ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Create Beautiful Stained Glass Mosaics!

Updated on September 22, 2016
kmartel profile image

K.D. Martel is a writer, published author and artist working from her studio in the province of Québec, Canada.

some of my stained glass mosaic work

stained glass mirror, stained glass cut and tumbled
stained glass mirror, stained glass cut and tumbled
stained glass mirror, stained glass shards and cut, all tumbled
stained glass mirror, stained glass shards and cut, all tumbled
stained glass tiles on the outside, 1/4 '', and cut,tumbled glass peices
stained glass tiles on the outside, 1/4 '', and cut,tumbled glass peices
stained glass cut and tumbled
stained glass cut and tumbled
glass smalti tile 3/4'', smaller pieces grinded
glass smalti tile 3/4'', smaller pieces grinded
glass and ceramic combination
glass and ceramic combination

An Introduction to Stained Glass Mosaics: Stained Glass

As promised, here is a section dealing with the making of glass tile mosaics!!

If you notice, you'll see many forms of glass mosaics around. Many artists work with glass smalti or tiles in various sizes from tiny ¼'' to ¾'' that you can order online at many good glass tile mosaic stores. The tiles come in square shapes of various colours of the rainbow! You can also purchase the larger 1'' glass tiles at hardware or ceramic stores. These tiles are thicker and more difficult to cut and work with unless you simply use the pieces to make geometric designs without too much cutting involved. I do use them from time to time when a client specifies it, ¾'' glass tiles that I buy from a speciality shop to do certain projects. But in the long run, it is more expensive and trickier to work with, especially if you have to cut them. So over the years, I have developed my own method of creating glass mosaic tiles using leftover stained glass shards.

Before making mosaics over twelve years ago, I used to make stained glass projects. I discovered mosaics and never went back. Yet, upon looking at my inventory of stained glass sheets, I decided to use them in making my mosaic creations. Eventually, I discovered that I could actually buy stained glass shards and pieces on Ebay for much cheaper than buying small sections at the local stained glass store. Go onto Ebay and often, you can find stained glass artists selling their glass shards in mixtures of various colours and textures! I even bought a few years ago, from the estate of a deceased stained glass artist, over 100 lbs of glass sheets, shards and beads for very very cheap, including shipping.

There are even some that sell their shards in 1, 2 and 5 lb bags that have been tumbled so that there are no sharp cutting edges remaining. What I like about these is that the pieces are already all mosaic sized and you just use them as they are. They make great projects and their appearance is random and beautiful! I order a few pounds every now and then and when they arrive, I sort them out by colour and put them in my jars ready to use for when I need them.

Another way I have discovered is that when I use shards that are bigger, or I need several tiles of the same coloured glass, I simply cut the glass with a glass cutter into small squares and tumble them in a small machine to get rid of the cutting edges. I found a few years ago, an old tumbler for $5.00 on Ebay. I load the tumbler up with freshly cut glass tiles, enough water to cover them and a drop of dish soap (to remove the dirt and glass cutter oil). I tumble them for an hour, rinse them off and dry them. The edges do not cut anymore and are ready to use!

One important reminder, if you are ordering your glass mosaic tiles and must cut them, try to file down the cutting edges because it is glass and they cut like h---!! I remember many years ago, before I got my tumbler, I would simply cut my glass and install it into my mosaic. A good friend of mine came by and touched the mosaic with her finger and ended up slicing it deeply on the glass which had not been grouted yet. Boy did I feel bad! I now tumble all my glass before installing. However, if you buy the glass smalti or tiles and you need to cut them into smaller shapes to fit the pattern or design that you are making, you will need to file down that edge. Instead of tumbling, I simply grind the edges down on my glass grinder. This is more time consuming, but is essential for these type of tiles which often are made from a much stronger glass mixture with mineral for the colouring.

So now that we have finished with this short intro on stained glass tiles, prepare your stained glass pieces, Weldbond glue, board backing as specified in the preparation of the ceramic mosaic project!

In my next hub, I will be explaining the stained glass mosaic procedure.

© 2008 K D Martel


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • crownjulesuk profile image


      7 years ago


      I make stained glass too, and occasional mosaics to use up my spare glass. I suffer from the odd cut from sharp edges and loved your idea of "tumbling" to smooth the edges. I'm in the UK and wondering what your tumbler is, maybe we don't call them that here!?! Is it a washing machine? A tumble-dryer (for clothes)?


      Best wishes,



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)