How to Choose the Right Copper Foil for Your Works of Art


When creating stained glass art, the size and type of foil can be tricky. For newcomers to this type of glass art, many questions arise as to which copper foil is the right one to use. Fortunately, Delphi Glass has some handy tips to help you make the right choice every time.


1. Foil width

You might be inclined to select foil that creates skinny lines, however they are not as strong. That’s because you can’t apply as much solder. For most projects, you’ll find 7/32” copper foil will be suitable, however if you vary the width of the foil it will add more depth. If you’re using thicker glass, 1/4" foil will create a seam of normal width. But if you want special effects, take a razor knife and trim the copper foil after you apply it to the glass. Creating distance in your piece can be done by making the foil lines thinner in a gradual way. For that, you’ll want 3/16” or 5/32” copper foil used sparingly to add these touches of details. So long as you’re not using thinner bits of solder lines on the entire project, it will stay strong.


2. Foil thickness

Foil is measured in mils. The thinnest is 1 mil. Cheaper foil will tear too easily, particularly around curves, but good quality foil will tear much less even at this size. It will still be delicate though so you’ll need to be gentle. While cheaper foil is certainly cost effective, spending a little more on quality is going to ensure you won’t have to go back and patch up any tears, a very time-consuming process. For most projects, you’ll find 1.25 mil foil is a prime choice because it’s flexible particularly for inside curves while being strong.


3. Color of backing

One of the last things you must consider when choosing the right copper foil is what color your backing is. The basic rule for this is to think about the finish. If you’re not applying patina, silver black foil will work nicely. If you’re using copper or black patina, copper-backed or even black-backed foil will be a good fit. For opalescent glass, the backing isn’t really an issue because the foil color won’t be so noticeable. Backing colors for transparent glass though is very important because if you don’t match it, it will stand out and not in the way you’d hoped.


Delphi Glass has all the copper foil you need for your next stained glass art project. Come in and see us, or order online anywhere you are!

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Bill W.  •  January 12, 2019
I have some shiny copper foil that i need to be blackened on the back. Is that possible?
Jenn Raskin

Jenn Raskin

Jennifer Raskin is an internationally published writer with a not-so-secret craft obsession. She joined the Delphi team to combine two of her favorite things - writing and creating art. In her spare time, she loves to play with her kids, cook, write and have craft parties with her friends.