Stained glass Christmas decorations

I have always enjoyed trying new things, and new crafty things in particular.  This year I have tried enamelling and yarn dyeing, among other things.

I've always wanted to have a go at blowing glass, and whilst I couldn't find any sessions near to me which were affordable, I did find a stained glass workshop.  So my friend S and I signed up and headed to a village hall on the outskirts of Southampton for our day-long workshop.

Sarah who ran the course was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and the other two ladies in the class were great fun - the five of us pretty much spent the whole day laughing and the atmosphere was relaxed, which is how a weekend workshop should be!

We had a go at cutting a piece of plain glass - you make a cut, not too angled, and then snap the glass along the cut.  Anything other than straight lines is hard - you can see my dove on the left and the one Sarah did on the right!

Once we had just about got the hang of that (and I had been given a plaster for the finger I had somehow managed to cut), we could choose the glass we wanted to use for our three decorations.  I went with a green Christmas tree with a dark blue base, a red Santa hat with textured glass for the trim, and a purple/blue Christmas tree with a pink base.  I had struggled with the cutting, so whilst examples of the other designs looked amazing, I decided to stick with the slightly easier trees.  There was a wide selection of glass, in different colours and textures, and some more opaque than others.

Once we had cut out the shapes, we used a grinder to smooth out any jagged edges, and to make sure the different components fitted together nicely.

Once ground, we had to wash and dry our pieces.

I wanted some embellishment on my green tree, as it was looking rather plain, so I took inspiration from some of the examples on display and started to thread a long wire with teeny tiny beads.

Very teeny tiny beads!

The next stage is to edge the glass pieces in copper foil - this is like sticky tape which you wrap around the edges and then push down to remove any creases.  This is a craft which requires patience.

The pieces are then soldered together, before you use a little bit more solder to go round the edges and finish it off.  I haven't used a soldering iron since about year eight in secondary school, but the smell took me right back to that design and technology workshop!  S and I are not the neatest solderers but the boards we used did look quite pretty in an abstract way by the time we had finished.

Once soldered, with snowflakes and hooks added, the pieces are washed and dried again, and I could go back to threading more of those pesky beads on to my wire.

Ta da! One Christmas tree with beaded tinsel.  The ends of the beaded wire are soldered on.  I did try to do that, but it wouldn't work, so Sarah 'helped' me (did it for me).

Between the four of us, we made some utterly lovely decorations.  Mine are middle row, 2-4.  S's angel (top left) is my favourite one of hers and I also love the bauble.

I am so proud of what I made - S and I had a lovely day and came away with three beautiful decorations each.  Sarah asked us all as we were leaving whether we were were keeping them, or giving them as presents.  Almost in unison, the four of us replied we are keeping them for ourselves - and I hope that now they are hanging up on windows in our homes, sparkling in the winter sun.  I for one will not be taking mine down in January, they're too beautiful to be hidden away in a box!  


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! We had a really good day, highly recommend!

  2. What a fab thing to do. I'd love to give this a try. They're all so pretty, the beaded tinsel is a fab idea and looks really effective. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It was good fun to have a go at something different. The beading was definitely worth it, although rather laborious. But that's often the way with beautiful handmade things!


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