Combining Fabric or Paper with Your Glass

How-To

Did you know that you can "sandwich" fabric (or paper) between glass just like you do with pressed flowers? It sure opens up a lot of possibilities for creating one-of-a-kind projects! Here's how:

1 Cut two pieces of thin clear glass (ideally, single strength or thinner) to match your pattern piece. Dull the edges of each piece, if necessary, with a fine grinder bit or scythe stone.

2 Carefully clean the surfaces of these pieces that will be on the inside of the sandwich. Once you have sandwiched the fabric inside the glass, you won't be able to clean the glass again.

3 Cut a piece of fabric to match the glass pieces you cut.

4 To create your sandwich, place the fabric on the bottom piece of glass (clean side up). Add the top piece of glass (clean side down). Now hold your sandwich together with a couple of heavy-duty rubber bands. (This is why you dulled the edges of the glass…sharp edges could cut through rubber bands.)

5 Apply a piece of copper foil to both pieces of glass at the same time, removing the rubberbands as necessary. You will likely need wider than average foil, depending how thin your glass is and how thick your fabric (or paper) is.

6 Burnish the foil tightly to the surfaces of the glass. It is important that you make sure the foil is tight, with no air bubbles that will allow flux to seep between the pieces of glass.

7 Now your piece is ready to incorporate into a project. If your "sandwich" is thicker than surrounding pieces, keep in mind that you'll want to lay the pieces face down and solder the back of your panel first if you want the front pieces flush with each other.

8 Be sure to use any liquid (flux, water, patina) sparingly. When soldering, work as quickly as possible. Excess liquid and heat will cause steam that can get between the pieces of glass… and once it's in there, it's not coming out.

Reprinted with permission from Stained Glass News. All rights reserved.

2 comments
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REDBOX T.  •  July 05, 2017
Hi from Costa Rica. Can you use this "sandwich technique" in fuse glass? or will the fabric or paper burned away during the firing process? Gracias
Max R.  •  April 28, 2011
Several years ago after my mother passed away my brother took several of the doilies she had crocheted and had them placed in to a stained glass hanging. They were sandwiched between two pieces of clear glass as you describe and then colored glass that complimented the doilie was used to frame it. These have been beautiful and treasured keepssakes for all of my siblings for years and will be passed on to our children. Now that I'm getting started with glass I hope to try this myself. Your instructions will be helpful. Thanks!
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Stained Glass News

Stained Glass News

Stained Glass News is a full-color newspaper which has been dedicated to informing, entertaining and inspiring stained glass hobbyists for over 22 years. Each issue features: • information on new books, tools and glass • quick tips & hints and Q&A's • columns on stained glass, mosaics, and hot glass by industry experts • photos of our readers' projects in the Readers' Gallery • glassworking hints from our readers on The Readers' Page • a photo and information about a glass workshop belonging to one of our readers on The Readers' Page • other information that makes working with glass easier, more fun and more rewarding SGN is published five times a year (on the first of January, March, May, September and November). The current issue is SGN #90 (May, 2010).