Skip to main content

6 Ways to Create Stained Glass Patterns

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


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.

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.

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

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 five 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.
Scroll to Continue

Read More From Feltmagnet

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

© 2012 Susan Zutautas


Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 17, 2014:

Thanks so much RTalloni!

RTalloni on October 10, 2014:

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.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 03, 2013:

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

glassmosaicist from UK on January 22, 2013:

Hi Susan, give it a go its fun!

Check out my guide here if you like:

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 22, 2013:

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 from UK on January 21, 2013:

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

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 04, 2012:

vibesites, Stained glass is a great hobby.

vibesites from United States on October 03, 2012:

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

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 03, 2012:

Stephanie, Thank you so much!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 03, 2012:

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.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 03, 2012:

Janis, Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.

Stephanie Henkel from USA on October 03, 2012:

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.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on October 02, 2012:

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 on October 02, 2012:

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!!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 02, 2012:

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 Brown from UK on October 02, 2012:

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.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 09, 2012:

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 :)

Sushmita from Kolkata, India on July 08, 2012:

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. :)

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 07, 2012:

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

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on July 06, 2012:

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.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 20, 2012:

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.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 20, 2012:

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 from new jersey on May 20, 2012:

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

Stacy Harris from Hemet, Ca on May 20, 2012:

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! :)

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 20, 2012:

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

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 20, 2012:

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

Movie Master from United Kingdom on May 20, 2012:

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

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on May 20, 2012:

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.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 19, 2012:

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

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 19, 2012:

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?

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 19, 2012:

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 and sherry from south Florida on May 19, 2012:

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 Schultz from United States on May 19, 2012:

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.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on May 19, 2012:

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?

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 19, 2012:

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

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on May 18, 2012:

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..

SilverGenes on May 18, 2012:

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 from California Gold Country on May 18, 2012:

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