Start Here

Begin Your Everything Stained Glass Journey

A big welcome to Everything Stained Glass! I’m delighted you’re joining our stained glass community.
My passion is helping those new to stained glass create beautiful things. Making stained glass adds something special to our lives.
If you’ve already started you’ll know what I’m talking about… and if you haven’t you have a real treat in store! has been around for 8 years now with new material added regularly on a wide range of topics, from tips on the Copper Foiling Technique to tutorials on Learning Lead Came.
If you’re new to this site I’ve gathered some of my very best information together on this page to get you started.

STEP ONE: Introducing Ourselves

milly frances stained glass artist at work and play

If you’re wondering ’who IS Milly Frances and what’s her story?’ you might want to check out my about page. Then drop me a line telling me a bit about you. I’d love to hear about where you’ve travelled with your stained glass journey so far.

STEP TWO: Join The Sharing Gang

There’s always new tips being added at Everything Stained Glass but happily there’s lots of ways to make sure you don’t miss out.
The first thing to do is sign up for my newsletter…

everything-stained-glass-pinterest02-webAs you know, there’s nothing better than looking at and being inspired by stained glass images on Pinterest. I’ve created boards on Stained Glass Tutorials, Stain Glass in Buildings and Stained Glass Trees to name but a tasty few! Feel free to come on over.

youtube-web‘How-to’ videos are irresistible when you start making stained glass. My YouTube Channel is updated regularly and has hundreds of followers. What are they watching? All sorts; from Stained Glass Cost Saving Tricks to The Key to a Perfect Score Line  and Using A Circle Cutter. You’re more than welcome to join us.

fb-webYou’ll find current stained glassy events, breaking news and inspirational images on the Everything Stained Glass Facebook page. There are thousands of community members and I’d love you to be part of it.

I try my best to answer every email and comment I receive so if you have something you’re dying to tell me, put finger to keyboard and let me know! An answer may take a little while as it’s just me, so try and be patient.

STEP THREE: Dive Into The Everything Stained Glass School

Giving you the skills to create beautiful things

That buzz when you lift your stained glass from the bench and hold it up to the light is truly the finest moment. My job at to help you reach that moment with confidence and satisfaction. I’m not interested in the ‘right’ way, I’m interested in the way that suits you best.
There are lots of tutorials to guide you on Everything Stained Glass. I’ve selected a few of the most helpful for you here.

Start Making Stained Glass

Best of the Best

Stained Glass Problems Solved

stained glass work by studentsThe following tutorials answer the most pressing problems that people experience when they start making stained glass. I hope you find them helpful.

I have also put my passion for sharing the joy of stained glass into creating my online Stained Glass Made Perfect course. It’s aimed at beginners and improvers and covers absolutely everything you need to know, from choosing the best tools to hanging your beautiful sun catcher.

If you like comparing tools before you buy you’ll like my review pages; I’ve covered Glass Cutters, Soldering Irons, Grinders, Stained Glass Kits and even Stained Glass Saws!

Luckily for us, inspiration is easy to come by in our stained glass world. These Visitor Pages offer you the chance to check out and be encouraged by the talent of other learners.

Brand new to stained glass?

stained glass techniques

I know how confusing it is if you’re desperate to start making stained glass and are not sure of the steps you need to take to get sparkling results. My special love is introducing people to this beautiful craft so I have lots of help for you. Here’s the pick of the bunch:

Want to move to the next level?

making stained glass collage

If you have basic stained glass skills and want to get better and better I’ve created lots of material to help you improve. You might like to start with these:

I’m looking forward to hearing how you get on in your stained glass journey. Now is the time to create beautiful things!

57 thoughts on “Start Here”

  1. Hello there,
    I purchased a Hakko soldering iron about a year ago from a local shop. It has worked beautifully until suddenly it didn’t. I was using it and started to smell a burning smell. I had been cleaning the tip so didn’t think too much about it. When I picked it up again to use it, it was cold and the barrel looks all burned. Any ideas about what I might have done wrong? Everyplace I looked for reviews, said this iron is the BEST to get. I’m going to need a new iron and don’t want to have this happen again. Thank you in advance for your advice!


