How to make stained glass from glass bottles

Updated April 17, 2017

The bottoms of bottles are most common parts used in stained glass projects, but there is no reason you can't use pieces of glass from the entire bottle in a stained glass panel. Pieces of bottles are best for use in sun catchers or small projects. The design for these is easy to change to accommodate any curved glass from bottles, and the curved glass does not cause problems with the shape of the stained glass piece and even adds textural interest to the design. Design the stained glass like a mosaic using the bottle pieces.

Cut the bottles with the glass bottle cutter or break them apart with a hammer if they are not already in pieces. Use the safety glasses to protect your eyes and use the hammer in an area where glass shards are easy to clean up. Cut the pieces to size, if needed, using the glass cutter.

Sketch a design using the bottle pieces.

Grind the edges of the glass bottle bottom and pieces you are using in the stained glass project to smooth and shape them.

Wrap copper foil around the edges of the bottle pieces so that it wraps evenly on either side. Wrap more than one piece if needed to cover the edge and provide enough surface on the flat sides to solder the pieces together.

Smooth the copper foil onto the glass pieces with the burnishing tool.

Fit all the pieces together into the design.

Brush flux along the copper foil seams.

Melt the solder onto the seams with the soldering iron. Do this on both sides of the stained glass project. Wear safety glasses and work in a well ventilated area while soldering.

Clean the flux off the glass with glass cleaner or soap and warm water. Allow the glass and solder to cool before cleaning.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Glass bottles or pieces of bottles
  • Bottle and jar cutter (optional)
  • Small hammer (optional)
  • Design
  • Glass cutter
  • Glass grinder
  • Copper foil
  • Burnishing tool
  • Flux
  • Flux brush
  • Solder
  • Soldering iron
  • Glass cleaner
  • Clean rags or paper towels
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About the Author

Heather Lindsay is a stained glass artist who holds a master's degree in library science, a bachelor's degree in anthropology with a minor in art, and has enjoyed working in special libraries with photograph collections.