Creating beautiful stained-glass projects is a time-honoured craft that combines the proper tools and materials with simple instructions for custom-designed windows, objects and suncatchers. Stained glass adds elegance and interest to any room with translucent colours in bold, vibrant and subtle shades. Making stained-glass suncatchers requires a pattern, specialised glass and soldering tools, along with an eye for colour and attention to detail.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Stained Glass
- Grease Pencil
- Glass Cutting Tool
- Glass Grinder
- Copper Tape
- Soldering Iron
- Safety Glasses
- Metal Tray
- Small Metal Hook
Select a pattern for your suncatcher. You can freehand a design or select a pattern online or from a colouring book. If you draw your own suncatcher, create lines on the picture to stipulate the size and cut of your glass pieces. The lines on your pattern indicate where the solder will be placed on your finished project. Beginners should select a pattern with larger pieces, since working with small sections of glass requires more skill. Number each section of your pattern consecutively. Make a copy of your suncatcher pattern.
Cut out each individual section of your suncatcher pattern. Place the cutouts on the stained glass and trace them with a grease pencil. Number the stained-glass pieces with the same numbers that are on the pattern piece. This will help you piece your project together.
Cut your stained-glass pieces with a glass cutter. Grind the edges with a glass grinder to smooth away any glass shards or rough edges. Wear gloves and safety glasses as you grind the glass. Stained-glass grinders use water to help keep the stained glass from shattering, but you should still observe safety procedures during this process.
Wrap the edges of each stained-glass section in copper tape. Assemble your pieces to create your stained-glass suncatcher according to the pattern. A metal tray or other fire-resistant work surface should be used when soldering.
Apply flux to one section of the stained glass where the copper tape meets. Solder the stained-glass pieces together. Alternately flux and solder your stained-glass suncatcher in small sections until you finish the side of the project that is facing you. Once it is cooled, flip your suncatcher over and solder the back in the same way.
Wrap the perimeter of your suncatcher in copper tape, add flux and run a line of solder around the edge. Place the metal hook where you'd like it and solder it in place.
Tips and warnings
- Practice your grinding and soldering techniques with scrap glass before you work on your project. This will allow you to get the feel of the amount of pressure required to grind the glass, as well as the best way to hold the solder and the soldering iron.
- Wear protective gear when grinding and soldering.
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