I Made a Stained Glass Star!

So I’ve been thinking about my next stained glass project ever since finishing my spider web last month. However, I haven’t had any time for stained glassing.  Until today!  They let us out of work 3 hours early [woohoo!], and since I’m not traveling for Thanksgiving [thank god] I headed down to my basement workshop the minute I got home.  I already knew what I wanted to make, because I saw it hanging in a window last week while I was out walking:  a glass star cut from one piece of glass.  I figured I could cut it out, foil the outer edges, solder them, attach a loop at the top for hanging, and be done.  But nothing related to DIY is ever as easy as it seems.

I started by unwrapping the colored glass pieces I bought 2 months ago at Shards in Peabody, MA, which included a blue piece, a purple piece, a green piece, and a red piece.  I decided to start with blue.  I sketched a freehand star onto the glass with a sharpie, then tried to cut it:

228a        228b

D’oh!  I tried cutting it again, and the same thing happened.  That’s when I ran upstairs and googled “cutting a star out of glass” and realized it’s not possible.  At least without a laser cutting machine.  You have to cut at least 5 pieces of glass and solder them together.  So I googled “star pattern” and found one I liked.  I loaded it into paint shop and drew cutting lines:

228c2        228d

I cut the pattern into 5 pieces, traced each piece onto the blue glass, and cut them:

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I used my glass grinder to smooth down a few rough edges then foiled each piece:

228g        228h

Before soldering the star, I wanted to [finally] attach hanging hooks to my spider web.  I read how to do it, but it was still quite tricky.  I fashioned 2 hooks out of copper wire for the spider web [one for each side], and also created a loop for the star:

228i        228j

Then I got my soldering iron out and the “flux”, which is greasy liquid you have to paint onto anything you’re soldering so the solder adheres to the copper [or lead]:

228k        228l

I figured out VERY quickly that a copper hook heats up to psychotic temperatures within 2 seconds of being touched by a soldering iron.  Needle nosed pliers became imperative:

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I wedged the spider web on it’s edge between 2 pieces of wood and soldered the hook onto the side:

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I flipped it over and soldered a hook on the other side, then hung it in the living room window – it’s so nice to finally have it hanging up!!!

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Then it was back down to the basement to solder the star together.  I started with the 5 central seams, flipped it over and did the seams on the back side, then wedged it between the wood and soldered each edge, finishing by attaching the hook on top:

228p        228q

Solder is really crazy/cool stuff!  A bunch of it dripped and fell onto my workbench, but it didn’t stick – once it cooled I could pick it up and move it around:

228r        228s

A few drops fell onto the floor and thankfully missed my foot.  I’m guessing that wouldn’t feel very good…

I hung the star in the living room window.  I can’t believe that in just 2½ hours I went from raw glass to finished star!!!

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I’ll end this post with some cute pictures of the rats eating whipped cream.  They LOVE whipped cream!

228x        228v

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8 Comments

  1. I like the way that you hung up your stained glass spider web. This seems like a great way to hang up a project that I am working on right now, so thank you for describing how you did it. Your star is pretty cool, do you have any ideas of good places to buy glass? I have been wanting to find more and cooler color options.

  2. I like this even better than the web. Really love the color. A friend of mine made me a stained glass box with a 3D top of sorts. https://charlieandjo.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/mothers-favorite-flower/ Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Love the box! I will have to attempt something like that someday! I love the color of the star, too. I am hoping to make a few more in different colors.

  3. Be careful that the weight of the spider web does not pull the fpoil away from the glass at the hooks. The star looks awesome. Now make it 3D

  4. Wow Alison, trial and error certainly works – and both your spider web and your star look gorgeous in your windows. Great job!

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