6 Ways to Create Stained Glass Patterns

Updated on January 31, 2018
Just Ask Susan profile image

Susan has been creating stained glass pieces for over twenty years now, and it is a hobby she truly enjoys.

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How to Create a Pattern for Stained Glass

Creating a stained glass pattern is not as difficult as you might think. You can use various computer programs and methods to design or sketch your own.

What You'll Need:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Photocopier (or access to one)
  • Personal printer (optional)
  • Scanner (optional)

I'll show you six different ways to create a pattern, which include:

  1. Downloading existing designs to create templates.
  2. Designing something custom from scratch.
  3. Using bevels.
  4. Finding designs in pattern books.
  5. Taking designs from photographs.
  6. Copying coloring books.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
photo used with permissionFinished stained glass piece
photo used with permission
photo used with permission | Source
Finished stained glass piece
Finished stained glass piece | Source

1. Download a Free Pattern

There are various websites from which you can download free patterns. One of my favorite places to select patterns from is Spectrum Glass. To download patterns from this site, you will need to sign up for an account. The only thing required is your name and email address. Once you have an account you can view all the various patterns that they have to offer. When you find the pattern that you like, download it to your computer via a PDF (Portable Document Format) file.

The picture of the frog is from one of the many patterns that I've downloaded to create a stained glass window hanging light catcher.

  • Once the file has been saved to your computer you can print it or enlarge or shrink it to the size that you prefer.
  • You will then want to print two copies. One to use as your pattern and the other to cut shapes for glass cutting.
  • Glass colors and glass textures are your own personal preference as to what you use. These patterns do come with suggested colors.
  • For the eyes you can use a marker to color them or use glass beads.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chevy Emblem PatternThis picture was a little difficult to take with the mirrored glass due to it picking up my reflection.
Chevy Emblem Pattern
Chevy Emblem Pattern | Source
This picture was a little difficult to take with the mirrored glass due to it picking up my reflection.
This picture was a little difficult to take with the mirrored glass due to it picking up my reflection. | Source

2. Design Your Own Pattern

My husband is a big Chevy fan and I wanted to design a stained glass piece for the garage. I had an actual Chevy emblem from off of one of his vehicles, so I started with it. I drew out the pattern on a sheet of graph paper. I'd decided beforehand that the piece would have beveled glass to frame the piece. Bevels come in many different shapes and sizes. I chose four straight bevels measuring ten inches in length by one inch in width. I used mirrored glass on the emblem outline to make it look like chrome. The center of the emblem is a blue and gray striped glass. The background pieces are black onyx glass.

Creating your own pattern can be fun and rewarding. Abstract pieces can be easily made by using graph paper, a ruler and a pencil.


Beveled Flower
Beveled Flower | Source

3. Use Bevels

The first photo I show you in this article was made using a beveled flower. I saw it in a stained-glass supply store and liked it. When I bought it, I had no idea what I was going to make out, but I ended up creating this piece for a kitchen cabinet insert! The flower has 5 petals and the center piece.

  • Measure the exact size needed for the insert on a piece of graph paper.
  • Place the beveled flower in the center of the paper and trace around it.
  • Draw the three flower leaves by hand. From there, draw out the rest of the pattern.

4. Pattern Books

With most stained glass pattern books, you will need to do the following to create the design:

  1. Choose a pattern.
  2. Enlarge the pattern on a photocopier to the desired size or scan it on your computer to enlarge it.

With a photo copier, it can all be printed out in one piece. If doing this on your computer, you may need to print it out in several sheets. Personally, I find it much easier to do on a photo copier.

5. Use Photographs

Scan the photo onto your computer and save it in a program or use with a stained glass program such as DragonFly Software.

6. Coloring Books

For making really cute sun-catchers, coloring books are a great place to find patterns. Simply trace over the picture using a piece of paper, and you have your basic pattern. Make a copy of it so that you have your pattern, and then use the copy for the individual glass pieces you need to cut out.

Stained Glass Art

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Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Susan Zutautas

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      • Just Ask Susan profile image
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        Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thanks so much RTalloni!

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

        Thanks for this tutorial with tips and photos of your cute art projects. I love that you began the cabinet insert with the flower that you had no plan for--it's beautiful.

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Thanks glassmosaicist for your link. I've bookmarked it so that I can follow your guide with your easy to follow instructions.

      • glassmosaicist profile image

        glassmosaicist 5 years ago from UK

        Hi Susan, give it a go its fun!

        Check out my guide here if you like: http://www.lightmandalas.co.uk/Mosaic-instructions...

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        glassmosaicist, I've been wanting to try stained glass mosaic for quite some time now, and I even have an old coffee table that I want to try this on.

      • glassmosaicist profile image

        glassmosaicist 5 years ago from UK

        Stained glass is great but time consuming. I love the speed and effectivemess of stained glass mosaic

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        vibesites, Stained glass is a great hobby.

      • vibesites profile image

        vibesites 5 years ago from United States

        I love colorful stained glass -- perhaps it's high time to do some of them myself, thanks to your informative hub. :)

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Stephanie, Thank you so much!

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        GoodLady, I have several stained glass hubs that you may want to have a look at. It's a fun hobby and I really enjoy it.

