How to Attach Stained Glass to Wood

Written by toni grundstom
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When a stained-glass panel is completed, adding a wood frame around it accents the colours and design. There are several ways to attach stained glass to wood frames, each keeping the focus on the stained-glass pattern while framing the piece with the beauty of the wood.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Ready-made frame
  • Frame stock
  • Skill saw
  • Cordless drill
  • 3/32" drill bit
  • 1 5/8" headless screws
  • Headless drill bit

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    Using a Ready-Made Frame

  1. 1

    Purchase the frame prior to starting your stained-glass project. These are wood frames that are specific sizes and shapes, and the finished glass piece will need fit into the groove cut into the back of the frame.

  2. 2

    Finish the stained-glass piece and clean it well. Turn the frame over so the back side is up. There is a groove cut into the back of the ready-made frame; place your stained glass piece, front-side down, so it fits into this groove.

  3. 3

    Use retaining buttons to secure the stained glass to the frame. According to Delphi Stained Glass, the buttons, "easily screw on to the back of wood frames. The retaining button head extends over the edge of the rebate to tighten the stained glass panel to the frame."

    Using Framing Stock

  1. 1

    Use this type of stained-glass-specific framing material when you want to create a stained-glass piece in the size you choose. There is a 3/8-inch-deep-by-5/16-inch-wide groove cut in the middle-inside of the wood frame to allow the stained glass to snugly fit inside. There are many widths of this framing material and the stained-glass piece must be square, rectangle, octagon, diamond or any shape that can be made from straight material.

  2. 2

    Finish the stained glass piece and clean it well. Measure the height and width of the piece using the inside of the zinc or lead that was used to surround the glass. This will be the inside measurement for the angle needed for the frame. With a skill saw, cut one side of the frame at a time, ensuring the angles on both ends of the piece are correct when the glass is inserted into the groove. Continue cutting and fitting the frame pieces until each corner angle is tight.

  3. 3

    Take the frame material off the stained-glass piece, numbering each piece in the groove. On a piece of paper, write where each numbered piece will be reinserted. Stain, varnish, paint, or finish the frame to achieve the look desired. Do not get any of this material into the groove. Let the frame dry completely.

  4. 4

    Assemble the frame by inserting the groove onto the correct edge of the stained-glass piece. Make sure each corner is still tight.

  5. 5

    Predrill starter holes for the assembly screws with a 3/32-inch drill bit. Drill a hole at the top and bottom on each side approximately halfway down the corner angle. Drill the starter holes and the right and left of the top and bottom of the frame, staggering them so they do not intersect with the top holes. Insert the headless drill bit into a cordless drill and screw in a 1 5/8-inch stainless, headless trim screw into each hole. Use the correct colour filler to fill the screw holes.

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