How to Create Stained Glass Patterns
Creating your own stained glass pattern is not as difficult as one may think. There are various computer programs available to help you in your design or you can choose to draw your own with a few simple tools. All you will need is paper, a ruler, pencils, access to a photo copier. A personal printer and scanner for smaller pieces is helpful.
Downloading Free Stained Glass Patterns
There are various websites from which you can download free patterns. One of my favorite places to select patterns from is Spectrum Glass. To download patterns from this site, you will need to sign up for an account. The only thing required is your name and email address. Once you have an account you can view all the various patterns that they have to offer. When you find the pattern that you like, download it to your computer via a PDF (Portable Document Format) file.
The picture of the frog is from one of the many patterns that I've downloaded to create a stained glass window hanging light catcher.
- Once the file has been saved to your computer you can print it or enlarge or shrink it to the size that you prefer.
- You will then want to print two copies. One to use as your pattern and the other to cut shapes for glass cutting.
- Glass colors and glass textures are your own personal preference as to what you use. These patterns do come with suggested colors.
- For the eyes you can use a marker to color them or use glass beads.
Design Your Own Stained Glass Pattern
My husband is a big Chevy fan and I wanted to design a stained glass piece for the garage. I had an actual Chevy emblem from off of one of his vehicles, so I started with it. I drew out the pattern on a sheet of graph paper. I'd decided beforehand that the piece would have beveled glass to frame the piece. Bevels come in many different shapes and sizes. I chose four straight bevels measuring ten inches in length by one inch in width. I used mirrored glass on the emblem outline to make it look like chrome. The center of the emblem is a blue and gray striped glass. The background pieces are black onyx glass.
Creating your own pattern can be fun and rewarding. Abstract pieces can be easily made by using graph paper, a ruler and a pencil.
The piece in the very first picture at the top of this page was created starting with a beveled flower. I'd seen this bevel in a stained glass supply store and liked it. When I bought it I had no idea what I was going to make out of it. This piece I made for a kitchen cabinet insert. The flower has 5 petals and the center piece.
I measured the exact size I needed for the insert onto a piece of graph paper. I placed the beveled flower in the center of the paper and traced around it, and then hand drew the the three flower leaves. From there drew out the rest of the pattern.
With most stained glass pattern books you will need to take the chosen pattern, have it either enlarged on a photo copier to the size you want, or scan it onto your computer and enlarge it. With a photo copier it can all be printed out in one piece. If doing this on your computer, you may need to print it out in several sheets. Personally I find it much easier to do on a photo copier.
Using Photographs to Create a Glass Pattern
To use a photograph for a pattern
Scan the photo onto your computer saving in paint or use with a stained glass program such as DragonFly Software.
For making really cute sun-catchers coloring books are a great place to find patterns. Simply trace over the picture using a piece of paper, and you have your basic pattern. Make a copy of it so that you have your pattern and use the copy for your individual glass cut out pieces.