Adding Stained Glass to Your Home
Seeking Out and Choosing Stained Glass
Although there are many ways to obtain stained glass, be aware that a lot of them are rather pricey. Visiting a shop in your area will give you an idea of the cost, and you will probably be able to see pieces already made by a professional craftsman as well. Some shops even allow you to take classes to become a stained glass hobbyist yourself. Or they will sell you starter kits containing everything you need to make your own, such as grinders, pliers, solder, foil, brushes, eye shields, and a certain measured-out portion of glass ready to work with. But if there isn't a shop near you, simply looking on the Internet will provide you with many places to order stained glass from.
If those methods are too pricey, there are a few alternatives. Various overlays are available that simulate true stained glass, which you can buy from shops or the Internet. Or you can simply keep an eye out at auctions, garage sales, or flea markets. Watch for deals on old stained glass that can be recut or repaired (most cracks and chips can be fixed). If you have antique type windows with many panes of glass, they are usually perfect for adding cuts from older pieces of stained glass.
As to where to put it once you have it, there are more options than you might think. Windows of course are the most obvious choice, but you can also add it to coffee tables, or small windows inside cabinet doors or appliances. Even some types of lamps have places to add stained glass. Putting it in your bathroom windows can be a great way to retain privacy while also adding beauty and atmosphere to your home. There are even stained glass wind chimes ready to hang if you want to add a certain feel to the outside of your house. Putting it in the kitchen can add wonderful lighting effects for weekend breakfasts, etc. No matter what effect you're aiming for, stained glass will add an air of grace while giving you many incidental complements as well.
Installing Stained Glass
The simplest way to add stained glass to your home is merely to hang it in front of an existing window. You may be able to find a window that the stained glass will fit inside nicely and you can just prop it or hang it in front. But usually you won't be so lucky and will have to consider hiring a glass craftsman to cut the piece for you and install it securely.
Perhaps you would like to save money and try to install the glass yourself. It isn't that difficult to do. For illustrative purposes, let's take the process of adding stained glass to a small window in the top of a wooden door. You will want to add the glass to the inside house-portion of the door.
First, clean and dry both pieces of glass thoroughly. Then simply tilt in the stained glass and gently press it into place. Now on each side, tap into the sash two small brad nails to hold the glass tightly against the window. Make sure the nails don't hit the glass and that the shaft of the brad nail is touching the edge. Now apply some caulk to fill in the gap between the window sash and the stained glass. Wait for a bit until the caulk sets up, then remove the brad nails with a pair of needle nose pliers. Once the caulk has totally dried, it will hold the glass firmly in place since it works as the perfect adhesive.
Later on, if you ever decide to move and want to take the stained glass with you, simply use the blade of a knife or razor to slice through the caulking and loosen it. (You can remove the stained glass with no damage to the window beneath.) When slicing through the caulking, be careful not to scratch the glass. Once you have it removed, you can use a razor or utility knife to remove any excess caulking.
Also remember there are a variety of different ways to mix and match colored glasses to get stained glass-like effects. Trying out many different things before you actually purchase any expensive pieces is always best. Be creative. Experiment and have fun.