3 Hacks for designing a Stained Glass Window

The beauty of stained glass has been appreciated by everyone with an eye for style and design for generations. There are many different ways to produce stained glass, but the traditional way involves the addition of metallic salts to glass while it’s being made. While this is what technically defines stained glass, there are much more simplistic ways of achieving the same visual result. Creating a stained glass composition is equal parts art and science, as it requires the creativity to initially envision, and the skills to assemble.

The traditional method of manufacturing a stained glass window involves the pre-production of individual glass colors, designing a template to fill with glass pieces, then cutting, shaping, and polishing those glass pieces to perfectly fit your set frame. Once the pieces are in place, they are glued down and allowed to dry. The final product is a sort of jigsaw puzzle made from different colors of glass. This method works well if you have access to all the materials, but for those with less to work with, there are ways of achieving nearly the same effect. We’ve detailed below a few simple hacks you can use right at home to produce amazing stained glass works of art.

Pre-Lined Glass

Unless you happen to have access to a wide variety of glass thicknesses and colors, you’ll most likely be producing your stained glass from recycled clear glass. This means that your glass will have to be colored with some method beyond mixing with metallic salts, and the easiest method for doing so is painting.

If you have a glass surface you wish to transform into a stained piece of art, all you really need to do is create an outlined grid on the surface using dark paint, or in some cases, glue. Once the outline has dried, you can fill in the negative spaces with their appropriate colors and achieve the appearance of stained glass with no where near the same level of hassle.

Simple, Effective Designs

You may have an intricate picture in your mind of how you want your stained glass piece to look, but the translation to the real world can be difficult. The trick with stained glass isn’t intricacy, but simplicity and tone. More basic designs are also much simpler to create, and for someone just beginning in the hobby, the simpler path is the best. You can certainly build up to more complex designs, but the best designers learn to say a lot with a little. If you have problems envisioning a design, but you have a general theme to work with, you could find a stained glass template, like the ones found here, and use it as a starting point for your own creation.

Protect Your Creation

While the addition of protective glazes and screens is usually looked down upon by stained glass enthusiasts, it’s not so controversial in home designs. Stained glass pieces that are painted will certainly benefit from a protective covering of some sort, as they will protect the paint from chipping, fading, or otherwise deteriorating.

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