How to Make a Fused Glass Picture Frame

Written by mary love
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Fused glass is an ancient art form which has gained popularity in the current jewellery market. This technique involves simply melting two layers of glass together or it can be more complicated with many layers of stained glass being fused together. You can fuse scraps of dichroic glass and stained glass to the surface of the glass you are using for a base. Dichroic glass has added minerals which create iridescence and unusual colours and patterns.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 4-by-6-inch piece of glass, any colour
  • Scraps of multicoloured glass
  • Tweezers
  • White glue
  • Glass cutter
  • 12-inch ruler
  • Water soluble marking pen
  • Microwave oven reaching 1,093 degrees C
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • "L" shaped plain acrylic photo frame

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  1. 1

    Spread several layers of newspapers on your work surface to catch any stray glass fragments.

  2. 2

    Place your 4-by-6-inch piece of glass on your work surface with the right side down. Measure how large you want your inside opening. Mark it with your marking pen.

  3. 3

    Drag your glass cutter, pressing down firmly on the handle, across the glass to score your marks. Turn your glass over so that your scored side is face down. Tap it on the side facing you. Follow where the scored lines appear on the reverse side. The glass centre will fall out so that you now have an opening.

  4. 4

    Place your blank frame on your work surface, right side up. Place glass scraps on your frame with tweezers in a design that pleases you. You can include pieces of dichroic glass for highlights which will add vibrant colours and patterns to your glass.

  5. 5

    Glue your scrap glass pieces in place using as little white glue on the backs of the scrap pieces as possible. Too much white glue will cause a cloudy appearance during firing.

  6. 6

    Place your frame inside the microwave and fire your glass frame at 1,093 degrees Cor three minutes. Check to see if the surface of the glass is smooth and edges are rounded. You need more firing time if not. Add increments of a minute if necessary.

  7. 7

    Remove your frame from the oven after it has completely cooled. Sand any rough spots of the edges using a very fine grade sandpaper. Do not sand the top surface of the frame, as it will make a cloudy spot where you have sanded.

  8. 8

    Glue your fused glass frame to the front of your "L" shaped plain acrylic free-standing frame with your white glue. This allows you to slip a photo into your frame and display it standing up.

Tips and warnings

  • You are working with very small pieces of glass which are sharp. Place your scraps into a plastic container and use the end of a pencil to sort through the little pieces instead of your fingertips. Use caution when handling the glass. Do not try to move the glass frame from the microwave while it is still hot. Use a microwave that is not used for food. It must be able to reach 1,093 degrees C to be able to fuse the glass. Small craft kilns are also made specifically for fusing glass.

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