Stained glass suncatcher patterns are easier to make than most stained glass projects. Even though a suncatcher is larger than a piece of jewelry, it is less complicated to make, and its pieces are large enough to handle easily. With the help of a few stained glass tools and a simple pattern you should be able to create a dazzling suncatcher in no time.
Stained Glass Suncatchers
To begin with, you'll need a pattern. For your first suncatcher, create a simple pattern with straight lines and few pieces. Make three copies of the pattern-one working copy, one spare in case you mess up, and a master pattern that can be filed away in case you ever want to make the same pattern again.
Materials You Will Need:
There are two easy methods of making a suncatcher. One is to attach the pieces of stained glass together with wire and allowing them to dangle. The second, and preferred, method is to solder the pieces together. If soldering the suncatcher you will also need a few additional materials.
Flux is the material needed to bind the metal together between each piece of stained glass, but flux also is a poisonous chemical and can be very dangerous if ingested. Keep flux away from your skin, always wear safety glasses and gloves and work in a ventilated area. Flux evaporates into the air quickly, so once it has been brushed onto the stained glass, it's important to solder immediately.
After the pieces of stained glass have been cut, grind the edges and attach the copper foil, securing it tightly around each piece. Lay the pieces over the pattern. When you have the pattern assembled, brush a thin layer of flux over the foil edges of the pattern pieces. Because the soldering will not work if the flux has not been added to the entire surface of the copper, and because flux dries quickly, you must work efficiently during this stage of the process.
Once you have added the flux, have your heating iron and soldering metal ready and begin setting a molten bead line on the joints-where copper meets copper. This molten metal will hold the pieces together and keep the copper foil from disintegrating. You know when the flux is working because the molten metal will hiss gently as it touches the flux. If you don't hear that hiss, then add more flux to the area. Using the heating iron, melt the beads and spread them over the joints until the copper is completely covered. At the same time, add a wire for hanging and solder it in place.
Some people cover the joints with black patina for a more finished look.
With a few simple glass etching designs and tools, you can create terrific gifts for your family and friends, as well as add spice to your home.
Having all of the right stained glass tools that you will need on hand and knowing why you need them will help you begin your project with confidence.