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home>>family>>home & decor 2>>a touch of glass

A Touch of Glass


(ARA) - Want to give a touch of class to your windows?

Creating decorative art glass is easier than ever. In fact, you can create eye-catching designs in new or existing windows in just a few hours, thanks largely to new, easy-to-use products.

"It's a very simple process," says Jim Frey, at Rockler Woodworking and Hardware. "The more intricate you get the longer it will take, but the whole process itself is fairly simple. Every item comes with instructions on how to apply, so it's not hard to do."

The most popular places to incorporate decorative glass are doors, sidelight panels, transoms, cabinet doors, ceiling light panels and bathroom windows, says Sandy Jendal of Chrysalis Decorative Glass, Inc., in McKinney, Texas. It's ideal for applications where privacy is required without sacrificing natural light.

Best of all, Jendal says, turning a new or existing glass panel into a decorative glass panel is a snap. She outlined the basic steps of creating a decorative glass panel that consists of embossed film for a textured glass look, leading and glass bevels.

All of the products used in this project are available through Rockler Woodworking and Hardware's mail-order catalog, 35 retail locations and online at Rockler.com.

Make a design template

Make a template of the design you'd like on a piece of paper, or use a pattern from a book and enlarge it to the size panel you wish to put it on.

Jendal's design was a 12 inch by 18 inch Manchester pattern for a vertical cabinet door. She spent less than $85 on supplies, compared to spending more than $140 to have the piece custom made. "For a novice like me it took four hours, which is pretty good considering what you're saving versus buying custom-order traditional cut stained glass," Jendal said.

Apply leading to back of glass

Once you have your pattern, attach it to the front side of the glass. Turn the cleaned glass panel over and apply self-adhesive lead to match the leading lines on the template. Simply connect point A to point B following the lines of the pattern.

Using the plastic burnishing peg that comes with the lead, firmly press down all the lead, making sure there are no gaps when one piece of leading crosses over another piece. The leading is movable before it permanently cures, so you can lift it off and reapply if you make a mistake.

Apply embossed film, glass bevels and leading to front panel

Once the leading has been applied to the back of the panel, flip the panel over and remove the template. The leading on the back panel will serve as your guide to layout the embossed film, leading and bevels on the front side of the panel.

Working on a clean, dust-free surface, cut a piece of the embossed film slightly larger than the area you wish to cover. Remove the paper backing and lightly mist the adhesive with distilled water. Place the film in the desired location and use a squeegee or soft pad to remove any excess water or air bubbles. Using the lead lines on the opposite side as a guide, cut the film in the middle of the lines using a hobby knife or razor blade. Make sure to leave a 1/16 inch channel between neighboring pieces of film so that the final leading can be properly applied when the project has cured.

When using bevels on your project, make sure to leave the surface area of the glass where the bevel sits free of film or dust. Apply the adhesive to the back of each bevel and place in the desired locations. Let your project dry for 12 hours, or use a hair dryer to speed the process.

Then simply attach leading to the front panel, using the back panel leading as your guide.

Jendal recommends trying these techniques first on a piece of scrap glass or non-glass surface to familiarize yourself with the products.

"You don't have to be an artist," she says. "All you have to do is have a steady hand. That's what it boils down to, since you're just cutting film and tracing around a pattern with adhesive-backed lead. (The process) is kind of like coloring in a coloring book."

For more information on creating your own decorative glass, visit rockler.com or call toll-free at (800) 279-4441.

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Courtesy of ARA Content
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