Dragonfly Garden Stake


Lately, I've been spending a lot of time in my backyard. My father (a retired horticulture professor and perpetual gardener) has been preparing my quarter-acre lot for a vegetable garden. As soon as I saw this project guide, I could envision stained glass dragonflies peeking out amidst my beans and greens. They are perfect for adding a little sparkle to your summer landscape! 



Wissmach Sky Blue and Crystal Stream X for Wings, 1/2 Sq. Ft. (or other glass color of choice)

Wissmach Dark Blue/Medium Green Opal for Body, 1/3 Sq. Ft. (or other glass color of choice)

Flux Solder 7/32" Copper Foil

20-, 22-, and 16-Gauge Copper Wire

2 Small Green Nuggets

1/8" Copper or Brass Rod Black Patina


This is one of many of the garden stake designs in Leslie Gibbs' book, Garden Art in Glass. There is a lot more information in her book about wire, rods, and other hardware used in building the garden stakes.

Always wear eye protection, keep a clean work surface, and solder in a well ventilated area. When you’re ready to begin, make two copies of the original pattern provided. Number each pattern piece and mark grain direction, if any. Cut one pattern apart with copper foil pattern shears. Use the second copy for laying out the design.

1. Position the paper pattern on the glass and score around the pattern pieces.

2. Run the score with glass breaking pliers and remove the waste glass from the glass pattern piece. Cut all of the pieces for the wings or use wire overlay for the lines. After all of the pieces are cut, grind them and check for fit. Grind the two glass nuggets to form the rounded eyes.

3. Dry the glass pieces before foiling with 7/32" copper foil. Make sure that the glass is centered on the foil and wrap the edges of the glass. Use a fid or lathkin to burnish or smooth the edges of the foiled pieces. Apply flux to the copper foil. The flux prepares the copper to accept the solder.

4. Solder the top side of the dragonfly, leaving the gap for the support rod unsoldered for now. Cut the solid core copper or brass rod to the desired length Bend the end of the rod to fit into the open space of the body.

5. Flip the dragonfly over and position the bent end of the rod into the open space and solder the back side.

6. Flip the dragonfly to the front side and finish soldering the gap where the rod was placed. Solder 20-gauge wire onto the body for support.

7. Cut and bend wire to form the legs of the dragonfly. With the project face down, solder the legs in place.

8. Cut wire for the overlay on the wings. Tin and solder the wire overlay to the wings following the layout design.

Clean the project thoroughly with flux remover and warm soapy water. Use a brush to apply black patina to the solder. Clean again and apply a glass wax to prevent oxidation.

This pattern and project guide courtesy of Glass Patterns Quarterly Magazine.

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Stephanie L.  •  October 06, 2019
Your Dragonflies appear not to be cut and foiled. Would you please share how you made them?
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PATRICIA D.  •  November 02, 2018
Dragonfly pattern not there. Would love to get it.
Leslie Gibbs and Dave Burnett

Leslie Gibbs and Dave Burnett