    • This has never happened to me Sandy, but it may be the ‘burn on’ that occasionally happens with these irons. I have ways to avoid this happening on this page:
      If your iron’s not too old, it might be worth writing to Hakko themselves to report this – they need to know if things are going wrong, even if it is rare.
      I’m sorry this happened to you and thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi, Milly! How are you? What’s new?

    I’m Larry, the applique guy from the U.S. of years past. In my dotage, I’ve just recently taken up acrylic painting — playing with colors again! My painting attempt called “Yucatan”, named for an iquana my Malay wife and I witnessed up close there:

    Meanwhile, I happen also to have still a number of my s.g. window panels on my hands (in the U.S.), including the one depicted (as painting on glass) of an ancient Maya lord. I would like to upload an image to an online gallery, but I have lost track of my own s.g. photos. I remember that you had graciously post a photo of this one on your website; if my chance you still have that image saved, I would appreciate your emailing it back to me as a .jpeg, so I can upload it.

    Many thanks, and cheers!


  3. I so enjoy your generous sharing of your beautiful designs which is enormously inspiring, and is motivating me to try some new ideas. Thank you so much. I know I reviewed your website about a year ago, but I am not sure if I ordered your book, so I will have to get to work. Thank you again for your encouragement and for sharing of your awesome gifts. CPH, Canada

  4. Milly do you have a tutorial how to make picture frames? I have trouble making them the correct size without the back showing through. I don’t think I explained this very well. :(. 🙁 I use and love all your tips. Thank you.

    • I wish I wish I wish Nancy… but I’m renowned for my mathematical misdemeanours and wood work and framing end up as carnage lol. I’d advise looking at YouTube. Good luck!

  5. Even though I learned to do leaded stained glass many years ago I signed up for Milly’s Leaded Stained Glass class. That is the best decision I made. There were many things I had forgotten because I was living on a sailboat for several years and all my books on how to do leaded stained glass were very old. I love the look of a leaded stained glass panel. Do it! You won’t be disappointed.
    Anita MacDonald,
    Elnora, Alberta, Canada

    • Aw, I’m so glad the course refreshed your knowledge and helped you pick up leaded glass again Anita. I totally agree on the look of leaded glass, I love it too 🙂
      Thanks for your review.

  6. Hello,

    My grandfather did stained glass, and after he passed my dad learned and used the same tools to create stained glass. My dad died last year and I have inherited his tools and supplies and am overwhelmed with how to get started. I have wanted to pick up the craft for years now and with all the supplies I have, I am looking for any tips and advice I can get.

  7. As most of you have experienced I have a lot of glass pieces l2ft from projects completed not to mention little buying sprees and project hoping to start. I know am blessed with a curious 6 year old granddaughter and am in need of storage ideas that keep her safe.

  8. Hello Milly
    Thank you for your regular email and tips. I started making stained glass over 30 years ago after a evening class so I have made many things for friends as presents and even Memorials the friends who lost husbands and wives. I even made a Tiffany-style lamp which took ages due to being in and out of the hospital, The pattern on the lamp I designed as I went along and it ended up as Spring, Summer, Autum, and Winter and had 835 pieces of glass in it, Strangely as I was making it our local auction house had an original Tiffany Lamp up for sale so I just had to go along and see it, it was the same size as the one I was making. The sale price was £40,000 it sold for £36,000 Of course it was far better than my one but I carried on and now it stands on our TV cabinet and the strange thing happens almost every night when it comes on for a lit moment I look up and wonder who made it. My last memorial was for my friend who was waden the warden for our country park and loved wild life so on the glass I put all the thing that he loved in his life not only birds and flowers I also put on the music he liked and ,him fishing and riding his motor byke ,As usual it took ages with no patern but I go there in the end . Keep the tip’s coming Best wishes Pete Day

    • Your glass creations sound amazing Pete, especially the one for your warden friend. That’s really special.
      Shame you can’t sell your lamp for 40K !

