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Stained Glass Styles

Updated on February 28, 2020
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Natasha is a freelance writer and author who has been writing self-help articles for over 20 years.


Stained Glass History

Stained glass, (as well as glass itself), has long been a widely popular type of decorative and functional art, first used in churches as early as the 10th century. Some of the best-known works of stained glass still in existence today can be found at the La Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, and the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC, as well as several more found here.

Take a Stained Glass Virtual Tour

Using Stained Glass

All types of glass are most often thought of for windows, furniture, wall-hangings, mirrors, and light fixtures, but stained glass adds a further dimension of color and texture to any project, limited only by the imagination.

Different textures of stained glass include:

  • Antique, a striated transparent glass.
  • Cathedral - a single colored transparent glass. Another method known as glue chip is also made from this type, by applying glue on the stained glass in a decorative way so that when dry it forms a unique crackle pattern.
  • Opalescent - a combination of white glass and colored glass.
  • Iridized - made from cathedral or opalescent glass, this stained glass style incorporates the use of metallic salts to give it a rainbow luster.
  • Baroque - a swirled white glass.


Handy Tips When Using Stained Glass in Home Design

  1. White trim around a panel of stained glass draws attention to its beauty more cohesively, while making the pop of color break up the space in any room. Even better if you keep your walls white.
  2. When finding the right colors to coordinate with your stained glass, turn to the colors in the patterns on furniture upholstery, rugs, bed linens, and towels for ideas.
  3. Keep things simple by using neutral colored furniture and other room elements that coordinate with the patterns and colors of your stained glass without clashing.
  4. Accent the geometric designs in your stained glass with the use of matching shapes and silhouettes such as with sculptures, ceiling or wall motifs, plants, picture frames, light fixtures, and furniture shapes.

Stained Glass Costs

Named for how it is made, stained glass is fashioned by forming colored glass pieces into designs held together by an outline of lead strips or copper foil. Not surprisingly, the time it takes to create stained glass panels or projects using stained glass can become quite expensive. The average price of stained glass depends on the size, type, amount of labor, and customization needed. Scraps for smaller projects can easily run $5 a piece, such as with vases, candy dishes, or sun-catchers. Square panels for windows and doors can be upwards of $100 and higher. Repairing stained glass panels averages anywhere between $1,000-$20,000, or even more if needing to be re-leaded.

To curb some of the costs associated with stained glass, you can implement money-saving alternatives that still give you the look you love when you:

  • combine stained glass with traditional glass
  • use a glass substitute such as plastic or Plexiglass with paints or dyes
  • embellish items made from metals or wood with stained glass
  • buy pre-made stained glass furniture, fixtures, wall-hangings, etc. without customization

Stained Glass DIY Gifts and Crafts

The idea of a mosaic of color as shown in stained glass can be done similarly through other mediums found at craft and art stores for projects that can be as breathtaking as they are inexpensive and fun to make with friends and family for gifts or decoration. All you need are a few supplies and some creativity.

Project to Try:


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