Making Stained Glass Windows for Doors at Home

Making Stained Glass Windows for Doors at Home

When it comes to sprucing up your home the options are endless, but when converting windows into stained glass you bring a whole new life to a place. Not only do stained glass windows add a bit of color and character to your home, but they can be very useful in creating privacy, blocking out bright sunlight or even simply covering up a bad view.  So for those who are in the mood to get crafty we shall walk you through the basic steps of how to turn those plain door windows into pieces of art made by your own two hands.

1.       Choose your pattern

To begin the process you will need to decide if you would like to use a preprinted pattern or if you would like to make your own. If you choose to make your own pattern be sure to use a piece of paper that fits the size of the door window you will be replacing. We suggest that beginners stick to bigger shapes and for those looking for more of a challenge use smaller more intricate shapes. After you have crafted your design, number each shape then make a copy, that way you can cut out each piece on the copy and use it as a tracer for your glass.

2.       Pick out your glass

When deciding on what glass to use in your front door, you need to consider several factors. First off, you will want to consider your colors, making sure that your palette goes nicely together and keeping in mind which colors will be next to each other on your pattern. Secondly, the thickness of the glass will play a big role in the making of your window because if it is too thin it may break easily and if it is too thick it will be hard to cut later. Lastly, if you are re-using old glass you will want to check that when you place your paper shape cut out on the glass that no cracks or unwanted blemishes are showing.

3.       Cut your glass

This is when it is best to take things slow and be very patient in order to minimize waste and avoid becoming stressed. Using removable adhesive, place your cut out shape on your glass and then using your glass cutter, cut out your shape. If you think you have made any mistakes do not try and adjust them at this time, instead finish cutting the shape and then gently tap it out of the larger glass. Now you can use pliers to very carefully tap away bits if it is too big or a glass grinder to smooth out any imperfections. This stage is complete once you have smoothed down the edges of your shapes using emery paper.

4.       Connect the leading

Now it is time to put your puzzle back together to create your beautiful door window design. You can use your original pattern and the numbers written on the shapes to help you remember the correct layout, simply throw away the cut out paper shapes once it is complete. Then begin to fit your lead strips around each piece of glass. You can choose between different thicknesses of lead, just keep in mind that they will show on the final product.

5.       Time to solder the joints

This is the last step in making your stained glass door window and it serves as a very important part because it is what binds it all in place. Soldering can be dangerous because it is flammable so make sure you are using proper precautions. After you have heated the iron you will connect the lead by soldering the joints, do not rush through this process, but keep at a steady pace so that you can properly fit each piece before it dries. Once you have completed both sides and around the outside you have completed your stained glass window.  Some people like to give the window a bit of a polish before hanging it up, we suggest using a very light detergent if this is something you would like to do.

Once your door window is hung you can sit back and enjoy your illuminated wall decoration knowing that you have successfully created a piece of art and in a style that has been around for over a thousand years.

This article is brought to you by Yale composite doors. Each Yale period style front door features the option to insert a number of stained glass options. Yale exterior doors come in a range of styles; from Victorian to contemporary front doors – the choice is yours.

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