  9. Do you have a way of calculating the end size result of a piece based on the thickness of the foil?
    Guess what I’m asking is how much does a project expand because of the foil?
    Thanks. 🙂

  10. I’m trying to find the pattern for Frank Lloyd Wright Butterfly Chandelier.
    I tried ordering it from Dennis Casey of Prairie Designs, paid for it and they never sent it nor will they respond to my inquiries.
    I’m wondering if any of your contacts might have purchased that pattern and would be willing to sell it to me

    • Sorry you haven’t had any joy to date Robert. These are weird Covid times; let’s hope Dennis hasn’t got caught up in it 🙁 As for the pattern; I can ask my kind followers and visitors to the site here might be able to help. Anyone? Thanks in advance and good luck with your search.

      • Hi Milly – I too have ordered a pattern from Dennis’s site and haven’t received it. Do you have any update on if he’s OK? I’m interested in purchasing some of his patterns, specifically one of his Lake Geneva patterns.


        • No, I don’t know, sorry Venita. I’m trying to find out if anyone else has had any problems and will let you know via this page if so.
          It’s a shame you haven’t received yours, I hope you do at some point.

  11. I have had a long love affair with glass and I am so excited that I am finally dedicating more time and energy to it. I have some tools so far, and I am working from a couple of my own patterns but I am having some challenges with certain cuts. I think I need a ring saw, but I am wondering if it is really faster and more accurate than simply using a grinder with various diameter grinding wheels. Thoughts?

    I love the intricate pieces you can cut with a ring saw, but for my current project I am not sure if I really need that now or if I need to get more grinding wheels. I want to invest in my work space but I want to be smart about where I spend as well.

    Thank you for your assistance, I am looking forward to diving further into your site! It looks almost like I might be like trying to drink from a fire hose, there is so much here! 🙂

    • Ha! Drink away 🙂 I wouldn’t recommend getting a ring saw so early on in your exploration of stained glass. I’d suggest finding out what you can do with the essential tools (lots) before buying the tools you need as your interests and direction evolves. You can see the essential tools at the bottom of this page.

      The saws are very good – verging on essential – for certain things but you might not want to do these things. I’ve written a post with 5 things saws do well here so you can check them out.

      I hope that helps and enjoy your journey, you’re at a lovely stage!

  12. Your website and all the information you provide is exceptional – I’m so impressed with you Milly! I started learning stain glass many years ago as a beginner and then moved several times, packed everything away until it’s now 15 years later. I’m now retired and have all my stained glass tools, glass, etc., out again and want to get started the right way in really learning this wonderful medium. I’d like to take your class. I look forward to spending many more hours on your web page and absorbing as much information as I can. Thank you so much for your willingness to help us “newbies”.

  13. I have a stain glass piece that will be an insert in a pantry door. The picture is of a harp but we’re not sure which end is the top. How can we verify this ?

  14. I am trying to figure out the exact measurements I need to do a window piece I’m not replacing the window just going over it

  15. Good morning

    I am re-constructing two panels into what I hope will be a small screen to place in a deep recessed window. But I am not too sure of the framing of this. ie, wood etc.
    I do not work with lead came. Just copper foiling.

    The height of each panel will be approximately 15″ x 10″. Advice is needed please.

    Many thanks.

    • A wooden frame is easiest as you can use quarter rounds (beading in the UK) to hold the stained glass securely in place. It also hides the somewhat untidy edge you get when you just do copper foil without a lead border.

  16. Hi Milly,

    Could you give some advise on how to achieve shading effect, fading of colour, by wet acid etching. Two or more different shades is fairly simple but to go from dark blue to very pale gradually is a challenge for me.


    • I have a page on acid etching here.