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Janis, Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.

      • Stephanie Henkel profile image

        Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

        I always wanted to try stained glass. Your beautiful work is really inspiring! This is a beautifully designed hub with excellent photographs and useful information. Voted up all the way and shared.

      • GoodLady profile image

        Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

        Amazing to learn that it's an accessible art form. Until I read your hub I imagined it completely impossible to do. I've always loved stained glass - in fact I'll be strolling round the Duomo of Milan next week and loving the beautiful stained glass windows all way round. I've always secretly dreamed of working with it too and now it seems it is possible. THANK YOU!

      • Janis Goad profile image

        Janis Goad 5 years ago

        In my grandmother's house there was a small window with stained glass, and I would sit on the stairs and love the amber and azure light that came through and lay in pools on the steps. Never thought of making one myself--now I see it is feasible, with these directions. Beautiful!!

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Judi, Thank you. I wish I had more time to put into my stained glass but seem to be so busy with other things these days.

      • Judi Bee profile image

        Judith Hancock 5 years ago from UK

        Love that first piece! Another thing to add to the growing list of "stuff I really would like to do when I've got time"! I'm pinning it so that I can find it when the time finally arrives.

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        sen.sush, ishwaryaa's glass painting hub was beautiful. Thank you so much. It is a fun hobby that I wish I had more time to do :)

      • sen.sush23 profile image

        Sushmita 5 years ago from Kolkata, India

        Susan, after reading ishwaryaa's hub and being directed by her I found this hub of yours. I don't know how I missed this earlier. Beautiful hub, the beveled flower particularly got me really excited. I wish I could do something like that. Voted up. Thanks to both the author and the one who lead me to this hub. :)

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        ishwaryaa, Thank you, I appreciate the link and will look for your upcoming hub.

      • ishwaryaa22 profile image

        Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

        I am working on a hub related to this craft. I seek your permission to grant me the honor of linking your amazing hub to my hub. I am inspired by this amazing hub of yours.

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        shea, With some of my pieces I solder a wire around the entire piece to give it extra stability. Most of the time the solder works fine all by itself. Lead cane is another option that I use when doing window transoms.

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        barbergirl, You'd probably really enjoy doing this. I'd thought of making pieces to sell but then I end up using them as gifts or I like them so much I hate to give them up :)

      • shea duane profile image

        shea duane 6 years ago from new jersey

        I love this hub... what scares me it bracing / framing the pieces.

      • barbergirl28 profile image

        Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

        I am such a crafty person but I like doing the unique stuff... and I often thought about trying the stained glass... maybe this was just the push I needed! :)

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Lesley, Thank you. I'm sure you'd love doing stained glass. If you ever have any questions please ask.

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        ishwaryaa, Thank you so much. Glass painting looks like it would be fun too.

      • Movie Master profile image

        Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

        Hi Susan, your stained glass work is beautiful, I especially love the beveled flower.

        Thank you for the instructions, it's the sort of thing I would like to have a go at!

        Voting up

      • ishwaryaa22 profile image

        Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 6 years ago from Chennai, India

        Your glass artwork is very beautiful, especially the beveled flower! The instructions and tips listed by you are very helpful. I always wanted to do some glass painting and I am inspired by this engaging hub of yours. Well-done!

        Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Awesome. Voted up.

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        drbj, Thank you, and you know what I want to be just like you when and if I ever grow up :)

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Angela, I've not done a stained glass piece in awhile now and I really do miss it. B ut I do plan on doing a hub with step by step instructions. Are you referring to bubbles while soldering the glass?

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        RH, Not that difficult if you have a good cutter. Thanks, Al liked the piece but it has yet to go into the garage :)

      • drbj profile image

        drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

        Hi, Susan. I do admire your stained glass artistry, talent and fortitude. I want to be like you when I grow up. Oh, wait, it's too late. I've already been there and done that.

      • angela_michelle profile image

        Angela Michelle Schultz 6 years ago from United States

        I did stainglass when I was little, the hardest part for me was not have little bubbles. I would think I got them all and alas, there would be another one. Now I would like you to write a hub about how to make stained glass. :) If you haven't already. I actually should doublecheck.

      • RealHousewife profile image

        Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

        Fabulous hub! I love stained glass and my parents have made several things. I want to try it so bad - I keep going to the craft store and looking at kits but I'm worried it is hard. Is it very hard to cut the glass pieces? I've seen the tools - but idk? It doesn't look easy. The glass is gorgeous though.

        I love all the stuff you made! The Chevy sign is so clever!! Did Al love it?

      • Just Ask Susan profile image
        Author

        Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        Rochelle, SilverGenes and Ruby, Thank all so much. Appreciate the lovely comments.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

        I love stained glass. I have two pictures, one is a blue bird and one is apples. I would love to have a stained glass door. It would be nice to make something. You are so talented. Thank you..Pushed all the buttons..

      • profile image

        SilverGenes 6 years ago

        Great hub, Susan! It's so much fun to see what talented people are creating - that must look gorgeous in the kitchen cabinet. Voted UP!

      • Rochelle Frank profile image

        Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

        I like all of the pieces. You did a nice job on all of them, and a great job on the hub.

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