using vintage plate in stained glass
Glorious vintage plate by Stained Glass Hub member Susan Huff

Using a vintage plate in stained glass is not as hard as it seems.

You can use both the leading method and copper foil to do this.

Using A Vintage Plate In Stained Glass

Instructions for Copper Foil Method

  1. Decide on the size of the finished panel, and draw it out accurately.
  2. If you want to make a geometric design, make a mark the half way down on each side of the plate. To find the centre point, join these lines up to form a cross.
  3. Place your plate face down, so that the centre of the plate is directly over the middle of the cross. They normally have a very helpful design that shows you the exact centre. Now draw around your plate.
  4. Remember, if you want the rounded side of the bowl at the back you need to reverse your design.
  5. Design the rest of the panel. The pictured one shows you how creative you can be. You could have sun rays radiating out from the middle – anything you like. Have a look at the two videos below for some mind-blowing ideas!
  6. Cut all your glass shapes and copper foil them as usual. If the plate is thick, or you think your design might need extra strength, then use a wider copper foil around the plate. You might have to use 2 strips of foil to get the desired width to cover the edges.
  7. When you solder it all together, solder it with the plate face down first. This is easier as it’s flat.
  8. Then use an old blanket around the edge of the plate – or something similar – that will support the panel around the edges when you turn it over to solder the second side.

Using A Vintage Plate In Stained Glass – Questions

Q: Do I have to grind the edges of the vintage plate before foil is put on?

A: It’s not necessary for the foil to stick, but if you need to to make it fit, you can – as long as it’s not tempered glass. You can’t cut or grind tempered glass. See this great page here to identify whether your plate is tempered:

Fusing Vintage Plates

Q: How do you foil a thicker vintage plate?

A: Use wider foil or overlap foil if you don’t have any wide enough.

Q: My question is in regards to using a vintage plate in stained glass. I have a client who would like me to use some plates that are cut in the design. What type of saw would do this kind of cutting? Can you recommend a brand. I currently have a wire saw and obviously it will not work.

A: I like the Taurus Ring Saw. I’ve written a page on my blog about what stained glass saws are good for here.

Ideas For Using A Vintage Plate in Stained Glass

If you’re wondering how you can use a vintage plate in stained glass be inspired right here! The videos show the spectacular results of the Vintage Plate Challenge that just took place in the Stained Glass Hub (a FB Group for students of my online courses).

In case you’re confused about the names, think darts! It was my take on the way the announcers say….ooooone HUNDRED and EIGHTY!
Thanks to all the ‘Hubbits’ who made such amazing plates and for Maggie Winters for organising it.

This lovely piece was made by Donna Ray for a friend. the plates were her mothers. Beautiful – thank you Donna.

This lovely piece is by Nita Wiebe – thanks for sharing Nita

This was a piece my daughter and I designed on a hymn theme and her hymn was ‘Be Thou My Vision.” The profile is her profile, and the music notes are the first line of the tune. My idea was that our vision expands and creativity comes to life when our minds are enveloped by the beauty of the spirit of God. Chaos and confusion can be crafted into clear messages that breathe life to the planet.


Layered Agate Roundel*

layered agate roundel-gail unger
Learn how to make this stunning agate roundel

What a spectacular project this is! Here’s how you do it:

layered stained glass
Stick copper foil around the zinc frames to solder
  • The agate roundel has 4 layers. Each layer is wrapped with zinc u channel came.
  • All the layers are then stacked and foiled along the edge to seal them.
  • They are then soldered together.
circular stained glass
Use window glass to make up the semi circle to help soldering
  • Each layer – except the front – has pieces of double strength window glass added to complete the semi circle shape. This makes it easy to solder together.
  • The glass used was the gorgeous heads & tails glass. These edges of rolled glass give you those lovely organic tops to each layer.
heads and tails glass
Cut into the heads and tails glass to add your agate
  • For the agate, cut into the white glass and then soldered around it. You can see the soldered line around the agate.
  • The decorative solder effect was make by making little indentations on the soldered line using the corner of the soldering iron tip.
layered circular stained glass
Using dark glass at the back ‘holds’ the light from the front
  • Here’s the roundel from the back. The dark glass is necessary to ‘hold the light’ of the layers in front.

I think you’ll agree that this has to be one of THE most splendid projects. If you try it yourself, play around with the layers before committing yourself to soldering anything.

Add any comments in the box below and don’t forget to share on FB and Pinterest. Thanks.

*Made and shared by Gail Unger. Thanks for your generosity Gail 🙂 

Agates in Glass made by readers

This is from Lyn – thank you for sharing.

The design for this piece comes from this book that you can get on Amazon.

(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 🙂

Amazon Link to the Stained Glass Basics Book

This is another lovely agate in stained glass sent in by Marie – thank you! FrancesCopper Foil ConstructionStained Glass TutorialsDecorative Techniques,Readers WorkUsing a vintage plate in stained glass is not as hard as it seems. You can use both the leading method and copper foil to do this. Using A Vintage Plate In Stained Glass Instructions for Copper Foil Method Decide on the size of the finished panel, and draw it out accurately. ...Create beautiful things. I'll show you how.
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