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  • Maggie Courtis

Tools Needed for Stained Glass

Updated: Sep 13

Working is glass arts requires quite a few tools. This list make the task of setting up your workshop less daunting.

An old window in its original casing

An Old Window in it's original casing, unknown artist, Chicago

To make your pattern

  • Ruler

  • Pencils for drawing

  • Pencil - for transferring the pattern, preferably red

  • Card stock paper

  • Graph paper

  • Plain paper

  • Graphite paper (carbon paper)

You can purchase these supplies at art supply or at office supply stores. To cut out your pattern and cut glass

  • Pattern Sheers

  • Glass cutting tool

  • Cutting oil

  • Glass breaking pliers, grozing (having 2 makes breaking small pieces easier)

  • Glass breaking pliers, running (optional but helpful)

  • A soft bristled brush (the softer the bristles the better job it will do). Some people use a soft paintbrush, about 4-6" wide

  • Safety glasses

  • Glass cutting mat (optional)

Glass cutting mats made for cutting glass are made of plastic. They have a small raised grid surface to catch the glass fragments in the recesses, while the glass stays elevated above the debris. Another useful cutting mat for glass is a self-healing hobby mat, which is easier on the cutting tool than a hard table surface.

If you don't use a glass cutting mat, use newspaper as a padding under the glass while cutting the glass. The brush is used to sweep small glass shards off the work surface which would contribute to the glass breaking instead of cutting as the artist desires.

To assemble your cut glass

For leaded pieces:

  • Lead knife and/or nippers

  • Fid

  • Horseshoe nails

  • A small hammer

  • Lead came

  • Border came, usually zinc

  • Reinforcement material (for larger windows): Copper Re-Strip, Morton Strongline, Flex-Bar

For copper foiled pieces:

  • Copper foil

  • Burnishing tool

  • Copper foil holder (optional)

  • Copper foil application tool (optional)

To solder and finish your piece

  • Soldering iron

  • Soldering iron stand

  • Flux Brush

  • Solder

  • Flux

  • Rheostat (optional)

  • Wire brush


  • Patina

  • Patina brush

  • Window glazing putty for leaded windows (available at hardware stores. Stained glass suppliers sell black window glazing putty.)

You also need these items:

  • Glass for your project

  • A surface to build the window on, such as a piece of plywood

  • Apron (optional)

  • Wire

Where to shop on the internet? Bullseye: Ed Hoy: Franciscan: Franklin Art Glass: Fused Glass Warehouse: Delphi Glass: The Glass Underground: Warner Art Glass: AAE Glass:

Where to shop, California? Scarab Creative Arts in Fresno Gargoyle glass, Bakersfield Hobby Lobby Bullseye Glass, South Pasadena and East Bay Kiss My Glass, Santa Cruz Stained Glass Garden, Berkeley CA Cradle of the Sun, San Francsico Franciscan Art Glass, Newark We do not recommend buying cheap glass cutters on Amazon or at Hobby Lobby. Quality is particularly important for this important tool.

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