      Use a photographic tray for the watered down acid and hold it at an angle so that the area you want lighter remains in the acid. For shading you can make a ‘dibbler’ and gently brush the watered down acid along and above the line where the acid stops in a systematic way. This prevents a definite line forming.
      Make this dibbler with a stick, wrapped at the end with cotton wool and finished off with a bit of a nappy liner or similar, tied on with cotton.
      The weaker the acid the longer it takes but the more likely it will be successful. It’s tricky! Practice first on a test piece.

      Just keep in mind that acid is EXTREMELY dangerous and lots of precautions need to be taken to preserve your lungs and skin. I can’t recommend this to you, not knowing your set up. I use a fume cupboard.

  17. Hi Milly, I am a beginner in stained glass as i was wondering if you can tell me how to size up a pattern to fit the project at hand whether its square or a round area to be filled?

    • If you’re like me and anything to do with maths makes you feel ill, you might have trouble making small patterns bigger. Even if you don’t have Pattern Wizard, or other snazzy software, it can still be done easily.

      Say your design has been drawn at a ratio of 1:10. Draw a grid over your design by dividing each section up equally in quarters. Multiply the measurements by 10 and draw a corresponding grid on to the full size outline of the window.

      Then simply transfer the design by eye, using the smaller divisions to help you get the correct angles. I hope that helps.

      Thanks for your question. I have written a newsletter on this very thing with images which you’ll receive soon!

    • Hi Lawrence, I don’t supply tools and materials, sorry. I provide online stained glass classes.
      Tempsford Stained Glass or Creative Glass (in Rochester, Kent) are over your side of the UK if that helps.
      P.S. I’ve taken your address off as I think it’s safer not to have them on the web – call me old-fashioned!

  18. Cut a line on a piece of mirror to see how your cutting pressure is. It should look like a hair is laying on the glass. If not, you’re not applying enough pressure. If the line has chips along the edges, you’re pressing too hard.

  19. Hi
    Just wondering if any of your on line classes for slumping and firing glass. I just a beginner and would like to find some classes but on-line as none are close to me.

  20. Hi Mills, love your website and newsletters. I’m interested in starting your online course but the price came up in US dollars. Have I clicked on the wrong place somewhere as I thought you are in UK

    • Hello Anna, thanks for your interest in my Stained Glass Made Perfect course.
      You’re not the only one to be confused… You’re correct, I am in the UK. We had to choose one currency and chose US dollars as most of my visitors are from the US. Lots of people from the UK take the course; the conversion from $ to £ is done automatically at checkout.
      I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  21. hi,

    for some time you show a little blue thing for glasses to hold in when you grinds small pieces. Where can I get on?

  22. Hi Milly,

    I just joined your community and I just love everything about it. I love working with stain glass but, I don’t use foil, I use grout and I work on rock, glass, tables and I make garden art. I’m very interested in how you cut the circles and all the tips and tricks you have learned. Looking forward to learning along with the others. I’m glad I stumbled upon your website and I downloaded your e-book and I’m on your email now!!

    • Hi Kathy,

      I, too, work with glass in making yard art, glass on glass art and tables using grout. I just starting selling my pieces on Etsy and am always looking for others (there aren’t many) for inspiration and tips. Always learning.


  23. Good question Denise. I use rubberised gardening gloves – I find them not too thick and they give enough protection when the solder drips. I only wear one – on the hand that holds the stained glass – not on the one holding the soldering iron. That way I get the sense of touch that is so important with the soldering.

  24. I’ve noticed you wear gloves when your doing decretive soldiering. I like the idea of gloves to protect my hands and fingers but I also use my fingers for touch. Can you recommend a pair that protects but doesn’t take the sense of touch away?

  25. Hi Milly ,
    How do I add a photo of a piece of my work to your followers gallery please ?
    It’s so nice to see other glasses work . Some great ideas .

    • Hi Barbara, I’m glad to see you’ve been inspired by the lovely work of my visitors! You’re welcome to send me an image of your work with a short bit about it and I’ll post it on my site. Thanks for your interest.


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