There are a zillion and a half tools & supplies out there to help you make stained glass art, and it can be confusing to know what to get as a beginner stained glass artist.
Fortunately, you’ll only need a few to get started.
Essential Tools & Supplies for Stained Glass Art (Copper Foil Method)
- Cutting oil (mineral oil is cheap & effective)
- Grozing Pliers
- Running Pliers
- Grinder (I’m a fan of the Gryphon Gryphette – it’s relatively inexpensive, small, and good quality. Any other brand you find at a Glass Supply Shop will be fine as well, just usually a bit more expensive – Glastar, Inland, etc.)
- Copper Foil (start with 1/4″ – it leaves room for fixing mistakes)
- Xacto or other craft knife
- Solder (I’m a fan of the Amerway brand solder. If you’re using lead free, get Amerway Ruby)
- Flux (I like Canfield Blu-Glass Flux. It’s low smoke, low odor, developed for people with sensitivities, & works with lead & lead free)
- Soldering Iron (I highly, very, very highly recommend the Hakko FX-601 02. The FX 601-02 fits U.S. outlets, the FX 601-01 is for Japan. If you purchase your iron through a Glass Supply Shop in the U.S., they stock the right one for our outlets. Buying on amazon is kind of a crapshoot on that.)
- Wax (Carnauba car wax works great – I use Mother’s Carnauba Wax)**
- Jump Rings (or make your own with copper wire, a wire cutters, and a pen or dowel)
- Safety equipment (full list with links on my Stained Glass Safety page)
**I do receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase through this link.
For pretty much all of your tools with the exception of your soldering iron & grinder, I wouldn’t be too worried about brand name or price. You can always upgrade later if you need, but most of the tools that Stained Glass Supply Shops sell are of solid quality…not so much from some of the big box stores.
Can I just buy a Beginner Stained Glass Kit?
You sure can! If price isn’t as much of a concern, many supply stores have beginner stained glass kits available. I’d highly recommend purchasing one with a Hakko 601 soldering iron. It’s going to make your soldering life soooooooooo much smoother.
Where do I buy stained glass materials & supplies?
I’m starting the list with small businesses, since I prefer to support them whenever possible. In the event that they’re sold out, amazon is a solid back up.
Glass is expensive to ship, so I do recommend purchasing from suppliers that are close to you geographically. Not all suppliers carry the same glass or every tool you may need or want, so there are times when you’ll have to (or want to) pay a bit more for shipping.
I have not shopped with all of these suppliers. The ones I haven’t, I’m listing based on recommendations from other stained glass artists, or those that have good ratings or been in business for many years.
Anything in Stained Glass – Maryland (has some of the best prices I’ve found & wonderful service)
Warner Art Glass – PA (another personal go-to shop with fantastic service every time)
Middle Chunk of the U.S.
Glass Supplies 41 – Colorado (great prices for tools & supplies-fast shipping & wonderful service)
Delphi Glass – Michigan – Ships Internationally
Franklin Art Glass – Ohio
Ed Hoy’s Art Glass Supplies – Illinois
West Coast & South West
Bullseye Glass – Oregon
SW Art Glass – Arizona ***They do flat rate shipping for $15 on some products in the continental U.S.***
Cavallini Glass – Texas
Harmony Glass – California
Most of the above do ship internationally. Will update as I find reputable recommendations outside the U.S.
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