Stained Glass Alliance Starbird

One of the random craft projects that I have picked up over the years is small stained glass pieces.  In this quick how-to I’ll show you how I put my stained glass together – which I’m certain will have any professional stained glass maker screaming at the screen.

You do need some special tools for stained glass; this is a list of my tools and supplies.

-Soldering Iron, normal electric is fine, replace the tip before you start soldering electronics again

-Colored Glass, any thickness works but I usually use 1/8″

-Copper foil adhesive on one side, copper on the other

-Liquid solder flux

-Fluxless solder, I use lead based but if you can melt it and there is no flux it should work

-Glass cutter and cutting oil

First you need to sketch or print out a pattern.  I was feeling rebellious

First, you need to sketch or print out a pattern. I was feeling rebellious.

Using a sharpy draw in the lines of the glass. Try to have only sharp edges.  Done have deep concave line, It's a trap.

Using a sharpie, draw in the lines of the glass. Try to have only sharp edges. Don’t have deep concave lines. It’s a trap!

Cut out the patterns, removing all the sharpie marks leaving ~1/16" gaps

Cut out the patterns, removing all the sharpie marks leaving ~1/16″ gaps.

Using a shapie trace the pattern on the glass

Using a sharpie, trace the pattern on the glass.

Cut the glass with the glass cutter, dipping in oil before every cut. Press very firmly when cutting

Cut the glass with the glass cutter, dipping in oil before every cut. Press very firmly when cutting.

Snap the glass off at cuts over an edge.  Press firmly but not too hard, this takes some practice.  We need these parts alive, No disintegration rays.

Snap the glass off at cuts over an edge. Press firmly but not too hard; this takes some practice. We need these parts alive, no disintegrations!

This is the glass all cut out and lined up on the pattern. Lightly sand the edges down to help with the tape

This is the glass all cut out and lined up on the pattern. Lightly sand the edges down to help with the tape.

Test fit the glass pieces. You might have to re-cut some pieces at this point if they don't line up

Test fit the glass pieces. You might have to re-cut some pieces at this point if they don’t line up.

Cut and wrap the copper tape over the glass leaving an equal amount of tape on both sides.  Stay on target!

Cut and wrap the copper tape over the glass, leaving an equal amount of tape on both sides. Stay on target!

Fold over the copper tape around all of the edges

Fold over the copper tape around all of the edges.

Line up all the pieces then tack solder them together on the front and the back

Line up all the pieces, then tack solder them together on the front and the back.

Go to town soldering up all of the copper edges.  I usually solder on a coil of copper wire as a mounting point

Go to town soldering up all of the copper edges. I usually solder on a coil of copper wire as a mounting point.

Clean up the glass with a ammonia based cleaner and you are done. A elegant hanging for a more civilized age.

Clean up the glass with an ammonia based cleaner and you are done. An elegant hanging for a more civilized age.