Stained Glass Projects

A stained glass panel is basically a one dimensional art work that is usually hung on a wall or in front of a window. It can also be inserted into an existing opening or cabinet. When hung in front of a light source (window), the glass seems to come alive.

The design of a panel is unlimited. Any subject may be represented by using different colors of glass as well as textures. The focus of these panels can range from nature scenes, cars, geometrics, southwestern, religious, quilts, holidays, etc. Your choices are unlimited. If you can see it or dream it, you can build it.

Projects can include logos which can add an inspirational touch to your office or business.

The shape of a panel can be round, oval, oblong, square or any other shape that fits your need. Glass panels are very versatile and can easily become the center point of attention.

Panel can be displayed anywhere within your home or business.

In essence, stained glass panels are all about tangibly creating what is in your mind and allowing others to experience that part of you!

3D Projects

3D projects are multi-dimensional. They provide a unique element to the setting. Common 3D projects that are frequently made include boxes, clocks, centerpieces, Tiffany lamps and kaleidoscopes. Other designs abound. Dream!

Doors and Sidelights Projects

Stained glass doors and sidelights add depth and beauty to your home. They provide your guests with an inviting entrance to your home. When viewed from the outside at night, with light on inside, one can’t help but notice the beauty displayed.

Mirror Projects

A mixture of glass and the use of mirror can add exciting design elements to your home. Simple additions of stained glass edges or designs incorporated in or around the mirror panels will provide unique ways to reflect images. Insertion of overlays on mirror panels is another attractive way of producing mirrored projects.

Fireplace Screens

Fireplace screens serve both functionality and add a design element to your home. It can be made from a variety of glass including beveled glass or custom designed. Many varieties of screens are available and can include geometrics or other scenes similar to glass panels. Fireplace screens can be custom designed to meet your specific needs. We recently made a custom designed screen for our client’s new home encompassing their love of horses.

Cabinet Projects

A stained glass cabinet door insert can be used to update or provide a design element to your kitchen. Contrasting the wood of the cabinets with the coloring and design of the new insert makes the cabinet and its surrounding areas come alive. Built-ins are another area where glass inserts can be used.

Quilt Projects

Stained glass quilts are made by using actual quilting patterns. Instead of cutting material, you cut glass. No, you won’t be able to wrap it around yourself, but it will look beautiful hanging in the window or on your wall.


Sun catchers are a small piece usually adhered to a panel of glass by a suction cup hook. These can be made using scraps of glass. Their size is usually under 10 inches. These are fun and easy stained glass projects to do.


There are a wide variety of items to be made for the holidays. You can choose to make ornaments which may be one or three dimensional. Why not make a valentine heart or shamrock. The choices are only limited by your imagination.


Mosaics are artwork that can be applied to almost any surface or object. Mosaics are created by choosing a pattern and then cutting and applying usually smaller and tinier pieces of scrap glass to create a specific shape or design. Additionally, these pieces are adhered to the object of your choice and then grouted. Some ideas for making additional mosaics include stepping stones or decorative garden accessories.

Stained Glass Construction – Leaded Vs Foiled

There are two ways to make stained glass, leaded or copper foiled. The major difference between the two is in the construction. With leaded, the glass is fitted into channels of lead came. In contrast, copper foiled, is constructed by wrapping each piece of glass with copper foil.

Leaded stained glass historically is found in churches. It was during the Victoria Era where leaded  glass was introduced into homes and has remained a popular method of constructing stained glass ever since.

Foiled glass was mastered by Tiffany in the early 1900’s and soon after became a popular method for creating stained glass.

Common Questions:

Is one method better than the other?

The simple answer is no. A better answer is that it depends on the artist and the design.

What is the difference in leaded and foiled construction?

With leaded glass, the construction must begin at an outer corner, the individual pieces are fitted into lead came. Once all pieces are cut and placed in lead came, the joints of came are soldered. Then the piece is cemented.

With foiled glass, the construction can begin at any point in the design and worked out from there. The individual pieces are wrapped in copper foil and soldered together.

When is foiled stained glass construction better than lead?

With intricate designs, foiled construction is superior

When is lead construction better than foiled?

Leaded construction is used most often with designs that have repetitive geometric shapes. These designs can be foiled, but construction time is increased.

Which is easier?

There is no simple answer for this. It is really a personal preference. Leaded, foiled or combination of the two are used throughout the stained glass industry.

Is leaded or foiled construction better than the other?

No, each method, if done correctly, will provide the same long lasting beauty and endurance.

Why is foiled construction taught to beginners doing stained glass?

The cementing in leaded construction tends to be messy. Foiled construction can be started and stopped, making weekly classes work.

What are the steps for making leaded glass?

