How to Make a Stained Glass Design

With a stained glass design, you can improve your home decoration by painting it on your entrance door glass, windows, or even artwork you can hang on your wall.

With simple handy tools, materials, and instructions you can create, you can create a stained glass design for your home. Yellowcarpets is ready to provide you with a basic DIY process to produce your custom stained glass design.

Proceed on!

Step-by-step Guide to producing a Stained Glass Design

Creating glass designs is much easier than you thought. You only need to follow the steps in this guide keenly. You don’t need a special skill as an artist.

Although it requires some tools and equipment, once you get the correct tools, you are good to create any glass design of your choice. Below are the tools needed to design your glass:

  • Glass
  • Protective gears (google, hand gloves, etc.)
  • Glass cutter
  • Grozer and Running Plier (Grozer pliers are designed for breaking glass from the score line and Running Pliers for snapping long glass cuts)
  • Copper foil
  • Solder
  • Soldering Iron
  • Grinder or any material to smoothen the glass edges (e.g., Sandpaper, Carborundum stone, etc.)
  • Lightbox (If available)
  • Sharpie or permanent marker
  • Paint (any color of your choice)

After obtaining the tools and material, proceed to make your design. Follow the steps below to create your stained glass designs

There are several methods to prepare a glass-stained designs, but this guide will focus on the design-sketch tracing method. Also, you can also use the glass cutting method into several pieces before joining together to form the beautiful glass piece.

Note: The steps below give instructions to make stained glass designs for doors, windows, and frame artwork to hang in your home.

1.     Get your Glass Design Inspiration

Before you proceed with how to design, you must have what you want to recreate on your glass sheet. The type of design you want to create determines the size of the glass you need. Also, it determines the position you will be creating the design if you are painting on your door or window.

Thankfully, there are several websites you can visit, such as Pinterest and Houzz, to get design inspiration with their designs, colored patterns, and images. Draw the design template in your desired size on a piece of paper with gridlines for easy sketching

In addition, you can make your design sketch on paper or use computer software programs to produce your design. Create the design sketch with gridlines

2.     Trace your design on the Glass sheet

design on the glass sheet
Trace your design on the glass sheet

After producing your intended design image on paper, you can now recreate it on the glass sheet. It’s best to trace the pattern on the paper with a thick marker to enhance visibility while tracing.

If you have access to a lightbox, use it to lighten the surface of the glass to ensure visibility. Alternatively, a well-lit environment will serve the same purpose

To trace the design on the glass sheet, follow the steps below

  • Place the glass sheet on the design paper. Ensure you place the glass appropriately without slants or inversion
  • Start tracing the edges and shapes of the design with a sharpie (if available) or a Marker to create leads.
  • If your design has several similar shapes for different colors and textures within it, number/mark individual shapes to remember the respective color, texture, and maybe direction

3.     Paint the Sketch on the Glass Sheet


Paint the sketch on the glass sheet

Immediately after you trace the sketch design on the glass sheet, you can proceed to stain the sketch with an acrylic or glass paint perfectly. Stain each design section with your desired paint color and texture to beautify your content.

If you want to hang the stained glass design, follow step 4 and 5

4.     Cut Straight Line and Curve edges of your Design

Although you can skip this step and finish your glass staining by placing it in your desired frame to hang it. But this step is essential to beautify your glass stain design further and show the edge of your design.

This step involves cutting the glass edges to give the exact shape of your design. For example, if you stained your glass with a flower with its stem sketch, you can cut the glass to show the exact shape and curves of the flower petals (colored part).

In addition, the flower stem (stamen), which is thinner, will be in the body of the glass, and the petals curve forming the end of the glass.

If you want to cut your design glass to the desired shape, follow the steps below.

For straight lines:

  • Draw a straight line on the path you want to cut the glass from with a ruler
  • Pick your Glass cutter and score (cut) along the path you drew. You can place the ruler along the path for alignment
  • Break the glass along the path you cut with the Grozier plier. Place the plier in the middle of the cutting line and apply pressure to break it
  • Alternatively, you can break the glass with your hand. Apply pressure on the cutting path from both sides of the glass to break with your hand

For Curved Path:

  • Place the Cutter on the curve edges and roll it slightly along the curve path
  • When cutting deep curves, cut the curves in a series of shallow curves until you hit the major curve
  • Break the glass with Pliers. Do not attempt to break with your hand; It may damage the whole staining

Tip: If your glass is textured glass (glass with both smooth and rough surfaces), cut the glass from the smooth surface for ease.

5.     Smoothen the cut path

After cutting the edges to obtain your desired shape, the edges may go rough. Therefore you need to smoothen it. Also, you can smoothen the curve edges and sides of the glass to form an exact path for your design.

Before smoothening the edges, it’s best to place the glass stain on the initial sketch design and retrace its path. It helps to ensure that you have the correct path on your design and know the amount of glass you will remove while smoothening.

To smoothen the edges, take the glass stain to the grinder and place the edges on its wheel. Place the edges gently on the wheel with little pleasure to prevent breaking.

Alternatively, you can smoothen the edges/sides with Sandpaper or Carborundum stone to your desired texture.

6.     Seal Design with Copper Foil


Seal design with copper foil

Since your design glass sides and edges are smoothened, you can now finish the design by foiling the external edges and internal shape joints with copper foil.

This step is relatively tasking as you must ensure the copper foil is centered on the edges and lines. Before sealing with foil, determine the thickness and width of foil you want to use.

Follow the steps below to seal the design with copper foil:

  • Peel the protective back of the foil
  • Centralize the foil on the glass edge or internal joints and press to tape on it.
  • Rub the foil to ensure it properly adhere to the design
  • Rub the edges of the foil to stick to the front and back of the stained glass

7.     Solder the Design along the Copper foil


Solder the design along the copper foil

The soldering process involves using soldering iron and solder (a mixture of tin and lead) to design the stained glass along the copper foil. You will melt the solder design on the copper foil around the stained design.

Follow the step below to solder your stained glass:

  • Apply Flux on the internal copper foil before you start soldering
  • Tack the design edges and joints together by applying dots of Flux on all joints (line intersection) and other desired areas
  • Proceed to melt the solder with the soldering iron on the copper foil. Use the melting solder to coat the foil surface.
  • Ensure the solder melting doesn’t melt to the design surface.

After the solder is dry and intact, you can now frame your design or hang it without a frame. You can attach metallic clips or hangers to the sides of the glass to hang without framing.

Finally, clean your design piece with mild detergent or glass cleaner and soft clothes.


The stained glass design is a beautiful home piece you can use to improve your home decoration and design. And you don’t need to purchase a huge amount. With the steps above, you can create your custom stained glass design.

 We hope the DIY steps above help you create your design piece. If you have any consign or questions, use the comment section, and we’ll be right there to answer your questions.

Contact us for more DIY processes regarding home improvement, gardening, decoration, and design.

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