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Stained Glass Styles

Updated on February 14, 2014

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.

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


Stained Glass Pricing

As shown from the examples, stained glass continues to be used for both commercial and domestic purposes. 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.

To curb the cost of stained glass, you can implement some alternatives in your projects, while keeping costs down, including:

  • combining stained glass with traditional glass
  • using a glass substitute such as plastic or Plexiglass with paints or dyes
  • embellishing items made from metals or wood with stained glass
  • buying pre-made stained glass furniture, fixtures, wall-hangings, etc. without customization


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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