  1. Glass is cut, shaped and fitted into channels of lead came.
  2. Joints of lead came are soldered.
  3. The piece is cemented
  4. The piece is cleaned and polished

What are the steps for making foiled glass?

  1. Glass is cut and shaped, and then each piece is wrapped in copper foil.
  2. Copper foil seams are soldered together.
  3. The piece is cleaned and polished.

My Personal Choice:

I tend to do a lot of intricate designs, so I use the foiled construction method. It provides the flexibility and detail I need for my designs.

Decorating With Stained Glass

Decorating with stained glass may at first seem to be a daunting task. It may be difficult just to find that perfect table lamp for your newly decorated living room. Once you see the beauty of stained glass, you will want to add stained glass to other rooms.

You have to pick out light fixtures and portable lighting for the rest of your home to compliment your original piece. The choices of colors and styles are almost unlimited. Your choice depends on your likes, tastes, and uses. Of course, there are many lighting fixtures from lamps to sconces to pendants. There are also window hangings and fireplace screens.

Tiffany style lamps are the most popular and least expensive way to add the beauty and atmosphere of stained glass to your home or office. These lamps endure for lifetimes and become family heirlooms.

Stained glass lamps are both beautiful and functional. These lamps can be purchased with table or floor length bases, which are usually made of sturdy metal such as brass or pewter so the lamp is not likely to tip over and break the shade.

Made of Favrile or iridescent glass, invented by Louis Comfort Tiffany in the late 19th Century, the iridescence causes the surface to shimmer, but causes some opacity. This iridescent effect of the glass is obtained by mixing different colors of glass together while hot. The sheets are hand cut to the desired shapes and sizes, the edges wrapped in thin copper and soldered together. Many bubbles and irregular surfaces make each piece unique.

This Is Why Decorating With Stained Glass Is So Awesome

A Tiffany style lights provides soft, diffused light that takes on the hues of each color used in a design. When turned on the colors are striking, and when turned off, the shade adds interest and color to the room.

Stained glass lighting accents complement any d├ęcor. A Tiffany pattern may have floral, geometric, whimsical or animal designs. You are no longer limited to Traditional choices. There are many different styles from which to choose. There is the Mission or Prairie style made famous by another 19th Century artist Frank Lloyd Wright. There is Victorian style. Today Rustic and Rustic Lodge are becoming very popular styles.

Types of Stained Glass Fixtures

Tiffany style table, accent lamps or desk lamps can enhance an end table, your desk or nightstand. Used for reading or lighting a small area, these are the workhorses of home lighting. Tiffany floor lamps, floor lamp torchieres and bridge arm floor lamps are an interesting addition to any room. They add height, drama, and create an interesting focal point. They can be moved from place to place as ambient (background) lighting, or add task lighting as needed.

Decorating your kitchen with Tiffany Style Island ceiling fixtures or pendants will increase your available light. They will create a smashing colorful effect to your kitchen island.

Billiard table lights with a whimsical, sports, or outdoor theme add interest to any billiard or pool table.

Stained glass wall mounted sconces accent your fireplace or light and dramatize your hallway. Vanity as well as wall mounted sconces will provide excellent bathroom lighting.

Welcome your guests with a beautiful Tiffany or Lodge style chandelier in your entry foyer or hallway. Contemporary glass pendant lights add stunning beauty to your entry, dining room, kitchen, bath, or any room in your home. Some of these pendants are definitely not your grandmother’s stained glass.

Points to Consider When Decorating with Stained Glass

1. Think about the mood or ambiance you want to create. 2. Consider the decorative elements you want to accent. 3. Identify what activities will be done in each room (reading, hobby, home work, cooking, bathing, etc) 4. Dark colors need more light. So add brighter background light to darker areas. 5. Identify area of multiple uses, and use more than one type of lighting.

Although many people think of decorating only with lamps when referring to stained glass, there are many other interesting uses.

Of course, you can use stained glass window panels in your decorating scheme. These beautiful panels hang in a window. They add a smashing effect to any room. These panels can be used to hide a not so nice view, thus enhancing a room’s atmosphere.

Several artists became famous for their stained glass creations. The two most famous are Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose creations are often inspired by nature. His dragonfly, peacock and cherry blossom motifs are still much sought after today. The other artist is Frank Lloyd Wright, who created in the Mission or Prairie style.

There are stained glass fireplace screens. With candles lit behind them, these screens add charm and warmth to any fireplace setting. These fireplace screens are meant for decorative purposes only as the heat from a fire could melt the solder.

Buy high quality stained glass from reputable manufacturers such as Meyda Tiffany or Dale Tiffany. The glass design and workmanship are among the best, and the bases and electrical components are of the highest quality for long life.