6 Ways to Create Stained Glass Patterns
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:
- Photocopier (or access to one)
- Personal printer (optional)
- Scanner (optional)
I'll show you six different ways to create a pattern, which include:
- Downloading existing designs to create templates.
- Designing something custom from scratch.
- Using bevels.
- Finding designs in pattern books.
- Taking designs from photographs.
- 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.
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:
- Choose a pattern.
- 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
Have you ever made a stained glass piece?
© 2012 Susan Zutautas