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Stained Glass - A Unique Hobby

Updated on January 11, 2018
Tricia Deed profile image

Tricia Deed is a freelance writer of arts and crafts. She enjoys bringing an array of different projects to your attention.

The Virgin Mary presented in stained glass.
The Virgin Mary presented in stained glass. | Source

Age and gender have very little to do with choosing a hobby. It matters not if you are male or female as your hobby selection is always manageable. Riding a motorcycle is a fast and furious sport time activity. Select a bike which fits your body size. And so it is with many interests.

Men have taken up knitting, crocheting, and macrame. Do not get caught in stereotyped niches. Open your mind to try new things. It is of the essence that you enjoy your hobby activity. Explore and follow your passions. Life is too short to limit pleasurable and self satisfying experiences.

Hobbies will open different worlds of exploration and acquiring new friends who share in the same interests. Costs will vary. Some hobbies are cheap and affordable and some are expensive or exclusive. Most people work within their lifestyle budget. More importantly hobbies offer entertainment, therapy, enthusiasm for living life to its fullest, employment, and enhance or highlight your personality.

The concern is not for your age or gender, but rather, what shall I do next?

Have you tried the art and craft of stained glass?

Artist painting glass.
Artist painting glass. | Source

Basic Hand Tools

Depending on skill level and project hand tools will be needed. This is a basic list of the foundation hand tools. As your techniques advance or a project demands it, an investment in electrical tools may be needed.

  1. Glass – transparent or opulent

  2. Cutters

  3. Grozer/breakers - breaks glass at score line and will also nibble at glass

  4. Running pliers-score and cut glass

  5. Scythe stone-sharpening stone

  6. Coated copper foil-line glass edges

  7. Soldering iron

  8. Secure solder – binding stain glass together

  9. Flowing flux

  10. Polished patina

  11. Hanging hooks and wire

  12. Safety equipment, e.g. mask, safety glasses, first aid kit, proper cleaning equipment

St. Vitus Cathedral

Cathedrals and churches were lined with stained glass windows.
Cathedrals and churches were lined with stained glass windows. | Source

Steps To Making Stained Glass

These are 7 basic steps from start to finish:

  1. Select art

  2. Draw a full size pattern of project and label accordingly

  3. Cut, paint, and place cut pieces using pattern guide

  4. Kiln may be needed to set paint

  5. Wrap foil tape around each piece

  6. Glue or solder the pieces together

  7. Prepare for hanging, framing, or insertion

Simple Window Art

A simple flower arrangement of daffodils for a window.
A simple flower arrangement of daffodils for a window. | Source

Glass Cutting

The cutting of glass work started with the early Egyptians and Romans over 1000 years ago. During the Medieval ages when the majority of people did not know how to read or write, churches and cathedrals found that they could communicate with the general population by creating glass windows with artwork.

Each window told a story. The stories depicted the life of Christ. Because much of this artwork is associated with religious architecture there is little or no credit for the artisans who made these works of art. The work was done in the name of religion, therefore no credit was given to human talent or labor.

Contemporary art of today features simple objects, abstract, or plain sheets of colored glass. If an historic house is being remodeled then there may be consideration for an elaborate story line if appropriate.

Architectural Design Using Stained Glass

Windows, room dividers, wall coverings are a few of the larger projects using this art and craft form.
Windows, room dividers, wall coverings are a few of the larger projects using this art and craft form. | Source

9 Other Uses For Stained Glass

  1. Windows and doors
  2. Interior decor of homes and offices to compliment with light, art, and color

  3. Exterior windows to allow sunlight to stream through artwork highlighting a room with light, mood, and energy..

  4. Home decor art – lamps, mirrors, panels, and room dividers

  5. Furniture

  6. Jewelry

  7. Food and beverage containers

  8. home and garden containers

  9. Art pieces of many different subjects

Christmas Ornaments

Painted works of art such as this Christmas ornament are one of many ideas when working with glass.
Painted works of art such as this Christmas ornament are one of many ideas when working with glass. | Source

7 Other Stained Glass Mediums

There are some hazards working with glass and if you wish to avoid this medium there are other materials which can make this art and craft form possible.

  1. Acrylic panels: Purchase a clear acrylic sheet and transparent paints designed for stained glass application. Upon completion of this project its appearance will be very similar to glass. It will add beauty to the home interior, is less costly, saves time, and safer than real glass. Other tools may be necessary depending on the type and size of the project.

  2. Plexiglas: is also an acrylic but is manufactured stronger and will cost more than standard acrylic but it has a longer life than real glass and not as expensive.

  3. Glass paint and faux leading: paints which can be used are enamel and formulated acrylic tints designed for glass. Lead trimming is used in traditional work. Faux leading is fake and available as a liquid or paste.

  4. Resin: Liquid acrylic usually used for small projects and jewelry.

  5. Colored tissue paper

  6. Melted pony beads

  7. Contact paper

How To Do Stained Glass


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    • profile image

      Ed 6 days ago


      I thought your article was very well written. The pics did not come up but I still enjoyed the article. I am blaming the rural location & weather as to why my phone would not being them up. I am new to G+, but I like it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 7 days ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent article about stained glass art!

      I love this art form and you have provided some interesting details and beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing the various tools, if one wants to create it.

      Thank You!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 days ago from the short journey

      An interesting look at this hobby. Appreciate the bit of history on stained glass work that you included and that you opened thinking up beyond the traditional forms of the craft.