Designing for Stained Glass

Designing for stained glass is pretty easy using a photograph or picture, and you will get the exact results you want. I hope you will try it and have fun with it. Also if you draw something and email it to us at support@freepatternsforstainedglass.com we will add your site to our directory or we can host it so you can get your design out there. Nothing is cooler than when you see a design you created out in a shop or online as a finished product!

Don’t forget the book “The New Drawing On the Right Side Of The Brain”” by Betty Edwards. It really will teach you how to draw if you are passionate about learning. By the way, if you would like to improve your drawing skills and would like to support the site you can get the book on Amazon here . I just feel that the book is the best thing that ever happened to my drawing skills and I highly recommend it to you.

One of the easiest methods for designing stained glass is as follows:

First though, remember you should be familiar with construction techniques and impossible cuts. You don’t want to design a stained glass piece that can’t be constructed due to design faults. I have seen many designs like that online and designs in several pattern books. It’s pretty bad when a pattern book is published and the patterns have to be revised, by the person that bought the book, before they can be used. #epicfail

Ok now back to the good stuff…You will need a photograph or a copyright free picture of the theme for your window. Enlarge the picture to a size that will fit on an 8 x 11 sheet of paper, and print it out. I usually print it in black and white, as the edges and contours seem to show up better.

Next, place the printed copy on a light box. If you don’t have a light box, tape it to a window that has a lot of light coming through it. Place another blank piece of paper over it and start tracing the outlines with a pencil. As you are designing for stained glass, you will have to pick and choose the lines you use, and occasionally add a creative line here and there to make it feasible to cut in stained glass.

Once you have finished tracing, start working on the lines with a pencil and eraser, to give them a nice flow. Most important, make sure there are no impossible cuts!

When you are satisfied with the lines, you may want to enlarge or decrease the size of the drawing to make it fit into your design for stained glass. Now you need to cut it out, with scissors, so you have the element with just a little paper left around it.

**Remember most copiers now will allow you to enlarge or reduce the side of a copy so you may want to test doing that once you have your drawing instead of redrawing the entire pattern**

On another piece of paper, draw a box that will be the finished size of the window you are designing. Place the cut out element on it and move it around until it is in the area that looks best. Tape it down where you think you want it. I say think, because you might want to move it again after you have added other elements to the design.

At this point you can add a border or any other elements that you want. Look for more pictures to find unique elements. Also, add cut lines wherever they are needed.

Tweak it to your liking and that’s it! Pretty simple right? Now all of the designs won’t be as easy as others but once you get the hang of it you will be a pro, maybe even write your own book of patterns!!

Scroll to Top