Stained Glass Window

March 2023   Bianchini-Love

Our row house did not previously come with visible house numbers on display. We took advantage over the transom window above our front door to make a stained glass window that features our house number. This was a new process for both of us, and we were surprised by how beginner-friendly it was, requiring only a couple of new glass cutting hand tools and an upgrade to a heavy duty soldering gun.

Design goals and materials

We got a box of scrap glass from a stained glass craftsperson on Etsy.  We wanted the numbers in our window to have a funky, chunky font with the numbers touching each other, made of the colored glass shards with random edges.  While we initially planned on making the three numbers freestanding with a custom frame that hugged the edges, we ended up filling in the free space with clear, textured glass.  This let us use a standard, zinc stained glass came material for the frame.

Laying out and cutting the glass shapes

First we designed the shape and size of the number outlines in CAD (we love Onshape).

Figure 1:  CAD drawing of numbers and frame.

Figure 2:  Taping together a to-scale printout of the number outline we designed in CAD.

We used the CAD to print out a to-scale template of the numbers.  This let us lay out where we wanted to place the glass shards which we would later cut to more precise shapes.