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  • Maggie Courtis

Tools Needed for Stained Glass

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

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.

  • Pattern Sheers

  • Envelopes, paper clips, and/or binder clips

To cut out your pattern and cut glass

  • Felt tipped pen, black

  • Felt tipped pen, white

  • 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 waffle grid 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 waffle grid cutting mat or a self-healing hobby mat use newspaper as a padding under the glass while cutting the glass.

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

  • Products to keep the tip of the soldering iron clean


  • Patina

  • Patina brush

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

  • Sawdust or stained glass whiting powder

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


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