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How to Make a Leaded Glass Panel

Clicks:Updated:2016-08-31 11:08:05

Use cut glass and lead/solder to create beautiful pieces of art. They can be small (a bird, butterfly, etc.) or larger framed pieces that hang in your windows or in your garden.

1. Find a pattern you like or make your own pattern. Simple quilt block patterns work really well for glass projects. Straight lines are also easiest at first.

2. Copy/trace the pattern, and write a number on each piece on both copies so you will have a guide when you assemble the glass. You always need 2 copies for each pattern--one to cut, and one to use for assembly.

3. Cut pieces from one of the patterns--making sure you follow the lines exactly. There are special scissors you can buy from craft stores or glass stores that cut enough space to allow for the lead between the pattern. I would suggest you invest in some if you plan to do this more than once.

4. Cut off the outside line of the pattern to allow for lead framing.

5. Choose glass to complete your pattern, and wash it to remove any dust.

Leaded Glass Panel

6. Trace each pattern piece on the glass, paying attention to grain.

7. Cut glass shapes with a glass cutter.

8. Mark each piece of glass with the pattern number and and arrow for direction if necessary. Numbers not only help you assemble, they guarantee you will know which side goes up.

9. Place a sheet of clear glass over your pattern to protect it and lay each cut piece of glass on top to assemble.

10. Grind individual pieces of glass if necessary for a better fit.

11. Clean glass after grinding.

12. Use a square, and place lead came at right angles to start the left and bottom border.

13. Cut the came for the size of your border with square or mitered joints. There are special cutters you should use for lead came that make a cut without smashing the channel--available at craft or glass stores.

14. Fit each piece of glass into border came at the bottom and work up.

15. Space pieces evenly by sight.

16. Use pieces of came held by nails (or you can buy special holders at a craft or glass store) to stabilize edges as necessary while you "build" your piece.

17. Cut lead to fit around each piece--leaving room for next joint.

18. When all glass has been fit with came, cut and place the top and right border.

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