks Floyd!

Ron has shared images below of his 12″x 8″ x 18″ tote box that he keeps the grinder in. One side is cut away for access. The box keeps water and glass residue from splashing all over the place.

Tip 4. Removing Water from Grinders

Oh yes, we’ve all been there… dirty murky water in your stained glass grinder and a mile to wobble your way to the sink to dispose of it… No longer!

Thanks to Mitzi Mallon’s inspired idea you’ll be sucking up water from your grinder without making MORE mess in the process.

She uses this rather grandly named *affiliate ‘Hydro Pressure Plunger‘, borrowed from the plumbing industry.

  • Simply screw on the cup
  • Slowly pull up the pump handle
  • Voilá! All your dirty grinder water is sucked into the pump reservoir.

*See if it will work for you here:

Terri in Virginia, USA uses popsicle sticks to clean out her glass grinder. They nicely scrape out the glass remains after the water is poured off. She wipes them on a paper towel and tosses the towel into the trash! Easy clean up 🙂

Any more ideas for stained glass studio spaces or cheap/adapted tools? Feel free to add them in the comments below.

Tip 5. Shelving Your Studio

cheap stained glass storage ideas

These are good old IKEA toy boxes in follower Gillian Millman’s workshop.  The toy box is on it’s side with some legs screwed on. Have a look at your local IKEA catalogue and with a view to glass storage… you’ll be amazed and go rushing out to your nearest outlet immediately.

P.S. Paul Lloyd-Jones uses the storage trolleys on wheels from Hobbycraft when they’re on offer 🙂

Thanks to Tom from Philadelphia for this idea using an Ikea unit:

Stained Glass Tool Storage Ideas

Vaughan very kindly sent this idea to me:


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Just so’s you know, if you click and buy through the *links within 24 hrs I get a small % from Amazon, (not you!). Thanks in advance but no worries if you have a local store – I’d always support them first 🙂 FrancesStained Glass ToolsBeginner,Quick TipsStained glass studio spaces are our little piece of heaven. We obsess over them... how best to store stained glass sheets, how to organise work areas and how high the cutting bench should be... ...and that's before we get on to ingenious stained glass tools to fill them with. You...Create beautiful things. I'll show you how.
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